Artistic Futures

Artfest Kingston is delighted to welcome Artistic Futures to our Canada Day Weekend show in City Park. Artistic Futures provides support to Kingston area artists with special needs in developing independent art practices. Working with a professional artist mentor, emerging artists get one on one support in developing the studio skills and routines that allow them produce and exhibit their work.

It is well known that art making can provide therapeutic benefits, but for certain individuals it can become a genuine life skill, offering direction, a sense of pride and purpose. It allows special needs adults to contribute to their communities and potentially become a source of income for them. This unique program strives to be a leader in promoting inclusiveness and diversity in the arts and offers a possibility for individuals who are too often assumed to not have the potential for a professional occupation.

Artworks by Nicolas Steiner Bell, Keifer Blight and Hayden Kaack will be on display and available for purchase at this year's Artfest Kingston. All proceeds from art sales go directly to the artists and their families. Please support this new and vital program that helps these emerging artists get started.

About Nicolas Steiner Bell

Nicolas Steiner Bell is 32 years old and lives in Kingston, Ontario. Nicolas loves the natural world and has always responded to spatial configurations and colour. Nicolas’ tendencies toward color field painting combined with his boisterous brush work has developed into complex compositions- at times featuring recurring motifs such as line and shape configurations, at other times more ‘all over’ compositional formats. These opposing approaches lead to work that falls somewhere between abstract expressionism and minimalism- a disjunct that gives his work an energy and truly vibrates with his own personal character. Recent works have incorporated spray techniques which are bringing new directions and possibilities to his paintings, offering a lightness that contrasts the heavy application of paint in his other works.

About Keifer Blight

Keifer Blight is 23 years old young and lives in Harrowsmith, Ontario. Keifer was diagnosed with autism when he was three years old. Although spoken language has always been challenging for him, he revels in the visual world. His art is an ongoing exploration of that world, exhibiting exciting talents and abilities. In the two years that Keifer has worked with Artistic Futures is work has gained increasing levels of complexity as he develops ever richer sensitivity to colour. His subtly varying compositions- largely linear bands of overlapping transparent colour- combined with resonant colour relationships open windows into his mood and create simple, elegant and very atmospheric abstractions which are at once very unique and contemporary while conjuring elements of great modern abstract painters such as Barnett Newman and Mark Rothko. Recent works have incorporated spray techniques which are bringing new directions and possibilities to his paintings. Breaking from his linear works, these abstractions are amorphous and introduce an openness to natural processes outside the controlled and methodical approaches that he gravitates towards.

About Hayden Kaack

Hayden Kaack is a 23 year old living with autism and Artistic Futures’ newest artist. He is a keen observer of his natural environment and is most in his element when in the water which finds its way into his work through his fluid and energetic mark making. Hayden’s approach to painting swings between reflective restraint and exuberant, joyful outbursts with brushes, rollers and palate knives- leading to exuberant and dynamic abstract works that capture the spirit and energy of this very expressive individual. While Hayden struggles with speech he is rapidly finding his creative voice and gaining confidence as an artist. In the months since Hayden joined the program he has gained independence in his work and moved from frustration and appeals for direction to ecstatic engagement.

About Artistic Futures

Gabriel Deerman has been facilitating art sessions for young adults and adults with special needs (primarily Autism) since 2014. The program has now expanded into Kingston at The Tett Centre where three participant artists work with Garbriel. Program participants who have worked with Gabriel have gained confidence and independence in their studio work and have shared their talents and vision with the community through public exhibitions. Gabriel worked with participants and their families in planning and curating an exhibition at The Tett Centre in 2017.

Having a truly inclusive arts community must include the support needed by potential artists in getting started and navigating the complexities required in establishing a successful arts practice. This begins with studio work but includes planning exhibitions, documenting work, creating websites, submitting to calls, writing proposals and the myriad of tasks a professional artist must do in addition to creating new work. This program strives to start with the art and assist in the journey that artists with special needs must venture in the establishment of a visual arts practice.

Posted on June 17, 2019 .

