Event Category: Exhibition

Launchpad 3.0 – Drawing Power

A person holding a large colourful rug against a white background, with "Drawing Power" in red letters across the image

Join us in celebrating our artists’ works before they travel to the Tracing Possibilities Conference in Guadalajara, Mexico! Launchpad 3.0 is a great opportunity to view the artwork being showcased in the Drawing Power exhibition, as well as meet the artists’ behind the work.

Drawing Power brings together ten recent works by artists working at Indefinite Arts Centre. Through reflections on landscape, popular culture, and symbols of power, this exhibition investigates the power of breaking down hierarchies and calling forward meaningful values.

Drawing Power features new work by Rene Boyer, Andrew Harding, Rachel Harding, Gwyn Howell, Donald Greenough, Roby King, Brad McCaull, Susie Meredith, Kristen Smith, and Amanda Varty.

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Art Show & Sale

Promo image for "The Willow Arts Community Art Show and Sale" featuring a painting by Amanda Plante

The Willow presents Art Show & Sale, featuring the work of Sarah Schulz, Lisa Forstinger & Amanda Plante.

Support emerging artists living with mental illness/substance use. Featured artists set and receive 100% of their sale price. An additional 15% has been added to this price to support the membership at Willow Arts Community.

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Sarah Schulz is the artist behind Rising to the Depth and Detailed Renditions. Born and raised in the Niagara Region, she is primarily self-taught and has been an avid creator since childhood. Sarah officially started her professional career as an artist in 2013 through her business Detailed Renditions which concentrates on commissioned realistic portraits in coloured pencil. After a successful placement as an Artist in Residence through the Willow Arts Community, Sarah shifted her focus to personal exploration of themes surrounding mental health and recovery and began an additional arts practice called Rising to the Depth. (R2D). Sarah now works primarily with Acrylics and Mixed Media but continues to pursue dry media technique through daily art journaling – a very important part of her creative process and recovery.

Through her artwork Sarah strives to:

  • Provide other individuals with lived experience visual proof that they are not alone;
  • Extend to individuals without experience a visual depiction of some of what individuals struggling with mental health, trauma and dissociation are dealing with and,
  • Foster connection, understanding and deepen compassion surrounding these often alienating experiences.
  • Sarah’s creative process integrates what she finds easy to create professionally (detail) with what can be difficult to demonstrate artistically (emotion). Her work can be found on social media @Rising2theDepth and @DetailedRenditions.

Lisa Forstinger is a self-taught artist, born and raised in the Niagara Region. She has been drawing and exploring her creativity since she was a child. Her focus as an adult has been illustrating with ink, balancing the many lines and details of her ink drawings with playful splashes of colour. Lisa has used her ability to draw and create things as a way to cope and heal along her mental health journey. These themes of mental health can be seen throughout her work, as she often processes difficult emotions by expressing them in some form of self-portrait. Lisa also has a passion for fibre arts, and is talented at knitting, sewing, and hand-embroidery. Her pen and ink illustrations were featured publicly for the first time in the Fall 2018 program for the Willow Arts Community. Since then, Lisa has continued to learn and grow as an artist through Willow’s professional arts training program. In the past few months, Lisa has adapted her artistic approach due to limitations in her battle with Lyme Disease. This unexpected process of evolution has proven significant to her growth as an artist. In pursuit of her passion, she has learned to replicate her style of hand illustrations in a digital, more accessible format and is now considering a career as a digital/graphic artist. To see more of her work, follow @lisa4stinger.art on Instagram.

Amanda Plante has lived in Thunder Bay her whole life and has moved here to St. Catharines very recently. Art has been a huge part of her life. After graduating from High school, she took multimedia production in hopes to be a 3D artist or a graphics designer, but found out sitting at a desk was not good for her mental health. Then went to school for culinary, and became a cake decorator/ baker. Baker by day, artist by night. Still new to the professional world of art, She have only recently had a piece featured at the piece of mind show displayed at the NAC. Before her move here in St. Catharines, she had pieces displayed and sold at a bakery called Sweet Escape back in Thunder Bay. She is both a traditional and digital painter, focusing on portraits and semi realism/ abstract realism. Her weapon of choice is between digital art and acrylics. Fascinated by the way we as humans display emotions through our bodies and features, Amanda portrays movement and emotion with paint. A simple stance or look can mean so much. Colour and figurism is something she always loves to explore on the canvas.

Expressions: The 4th Art Show

Flyer for "Expressions: The 4th Art Show" presented by the Addus Creative Collective with a painting of a face with open mouth and teeth, and "Expressions" in black hand lettering against a yellow streak

Returning for its 4th year, the art show has become a much-anticipated gathering for art-lovers of the Addus community and beyond. “Expressions” features over 30 original works by artists of the Addus creative collective, including paintings, ceramics, photography and more.

Admission to this event is free, and all proceeds go to support the artists with developmental disabilities at Addus.

