Headwaters Arts’ virtual show: We R the North

June 4, 2021   ·   0 Comments

By Constance Scrafield

The most beautiful exhibition of an online art show is currently gracing the Headwaters Arts website: We R the North, on from May 26 to July 4. In the real world, Headwaters Arts Gallery is located in the Alton Mill Arts Centre in Alton but you can browse and buy from this show at the comfort of your own computer.

There are 21 works of art, of an assortment of mediums, including an “Eve Mannequin” by MaryLou Hurley. This is a mixed media mosaic that comes on a turntable. Ms. Hurley also pieces together the mixed media pictures of birch trees. 

The photography of ECMunson brings country scenes to light in the way we love and Mary Perkins’ “Elation” is a slim and tall vision of pine trees at night with moon light behind them; she has other canvasses splashed by brilliant flowers and grasses.

Kasia Charko has a standalone interpretation, reminiscent of the Group of Seven: a river runs through mountains, the Northern Lights flashing behind them.

From Deborah Powell comes a landscape, stylized and strong of Rocky Mountains and the stunning sky overhead, also a whimsical homage to the Raptors; and an amazing sunflower moment.
Jessica Law gives us the chance to own her mixed media abstracts, entirely differing, titled Deer Run, She and The Claws – wonderful.

Susan Kelly paints with in a way that is, for us, visual poetry: landscapes of Silver Peak and Lake Windemere that will make you want to go there.

Rainbow, by Sandra Crozier, an oil and acrylic painting, looks good online but must be mesmerizing “in person”.

Marnie Cook has presented two dreamy acrylic abstracts, a passionate Guardant and a floral Visage.

Part of the team organizing all this is Sue Powell, who has been involved with Headwaters Arts for a very long term. At the moment, she has taken up managing the marketing and more.

She told us, “I’m stepping in for a colleague. I was involved with Headwaters Arts for a long time. I was one of the very first people to be interested in the Mill initially. I was the one who started those theme art shows there at the SGI building. We did theme shows – Disappearing Landscape and others. The annual Arts Festivals were held there for a few years. It was also in Caledon. There are a lot of art collectors and patrons who could come to that venue and the Town of Caledon was a partner.” 

The thought behind the We R the North art exhibit is to celebrate Canada.

“Kudos to Headwaters Arts with their efforts in dealing with the pandemic,” Ms. Powell lauded. “They have done other virtual exhibitions while being closed so much, to encourage upcoming artists as well as established artists. 

“There used to be arts tours at one time but we’re still here,” she said. “So many people are longing to come to a gallery. People need that first-hand look for art. Now, virtually, it’s a really interesting thing to present work online and understand the psycho-graphics. Creative people are really trying hard to present beauty.”

Instagram has been another outlet for showing this art these days, the exhibit on the Headwaters Arts website, exposing the artists.

“But the message is we’re here,” declared Ms. Powell.

“We’re not going away,” she promised. “That’s why we keep doing this and kudos to artists when we call on them. They realize we can’t have the events to meet the artist, so, they bring their art anyway for these online events.”

What Ms. Powell thinks is nice about this show, is it is very colourful, with oil and watercolour, mixed media, all based on the theme the north, Canada.

“One of the artists painted something about the Raptors. and another artist painted about the north where she loves to go,” said Ms. Powell.

Meanwhile, the Alton Mills recently received big news about Trillium grant funding for Headwaters Arts.

“One of the things that is upcoming – I wrote the application for the grant and we got the dollars to construct a cover for the annex, to become an outdoor arts display space, the capital dollars to purchase the material and have a three-season roof that can come off and on [on the annex outside the Mill.”

This is very exciting news, for the roof will open the space up to many uses, as an art display, weddings and various other gatherings, when possible, concerts or entertainments. Such a cover for the space will give shelter from summer sun or inclement weather, as well as adding to the ambience.

According to Ms. Powell, it should be constructed in early July, providing comfort to crowds for the summer and all sorts of events.

She observed, “People come to the mill and they stay for a long time. It’s something that will benefit the artists and the Mill – the future looks bright!”

As for the new show, We R the North, 21 art pieces are coming from nine artists and none of them are actually hung in the gallery. At the moment, the paintings and work from the last show – during a semi-opening – are still there, when the Mill was closed again.

“Now people want to ask questions but, here, they have the information to see on the website,” she said. “Sometimes we’re a prisoner of what the technology will offer and the challenge is, there are many platforms that you have to look at – it’s having that determination of where to go.”

Still, it must be recognized, in Ms. Powell’s opinion, that “the website is the key to reaching out. It requires doing the best we can. I’m really big on measuring the impact on what is out there; change what you’re doing and don’t just do more of what already exists. This website was re-done to fill the needs, to have more value.”

To treat yourself to seeing this exceptionally well-presented show, go to

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