Artist Spotlight: Art By Pawly & Troopers for a Tomorrow

Artists Coming Together for a Cause!

We love it when our artists dive in and get involved with improving their communities. So our blog spotlight on our registered artists Art by Pawly is going to focus a lot on his fantastic not for profit efforts!


It’s called Troopers for a Tomorrow. Through the raffle, you can enter to win a series of AMAZING custom storm trooper helmets. Like these:




We are really pleased to have Pawly with us at Altekrea. His genre inspired tattoo art prints are to die for. This blog editor’s personal favourite is the lightsabers. This marriage of different alternative art forms is what this year at Altekrea is all about. Bringing together people who love titles like Star Wars and The Legend of Zelda, and the aesthetics of tattoo art really speak to us.

Check out Troopers for a Tomorrow

Take a look at Pawly’s work.

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Aerial Acts – Miranda Tempest and Faeya Tal

We’re very happy to be working with IlluminAir Entertainment again this year. They have a number of breathtaking acts at Altkrea – today we’re introducing Miranda and Faeya, who perform aerial hoop acts.

Miranda will be performing at our opening gala on Friday June 17th, and then check them both out Saturday night at our main stage during Summer Lights.

Altekrea is committed to bringing some of the best talent in art and performance to downtown Kitchener, and we’re doing our part to make the downtown core festival central this June. Check out some of the work these two do, then come on out and see them live at Altekrea.

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Meet Sean Chappell – Altekrea Artist Spotlight

Sean Chappell | Company: Sean Chappell Fine Art & Illustration + Kit Daven

Fantastical and surrealistic sights are the centre of Sean Chappell’s vibrant creations. Each of Sean’s pieces comes alive with elements of the human and animal world giving life to whimsical characters, and putting a twist on nature. Birds, trees, and the human body in a fantasy universe unlike you’ve ever seen before. Flipping through each piece of artwork is like entering a brand new dark fantasy universe. If the eccentric pieces don’t get to you, then perhaps the careful detailing, texturing and colouring will.

Sean Chappell is joining us this summer as an Altekrea Artist this summer, June 17-19.

Sean’s talent speaks for himself in some of these amazing pieces:DeathPigBlinders72DPI300tall

Sean will also be running an art creation workshop, where you’ll get to dip your toes into new realms of artistic expression, with Sean on hand to guide you through tips and tricks of using various techniques.


Hi all. Are you an artist looking for an edge? Are you feeling a little stagnant in your current practice? Maybe you want to find a new way to express yourself but aren’t sure where to turn? Maybe you’re finding your artwork too cumbersome or time consuming to complete? Not to worry! Come to this one hour workshop hosted by Sean Chappell and try out some new forms of expression. Maybe one of them will be right for you. Acrylics; airbrushing; gouache; pens and pencils; markers and much more will be available for you to try out. Sean will be on hand to guide you through all the stations that will be operating. Listen to his trials and tribulations while working to hone his own practice. With nuggets of advice and information on art materials of all kinds, this is one workshop you won’t want to miss!”

Check out more of Sean’s work on his social media!

Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

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Special Guest: Kent Burles, Fostering the Next Generation of Artists

It doesn’t get much more deliciously nerdy than Kent. His expansive list of credits doesn’t just include comics, but RPGs as well. He’s worked on crazy-cool titles like Planet of the Apes by Malibu Comics, and staple RPG names like White Wolf.

Mountain Shark Rider

3397882716_8b5c899b56_bAs we’re sure you know by now, Altekrea isn’t just about celebrating art. It’s about artist professional development. We want our artists to come out of Altekrea with energized careers, and Kent is a big part of that process. He co-ordinates the Sequential Art Program at Max the Mutt College of Animation, Art, and Design. Kent has a direct hand in training new generations of artists, teaching them about not only their craft, but the state of the industry and what it takes to survive. A special guest lineup isn’t complete without people like Kent, who work to give young people the tools to be the next great artists — the next Marvel illustrators, the next collaborative entrepreneurs.

