Arts Place Gallery celebrates 20 years
Arts Place Gallery will celebrate its 20th anniversary this Sunday with artists, from left, Terri Kaercher-McKay, Cathy Peters, Alicja Meacel, Doug Carter and gallery founder Joyce Honsberger. A gala reception will be held this Sunday from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. The anniversary exhibition will be on display until June 17.
PORT COLBORNE – A community needs art.
For the last 20 years, Arts Place Gallery has been providing the community with a place to see works of art from local artists and beyond. “We really believe in the importance of art … celebrating and promoting it with the people in the community,” said Joyce Honsberger, founder of the gallery. This Sunday, current and former members of the cooperative, will show their works and the works of those members who have passed on as they celebrate the anniversary of the gallery on King St. Honsberger said 15th anniversary celebrations were a milestone for the gallery, and to reach 20 was very special. “We have really dedicated people here, artists and volunteers. People in the community really believe in what we do,” she said, adding support was shown by the recent successful auction held to raise funds to keep the doors open.
Gallery member Cathy Peters, who joined about eight years ago, said while the community supports the gallery and the artists, who work in many mediums, the gallery gives back.
“It’s a two-way street … we’ve held workshops for the community, the young and seniors.” Peters said the gallery held a show for students from Port Colborne High School. With cutbacks in art programs at schools, she said Arts Place helps fill a void. The gallery also supports Port Cares and Showboat Festival Theatre. Peters and Honsberger said people stop by the gallery all the time and parents bring in their children to look at the original works on the walls in the building, which at one time was a former mechanic’s garage.
“Everybody has to have art in their life,” said Peters. The idea for the gallery started with Honsberger in 1992. Eleven Niagara artists joined her and formed the original cooperative that started Arts Place. Each month, a new artist hangs their work in the gallery for the public to see. While most are gallery members, visiting artists are also invited to hang their work.
In addition to paintings, there are sculptures, pottery, glass jewellery and mixed-media works to be seen. Work seen in the gallery reflects what the various artists see in Port Colborne and Niagara. There are also works that show what they’ve seen beyond Niagara, and Canada as well. Peters said artists like to share how they see the community and the things in it through their work. In a piece she wrote in October of last year, she said an original piece of art is a passionate creation which not only reflects the soul of the artist, but the soul of a buyer as well. “It reflects a piece of you that you cherish and want to share. You own the creative energy from an artist who has spent years developing their style, technique, creativity and expertise and your purchase has become the impetus that keeps the passion of a contemporary artist alive.”
The exhibition of current and former members’ art, featuring works by one of the gallery’s most eminent former members Mary Prittie, kicks off Friday. A gala reception will be held this Sunday from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. The anniversary exhibition will be on display until June 17. Arts Place, 714 King St., is open Thursday to Sunday, from noon to 4:30 p.m., and admission is free.