The Stratford Gallery will close the summer with an evening of community art featuring the performance of Lyndon John X

To wrap up the summer and its current slate of art exhibitions, Gallery Stratford will host a community art party on August 27 with a performance by Juno award-winning reggae musician Lyndon John X.

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To celebrate recent improvements to the gallery space over the past two years and to end the summer on a high note, Stratford Gallery will host a community art party on August 27 with a performance by the 2020 Juno Award winner and Huron County-based reggae musician Lyndon John X.

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After bursting onto the Canadian music scene as a reggae/ska singer-songwriter and guitarist in 2007 with his Juno-nominated debut album, Two Chord SkankinJohn — also known as LJX — writes, sings, records, produces and mixes his songs in his basement studio in the small Brussels community of Huron County.

His fourth album, The Warning Trailreleased in 2019, won him the Juno Award for Reggae Recording Artist of the Year in 2020.

“We are so excited to play Stratford,” LJX told The Beacon Herald in an email. “We’ll bring original reggae music live and let them feel it.”

For Gallery Stratford curator Angela Brayham, bringing in a local musician to celebrate the end of summer and the end of the gallery’s three ongoing exhibitions – Dad Club by artists Jason McLean and Ross Bell, No Human in sight by Nathan Eugene Carson and Talia Shipman’s The Turquoise Project – and giving gallery supporters a chance to see and experience the improvements made to the gallery over the past two years amid the COVID-19 pandemic seemed like the good thing to do.

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“We started working with Lyndon a year and a bit ago when we were going to plan a gala during COVID, and that was canceled,” Brayham said. “…He’s a really amazing musician, well known, but not very well known at the same time. He lives in Brussels, grew up in Cambridge, so he’s from the region. One of the gallery’s mandates is certainly to recognize emerging artists and help foster careers and develop notoriety.

“So I came across Lyndon’s work and just thought he was the perfect artist to bring in for a big event or a big celebration.”

Although the original idea was to hold a summer fundraiser, Brayham and the Gallery Board decided to instead hold a community celebration of all the Stratford Gallery’s accomplishments over the past two years.

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“It’s been a tough few years, so we wanted to do something to give back to the community that has supported us,” she said. “So we decided, instead of doing a fundraising event, we’re going to do it as an end-of-summer community party. We want people here to have a good time. There is not a lot of reggae music in this area, so we wanted to introduce different types of music and also artists who work in this area.

The event will also serve to showcase the gallery’s relatively new performance space, The Shed, which has hosted numerous concerts, plays and other performances and events since its opening thanks to the support of nearly $290,000 in grants. of the Ontario Trillium Foundation last fall.

“We’re still going out and coming out of what was COVID, and I think not everyone has seen the changes that we’ve made to the gallery and seen how amazing our Shed space is and at how magical it is at night,” Brayham said. . “So it’s really just to bring people here, have fun and celebrate the arts, and experience something different.”

While tickets to the party and concert are free and will be available at the door, those wishing to attend can also book tickets at www.canadahelps.org/en/charities/stratford-art-association/events/lyndon- john-x -at-the-shed/, where they will have the option to add a donation to Gallery Stratford at checkout. Attendees will also be able to support the Stratford Public Art Gallery in person during the party.

LJX will take the stage at 7 p.m. on August 27, but guests can arrive as early as 6 p.m. to browse the exhibits.

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