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National Arts Drive showcases Ottawa’s creative class

Weird Toy Factory, David Pattee and Arrest In Peace were among 98 different stops on Ottawa’s component of the National Arts Drive event.

Forced to halt operations and postpone all showcase events due to the COVID-19 crisis, the world’s largest independent arts organization, RAW, decided to put on a different kind of show.

Visual, performing, technological and musical artists displayed, performed and showcased their creativity from driveways, balconies, windows, stoops and front lawns during a three-hour period on June 20, while spectators drove, equipped with a mobile website and interactive map, to any number of the various locations.

With 98 different creators in the Ottawa area alone, participants were treated to a plethora of creative finds, from visual arts displays to fashion finds to performances. Here are a few highlights of the in-person event, which is a rare find in a world where almost everything else has gone virtual. 

Weird Toy Factory

Inspired by the retro futuristic sub genre of steampunk, Petr Maur displayed a mixture of levitating heads, nightmarish dolls, toys, ray guns and weird gardens outside his 凯发真人娱乐官方网站home on Spadina Avenue. 

“Lately I’ve had access to industrial machines that allow me to cut custom designed patterns and shapes, which has added another layer [to my work],” he explained.  

And those who are familiar with the popular Netflix series “The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina” may have seen a few of his pieces pop up in the background of the dark coming-of-age story.  

“Put a doll head on anything and it looks weird,” Maur said good heartedly. “That works. So that’s why I do it.”  

David Pattee 

Since French sculptor and designer Gael Langevin invented InMoov, the first Open Source 3D printed life-size robot, tens of thousands of people around the world have attempted their own iterations. David Pattee’s RAW.b, named after his job as Director of Curation at RAW artists Canada, is one of them.  

“I started this June 2nd last year and I’m still not finished,” he said.  

Without functioning legs, the 110 pound creation of 3D printed materials is propped on a dolly and can be wheeled around as Pattee desires.  

“I created every part of it. I either printed it or made my own cables or made my power supply. Like... I made this,” said Pattee.  

A Microsoft Kinect allows RAW.b to map a room and learn gestures while a passive Infra red sensor detects human beings or large objects insofar as they radiate heat within a certain distance. It also boasts the ability to answer and ask questions through a connection to the world wide web, much like Apple’s virtual assistant, Siri, would.  

“It was a great learning experience for me. I had never built a robot and when I first stumbled upon the project on Reddit eight years ago I thought ‘one day I’m going to make this thing’ and then I finally had the time.”  

Part of the Creative Commons License, Raw.b can’t be used for profit and is therefore strictly an educational tool. And although Pattee selected a female voice, he insists his creation is not a he or a she but rather an it.  

“It may have a personality. But it has no gender whatsoever.” 

Arrest In Peace  

Entertaining spectators live from their front yard in Nepean, the Ottawa based folk punk duo concurrently live streamed their show for those who couldn’t make it out in person through Instagram and Facebook.  

“We believe in peacefully communicating social issues. The Arrest in our name represents our nature to protest injustices in the world,” explained guitarist and singer/songwriter Sandy Dupuis in an Instagram video.  

After releasing their first single ‘Do What You Want’ in March, Dupuis and bandmate Ryan Naraine (who goes by the name Infinite X as a solo artist) signed up to participate in the National Arts Drive to promote their sound while simultaneously raising funds for the Ottawa Food Bank to help those struggling during the COVID-10 pandemic. 

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