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Named after Merle “Ting” Tingley, London Free Press’ editorial cartoonist from 1948 to 1986, Tingfest is an annual celebration curated by TAP Centre for Creativity that showcases the work of past, present and future comic and graphic artists from Southwestern Ontario.

While this festival is an homage to Ting’s work and influence on generations of artists, Tingfest is a rare forum for emerging and established artists to present their work to the public through a gallery show that is complemented with free events and programs. 

This year the fest takes place from Tuesday, April 16th to Saturday, May 11th. You won't want to miss the party!

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This festival is made possible with the generous support of Tourism London, Downtown London and Dundas Place. And community members: Craig Doroshenko from Chops Framing Supplies, the team at Astley Gilbert Printing, Brahm Wiseman from Heroes Comics and Ting Committee Member Diana Tamblyn.

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2024 ARTISTS

Meet the artists at the opening reception on Saturday April 20, 6-8pm.

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František Bidlo

František Bidlo was an artist who illustrated during the early to mid 19th century, and the pieces exhibited here are from that period. Bidlo was the youngest born into a working-class family in Prague. Bidlo showed an early talent for drawing. He wanted to go to art school, but his father considered this bourgeois and impractical, and sent him to Vienna to apprentice as a hatter. Soon after completing his apprenticeship in 1915, Bidlo was called up for military service in World War I. He survived three years as an infantryman with the Austro-Hungarian army on the Italian front. At the end of the war Bidlo found employment at Jan Weiss’s hat factory and shop. He moonlighted as an advertising designer and illustrator, often selling his illustrations directly out of the shop.

 

Politically radicalized by his experience of war, Bidlo joined the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia in 1920. In 1925 he began publishing regularly in Rudé Právo (Red Justice), the Party’s daily newspaper, producing revolutionary propaganda images whose style was strongly influenced by Russian constructivism.

 

Bidlo soon found a warm welcome in avant-garde artistic circles. In 1933 he stopped working for Rudé Právo and moved away from propaganda work towards political satire.  He became editor of Simplica, an influential satirical magazine and his political cartoons, characterized by a dark humor, appeared in periodicals in Prague and abroad. His contemporary and friend, the celebrated poet František Halas, wrote: “His clean line is like a lasso, roping in its subject and squeezing the truth out of it”.

 

His lampooning of Hitler and unflinching criticism of Nazism brought his work widespread attention, not least from German authorities. In 1935 the German embassy successfully lobbied the Czechoslovak government to shut down Simplica on libel grounds, and Bidlo found it increasingly difficult to find willing publishers for his work.

 

In March 1939 Germany occupied the Czech lands. Bidlo reportedly refused an offer to work for the occupation press. Around 1940 he went into hiding, staying with friends and exchanging drawings for food. He evaded the Nazi authorities for several years, but in January 1945 an informer gave his location away, and he was taken to the Terezín concentration camp. There he contracted typhoid fever and died on May 9, the same day that the Soviet army ousted the Nazis from Prague.

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Chris Elliott

Chris Elliott is a graduate of Sheridan College’s Illustration program and has been working in the video game industry in London, Ontario since 2001.

During the last decade Chris has been one of the creators behind the highly successful and globally celebrated ‘My Singing Monsters’ franchise.

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soft flirt

soft flirt makes tender art for gentle hearts.
With a focus on screen-printed apparel, illustrations and mural painting, forest city artist Alayna Hryclik infuses her ethos of softness into various art making techniques.
With one short but beloved year of BealArt and a Bachelor of Fine Arts (‘13) from Western University, Alayna’s history of art making is tied to London. 

You can find her work all around the city if you know where to look -- covering walls with tender murals, collaborating on merchandise for local businesses & clothing community members with comfort.


soft flirt has a passion for curating local connections through community events such as Punk Rock Flea Market, Soft Fest, Print Pop and more.
 

follow on instagram and check out www.softflirt.ca if you need to add some softness to your life.

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Dax Gordine

Dax Gordine, is an animator, concept artist, and illustrator, best known as the artist of Marvel Comics Giant-Sized Little Marvels.

