New arts magazine boost local talent

David Whalen
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Publication focuses on home-grown theatre, film, music, fashion

The latest addition to the St. John's arts media scene is a family affair. Sleeveen Magazine, a 36-page arts magazine launched in April, is the brainchild of Paddy Barry. Barry edits, publishes and writes for the glossy arts publication.

Barry also gets major input from his girlfriend, Gloria Williams, and her daughter, Skye Williams Tostowaryk.

From left, Skye Williams Tostowaryk, Paddy Barry and Gloria Williams are all involved with a new alternative arts magazine, Sleeveen. Barry created the magazine as part of his Graphic Production and Printing program at CNA. Photo by Rhonda Hayward/The Tel

Culture - The latest addition to the St. John's arts media scene is a family affair. Sleeveen Magazine, a 36-page arts magazine launched in April, is the brainchild of Paddy Barry. Barry edits, publishes and writes for the glossy arts publication.

Barry also gets major input from his girlfriend, Gloria Williams, and her daughter, Skye Williams Tostowaryk.

The magazine focuses on the local performing arts community, and features writing on local theatre, film, music and fashion.

"It's not about the 'big time.' It's about local filmmakers and musicians - essentially the talent in this city kind of drives the arts industry. There's not a lot of financial support like you'll find in bigger centres. The magazine is essentially to generate publicity and try to overcome those obstacles to create a scene in a small town," Barry said.

The idea for the magazine was born out of a project Barry was required to complete as part of his graphic production and printing program at the College of the North Atlantic last fall. Students were required to layout a 24-page glossy magazine featuring content of their choosing.

While most students used existing content for the exercise, Barry decided to be original.

"Most students take stuff off the Internet and lay it out. But I decided that I wanted to do an original magazine and write all the articles and take all the pictures," he said. "I wanted stories with depth as well as strong visual style."

Barry quickly determined this wasn't going to be a one-time thing.

"I had such a good time that I decided to do it for real," he said.

Barry decided to increase the length of the magazine to 36 pages, and produced 500 copies of the premiere issue, released April 25.

He got a lot of help from his family. Williams performs many administrative tasks and contributes writing, while her daughter worked to secure advertising, and helped co-ordinate a fashion shoot for the premiere issue.

"Skye's kind of like a one-person fashion scene," Barry said. "She's an incredible make-up artist and she's very creative."

Barry said the magazine will have a strong community conscience. The first issue featured a story on an arts-based education program for youth being run out of Gower Street United Church. Barry said the magazine owes its community focus to Williams, who is a social worker with the St. John's Community Youth Network.

"We want to feature something in each magazine that might benefit the community," he said.

Sleeveen is released quarterly and is being sold for $5 at many stores in the downtown area. Barry hopes to eventually ramp up production to increase circulation and develop the publication into a monthly.

"As soon as I finish school I want to put it out every two months and work towards having it as a monthly publication."

david_whalen@hotmail.com

Organizations: College of the North Atlantic, Gower Street United Church, St. John's Community Youth Network

Geographic location: St. John's

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