Kent will be leading a workshop on Sunday June 19 as part of the festival. So make sure you come back after Saturday night for our Sunday programming, because we’re not slowing down on the third day.

Full programming schedule can be found here, check back for regular updates as we lock in guests and performers!

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Special Guest; Max the Mutt College of Animation, Art, & Design

There are some post-secondary schools that produce highly sought-after graduates, becoming standard-setters in their industries. In the Waterloo region, we’re used to this kind of thing, our universities and colleges enjoy a great deal of prestige. Not far away in Toronto, students of the arts also have access to some of the best education in the country. When it comes to Max the Mutt, we really stand behind that statement. It’s one of those schools that helps to generate successful careers as part of the curriculum, and its graduates are highly sought after.

Max the Mutt graduates are employed and in-demand. Industry representatives have told us they are impressed by the uniformly high level of quality in our graduates’ work.  We assist employers on a regular basis by connecting them with qualified students. We also keep in touch with our graduates and regularly inform them about job openings.”

Max the Mutt is joining as this year as well as one of their instructors, Kent Burles. You’ll have a chance to meet their instructors, who are predominantly working professionals who teach part time in addition to their careers. This offers students of the school a unique advantage, and gives you a chance to schmooze with industry pros who are directly invested in the careers of young and emerging artists.

See our full lineup of special guests.

Check out the full festival schedule.

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Special Guest: Hugh Rookwood, Freelance Artist Extrordinaire

All artists are self-made successes, but there are a wide variety of career paths. Some choose to settle down with a company that they work well with. Others choose to remain freelance and strike out on their own or with partners. We’re don’t make a judgement between these two roads and all the little footpaths in between, so we like to include a healthy mix of career artists in our special guest lineup.

Hugh Rookwood is on the freelance road. He runs his own studio and collaborates with other artists on an independent project called Apocalypse 4.


Hugh2Hugh isn’t just a great artist, he’s a savvy businessman who surrounds himself with people who have the talent, experience, and drive to get projects done. The team working on Apocalypse 4 is all-star, and his co-owned studio produces work for corporate entities as well as artsy commissions. It’s the type of business success we love to see at Altekrea, and we think that Hugh has a lot to teach emerging artists about the business of being an entrepreneur.

And then there’s Apocalypse 4, a stunning series of graphic novels that leave us in awe of Hugh’s skills as an illustrator. We can’t wait to introduce you all to Hugh!

We’ve still got more inspiring guests to introduce, so check them out here.

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Introducing Erica Furness — Fire Dancer, Bed of Nails Artist and Human Pin Cushion

“A fire fan, fire-staff, fire fingers combined with belly dance, bed of nails specialist and freak show Performer. She has been featured in numerous festivals, conventions, and international events as a fire performer and model.”

Erica Furness is an alternative model and a performer of IlluminAir Entertainment. She is both mesmerizing and elegant in her craft. She is able to transform the uncomfortable nature of performing on a bed of nails and piercing oneself with glittering jewels into a works of art that that leave the audience in awe. A master performer with fire, Erica illuminates the stage alongside flickering amber flames in hypnotic fire dances. Erica will be bringing her alternative talents to Altekrea this summer, June 17-19 and (literally) lighting up the downtown core.

But don’t take our word for it. See for yourself…

Erica will be performing with IlluminAir Entertainment during our opening gala on June 17th.

Get tickets.

Erica furness & scarlet black – fire fans

She will be performing with IlluminAir Entertainment during our opening gala on June 17th.

Get tickets.


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Special Guest: Adrian Alphona, Artist Behind Ms. Marvel, Our Favourite Super Heroine

There are so, so many reasons that we love Kamala Khan, the latest hero to take up the mantle of Ms. Marvel.

For starters, she’s a Muslim American Woman, the first Muslim American character to have her own series. As you can tell from our logos, we love kick-butt women. Plus, Altekrea is all about alternative forms of art. So there’s a lot for us to love about a character who doesn’t get a lot of representation (or not the right kind) in Western media.

