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This Year’s Niagara Falls Night of Art Will Be Memoryal

On September 20 the Niagara Falls History Museum will be hosting their sixth annual Niagara Falls Night of Art.

While many of the artists have not been revealed at the time of print, over 50 artists are scheduled for the event, ranging from art installations, art exhibitions, live music and interactive crafts and activities for the all-ages crowd.

Notables for the night include the immersive maze experience from Brainkite Murals and Art Installations titled WSFDWS? NO! It’s more like EJRTGDG! – which is described as “What if Tim Burton and Stomping Tom Connors had a baby? And what if that baby was babysat by Picasso during his blue period? – and Dougie Hayz’s Memoryal.

Memoryal is Hayz’s second installation at the Niagara Falls Night of Art. His first was a repeated psychedelic video loop of the Niagara Falls celebrating the Canada 150. For Memoryal, the team at the History Museum reached out to Hayz to create an installation with “no restrictions, no handcuffs, no barriers”.

“To me, that’s the greatest compliment as an artist. To be asked to do a project and have free range to do whatever,” he said.
Hayz cut his teeth at Mall art shows (‘grunt work’) and moved his way into solo shows (most notably at restaurant Rise Above). He’s developed cover images for The Sound and has seen his medium flow from ‘everything but the kitchen sink’ collages to abstract geometrical shape work, to music and video projects.

With Memoryal, Hayz approached it from a space filled with grief. After recently losing his mother to cancer, Hayz decided to take this project full on with the objective to “find others who still believe in the emotional healing power drawn from the tangible.”

He recorded testimonials of people telling stories about those who they have loved and lost, and how those stories connect themselves with everyday objects in our material world. #spoileralert His object? Santa Claus. Mine? Loons.

“I just really want to bring it back down to seeing the value in everyday objects in our world. I wanted to capture that and how we deal with grief, because this project has been how I have been dealing with mine,” Hayz said.

“In this digital world we live in, I just want to try and bring people back to appreciating the world we have around us rather than thinking about what we can post with the right password. Not everything is about posting and gathering likes.”

Shot on an ipad and manipulated to form ‘wack magic’ videos, Memoyal proves to be an insightful (and I’m sure, weird) look at the way people grieve. Hayz has nothing but love and respect for the organizers for providing him a platform to, not only create, but to delve into his own inner psyche with the name of ‘art’ attached to it.

“This is an arts event for artists. Its an event from the people for the people. I don’t see many events doing that,” he said.

“I don’t see a lot of events that make it free for artists to get their art into the world. I have to give them thanks and love for doing that.”

Follow Hayz’s art at Art of Dougie Hayz on FB and @memoryalfilm on Instagram.

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