Submitted by Christine Whelan
July 22nd, 2021 VOL. 2 ISSUE 24
The Fort Erie Arts Council is now presenting, “Through My Lens” Art Show, Exhibition of Photography.
Donna MacLeod, President of the Arts Council explained the path to the latest art shows. “We wanted to do something during the lockdown. We needed to do something to support ourselves so we could keep going and we wanted to showcase our artists since no one could come into the gallery.” She was referring to the effects of the pandemic restrictions. “We started with the Small Works Art Show. Everything was 12″ x 12″. We decided to do a separate show for the photographers.”
“Through My Lens” Art Show, Exhibition of Photography began the day I met with MacLeod, July 9th, and will continue until August 6th. “We thought we would do the show in the windows because, at the time of making the decisions for the show, we were still closed. We also featured it online.”
The images are by local photographers, all within the Niagara Region. All the images are for sale — framed, matted, and ready to go. A few of the pieces were already sold. One was gone that afternoon before I got there. To help support the photographers, 100% of the sales go to them.
The Arts Council
Donna MacLeod has been with the Fort Erie Arts Council for many years, first as a volunteer, helping with fundraising events, to VP, to President.
“When I’m here on Saturdays, I usually pull some prints outside, on the sidewalk,” during the hours the Farmer’s Market is running since the art gallery is just a few buildings away from the market. It’s a good way to bring awareness to the location and to promote their programs.
“We have two weeks of Kids Camp with Melani Pyke at the Ridgeway Legion. It started on July 12th. After camp ends, we’ll do a “make and take” kids’ craft every Tuesday morning.”
MacLeod said the gallery, which moved from the Sanctuary to a storefront across the street, is attracting the attention of those who’ve lived in the area for years and those who’ve newly arrived. “A lot of people who have come in recently to purchase art have been people who have moved to the area and are decorating their new homes.” She shared a story of the delight of two new residents when they discovered work from an artist with the same last name as the name of the street they just moved on to, in Crystal Beach.
Looking forward with the Arts Council, Donna shared, “Our biggest fundraiser, which is the Red Ribbon Art Exhibition and Sale, held at the Leisureplex in Fort Erie is on November 6th. We’ll be spending the Fall with the work leading to that event.
“We will have our adult classes running all through the Fall. We have a seniors’ class starting in September, on Tuesday afternoons. We are also looking at running Bob Ross Inspired Paint Nights. It’s a fun and social night.”
MacLeod says she is looking at hopefully partnering again with the Sanctuary to bring back Art Battle.
To see the “Through My Lens” Art Show, Exhibition of Photography in person, visit the Fort Erie Arts Council Art Gallery at 246 Ridge Road North, Ridgeway, or check out the show online by visiting the Arts Council’s website: forterieartscouncil.com/through-my-lens-art-show
PHOTO: Gord Downie, Tragically Hip #1 – Photographer: Mike Sansano-“All proceeds from the photo will be donated to the Downie Wenjack Fund. The Gord Downie & Chanie Wenjack Fund is part of Gord Downie’s legacy and embodies his commitment, and that of his family, to improving the lives of First Peoples in Canada. In collaboration with the Wenjack Family, the goal of the Fund is to continue the conversation that began with Chanie Wenjack’s residential school story, and to aid our collective reconciliation journey through a combination of awareness, education, and action.”
Selected from Arts Council website