  • Meet the artists.
  • Visit the shop for greeting cards, t-shirts, tote bags, and other products inspired by the creative collective.
  • A silent auction will be held.

More information on the Addus website


Promo image for "Cool Arts presents Layers" with white text over a background of a painting in reds, blues and yellows

The FINA Art Gallery (1148 Research Road, UBCO) will host the third annual exhibition in partnership with Cool Arts Society in their gallery space this fall. The exhibition, Layers, will run from September 30 thru to October 11 with an opening reception held in the same space on October 4 from 3:30pm to 4:30pm. The exhibition and reception are free of charge to attend and will celebrate work by adult artists living with developmental disabilities in the Central Okanagan.

Layers aims to introduce more disability and outsider art to the general public. Though there are many gifted animators, sculptors, and fibre artists living with disabilities in the Okanagan, too often their work is considered amateur or unprofessional. With the increased popularity of the disability and outsider art movements around the world, Layers attempts to bring more visibility to the work created by artists who have traditionally been on the fringes of the art world. All work is representative of each individual artist, with video animations, wall hangings, and yarn-bombed furniture featured in the exhibition.

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O is for Orange

Fresh and dried oranges on a table beside two puzzle pieces; one is orange with a yellow O and the other reads "O is for orange" with an illustration orange with branch

‘O is for Orange’ showcases a collaborative meditation on the skin of the fruit body, through the act of peeling. To contemplate the aspect of touch in care work, the multiethnic orange body is chosen for how it gets held and peeled. For how its shape reminds the hands to create for it an enclosure, a coop. The relationship between the hands and the orange then forms a skin to skin relationship.

Now, there isn’t a hierarchy when we speak of touch, but perhaps one does emerge when we hold. Is the skin the protector or are the hands, as they unravel it? A group of care-workers and parents lend their voices and perspectives on care, comfort and control.

*An art & social practice initiative, in collaboration with posAbilities.

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Making Mad: How Expressions of Vulnerability Connect Us

A person wearing a backpack sprawled facedown on the red floor of a streetcar. Image from Devastation Portraits by Alison Crouse.

Featured Artists: Alison Crouse, Peter Dillman, Esmond Lee, Ben McCarthy & SpekWork, Sarah Trad and Véronique Vallières. Curated by Claudette Abrams.

Through humour and pathos, the artists in Making Mad explore the ways in which depictions of vulnerability in their work resonate on a human scale. Deep-diving into personal touchstones that go beyond the individual, these works relate in poignant and absurd ways to our condition as a collective of fallible, temporal beings.

Vulnerability is rarely associated with courage, yet it is central to survival. Happiness and contentment require little consideration—fitting well within our expectations and ideals—yet pain and uncertainty seem to demand justification in order to understand their purpose and meaning (especially in the absence of any explanation).

The artists in Making Mad unapologetically take cues from their own misgivings to draw attention to our universal susceptibility to harm. They attempt to debunk stigma equated with weakness, shame and isolation, to embrace the compassion, intimacy and intensity of the ways in which vulnerability teaches us to live with an awareness of the likelihood of change.

Image from Devastation Portraits by Alison Crouse.

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No More Than Your Shoulders Can Handle

A painting with geometric shapes by Gloria C. Swain

Gloria C. Swain is multidisciplinary Black female artist, social justice activist, researcher, seniors right advocate, and writer. Gloria works within the mediums of installation, painting, performance, and photography to challenge systemic oppression against Black women and trans folks.

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Black Artist’ Network in Dialogue (BAND) is dedicated to supporting, documenting and showcasing the artistic and cultural contributions of Black artists and cultural workers in Canada and internationally.

Ancestral Mindscapes

A person floating on their back in greenish water by a long narrow rocky outcropping

Ancestral Mindscapes is an autobiographical collaboration using video, sound and photography to explore the intersection of madness, indigeneity, colonialism, environmental destruction and the healing power of nature.

Ancestral Mindscapes is a collaboration between Rick Miller, who self-identifies as a Mad artist in discovery of his Indigenous ancestry; Jules Koostachin, a Cree artist and academic; and Geneviève Thibault, a Gaspésienne photographer and videographer.

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Vanessa Dion Fletcher: Curiosity and Quillwork

A microscopic image of porcupine quills, repeated and inverted to make a pattern.

Vanessa Dion Fletcher’s solo exhibition Curiosity and Quillwork demonstrates an appreciation for repetition and pattern-making using and diverging from traditional quillwork forms. As a mode of working through complicated limitations of colonial impacts, on language and limited access to traditional Indigenous knowledge. Dion Fletcher interacts with visual and creative means as a way of connecting to her ancestral relations and reclaiming her culture. The exhibition features three new works: Zigzag in twenty-nine parts (2019), a series of works on paper; Shifting Focus (2019), a microscopic digital video; and Advancing Colors (2019) a delicate installation of an ornate pattern that emulates the traditional practice of birch bark quillwork.

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