Totally Biased Gift Guide: Art Edition

A completely biased art opinion

By Mike Reid

A lot of magazines and publications provide gift guides or lists of suggested products that include brands that advertise with that publication. So I decided to create a guide that includes

  1. Products and brands I have a blatant biased towards
  2. Are still kick ass products that you should buy anyways. =)

This 'Totally Biased Gift Guide' (TBGG) is all about art. It involves an artist, a brewery, and an event that you need to discover, experience and support. 


 Ekow Nimako

Ekow Nimako | Photo by Janick Laurent Barn Owl of the Green Realm (19” x 10” x 14”, 1900 LEGO® pcs.)

Ekow Nimako | Photo by Janick Laurent
Barn Owl of the Green Realm (19” x 10” x 14”, 1900 LEGO® pcs.)

WHO IS EKOW NIMAKO?


Ekow Nimako is a sculptor who uses LEGO and an afro-surrealist approach to explore and preserve the black and West African mythos. He breathes life into plastic, creating thought-provoking contemporary freehand sculptures one LEGO piece at a time.
 
WHY I'M TOTALLY BIASED? 

October Owl (17” x 7.5” x 17”, 2200 LEGO® pcs) | Photo By Janick Lauren

October Owl (17” x 7.5” x 17”, 2200 LEGO® pcs) | Photo By Janick Lauren

I’ve met Ekow through mutual friends and he’s a great human being. I love supporting artists who unapologetically follow their passion and create. Also, he makes dope things out of LEGO. How cool is that?
 
WHY YOU NEED TO OWN HIS ART?

You want to own this work now before you can’t afford it. More galleries and media outlets are catching on to what the art community already knows. It’s only a matter of time before an Ekow Nimako isn’t available. 

Grey Matter (23” x 14” x  24”, 8000+ LEGO® pcs.) | Photo by Toni Hafkenschied

Grey Matter (23” x 14” x  24”, 8000+ LEGO® pcs.) | Photo by Toni Hafkenschied

Where to get the art

 To buy these original pieces you can email info@ekownimako or DM the artist at @ekownimako
 


Collective Arts Brewery

WHAT IS COLLECTIVE ARTS BREWERY

 Matt Johnston and Bob Russell created this grassroots craft brewery. Every beer can and bottle features a work of art. The company also supports musicians, photographers, filmmakers and other artists. 
 
WHY I'M TOTALLY BIASED

May your days be filled with great friends and great beer! Thanks @collectivebrew!

A post shared by Mike Reid (@tgatmar) on

Truthfully, I don’t drink that much beer. Nonetheless, their beer is delicious. I’m a fan of ‘Rhyme and Reason’ which won a Gold Medal at the 12th annual Canadian Brewing Awards for best pale in Canada. Which makes me feel like I have good taste in beers. 
A couple years ago the company donated products to a photo shoot I shot. I didn’t want to cover up or hide labels on the shot. So I contacted the right people and they were happy to support the project. 
 
WHY YOU NEED THIS BEER

If you’re a beer fan then you like craft beer. Over the years, Collective Art Brewery has gained popularity yet held on to their local roots. They continue to invest in indie music and art. They feature local and international artists’ work on limited edition bottles and cans. Series 7 is still available and features 65 artists from over 15 countries. They feature indie musicians at events and showcase indie musicians in a music video series called: The Black Box Sessions.  While they’re doing all this for artists they’re practising their own artistry: craft beer. They experiment with new batches, collaborate with other breweries, and create beers like 'Stranger than Fiction', which won Gold at the 2016 Ontario Brewing Award and Bronze at the 2016 Beer Cup.

Racks on Rack | CollectiveArtsBrewing.com

WHERE DO YOU BUY THIS BEER?

If you happen to be in Burlington, ON you can stop by their Brewery, enjoy a tasting and buy some product. It's sold in Canada, the USA, Italy, Spain and Australia. If you don’t see it at your local beer store, ask them to bring it in. It’s the best way to get this craft brew to your hometown. 


Art Battle

WHAT IS ART BATTLE?

 
Art Battle is live competitive painting. They’ve curated over a thousand events since 2001 in Canada, the US and around the world. 
 
WHY I'M TOTALLY BIASED?

I know the folks who run the Canadian events; they've organized some phenomenal experiences. My favourite was the 2013 National Championship at the Art Gallery of Ontario. What a night. Also, one of Good Read Magazine’s contributors, Ginger Jarvis, has competed in a few events. The first time she competed her painting received the highest bid at that time to date!
 
WHY YOU SHOULD GO TO ART BATTLE?

Art Battle Victoria City Finals | Photo by Matt Love

Art Battle Victoria City Finals | Photo by Matt Love

You’ll never experience a live painting event with this much energy. 
The painters have 20-mins to create. The audience votes on each battle. Art comes to life in front of your eyes. 
They also auction the work so you can take home a piece that night. It's a unique experience. 

WHERE CAN I FIND AN ART BATTLE?
 
Art Battles happen all over the country, and for that matter all over the world. For example, one takes place tonight in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island and tomorrow in Amsterdam, Netherlands. Visit Artbattle.com for an event close to you.