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PAVED Arts: The broke artists’ saving grace

By in Culture
Lenore Maier and Ania Slusarczyk stand in front of PAVED Arts
Lenore Maier (left) and Ania Slusarczyk stand in front of PAVED Arts on Aug. 16, 2019.

PAVED Arts is a non-profit, community-run organization that provides affordable resources to artists that do not have access to the tools they need to create art.

The job of an artist is thankless — and often not that well paid either. Everyone wants to consume art —  whether it be music, movies or visual art, but people are often reluctant to pay artists.

It’s frustrating enough without thinking of the cost of the materials they use in creating. Add being a student to that equation and that makes for even emptier pockets.

Standing as an acronym for photography, audio, video, electronic and digital, PAVED Arts was created on March 31, 2003, as a union between The Photographers Gallery and Video Vérité. Since then, it has been providing affordable amenities and tools to artists in the community to assist them in creating and expressing themselves.

The Sheaf sat down with Lenore Maier, the technical director of PAVED Arts, to discuss some of what the non-profit does in the community.

“What we try to do is reduce barriers for people, and provide space and access to people so they’re comfortable in our space … so that everybody can make art, not just the people with money,” Maier said.

PAVED Arts provides a wide variety of tools such as a video editing suite, an audio suite, a digital photo suite, event space, a library of equipment to rent from and an analog darkroom, which is free to members. Their staff is also available to help familiarize members with their facilities.

They offer a variety of workshops that teach everything from digital animation to how to properly set up an electric guitar. The goal is to cover a wide assortment of artistry, and they do this by bringing in local professionals to teach their workshops.

Most famously, they have their “One Take Super 8 Event” which invites local filmmakers, amateur or professional, to shoot their own one take 8mm short films. These are then debuted at Roxy Theatre, with even the filmmakers themselves not having seen the movies prior to the showing.

Lenore Maier and Ania Slusarczyk pose for a photo in the Paved Arts Production Centre on Aug. 16, 2019.
Lenore Maier (left) and Ania Slusarczyk pose for a photo in the Paved Arts Production Centre on Aug. 16, 2019.

Without the resources that PAVED provides, some budding artists might not be able to afford the equipment required or learn the skills needed to make their own short films, let alone 8mm ones.

Events and workshops like the aforementioned are free to their members, and though their membership usually costs $50 yearly, it is half price for students and the underemployed.

PAVED is constantly striving to be better, and it does so by listening to its members and their needs. They are always open to new suggestions as to what they can offer.

“We invite everybody to get involved in any way, and if you feel like PAVED can be better, we want to hear it because we want to be better,” says Maier.

With the school year starting up again, we all will need an outlet or some space away from studying whenever we want to slow down and catch our breath.

Whether you’re a seasoned professional or someone just looking to test out the waters, PAVED Arts provides a budget-friendly, non-judgmental space where you can learn and grow in your art form at your own pace.

More information regarding their events, workshops and getting involved can be found on their website, pavedarts.ca.

Tomilola Ojo / Culture Editor

Photos: Victoria Becker / Photo Editor

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