Q&A: Justin Quinton, Musician, Photographer, Blogger


Photo courtesy of Justin Quinton

Upstart creative and proud Newfoundlander Justin Quinton hasn’t quit the day job just yet.  But if all goes to plan he’ll find space to live his dream soon enough. For now he’s taken a lucrative job in Fort McMurray to clear the path to full time creative work in Medicine Hat. I spoke with the multi-talented musician, photographer and blogger about what’s possible when you can work anywhere.

What are you working on?

In June, I travelled to Los Angeles as a photographer’s assistant.  We wanted to see if it was viable to work in L.A from Southern Alberta. We flew out of Great Falls, $120 round trip. We arranged our models using Model Mayhem. We shot seven people in four days. We filled our portfolios and the trip paid for itself.

What’s Medicine Hat got going for it?

I grew up in Newfoundland, surrounded by guitars and music and kitchen parties. When I moved to Medicine Hat 10 years ago, there was none of that. But it’s changing. Downtown redevelopment is huge. The new coffee shops and bars are staying up late and supporting live music like never before.

What role do the arts play in the broader community?

As a musician I see art as the glue that holds a community together. It’s great when you see people expressing themselves. You get behind your local artists and you want to see them succeed.

Where do you see yourself in ten years?

I love creating but no one ever told me to follow art as my plan A. It was always “get a trade” or “go to school”. I want to know what happens when I put everything into my art. If I attend to it with 100% of my time and effort, I think I can make a living.


Q&A: Theresa Eisenbarth, Artist


Theresa Eisenbarth’s first solo show, Essence, is in defiance of artistic snobbery. The Medicine Hat native, who studied fine art at the University of Calgary, has applied abstract expressionism to the more familiar subject of flowers. The result invites viewers to look deep and reconsider cliché.

Why did you quit a successful career in business to become an artist?

Every day I would drive to work thinking, “What am I doing, what am I doing, what am I doing?” It’s not that I didn’t have a great job. But I asked myself, “When I’m 60 years old, am I going to want to start a painting studio?” I realized that I had to start now.

What does it take to be a working artist?

You have to paint every day. It takes studio discipline.

What’s it like to be an artist in Medicine Hat?

People said there wasn’t a market for original art. From the response I’ve had, there is a hidden art market. Individual collectors are supporting original art.

How do the arts contribute to the life of the city?

The arts are critical. I always think of downtown Fort Collins, Colorado. Their downtown is the same as ours – same age, same buildings – but it’s been redone to focus on arts and culture. I always think, if they can do that there, then why can’t we do that here?



Results: 108 Sun Salutes #8

Two years ago I had a crazy brainwave to do 108 sun salutes, 108 times, to help families affected by addiction and violence.  Read the original post here.

108 Sun Salutes #8 on June 21, 2014 raised $420 for the Medicine Hat Women’s Shelter Society. Way to go everyone!

It feels so incredible to be part of an event that is doing so much good in the community.  I feel honored to be part of our local yoga community.  An extra special thanks to Farren at Garden of Breathin’ for her continued support.

The grand total raised since September 22, 2012 is $1,970 plus assorted supplies, food and other donations. Here’s a full breakdown:

# Date Location 108’ers Donation Charity
1 Sep 22, 2012 Downtown YMCA 3 $50 YMCA Strong Kids
2 Dec 8, 2012 Garden of Breathin’ 7 Giant pile of toys MH Santa Claus Fund
3 Mar 21, 2013 Lotus Yoga Studio 18 $205 plus 140 lbs food MH Food Bank
4 Jul 20, 2013 Esplanade 45 $570 MH Women’s Shelter
5 Sep 22, 2013 Elevation Place 50 $400 Canmore flood relief
6 Dec 21, 2013 Esplanade 15 $150 MH Women’s Shelter
7 Mar 20, 2014 Garden of Breathin’ 14 $175 MH Women’s Shelter
8 Jun 21, 2014 Central Park 25 $420 MH Women’s Shelter

Thanks again to everyone for participating and see you at 7:00 pm on September 23, 2014. Save the date!