No Starving Artists

Season {2} Episode {16}: Dionne Powlenzuk


Long time no see. Can you believe it’s already October and the holidays are right around the corner? Literally. And I think we’re all still waiting to see what it’s going to be like this year as we begin peeking out from behind this life-altering global pandemic. I know one of the traditions my family missed out on last year was an in-person holiday handbell concert by the Raleigh Ringers. It wasn’t safe and like most arts organizations, they took their performance to cyberspace.

This pandemic has really turned the way we experience life upside down, and I truly believe that one of the hardest hit subsectors in the nonprofit world is arts & culture. And yet, the sector rose to the occasion as it provided us with virtual concerts we’d otherwise never been able to attend (Third Coast Baroque and Broadway Inspirational Voices, I’m talking to you!), virtual gatherings to create and reflect on beauty, and so much more.

My guest today is Dionne Powlenzuk, the Executive Director of the Visual Arts Centre of Clarington in Bowmanville, Ontario Canada. We recorded this podcast earlier this year before adding video, so ironic as it is, we only have audio for this interview.

So… could you imagine how to run a public art gallery during a pandemic? Like how can you even? How do you continue serving your community when everything is on lockdown? Or not? Or again?

The fact is: Even though we are finally seeing the light at the end of the Covid tunnel, this pandemic has hit the arts sector the hardest of all.

And yet, I cannot fathom how we would have survived this pandemic without leaders like Dionne who took what was primarily an in-person only experience and moved it online and outdoors so we could learn and refresh our spirits during one of the darkest times in our lifetime!.

In this interview, Dionne and I talk about how she started volunteering at the organization she now leads, and what that journey has been like. We also explore the various ways the pandemic has changed the way we experience the arts, and how her local gallery has not only expanded their audience, they’ve also grown the pool of artists they support—with living wages—to include artists worldwide.

So with no further adieu, allow me to introduce you to Dionne Powlenzuk, the Executive Director of the Visual Arts Centre of Clarington.

🎧 Click here to listen to this episode:

Season 2, Episode 16: Dionne Powlenzuk

About Dionne Powlenzuk

Season {2} Episode {16}: Dionne Powlenzuk
🔗 Connect with Dionne on LinkedIn

Dionne is an artist and educator. She holds a BA(Hons) in Fine Art from the University of Guelph and a BFA from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design. Dionne spent many years traveling and gathering diverse experiences in Korea, Vietnam, Japan, China, New Zealand and Morocco. She has been involved with the VAC since 2011, and when she is not engaging with the creative community Dionne is out on her bike, unwinding with a yoga class or enjoying a good meal with family and friends.

Season {2} Episode {16}: Dionne Powlenzuk

🔗 Visual Arts Centre of Clarington:


🙌 Connect with Dionne Powlenzuk:

Dionne Powlenzuk
Executive Director
Visual Arts Centre of Clarington
143 Simpson Avenue, Bowmanville ON
Phone: (905)-623-5831 ext. 4#
Cell: (905)-925-2952

🔗 Mentioned in This Episode:

The Visual Arts Centre of Clarington Youtube: Visual Arts Centre of Clarington

2020-2021 Cole Swanson The Hissing Folly: The Hissing Folly — VAC  

2019 Sameer Farooq Boop Museum

2019 Ron Benner Barley, Corn, Maize Ron Benner: Trans/mission: Barley-Corn-Maize — VAC (no video)

(Wax hands) Josh Vettivelu installation a lack that built the world is part of the exhibition Public Space Public Space — VAC – The work is not yet created.

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