Out of Ruins

Out of Ruins was inspired by a love of gardening and an eclectic flair for creating visual interest in the yard. Diane Proulx is the dynamic driving force behind Out Of Ruins. Along with her son Tyler, they salvage glass and wooden frames destined for the landfill and create beautiful works of glass art for both inside and outside your home.

Posted on June 14, 2019 .

Bran View Kreations

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Bran View Kreations produces 100% cotton, wool, linen home decor and clothing for both men and women. All products use natural fibers and colours that stand out without artificial dyes. These are quality crafted, one of a kind pieces that will last a life time.

Posted on June 14, 2019 .

Moore Design Bird Feeders

Moore Design Bird Feeders are Canadian handmade glass and brass window and garden bird feeders. Custom designed and hand built, these feeders are designed to be window mounted or anchored in your garden, yard or deck. All products are made with the best quality glass and brass purchased from Canadian companies to ensure your bird feeder will keep its strength and integrity over time.

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Posted on June 12, 2019 .

Irina Rapaport Jewellery and Textiles


Based in Toronto, Irina Rapaport Jewellery and Textiles is a slow fashion design studio whose mission is to create and make unique jewellery and clothing. Carefully handmade in her studio, these wearable art objects are produced in small series of one of a kind pieces. The charm of tiny imperfections is inherent to craftwork, such as a quirky piece of fabric or a polka dot bead made from scratch, or subtle flaws left by the work of time on old materials. Every one of her pieces is born with particular features which make it unique, not always perfect, but definitely authentic.

Posted on June 12, 2019 .

Watershed Naturals Handmade Luxury Soap Co.

Watershed Naturals Handmade Luxury Soap Co. is on a mission to help people right across Canada banish their dry, itchy skin. EcoLuxe botanical skincare, handcrafted luxury soap & probiotic natural deodorant, all use unique ingredients from all over the world with a quality unmatched by other commercial products. Your skin will never be the same after using Watershed Naturals' pure handcrafted natural soap. Gentle, soft, fluffy lather pampers your skin, leaving it soft and moisturized, instead of dry and itchy or scaly and crepey.

Posted on June 12, 2019 .


CocoWix was created from a love for candles, a passion for a healthy home, and a mission to find the most natural, high quality and non-toxic ingredients that support health and well-being. All their candles are made with coconut wax, the most eco-friendly, sustainable, natural, organic wax available. Tastefully fragranced with essential oils, CocoWix candles come in a variety of sizes and a choice of cotton or wooden wicks.

Posted on June 12, 2019 .

Richard Gregoire

Richard has been painting most of his life. Now retired, he has turned to his passion full time. Richard's subject matter includes landscapes, portraits, animal and marine life.

Posted on June 11, 2019 .

O G Knits

Garments by O G Knits naturally follow lines of the body when worn in a regular way, upside-down, or inside-out. Born in Russia, former design engineer, Olga Goncharov now applies her design skills to creating knitted garments for women. Olga uses seamless and multi-directional knitting to create shapes that multiply the number of looks in each garment, awakening creativity in every woman. Made from natural, high-quality yarn and fabrics, OG Knits are known for unique colour combinations and rich textures.

Posted on June 11, 2019 .

bumblebee jewelry

For women who want jewelry that is as fabulous as they are, bumblebee jewelry is a fresh alternative to generic, mass made pieces. Designed and handmade in Toronto by Katherine Flynn for bumblebee customers who appreciate the finer things, like divine, dazzling, sparkly jewelry.

Each piece of bumblebee jewelry explores the alchemy of colour, texture, symmetry, and balance. Katherine is utterly and completely committed to creating one of a kind treasures built on beauty, craftsmanship, style, and comfort. Known best for its striking colours and pixie-ish personality, bumblebee jewelery is modern, yet classic, bold but subtle. Designs include convertible necklaces; lacy crocheted wire chokers and earrings; rings made with crystal buttons, sea glass, and Japanese pearls; hair and body jewelry; stack-able midi rings; light as air enameled rings and earrings; maple leaf pendants and, new for 2019, DIY take home jewelry kits.

bumblebee jewelry strives for zero-waste, sustainability, no unnecessary harm and up-cycling.

