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Sept. 23, 2016

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Sept. 26, 2016
For Immediate Release

TORONTO – Wilfrid Laurier University is hosting “Saturate the City: a live expression through photography and paint,” coinciding with Nuit Blanche on October 1. The exhibit, a live-painting project by Waterloo startup Jess & Mel, takes place from 7 p.m. to 2 a.m. at Laurier Toronto on the main floor of the Exchange Tower, 130 King Street West.

Jess & Mel was founded and is run by artists Jessica Kalman and Melissa Falconer. Kalman is a professional photographer based in the Kitchener-Waterloo area, and Falconer is a professional self-taught visual artist specializing in portraiture and pop art. Combining the art of painting and photography, Jess & Mel create unique and contrasting mixed media pieces by painting directly onto photo canvases.

“Jess & Mel are thrilled to be showcasing their art in Toronto during one of the biggest art festivals in Canada and we are very proud to be hosting them,” said Carolyn Hawthorn, university relations manager at Laurier Toronto. “Throughout the night we will see how inspirational the city of Toronto has been to Jess & Mel.”

Throughout the evening, Falconer will be live painting on a large photo canvas of the Toronto skyline. She will be accompanied by a video of Kalman taking and editing the photo that is being painted and discussing the process. The piece should take five to seven hours to complete.

Jess & Mel is a part of Laurier’s Schlegel Centre for Entrepreneurship & Social Innovation LaunchPad program. LaunchPad is Laurier’s flagship incubator for starting and scaling new business ventures of all kinds. Serving Laurier’s students, alumni and community partners, LaunchPad is a member of Kitchener's Communitech Hub, the Waterloo Accelerator Centre, the Brantford economic development ecosystem, a vast network of alumni and investors, and most recently, part of the global Ashoka network of social entrepreneurs.

The LaunchPad program provides entrepreneurs with cutting-edge, new-venture pedagogy including market validation, design thinking, prototyping, honing and testing a minimum viable product, and all the other tools and services you need to launch and sustain a venture. LaunchPad is training the next generation of new venture CEOs.

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Carolyn Hawthorn, University Relations Manager
Laurier Toronto

T: 416-306-0866 ext. 5124


Kevin Crowley, Director
Communications and Public Affairs
Wilfrid Laurier University

T: 519.884.0710 x3070



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