By Vivian Collings
The Limbic Collective opens a door for everyone to become part of a community of artists and gain an insight to who they are and what they create with its new studio space in Haliburton.
Limbic Collective is a group of 10 young artists across various mediums who recently acquired a studio space in Unit 4 of the Stedman’s Plaza on Highland Street in Haliburton and held their first weekend-long art show from May 20 to May 22.
The group aims to provide a welcoming studio space for young artists to experience making art in a dynamic setting and sharing it with the community.
Poet Ever, lead curator for Limbic Collective, said that the group’s main goals are “to have community, make the entrance into the art world a little more welcoming, to be non-elitist, share the experience of art, make art together, sell and show art and the process of making it, and engage the community.”
The Limbic Collective Art Show featured a silent auction, mural unveiling, an open mic night, and silent film screenings.
“The whole weekend was a huge success. We were kind of testing the waters of interest and engagement from the community and it went so well. Our open mic night was definitely the highlight. Almost all of the artists sold something, and we all definitely felt the love,” Ever said.
The name for Limbic Collective is from Ever’s interest in psychology, particularly the limbic system, and the desire to incorporate it in their own art.
“The limbic system is responsible for some of our most essential behaviours for survival. It›s a core part of the function of emotions and memories. It›s all about impulses and associations. Making art is very impulsive, and so much art is made around the ideas of love, emotions, and memories,” Ever said.
The National Center for Biotechnology Information outlined emotional processing, spatial and long-term memory, anxiety, and regulation of the nervous system by hormone production as some of the main functions of the limbic system.
Ever also explained that the limbic system is a collection of smaller parts that work together to do something bigger, much like how the collective began.
“The collective started out as an idea that I spoke about with a few people who turned out to have a secret shared vision that we all thought was unrealistic at first,” Ever said.
Ever joked that the only thing stopping them from turning it into reality was anxiety, a function of the limbic system, about whether they could make it work or not.
The collective had its debut as a pop-up art show in December of 2021 and was a great success.
“When the pop-up show was over, we thought, ‘Well, that was cool. If only we could do this all the time.’ We then magically landed a lease for our studio,” Ever said.
Their lease ends in December of 2022, but they hope to stay longer if they are successful in their space.
Mo Christiano, member of Limbic Collective, says that being part of the group and getting to share their space with other younger people has been the most rewarding aspect.
“I think it’s important to have a space dedicated to and run by younger people in this town. There aren’t a lot of things for younger people to do in Haliburton at the moment, so having a space where people can come and hang out, make some art, listen to music, and interact with people their age is very beneficial,” Christiano said.
The opening of Limbic Collective was made possible by contributions from the Ethel Curry Gallery, Rails End Gallery and Arts Centre, Jim Blake, Talitha Varga, and the Haliburton County Development Corporation (HCDC).
HCDC granted the Limbic Arts Collective with $4,500 from their 2022/2023 Local Initiatives Program.
“Our plan is to have a multi-functional studio starting June 1. We plan on holding a proper grand opening sometime this summer, as well as exhibition events monthly, and smaller things like workshops, movie nights, open mics, rap battles, poetry sessions, and other art-making invitations regularly,” Ever said.
With five full-time members and five part-time members, the collective hopes to get more part-time members as well as sponsors to help monetarily.
“We hope that people are interested in just walking in our door, seeing a space filled with art, and viewing the process of making it,” Ever said.