Posted on June 11, 2019 .

Laila Goddess

Laila Goddess creates flowing, generously cut, flattering essential wardrobe pieces that make a difference to how you feel in your clothes. Garments are made with original hand printed fabric and designed for mature women with changing bodies.

Designer Laila Ghattas is a Happiness Specialist, Gestalt therapist, artist, Reiki practitioner, writer and group facilitator. She has dedicated her life vocation to healing in all its wonderful forms.

For a decade while working each winter in Bali, Laila experimented with custom tailored clothes which were made in styles and fabrics that evolved with her changing aging body. Laila started to feel good about her reflection in the mirror. Without intention Laila transformed her awkward self-image into an elegant comfortable style, sending her midlife frumpy blues away for good. She launched her esteem nurturing label in 2014.

Laila infuses the garments with meaningful luxury signature fabrics. In her very personal Lotus Collection, she synthesizes her photographs of lotus flowers with an original mantra born out of meditations with her Balinese Shaman, resulting in fabric designs that sooth and inspire. The wisdom and insight gleaned from ancient mystical traditions beat at the heart of all she creates and shares.

Posted on June 7, 2019 .

Richard Fisher Pottery


A dragonfly gets its stunning, vivid colour from light reflected and retracted from the sun; an esoteric process that only Mother Nature could deliver. The dragonfly is a fitting symbol for Richard Fisher Pottery. The sensuality and character of each piece of Richard Fisher Pottery could only come from an equally enigmatic formation: Richard uses rich glazes that respond to the intense heat within a kiln to produce unique colours and varied surfaces.

At his cozy pottery studio, tucked away in Dundas, Ontario, you’ll find no shortage of pottery items meticulously hand-crafted by Richard to capture the individuality only stoneware clay can produce. For almost 20 years, Richard has shaped and molded pottery pieces that have become favourites for families all over the world, including Richard’s signature Compost Pot, his indispensable coffee mug, or his exquisite collection of table ware pottery.

Designed for the greatest function possible, Richard embraces the character of the clay to create remarkably beautiful, yet strong, enforced forms within all his pottery.

Posted on June 7, 2019 .

Riverlights Stained Glassworks

For more than 25 years, Ottawa based Riverlights Stained Glassworks has been creating stained and fused glass giftware and sterling silver jewlery. Inspired by nature, Riverlights fashions unique panels, candle holders, keepsake boxes and ornaments in their distinctive style.

Posted on June 7, 2019 .

Creations Ghislaine Descotes

In 2009, Ghislaine Descotes couldn't find the right piece of jewellery she needed to wear to a wedding. She decided to make her own and Creations Ghislaine Descotes was born! Working with freshwater pearls, Swarovski crystals, stones, glass beads, chains, seed beads and anything else that she finds, Ghislane crafts unique well-made pieces. New additions to the line include earrings from decommissioned Canadian pennies and handbags made from upcycled rubber inner tubes.

Ghislaine is a member of of Capital Artisans Guild and Ottawa Crafts and Collectibles Guild. She works from her home in Hawkesbury.

Posted on June 7, 2019 .

Edna's Pickles

Edna’s Pickles offers a line of Indian relishes and chutneys created with a unique blend of spices that give each flavour a perfect taste and texture. Edna Fernandes has always loved making pickles in various flavours, creating new blends and trying out new techniques. In 2004 she first showcased her pickles at the One of a Kind Spring Show in Toronto. Since the response was overwhelming she continued to exhibit at various Art & Craft Shows in Ontario.

With a natural flair and love for cooking, creating new recipes by experimenting with various methods, Edna has published her own recipe book 'Savour the flavour of India' - a collection of tried and tested Goan and other Indian recipes. Over the years she has continued to attract and establish a satisfied clientele. Her aim is to pursue to create ideal quality homemade products, addictive enough to have people coming back for more.

