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  • Writer's pictureTanis Browning-Shelp


May 10, 2021

It struck me recently that my work as Arts Editor and Art Beat Feature writer for the Old Ottawa East community newspaper The Mainstreeter feels like a celebration every issue!

In COVID times, celebrations, in the traditional sense, are, for the most part, forbidden. Thankfully, my Art Beat gig brings me to life in the way that meeting a really cool person at a party would. For every issue, I get to meet an artist who lives in our neighbourhood, a person who oftentimes works a day job, or goes to school, and juggles family or other responsibilities, and yet still makes time and devotes energy to create extraordinary works of art. Meeting these people—whether just chatting over the phone or, when not in lockdown, masked and distancing outside—gives me a genuine boost of inspiration and joy!

The honesty and openness of calligrafitti artist Luke Goldsmith, for example, who talked to me on his cell phone as he walked briskly along the canal one early March morning, felt like one of those astonishing party conversations. I had goosebumps!

I am beyond grateful for these singular opportunities and look forward to the next one with youthful anticipation.

To read about Luke and his art, go to: (the April 2021 issue of The Mainstreeter). And find your own unique ways to celebrate.

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