Last night at the Phog Lounge, owners Tom Lucier and Frank Incitti held the first of hopefully many philanthropic ventures at their downtown bar. For $5, interested Windsorites enjoyed a plate of Frank’s pasta, and four proposals from area artists.
The presentations ranged from video projects promoting Essex natural areas, to free “pay it forward” art. Each group was given a few minutes to talk up their project while patrons ate, and at the end of the evening, we all voted for our favourite idea. The group with the most votes took home the collected pot, an amount that ended up being $200.
The first presenters were Bronwyn Wood and Ryan Pukay, of Woopu Media. Their idea consisted of video shorts to promote the various conservation areas, which they feel are grossly under-represented, and under-appreciated. The example video shown included footage shot at Hillman Marsh in April, and even though the spring weather wasn’t ideal, their images were beautiful and got their message across nicely. They explained that the money would go to protective equipment for their gear, and once the videos were produced, they’d be added to ERCA‘s website.
Next up was architecture student Tom Provost. His idea included an animated image made from the Google Streetview shots taken last summer during the civic strike. He wants to include a physical structure in the exhibit, and he’d like to receive funding for materials. His project has already gained some momentum, as it’ll be be displayed in one of city’s vacant storefronts on Pelissier, as part of Broken City Lab‘s Storefront Residencies for Social Innovation project.
The third group to present was called Rose City Sessions, consisting of Murad Erzinclioglu, James OL and Eric Boucher. The video they displayed featured local band The Bulletproof Tiger, along with artwork by DENIAL. The music video was very well produced for a budget of $0, and highlighted some of Windsor’s music and visual art talent in a way that could eventually be taken to mainstream outlets, like a local cable television station. They hope to release one video per month, and already have enough participants lined up to keep them busy throughout August.
Last, but certainly not least, was the man behind DENIAL, Dan Bombardier. His idea was simple, but effective. He wants to create free, public art that inspires Windsorites to “make something beautiful”, and pass on the good karma. He described it as “pay it forward” art, pieces that people would encounter naturally. He’s got 30 designs ready to be made in to paintings.
I honestly had a tough time choosing which project I thought deserved to the get the money. I asked my table-mates what factors swayed their decision. Who had the most potential, what project would be able to use the money most effectively, who seemed to need the money the most, and of course, which project resonated personally, were some of the reasons we chose who we did.
The evening ended with an offering of $200 to the winning artist (drum roll please)… Tom Provost! The evening wouldn’t have been possible without the support of Phog-goers, as well as Phog-entertainers. Justin Rutledge, who had performed the night before, donated some money to the pot. So did Michigander and Phog regular Jon Corbin, and Windsor’s own favourite library worker Mark Bradley. Of course, the event’s success was also due to the plentiful pasta dinner!
Keep an eye out for next month’s Philanthropasta event!