His work delights fans on feature films, including Looney Tunes: Back in Action, Osmosis Jones, Eight Crazy Nights, and Curious George. He's also created concept art for the video game Plants vs Zombies Garden Warfare 2 & 3, and illustrated the Bravo Man webcomic.

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Kevin Hearn

A gifted composer, in-demand collaborator, and ever-active musical force with zero interest in creative stagnancy, Hearn cut his teeth collaborating with the likes of Look People, Corky and the Juice Pigs, and revered art-rock outfit Rheostatics before formally joining Barenaked Ladies in 1995. As the group’s profile swelled in the ensuing years, he explored new sonic ground with a series of innovative and imaginative solo albums. One of the most respected and sought-after Toronto musicians of the past 25 years, Hearn’s projects always attract brilliant collaborators including Garth Hudson, Ron Sexsmith, Michael Ray of the Sun Ra Arkestra, Carole Pope, Mary Margaret O’Hara, Alan Doyle, The Persuasions, Violent Femmes, Colin Hay and drummer Rob Kloet (the Nits).

 

One of his most rewarding creative and personal relationships of all was with the legendary Lou Reed, for whom Hearn acted as musical director and keyboardist from 2007 until his passing in 2013. Hearn was inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame in 2018 as part of Barenaked Ladies. He released his ninth album, the captivating and compelling Calm and Cents, which was nominated for Instrumental Album of the Year at the 2020 JUNO Awards. Hearn also re-released his entire solo catalogue, which dates back to 1997’s debut Mothball Mint, and included a first time digital release of the sold-out 2019 Record Store Day Canada project Kevin Hearn & Friends Present: The Superhero Suite, nominated by the JUNO Awards for Album Artwork of the Year.

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Matt James

Matt James is an author, illustrator, painter and musician. His paintings can be found in private collections in Toronto, New York and Berlin. Matt’s books have has won many prestigious awards including the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award, the Marilyn Baillie
Picture Book Award, the New Mexico Book Award and the Governor General's Award for Illustration. He illustrated When the Moon Comes by Paul Harbridge and The Stone Thrower by Jael Ealey Richardson.

 

The books Matt has written include Tadpoles, Nice Try, Charlie! and his author-illustrator debut, The Funeral, which was named a New York Times and New York Public Library Best Illustrated Children’s Book. As a child Matt James liked to trace comics and pretend that tennis racquets were guitars —now he lives in Toronto and behaves more like a grown up.

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Ivan Kocmarek

Ivan Kocmarek will be sharing selected works from his vast collection that highlight the talents of Canada's comic artists including Doris Slater, Win Mortimer,  Fred Kelly and Ho Che Anderson.

In 1989 Ivan obtained a Bachelor of Education degree from the University of Toronto and spent 23 years as an inner-city educator in Hamilton. He also taught evening qualification courses for the Education Department at Brock University from 1997-2007 to secondary teachers involving summer practicums in China. Upon retirement in 2012, he used his research skills to begin championing the wider knowledge of the undeservedly forgotten Canadian comic books of the Second World War. He began a well-received online column on these comic books that still runs today.

Ivan began giving presentations at comic book conventions, libraries, museums, and galleries in 2014 and has continues to do so. He has published two books on the topic: Heroes of the Home Front (North End Books 2018) and The WECA Comic Book Price Guide (North End Books 2019) on the subject. In 2022 he published a tribute comic to the Canadian comic book artists of World War II titled Trailblazers. He has curated exhibitions related to Canadian World War II comic creators at the Carnegie Gallery in Dundas and at the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum in 2022. He is currently working on a 2nd edition of Heroes of the Home Front and an, as yet untitled, coffee table-sized book reproducing al the covers of the Canadian war time comic books.

You can learn more about Ivan here.

