A new beginning

July 9, 2012

Planning for the future included re-locating ourselves. Markham’s growth direction just wasn’t going where we wanted. Construction was never-ending. A major shift in ethnicity was becoming all too evident. In a nutshell, the Town was changing. Over a year ago, we decided it was now or never, so we invested our time in researching and visiting communities to settle in.

Criteria included being in Ontario to be close to family, diversity in population, stability in infrastructure and amenities, cost-efficient and a positive forward-thinking sense of community.

We lucked out. After reading an article about a stunning London neighbourhood, Robyn decided that we scope out Wortley Village in London’s ‘Old South’ district. An eclectic mix of tradition mixed with an almost bohemian attitude to living, Wortley Village has everything you need within a reasonable walking distance. No cookie-cutter housing. Each house has it’s own individual style. The area is tree-lined with century-old maples and firs reaching to the sky. Gardens are lush with beds full of lilies, cone flowers and hostas. And the evenings are so quiet.

This was it. This is where we want to settle. Our ‘new’ home is over 80 years old, on a street surrounded by churches of all denominations. The community boasts an arts and cultural ambience. We can walk to the bank, the grocery store, the pharmacy, the library, the art gallery, the hardware store and several restaurants and cafés. We can buy our bread freshly-baked from the bakery, or organic grains from the health-food store.

So what does this mean for art? My art?

The Art Exchange, a local gallery and framing establishment are currently holding it’s first annual ‘Square Foot Exhibition & Sale’, and yes, I submitted a piece to get my feet wet in the local art community. An old favourite “Icehouse” fitted the criteria and is now on display at the main gallery location. The exhibition includes a variety of techniques and talents and is reflective of the local art community.

My next plans are to set up the home studio. I need a space where the whole family can paint and create. Nick is off to take fine arts at university this fall. Rhiana is getting herself ready for new exhibits. Robyn’s already gone to town with decorating the house the way we want it both inside and out. So I, need to create some new pieces.

When? You’ll have to wait and see.


What’s new?

March 9, 2012

Wow, “time flies…”

The Markham Art Collective rolls on and continues to build the membership – expanding throughout the GTA. Obviously there are artists and supporters out there who see a need. The “Debut” art and photography exhibit at the Markham Theatre was a success. I say success because it’s always a sign of a success when there are sales of artwork, but it was an even greater success because of the nature of the event being the first ever exhibit presented by the Markham Art Collective.

Several of our members have had stunning exhibits lately: Ana Jurpik and Johanna Meharg showed at the Columbus Centre. Josée Savaria for one at the Southlake Gallery. Rhiana Sneyd had amazing sales at the Toronto Artist Project. Vera Walton, Sue Foerster and The Richmond Hill Group of Artists exhibited at the Markham Theatre. My son, Nick Beecham and his Markham Teen Arts Council are presenting their art exhibit at the McKay Art Centre in Unionville this week. Check it out if you’re in the neighbourhood. Katja Van Den Enden will be at the Southlake Gallery – March 18 to April 28. The local art world is buzzing.

For more information on the Markham Art Collective’s members and their events, go to www.markhamartcollective.com.

Returning on May 9 is the Varley Fine Art Auction. Yours truly was invited to participate again this year. What a privilege to support the Varley Art Gallery. Johanna and Ana will be there too. I’ll post more info as it comes to light.

I haven’t had much time to paint lately and don’t foresee much action until after Easter. Administrating the Markham Art Collective’s web and social media initiatives have taken much time. As has selling our house in Unionville. However, I was inspired by the diverse techniques and styles at the Toronto Artist Project. I noticed much use of resins and textures. Interesting uses of ‘found objects’. Rhiana was one of a handful of artists chosen by Sony Canada to produce a video that was shown during the event. I’m looking forward for some time to squeeze out some paint tubes and wet a canvas or two.

Let me know what’s been happening with you.

Debut art exhibit for Markham

December 29, 2011

Debut art showThe Town of Markham is in for a month-long treat. Markham Art Collective presents ‘Debut’, an exhibition of fine art and photography from some of York Region’s leading artists. This is the first presentation for the Markham Art Collective of an impressive array of talent.

