Welcome to the first issue of Communiqué, a monthly newsletter with the intent of engaging and informing our members and the creative community as we adapt to a COVID19 world. The MGA Membership Committee has organized some exciting spring and summer events. Read about these along with other updates on group activities to stay connected. We hope to support your creative practice and help you find some inspiration!
U P C O M I N G E V E N T S
PLEIN AIR: Weekly Sessions Starting in June
The art of Plein Air (painting on site by direct observation) is one of the best ways to improve your art. It will help you avoid colour cliches, such as leaves that are not always green and sensitizes you to changes of light and atmosphere easily lost in a photograph.
Working from life encourages you to work looser and faster. The natural constraints of plein air gives you limited time to catch the shifting light as well as unpredictable conditions. It has the power to reveal the character of the artist and personality of the location. No two artists’ interpretation of the site will ever be alike.
The MGA is planning a series of Plein Air opportunities for members, past members and friends and is open to artists of all skill levels. We will hold one session a week starting June 3rd as long as pandemic conditions allow us to access appropriate places. An email will be sent giving the painting location. Join us at 10 am (weather permitting) and stay as long as you wish. Bring a lunch if planning a longer session). Landscape, botanical or even abstract approaches are welcome, along with all mediums of your choice (oils, acrylics, watercolour, pastels or pen and ink).
Watch your email for more details — meanwhile step outside and start sketching as a warmup!
PEERING IN: Zoom Peer Critiques
We would like to invite you to sign up for our new ZOOM Peer Critique sessions which will be held on Wednesdays this summer for an hour every other week . It will give you a chance to share what you have been working on and get some feedback and helpful suggestions from other artists. We plan to have small groups of less than ten and you can show two pieces if we have time. It is our hope that these critiques will inspire you to create art as well as develop supportive relationships with other artists. These online sessions will be moderated by members of our group who will take on the lead role of facilitating the dialogue but are not giving the critique.
Send us your name and email address with ‘Peer Critique’ in the heading if you would like to participate and we will contact you soon. Send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
THE SHOW THAT NEVER WAS: Virtual Juried Art Show
The MGA Annual Juried Spring Show may have been cancelled due to Covid 19, but we still want to see what our members have been working on through the winter and isolation months. “The Show That Never Was” is planned to take place in June. The show will be held virtually on our website, Facebook and Instagram. Each member will be able to submit two paintings and all will be displayed along with links to artist websites. More details will be coming soon in an email. We look forward to having an exciting MGA show and promoting your work online.
Many online offerings (workshops, demos, gallery tours, etc.) can be found on our website: markhamartists.org
C O M M U N I T Y P R O J E C T S
Morgan Park Collaborative Mosaic
The Markham Group of Artists are creating a collaborative mosaic for the City of Markham that will be permanently installed in the new pool facility in Morgan Park, currently under renovation.
The concept of the design merges old and new; the background collage consists of historical photographs of the community while the foreground pays homage to the rose gardens that once grew there. The project offers a great opportunity for local artists to use this time of self-isolation to create something wonderful and meaningful for the community to enjoy in the near future.
This is the fifth and largest collaborative mosaic created by the MGA for the community with a finished size of 6’ x 10’. The installation is composed of 60 individually painted 12” x 12” canvases created by twenty of our members. The challenge is to bring together a variety of artistic styles so they work seamlessly into the overall image.
The concept and design began in late 2019 but actual painting was scheduled to start just as Covid-19 hit . Due to the collaborative nature of the mosaic, adaptations to the process were required to accommodate physical distancing. Linda McIntosh’s garage was converted to workspace for the large project and became the meeting point for artists to pickup and drop off of materials, as well as check in on how all the pieces were fitting. For the more vulnerable participants, materials were safely delivered and picked up from their doorstep.
Past mosaics were created by the MGA for Cornell Library, Thornhill Library, Markhaven Seniors Home and Richmond Hill Immigration Centre and can be viewed on our website: markhamartists.org
A R T O F T H E T I M E S
LILA LEWIS IRVING : 19 Faces (35” x 25” each, acrylic on canvas)
Each piece in this series of portraits was created quickly, relying on intuition, spontaneity and feeling the emotion as the faces developed. The images were conjured up from Lila’s mind, with the exception of two self portraits. Textured paint was thickly applied, giving the pieces a tactile, sculptural effect to these hauntingly beautiful portraits.aits. Textured paint was thickly applied, giving the pieces a tactile, sculptural effect.
JUDY LIVINGSTON: Covid 19 Theme Card
Judy’s 8” x 5” Covid-19 Theme Card was created on March 26 out of frustration, anger and concern. Frustration and anger with those who weren’t taking this world situation seriously - ignoring the orders to stay home or practice physical distancing - and concern for those who are dramatically impacted by this reckless behaviour. Reading this card requires turning it this way and that - reflective of “our usual” being knocked off balance. Our nurses and doctors carry the weight of your survival if you get ill during this pandemic, so why not ease some of the load - stay home, stay safe and stay well.
CALL FOR ART:If you would like your art to be featured in the next issue of Communiqué, please submit a pic (JPEG format) and brief description of the artwork and inspiration behind it to markham email@example.com Two artists will be featured in each issue on a first come first served basis.
Markham Group of Artists Interim Committee: Robin Potter, Carmela Casuccio (co-chairs), Pat Durst, Donna Galbraith, Linda McIntosh, Jean Rennie & Lynn Ross.