Indian relishes and chutneys are traditionally served with rice and are used to add flavour to a meal. A spicy pickle accents a mild curry and a sweet pickle complements a spicy curry. Today, pickles can accompany everything - rice, noodles, barbecued fish, grilled chicken and meats, roast beef and cold-cut sandwiches to enhance the taste. They can also be used as a dip with tortilla chips or bread, samosas, on hamburgers, hot dogs and even with goat cheese.

Posted on June 6, 2019 .

Made By Bees

Made By Bees has beeswax wraps and other bee products that help all of us take steps to save our bees, our food and our planet. These handmade reusable foodsafe beeswax wraps replace the need for plastic wrap that is thrown away after one use. They come in three sizes and a variety of decorative patterns.

Priscilla Everett is a beekeeper whose shift towards sustainability has led to functional and minimal waste creations. After her children left home, tending her bees became her focus and the increased production of honey and beeswax gave rise to a new business venture.

Understanding how bee colonies flourish and the critical role they play in global food security, Priscilla developed a diverse selection of sustainable and ethical products. Made By Bees is located on a pesticide-free property just outside of Brockville where bees can enjoy natural plants, flowers, and trees.

Posted on June 6, 2019 .

Sarah Dionne Glass

Sarah Dionne started out as a stained glass artist but found her true passion after taking a class in glass fusing. For Sarah, fused glass offered so much more possibilities: more dimension, more colour, more movement and no solder lines.

Her home studio in Stirling is outfitted with two glass kilns and a ceramics kiln where Sarah works to continually master her craft and experiment with new techniques. She is inspired by the natural world around her - from the way the sunlight looks on the mountainside to the veins webbed through a fallen leaf.

Posted on June 6, 2019 .

The Windmill of Provence

A taste of France in Kingston with pottery by The Windmill of Provence. Isabella Duchemin fell in love with pottery early in life and continues to learn and be inspired through her work. She studied at the Fine Art School in Versailles and in the south of France. Her stoneware pieces are both functional and decorative. Each piece is handpainted and safe to use in the dishwasher and microwave.

Posted on June 6, 2019 .

Designs in Elegance

Designs in Elegance creates one of kind wearable art. Alison Devay from Caistor Centre travels all over to find truly unique fabric to work with. All pieces are designed and handmade by Alison, down to putting on those unique finishing touches. Nothing is manufactured or sent out to be sewn.

Designs in Elegance creates several different types of jackets, both dressy and casual that are generally loose fitting. There are wraps that can be worn with jeans or ones that are dressier to be worn over that little black dress. Beautiful chiffon fabric becomes flowing tops that compliment any figure. Sizes run from XS to 3XL.

Posted on June 6, 2019 .

Katherine Muir Miller

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Ottawa artist Katherine Muir Miller creates oil on canvas paintings featuring Canadian landscapes. She is inspired by the Canadian seasons and hopes to share her awe of our beautiful country with others.

About Katherine Muir Miller
Katherine Muir Miller is a full-time artist who lives and works out of her studio in Ottawa. Katherine is passionate about Canadian landscape and through her travels and artistic eye, captures the landscape that connects her so strongly to nature.

She took courses through the Ottawa School of Art and completed mentorship studies under Joan Imrie and Gordon Harrison. She now works independently in her home studio – inspired by friends and family, landscape and colour. Her collection showcases landscapes rarely seen by anyone but Canadian wilderness canoeists from the Arctic Ocean of the Northwest Territories, to the lakes and roaring falls of Temagami, to the many regions of Québec including the Saguenay and James Bay.

Katherine’s artistic belief is one of evolution. Her passion for color in nature is a huge driving force: “Landscapes give colour to me (…) It’s fascinating how many colours one can see in a single tree”. She wants her viewer to feel the movement, mood and simplicity of her subject matter. Katherine uses her own photos and those collected from her friends and family’s travels across Canada as inspiration, using their energy to transform their adventures into her original works.

Posted on June 5, 2019 .