The dynamic crew who steer the South Simcoe Arts Council have bobbed and weaved through the continuing "out-of-left-field" covid-19 health protocol maze of the last year and a half and managed to find new and wonderful ways for regional artists to connect with their communities.
When the volunteer committee at SSAC first set up ARTS ON MAIN 17 years ago, "Pandemic Appropriate" was most likely not on the list of must-haves! And yet here we are in 2021 with 31 artworks by 19 artists on display in 26 local business storefronts of Tottenham, Beeton and Alliston until October 5.
Arts on Main is an extremely safe and fun way to see what we artists have been up to this last 18 months. You and friends can stroll downtown and take in the art there on display for you in many shop windows. For added fun, you can vote on your favourite piece safely on-line at the SSAC's facebook page in the AOM 2021 - Vote For Peoples Choice! album, until October 5.
On Saturday, October 2, you can see some of us at work creating (outdoors) on location where our work is showing. Stop by to chat and watch the magic as it happens on "Meet the Artist Day". Most artists have had few to no locations for the last 18 months to show their art to real people in accessible places, beyond on-line. So it's exciting just to hang work where we know it will be seen live and up close!
This year's show theme, Diversit, speaks to my heart as a former teacher of English to New Canadians. I've entered two of my favourite watercolours, not recent, but loved work. Secrets Before Class, greets me every morning, reminding me of all the charming, resilient children I worked with over the decades. Winter of the Spirit is a painting based on a newspaper photo of refugees in flight in 2016. It reminds me that "most new Canadians have crawled over broken glass to get here", as GG Adrienne Clarkson often said.
Along with the Peoples' Choice Award, our work will be adjudicated and prizes will be awarded by two judges: Wendy Gonneau, PPOC, an award-winning photographer, and Martha Bull, a painter and teacher specializing in watercolour, who is part of the Bay School of Art, Collingwood and the Mill St. Studio. The chance to receive their thoughtful responses and technical suggestions is another very valuable aspect to the regional competition for us artists.
The variety of work created on any theme never ceases to amaze. Rubbing against other artists' imagination and skill is always surprising, delightful and terrifying in equal measures. Like pebbles in a tumbler, it's how we become shiny and smooth!
SSAC thanks this year's sponsor, the Town of New Tecumseth, the organizing committee volunteers, the business owners giving us space in the shop windows and you, for taking time to take in art!
Written by Valerie Losell
View the exhibit and full details of this year's Arts on Main exhibit here.