St. Marys Journal Argus
Stonetown Arts, and its precursor organization the ART Salon Group, has held its Christmas art show and sale for nearly a decade now, but there can be little doubt that the event truly came of age last year, in November of 2013.
“Last year’s show was only supposed to go for one weekend and that weekend was so successful, that we expanded it to three Saturdays,” recalled Stonetown Arts co-chair Cathy Atwell last week, as the group looked forward to opening its 2014 show and sale on Friday, Nov. 21.
“And people kept coming all three Saturdays. No matter what time of the day, it always seemed busy,” Atwell continued. “Everybody was very happy with it.”
Part of last year’s success may have been the high-profile venue: the stylish storefront at 153 Queen Street East that had, at the time, only recently been vacated by Stewart Books. This year, that location, complete with the still-intact Stewart Books sign, remains basically (aside from the activities of the Double Dog Dare yoga studio) available for use. So Stonetown Arts jumped on the chance to once again fill the space with the creations of its members over two weekends later this month.
Last year, the show was given the title “Magic in Miniatures” and a good number of Stonetown Arts members contributed 4’x4’ canvasses for show and sale at the event. “This year, our focus is on ornaments,” explained Atwell, who added that this year’s show is being curated by the mother-and-daughter team of Fay Hiscocks and Heather Ruthig.
For what’s being called “Suspended Inspirations,” the artists have been invited to decorate three-inch spherical ornaments in a Christmas theme or other theme. Atwell expects between 15-20 artists will submit ornaments. And there are 21 members of Stonetown Arts who have committed to displaying some of their works in the show.
“There will be painting, pottery, jewellery, photography, fabric art — quite a variety of art and artisans,” the group’s co-chair said.
Last year, there were 14 participating artists.
“It’s certainly true that, because last year’s show was so successful, this year, more members are willing to take the plunge,” she commented.
“And it was a very social thing,” Atwell added of last year’s show. “People seemed to enjoy it. They would come in and chat with the artists.”
This year, there will once again be a rotation of artists coming in and being available to talk about their work. It won’t be a formal schedule. “We’ve basically left it open for them to be there as often as they feel is appropriate.”
And last year’s opening night reception was a grand success, so Stonetown Arts will definitely be hosting one again — this time on Friday, Nov. 21 from 6-9 p.m. Following that, Suspended Inspirations will be open for business for two successive weekends — for the full day Saturdays (10 a.m. to 5 p.m.) and for a half day on Sundays (noon to 5 p.m.).