April 20, 6:30 pm
Second Stop. Our first event in Quebec. We were warned that our Event will again compete with another Stanley Cup play off game between the Canadiens and Rangers but we took the risk. The event started at 6:30 p.m. with Warden, Julie Cobb, and Biil Rasmus, CSC National Headquarters present. We wanted to have at least 30 minutes before the game started to give people an option to check us out.
Lukas opened with Moonlight Sonata in memory of the inmate from Bath. The audience of about 25 inmates remained seated, when Dmitri offered to swap the Event for TV at 7:00 p.m. The Event continued with Stan Harwood at the easel, creating his first-in-prison painting, inspired by the atmosphere of genuine interest and concentration of the double-captive audience on one side and passionate illuminating performance by Lukas (he was absolutely at his best this evening) at a Yamaha Grand piano on the other. The event has suddenly turned into a colourful universe of sound, colour and reflection, taking the inmates away from the prison gym, away from the institution.
And not only inmates – prison staff, too, which was a new and unexpectedly gratifying discovery. Stan donated the painting to the Inmate Committee Chairman during the communication session with inmates, most of whom were about to be paroled. At one point during the post-concert conversation, an inmate approached me to ask, “Mr. Kanovich, I am an IT professional – can I call you after I am out in 3 months time?” Although I had no answer for him, it was encouraging to hear inmates considering a productive future. Canadiens were once again defeated by Rangers in the OT (1:2).
We also received this very moving testimonial from our Artist of the Evening, Mr. Stan Harwood:
Just a few words my experience with you and the team at Archambault Institution on April 20th, 2017.
The blended formation of fine piano works and spontaneous art creation will resonate with me for some time. I consider it a privilege to perform together with Lukas to create this live spectacle.
The positive comments expressed by the inmates affirms that art creation is an effective outreach. If just one of the inmates takes up a brush so that they too can express themselves in a healthy manner, then I would hold this to be a breakthrough performance. And as such, would serve as a high form of affirmation that my art not only offers a visual appeal, but does touch the soul. No artist could ask for more.
As I explained to the audience, abstract art forms have the unique capacity to evoke our emotional makeup. We should permit the artwork to prompt us to ask how we feel as opposed to what the art work might be. This is the essence of abstract, to incite an emotional response.
Please count me in to take part in this team outreach again.