Five Finger Friday: July 10

Grab a handful of art, faith, hope and love in and around Edmonton.

I love me some good recommendations. So much that for a while there, I was posting 13 every week. But that’s a lot to maintain, and so … well … I didn’t. Plus, if you’re superstitious, it was just a bad idea to begin with.

Welcome to the new format for weekly arts updates. It’s as simple as the hand on your wrist.

Each week, The Bleeding Heart Art Space will help you grab a handfull of art, faith, hope and love in and around Edmonton. Categorized by finger, of course.

Five suggestions, five fingers, five themes.

Index Finger = The Leader. If you do nothing else, make time for this.

Middle Finger = The Attitude. Something a little edgy. Something that pushes boundaries. Something that fights back. Something loud. Raw. Dangerous.

Ring Finger = The Faithful. Something to feed your soul.

Pinky Finger = The Outlier. Something small or off the map you might have missed. Something unexpected. Something worth it.

Thumb = The Unsung Hero. Something you may not consider connected to art, faith, hope and love, but something important that is part of this conversation when you give it some thought.

So now, put your hands together for first Five Finger Friday!

The Leader: Whyte Avenue Art Walk

Your facebook feed has been buzzing. You’ve gotten notifactions from who-can-remember where. You know this is happening.

This weekend. Hundreds of local artists will line the streets–from emerging to seasoned pro. It’s the summer’s largest outdoor gallery, spilling across Edmonton’s Golden Boy, Old Strathcona. Come to gawk. Come to buy. Come to say hi to people you’ve met at arts events throughout the year. Be sure to visit with time to spare.

Watch out for Bleeding Heart alumni like Juliana Christensen, Giselle Denis, Julie Drew, Stephanie Medford, Cheryl Muth, Jared Robinson and Marcie Rohr.

Details at

The Attitude: Edmonton Street Performers Festival

I know, this is about as mainstream as it gets. But something about Street Performers always feels a bit dangerous to me. Maybe it’s the juggling of knives and fire, or the precarious perches on barely balanced ladders. Maybe it’s the random drunk guy wandering into the middle of the circle to dance alongside the act, forcing her to think on her feet. Maybe it’s the humour better saved for a late night comedy club, but pulled out in front of ears too young to understand it. Surely, the Late Night Madness cabarets, which I’ve never had the courage to attend, push boundaries.

The Edmonton Street Performers Festival ends Sunday.

The Faithful: Image Journal Reborn

Image Journal has a completely overhauled website, and if you cannot take the heat this weekend, curl up with a tall iced tea in the basement and peruse this treasure trove of art and faith. They have done a stellar, thorough job thinking through what we want from the site and how we want to access it.

You can read recent articles, dive into Good Letters, the Image blog, or browse their massive accumulated catalog of monthly featured artists, all contributing their voice to the growing, global conversation between arts and faith.

Of course, you can also subscribe.

The Outlier: Mutt Art Community Mural

If you ride the LRT from the southside to KDays next week, you’ll notice something bright and new to your right, heading into the Stadium station. Like me, you may wonder where on earth this awesome new street art came from.

The Mutt Art Community Mural is part of a public art project, Mutt Art, making use of abandoned buildings and lots until Brookfield Residential’s new Muttart development takes shape. This whole decrepit area has reminded me of Berlin’s broken beauty since my visit there in the fall, and now even moreso, with the most Berlin-ish mural in town.

See photos and read how this happened right here in #YEG on the Drawing Room Blog.

This is just part of the larger Mutt Art project that is seeking proposals now and continues next weekend with a workshop. More info on that is right here.

The Unsung Hero: Affinity Photo Just Released

If you are a graphic designer, Photoshop is like a third hand. You use it all the time. And if you are a struggling-to-pay-the-bills designer, you may not be into Adobe’s new pay-by-the-month-forever price structure. For hobbyists like myself, for photographers looking for the occasional retouch, painters looking to crop and enhance photos of their work and for a whole lot of us, an alternative is hoped for.

Enter Affinity. First they came out with Affinity Designer, an Adobe Illustrator replacement. I’ve used it since launch and haven’t even installed Adobe on my new laptop. Now that Affinity Photo is out, Photoshop gets the boot too.

Affinity Photo is not super-easy for newcomers, but for those used to editing tools like Photoshop’s, there is almost no learning curve. And learning is well worth it. Affinity Photo is super fast, works very well, and will power my designs for years to come.

Here’s what it can do.

It’s just $45.99 for the next week or so on the Mac App Store. Especially at that low price, I cannot recommend Affinity Photo enough.

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