Retrospective Exhibition Opens Blyth Festival Art Gallery

Retrospective Exhibition Opens Blyth Festival Art GalleryThe Blyth Festival Art Gallery's second professional exhibition of the 2018 Season, The Huron Society of Artists: In Retrospect, will show the work of a group of artists whose heyday was more than 20 years ago.

In 1990, a group of artists from the Huron County area met to form an organization to promote art in the community, to show their work and to establish a local Art Tour. The Huron Society of Artists was born and in its seven-year history had a number of exhibitions locally, including in Blyth, Grand Bend and Bayfield, and held an annual tour of the artists' studios.

Besides groups of studios in Bayfield and Goderich, individual shops ranged as far as Dungannon, Lucknow, Exeter, Grand Bend and St. Columban. Members of the Society were selected on the basis of the professional quality of their work. Many of them were affiliated with the Blyth Festival Art Gallery and helped contribute to that organization's high level of quality and professionalism. Unfortunately, because of the great distances between studios, the Tour never took off, and in 1998, discouraged, the members disbanded the Huron Society of Artists. Since then, a number of the group have retired or passed away, and others have moved, some as far away as Toronto, Victoria, Lunenburg, and Berlin.

On the positive side, many of its members are still producing some of their finest work in Huron County and still form a close circle of friendship. Viewers can expect to see artworks from the '90s as well as recent creations from many of the same artists, such as: paintings from William Creighton, Ron Walker, Jane Stryker and Elfi Enns; pottery by Sylva Leser and Robert Tetu; forged steel sculptures by James Wallace; and wooden clocks by Brendan Reilly, to mention a few. This show is presented by the Blyth Festival Art Gallery, curated by Vicki McKague and John Scott and is sponsored by Lynda and Duncan McGregor and Ron and Bev Walker.

It runs from July 20 to Aug. 18. The gallery is located in the newly renovated Bainton Gallery in the Blyth Memorial Hall and is open during the same hours as the Festival Theatre Box Office. Admission is free. All exhibitions are organized by an enthusiastic group of volunteers. For more information, email beechwood@cyg.net or telephone 519-345-2184.

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