WEST NIPISSING ART GALLERY « EXPRESSIONS »
Opening date of the Art Gallery « Expressions »: November 15th 2002
Celebrations for the 10th anniversary of the Gallery: October 28th 2012
Ten years, already!!! Many things have changed at the Art Gallery. The Art Gallery is always in motion, like a river finding its way to the ocean. The Gallery continues to evolve as we follow our artistic mission and explore possibilities within our grasp. The Art Gallery provides artists not only with the opportunity to share their art with their public, but also to connect with other artists. In celebration of the Gallery’s 10th anniversary, the current members are delighted to welcome former members, some of whom are able to participate in this exhibition and others who could not be here but who wish us well. We are grateful to the members of the Municipal Council of West Nipissing, who, for the past ten years, have made this location available.
Today, I want to bring attention to the numerous projects we’ve promoted in the past six years. In 2007, we began a project called « Art in the Street » during the Step Dance and Fiddle Festival. Our activities under the big tent at the corner of King and Queen Street were much appreciated by the visitors and the towns’ people. In the fall of that year, our artists were also involved in the «Harvest Festival».
«Art in the Street» continued in 2008 with the addition of art workshops for children. Our artists were thrilled to work with twenty-five children who were visibly having fun! That same year, world-renowned watercolour artist, Jack Lockhart conducted a weekend workshop with fourteen members of the Gallery. A number of our artists also attended a watercolour session given by Lozia Daoust, a fine arts instructor. In 2008, our artists were grateful for the use of Soeur Rachel Labonté’s studio where a number of artists would regularly meet to paint together.
The 14th and 15th of November 2009, a workshop was offered by the Gallery with watercolour wildlife artist Debra Lynn Ireland. That year, rather than being under the tent during «Art in the Street», artists opted to be available to welcome visitors to the Gallery during the Step Dance and Fiddle Festival. Members of the Gallery also participated in a collaborative project called ‘Mystery Painting’ where everyone worked together to produce and unveil a mystery which was shared at the exhibit opening.
During the summer of 2010, a new venture... Artists were located at different places in town with their easels, painting for passersby who stopped to watch the artists as they worked. There was much interest! Also on Saturdays, when it was not raining, a group of artists were in the parking lot on the corner of Main and Front Street, again doing some painting. At our April exhibit opening, our artists participated in a ‘Puzzle Painting’ where each artist was given a small part of a puzzle which was repainted in a larger format. These pieces were then assembled to create a large painting. A literary blog featuring submissions by our authors and poets was added to our website which had been created by Lauraine Laframboise in 2010. At the November exhibit opening, we were enchanted by step-dancer Michel LaBelle and well-known singer Ivory Higdon.
In 2011, our artists began to use the Gallery as a studio Thursday afternoons to create together, to share experiences and techniques and to simply have fun together. During the spring of 2011, some of our artists participated in the «Garden Show» at the Complex displaying paintings inspired by nature. This proved to be a very positive experience as visitors were interested in purchasing paintings from local artists. Also in this year, our executive met with representatives from the Ontario Art Council including Kristian Clark, Executive Director of CARFAC, to discuss possibilities for the Expressions West Nipissing Art Gallery within the larger context of the arts in Ontario.
During the Fall season, the Gallery sponsored a workshop by Pierrette Lapierre of Azilda «The Visual in the Invisible» which provided a new and unusual experience for participants.
The year 2012 saw many new projects take form. To begin, submissions were requested for a new logo and following a voting procedure, the design by Simone Desormiers was deemed to best reflect the Gallery’s mandate. Congratulations, Simone and thank you for this beautiful new logo which has been applied to a pin and will be worn proudly by our members. Louisette Tousignant designed the cover of our invitation card. There is also a pamphlet about the art gallery by Lauraine Laframboise for publicity purposes and a profile of each artist that you can see displayed with each artist’s work. Thanks, Lauraine, for all the long hours that you have contributed!
The gallery presents two shows each year, one in the spring and again in the fall when everything is taken down and replaced by new art works. We have an exhibit opening with the artists. The public is invited to attend and then the exhibit remains in place for viewing for six months. That is how the Art Gallery makes its way into the hearts of the people of West Nipissing. Our hopes are high that the Art Gallery will continue to prosper as it has for the past ten years.
We need the encouragement of the community around us to go forward. It is our Art Gallery… but it is also yours. You can become a member if you wish or come for a visit to view leaving a message of encouragement in the visitors’ book. If you see a painting that you like, feel free to ask the artist if it is for sale. Portrait artists and photographers are often available for commission work.
The Gallery has twenty-five members at this time. The President and director of the Gallery is Paulyne Charron; the secretary Raymonde Gaudette and treasurer Louisette Tousignant. We wish to thank them for the many hours they devote to Gallery business. We have a very active and effective executive which accounts for the long-list of projects, workshops and other endeavours. Expressions are a non-profit artist-run gallery which enjoys the continued strong endorsement and support of its members.
There are also numerous committees that are in place directed by the artists so that the Art Gallery functions well. Thanks to all that are involved!
OUR BEST WISHES TO OUR GALLERY ON THIS TENTH ANNIVERSARY !!!