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Owen MacKinder

Owen Mackinder is a musician, artist, and self proclaimed Skelganaut, from London Ontario, currently living in an opulent bathysphere floating through the sewers of Toronto. He is the sole proprietor of Strange Yeti Art and Apparel as well as holding the prestigious title of the second best keytarist in the electronic rock band; The Birthday Massacre. Before his rise to keytar stardom (Keytardom. Boom.), Owen made a name for himself in the treacherous world of underground Jenga. He rose quickly through the ranks, catching a glimpse of towering stacks that pierced the clouds and scraped the heavens themselves. But alas, fate had other plans. Like Icarus before him, (Icarus McGonagle, top player 1995-1997), he flew too close to the sun and came crashing down like so many blocks, those five letters echoing in his ears like a tragic symphony. Since his crushing defeat, Owen has channeled his bitterness into creating art alongside his chihuahua and human fiancée.​

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Julian Miholics

Julian Miholics is a gay, trans illustrator and ceramicist born and raised in London, Ontario. After graduating from the H.B. BealArt program, he immediately began freelancing and exhibiting his work within the city.

 

Julian’s practice focuses on themes of biology and naturalism in dialogue with LGBT+ identity and the broader human experience.

 

His work has been shown in solo and group exhibitions within Ontario, as well as group exhibitions in the USA and UK.

 

He is currently represented by the Jonathon Bancroft-Snell Gallery and sells his merchandise at local events in the city and his online store.

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Lido Pimienta

 Lido Pimienta is a multidisciplinary visual artist, art critic and curator. She is a composer and musical producer of Afro Indigenous(Wayuu) Ancestry from Colombia. Pimienta resides in London, Canada, and has been performing live and exhibiting her work worldwide since 2010. She was the first female of colour to ever compose and original score for the New York City Ballet Orchestra and is also the first ever black and indigenous woman to be debuting as a TV host, writer and creator of a network show in Canada, LIDO TV; a variety show that explores themes like Feminism, Colonialism and Success, with a hilarious twists and the help of puppets. Pimienta’s music and visual work navigates politics of gender, race, motherhood and the  construct of the Canadian Landscape in the South American diaspora and vernacular.

 

Lido Pimienta aims to create a sense of belonging and strength through diversity. Diversity as a feeling and Diversity as a verb. Born and raised in the Caribbean North Coast of Colombia, she draws and creates portraits of the  familiar faces found in big crowds going about their day in a beautifully synchronized chaos of the places she calls home.  These compositions all exist in what Pimienta calls CARIBE  SUBLIME, in which she identifies the Caribbean coast of Colombia and peoples from African diasporas, their cultures and identities, not as exotic but Sublime.

 

 An  international artistic referent in her own right, Pimienta’s point of view and resistance to follow trends or participate in a narrative that demands racialized women to be a trope, has earned Pimienta a loyal following in both the mainstream and artistic arenas. With humor, irreverence and the tenderness that comes from her singing voice, Pimienta has positioned herself as a true Renaissance Woman.

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Merle “Ting” Tingley

Ting was editorial cartoonist for the London Free Press for over 40 years (1947-1986). His illustrations attracted a loyal following, not only in the Free Press but across Canada in more than 60 daily and weekly publications. His famous cartoon mascot, Luke Worm, is a widely recognized icon in the Canadian comic scene. 

 

Well-loved for his caricatures of local politicians and business owners, Tingley was also admired for his ability to capture not only the essence of everyday moments but the important issues that challenge a community in a thought provoking way. His work is a record of the political and social events of our region and as such have become an important archive of the history of our city and has won national and international awards. 

 

Ting’s work continues to inspire generations of comic artists in Southwestern Ontario. It is always a pleasure to rediscover Merle’s clever wit and commentary in the selected work for this exhibition. We hope you enjoy rediscovering the comics of your youth; and if you are new to  Merle’s work that you enjoy discovering his brilliance as an illustrator.

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Alyssa Waterbury
Poster Artist

Alyssa Waterbury is an illustrator and book clerk from London, Ontario. A lifelong lover of book illustration, she obtained a degree in illustration from Sheridan College in 2017. She loves telling stories through pictures, which she has shared in the form of prints, cards and the occasional zine. 

 

In 2023, her first published illustrations appeared in Brooke Carter's Ghost Girl, an early reader book published by Orca Book Publishers. 

 

Website: 

waterburyillustration.com

Instagram: alyssajwaterbury

Curious about our previous Tingfest artists CLICK HERE

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