Another reason Kamala is close to our heart is her creators. The team behind her is diverse, and she is at times an expression of the voice of the editor — a Pakistani-American woman. Sana Amanat has a lot to say about how Kamala is partially based on her own experiences, and how she has become a character that a great number of Americans in minority groups can relate to due to that personal touch.

As if we needed more reasons to adore Kamala, last year she jumped out of the pages of her comic to join the fight against real life racism. Plastered over anti-Muslim bus ads, Kamala began to take on a political life of her own.

Adrian_Alphona_2012For SO MANY reasons, we are extremely excited to be bringing Adrian Alphona, co-creator of The Runaways and the artist behind Kamala to Altekrea. We think Adrian helps to demonstrate the power of alternative art forms to connect people, and their ongoing relevance in our struggle with identity, racism, and belonging.

We’re very grateful to have Adrian’s support once again, as he is a returning guest! Altekrea’s not-so-little community is growing, and after 6 years we’re so incredibly grateful to all the guests and artists who decide to stick with us. We’re upping the ante this year, so be sure to check us out June 17-19.

Here’s the full line-up of super-cool special guests.

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Special Guest: Scott Chantler, Using Graphic Novels to Teach and Inspire


Anyone who still scoffs at cartoons, comics, and graphic novels needs to be introduced to Scott’s work. He’s a cartoonist that has won awards for his work in genres such as non-fiction and YA fiction.


His graphic novel Two Generals “was nominated for two Eisner Awards, named one of Chapters-Indigo’s Best Books of 2010, selected for BEST AMERICAN COMICS 2012, and named by the CBC as one of the 40 best Canadian non-fiction books of all time.”

Two Generals is a heartfelt graphic novel about the experiences of Scott’s grandfather during WWII. But Scott’s power to teach doesn’t end there. His series of graphic novels for younger kids and teens has been featured in the Canadian Teacher Magazine, as part of PHD student Brianne MacLaren-Ross’ research. The Three Thieves series was featured as an example of works that help promote the “multiple and critical literacies” of students in the classroom.

Using the arts to teach, rather than teaching about them has become a popular topic in academic circles and we really love that alternative art forms like graphic novels are getting attention. Scott is a great example of how the arts can serve multiple social purposes, from reflecting on our history to inspiring new generations of artists, writers, and critical thinkers. Literacy as a concept is changing. As businesses move to the visual world of the internet, design philosophy, visual literacy, and understanding ways in which we consume multiple forms of information at once are becoming key factors to success.

WebsitePicAltekrea is all about professional development. We like to invite guests who are professional successes, sure, but we focus on guests who give back to their community. Scott is a solid example of both, and we can’t wait to introduce you to him at Altekrea 2016.

Find out more about our epic lineup of special guests.

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Play With New Forms of Expression! Host Sean Chappell

Sunday’s programming at Altekrea is going to be jam-packed. Today we’re focusing on an hour long art workshop lead by a brilliant artist and supporter of the festival. He’s bringing a wide variety of artistic tools for you to play with. Acrylics, airbrushes, gouache, pens and pencils, markers and much more! It’s time to experiment, try out new methods of creation and remove the boundaries on your creativity.


Maybe you’re looking for a new edge, or feel a little stagnant in your current practice. Just want to find new ways of expressing yourself? Or maybe you want to expand your set of artistic tools but don’t want to invest in professional gear before you’ve had a chance to get a feel for them.

Sean will be on hand throughout the hour long workshop to guide you through using new tools. He’ll also be talking about his own trials and tribulations on his journey to hone his practice. He’ll be pleased to provide you with as much advice as you need while you’re working with new art materials, based on his own eclectic experiences.

Your level of experience doesn’t matter at all, this is an opportunity for amateurs and pros alike to get their hands on things they’ve always wanted to try, or perhaps never knew they needed.

This is one of many workshops offered by Altekrea, and one strong reason to come back and see us on Sunday June 19. Keep an eye on this blog and follow our social media to catch news of all the content we will be offering over the weekend. Head on over to the sidebar and you’ll see a newsletter signup form, which is the quickest way of keeping appraised of major news from Altekrea.

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