Monica Lalas on her 2017 Artwork!

Every year we send out a call for artists to submit ideas for our summer festival artwork. This year we were delighted by Monica Lalas's submission of a beautiful green and blue dragon, but we were blown away as soon as a member of our team noted that it was not only a dragon, it was a birds-eye-view of Guelph Lake, our summer home.  She had the following to say about her inspiration for the piece:

Although I’ve been living in Kitchener/Waterloo for the past few years, I’ve become completely enamoured with the City of Guelph during my travels. There’s an organic wholesomeness to the city, both in the land and the people, that speak to me in an enigmatic, ineffable language. It’s like a force that lies beyond the things I can physically see, and I wanted to put an image to this force. How do I make the Earth seem alive, that it can speak with us and our music? 

I cycle a lot. It’s the only way I get around. It was pure serendipity when I was planning a route to Guelph Lake and noticed that on a map, the outline of the lake looks like a creature; a living thing that benignly slumbers beneath our feet. And it was through my art that I wanted to underscore that mysterious kinship we have with the land, highlighting the spark that makes Guelph a haven for the soul. I painted the piece for the Hillside Festival with a whimsical ruggedness that is rendered in rich colors and shadows that bring the lake to life, and attempt to make the lake itself a recognizable emblem for the people who live there.