ALFEW (Artists Looking For Empty Walls) — 3
After giving up the space at the Novahotel in 2009, the empty walls seemed to be rather lacking in presence. I got busy with recording and promoting a CD, and wasn’t really looking too hard for art spaces.
I was, however, looking for some space in which I could hold some Spring garden talks.
So, in early 2010, at the suggestion of my friends at the Mississauga Arts Council, I approached Jayme Gaspar, the Executive Director at Heritage Mississauga.
Heritage Mississauga has offices in a historic farm house called The Adamson-Robinson House, AKA The Grange. They have a meeting room in their basement which rents out for a reasonable cost, and which provides an excellent space for a workshop or talk.
After checking out the space, I arranged to hold a series of three garden workshops on Saturdays over the next 2 months. The meeting room walls had some rather lovely artwork on them, which I was told was by a local artist.
While there, I was introduced to the Historian, Matthew Wilkinson.
After Matthew told me about the house and its’ history. I was given a full tour of it along with historic detail and information about various art displays that they regularly had in their upstairs space.
I made inquiries about the art shows and found out that there was no charge to have a show, and that they had some space coming up in June. So, I thought about it for about 2 seconds and asked if ALFEW could have a show.
Matthew was very amenable to this idea, and was especially happy because the art group, ALFEW, was based in Mississauga.
So now, the search for participating artists was on!
In our new location, in Mississauga, we had neighbours who were artists, so it was quite easy to get a few people together.
The first people I invited were John Doherty, Pat Higginson, Julie LoTauro and my hubby, Bruce Walker — all within three doors of each other on our street. Then I included a new photographer friend, based in Mississauga, John Carvalho.
John Doherty had some acrylic portraits, and some curious wooden heads
Pat Higginson paints on china and she had a selection of plates for the show — we were going to install these in a glass cabinet for safe display!
Bruce Walker submitted photos for the show.
And Julie LoTauro gave us a selection of her oils.
I submitted a few acrylic abstracts.John Carvalho submittted some photographs.
The day for art delivery and installation arrived, and along with a bunch of artist volunteers and the designated Heritage Mississauga student, Zofia, and our dog Tessa, we got everything installed.
Just as I was leaving the building, Matthew Wilkinson approached me and asked if I had any spare artwork that he could have for the downstairs meeting room.
I was surprised, since the last time I had seen the room, the walls had art on them. Matthew explained that the artwork had recently been removed by the artist, who no longer wanted it there, because he felt Heritage Mississauga were not sufficiently promoting it! As a result, the walls looked somewhat bare!
Matthew said that if any ALFEW artists had some extra art lying around that they wouldn’t mind having on those downstairs walls, he would be very grateful to have it there.
It took me another 2 seconds to get THAT figured out.
I had more paintings of my own I could contribute, plus I knew that Julie, John Carvalho, John Doherty and my better half, Bruce Walker, all had spares ….so I left messages for a couple of them and raided the basements of the rest, and soon had enough work to cover most of the wall space in the meeting room.
With artwork piled in the back of the trusty station wagon, I rushed back to the Grange and told Matthew I had a bunch of work for him. Matthew was amazed at the speed of my return, and really pleased with the selection I brought. We — Matthew, Zofia and I — took the work downstairs and proceeded to install it in the downstairs meeting room.
Matthew informed me that Heritage Mississauga would be having an opening reception for our show, and now it would be better than ever since we had work both up and downstairs.
The opening was great. We had a pretty good attendance and all enjoyed ourselves. This would be the start of a 5-year association with Heritage Mississauga.
If this article amused you, please feel free to click on the green heart to the left and bottom on this piece. I am trying to catch up with Mediums’ SF Ali in popularity, although this will probably never happen, I can at least try.