The display is showing at the Markham Theatre upper and lower lobby gallery (171 Town Center Blvd, Markham), and runs from December 28 through to January 30. Doors open from 11am to 6pm. Admission to the gallery is free. Parking is also free!

Many thanks to a great crew of volunteers who helped make this event possible, including Robyn, Ana and Vera. Thanks to the many supporters and promoters of the Markham Art Collective. We appreciate being recognized for what we are doing for the visual artists in Markham and York Region. Thank you to the Markham Theatre, Dyan Broderick, Kim Michele, Linda Walesch, York Region Arts Council, Things To Do in York Region, Guiding Star and Easel Rentals.

Thanks also to the participating artists and photographers – your work certainly shines on the walls of the gallery. We look forward to meeting you at the Artist Reception on Saturday, January 14 from 2pm to 5pm.

If you are interested in purchasing any of the art pieces, please go to the Theatre Box Office for information.

On behalf of my family, I’d like to wish you and yours, a Happy, Healthy and Prosperous New Year!


Getting noticed in a crowd

November 10, 2011

Just an update:

Markham Art CollectiveThe Markham Art Collective is continuing its steady momentum of supporting the art world. Being as visible as possible is the aim of self promotion in the competitive world of the arts.

We recently visited the Stouffville Studio Tour and met some interesting and friendly artists, some of whom signed on to our free Art Directory. Next stop was the Markham48 Studio Tour. Again new friends were made which led to me writing a review on a great artist service: Easel Rentals. During this time I went full steam into SEO (search engine optimization) mode and got the Markham Art Collective into high Google rankings. Through the use of Twitter, we garnered several ‘followers’, then came the Facebook Page and on to LinkedIn, where I created a discussion group.

Being endorsed by respected arts contacts such as Nancy Bodi, Executive Director of the York Region Arts Council, Helen Walter of Wilson Street Studios and many others goes to show that the time was ripe for a new player in the local art scene. I explained to Judi McIntyre, Chair of the York Region Arts Council, that we weren’t about to step on anyone’s toes. Instead, we are here to support artists with our virtual resource. And it’s working tremendously. Artists are posing questions and getting easy responses.

DebutOur biggest coup to date is Debut, our first invitational art and photography exhibit, which will run from December 28, 2011 to January 30, 2012. An assortment of 28 artists and photographers from all over York Region will have their creativity on display at the Markham Theatre’s upper and lower lobby galleries.

Many of these artists have never exhibited together before which will make the Artist Reception an active event and one not to miss. The Reception will be held on January 14 from 2:00pm to 5:00pm and I encourage you to gather your friends and come and mingle with some hot creative talent. This event is generously sponsored by Dyan Broderick, Sales Representative from Sutton Group – Heritage Realty Inc Brokerage. We will be featuring special guest harpist, Kim Michele who will bring the ambiance to a comfortable level with her skillful playing.

A month or so old and the traffic to the website is consistent and stable, and with entries on social networks we are gathering new artists and interest on a daily basis. So when you have a moment, come and visit the website at http://www.markhamartcollective.com, you never know, there might be a source or a video that will help to make you get noticed.

A new beginning in local art…

October 24, 2011

A generous opportunity from Markham Theatre for local artists.
Markham Art Collective invites its artists to showcase
their fine art and photography
at the Upper and Lower Lobby Galleries of the Markham Theatre,
171 Town Centre Blvd,
from December 28, 2011 to January 30, 2012, 11am to 6pm,
Monday to Saturday and during performances.
Admission to the gallery is free.

see and be seen.


Markham Art Collective is the new, non-profit online visual art resource website
based in Unionville, Markham, Ontario.
This unique free service is in the continual process of compiling art resource information
not readily available elsewhere, with the help of local contributors’ experiences and sources.
The group’s mission is to provide supplemental information and resources for visual artists,
including online discussions in order to enhance the visual art experience.

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