Arts and Entertainment

Linda Dadd to feature her work in the Tapestry of Art show at the Alton Mill

May 25, 2023   ·   0 Comments

By Constance Scrafield

Busy as always at the Alton Mill Arts Centre, whether it be a Headwaters Arts function, an event coming in or a show staged by the Mill’s artist tenants, the beautiful heritage building is a-buzz with art and life almost always. Even during weekends with no particular plans, the Mill is worth an afternoon’s visit anytime for the charm of the place, its environment and, of course, the opportunity to meet some of the artists and pick up a treasure that is the only one of its kind.

In the main part of the Mill, professional artists fill the walls and spaces with their many pieces in various forms of media, which are hung, poised or placed on hangers. Rarely though, are the works from amateurs included, and this weekend is a happy exception.

Among these is Linda Dadd, a retired Personal Support Worker (PSW) who has expanded her fondness for art since joining the Orangeville Seniors Centre arts group.

Employed as an office worker doing bookkeeping and secretarial duties for 30 years, she took a PSW course and did that job for about 15 years.

We talked about that for a few minutes, “I found it very rewarding but once there was all the computerization of everything, not to so much. I was visiting homes and one year, I worked in nursing homes. I found that difficult so, I took a chance on home care.”

There was a need for an older PSW like herself, with more life experience. She also dealt with all ages, from eight years old to people in their 90s. She admitted the job would break her heart “from time to time.”

“I started writing the stories from my memories,” Ms. Dadd told us. “And then I joined a writers’ group and we did more fun things. So, those memories were never written.”

That seemed to make sense to her. Fun without necessarily the anxiety to publish, admitting freely, “It was a group; I never got to that level.”

Finally retired, living in London, Ont., she decided to go to a smaller community; her son was living in Orangeville.

“It was a lovely community that I could walk, in 2008,” she said, praising the town. “I was born in Streetsville. My childhood was all memories of a small community.”

Art and sketching might have been a way of doing her own thing. Coming from a family of seven children, Linda Dadd was the middle child.

“I was not involved with the older [siblings],” was her comment, “and not the younger either. Sketching was something I could do on my own.”

Soon enough, as a young woman and mother of her own three children, along with working, there was never time. However, somewhat before she retired, she did join an art group.

When she moved to Orangeville, “There was a seniors art group and I joined up right away.”

Her focus is pretty well on birds and nature and outdoor scenes. She has painted landscapes and likes to use acrylics.

“We encourage each other,” she said of her fellow artists. “We do a group project – that’s a lot of fun .”

With a touch of humour, she remarked, “We’re not critical and that’s easier when you’re older.”

A person named Jamie, seemingly careless about the last name, came to the group from Headwaters Arts and encouraged her and others to put their pieces in the Tapestry of Arts and Music show at the Mill.

Now a bit shy, she commented about her lovely painting of the Blue Jays; her Blue Jay Way being hung in a gallery setting is very different, as a place more in the eyes of others.

Yet Linda Dadd’s artist statement is quite assured: “Blue Jay Way – I have always enjoyed sketching and drawing since a young person. Only after retirement did I join the Senior’s Art Group in Orangeville and take a more serious interest in producing paintings.

“I love the sounds of birds singing, and that was my first idea of creating my art piece. Acrylic paints were used with small amounts of outlining in black ink.”

Tapestry of Art and Music is a show and sale of 70 artists of Headwaters and local artists, a fundraiser event held under the tented roof over the Annex. Music is brought to the free event by the very fine Achill Choral Society.

Charming as ever at the Alton Mill.

As a final note, good to the last drop as it were, upstairs in the Falls Gallery is the Awards Ceremony with one Mayor’s Choice Certificate in the offing on Sunday, May 28th.

Following that, this week as well, Robert Steven, Exec Director of Portrait Gallery of Canada, is back for a second Conversation Circle on Portraiture with Sherry Park, other artists from the Visual Arts Brampton Portraiture Group and photographers from Halton Hills Camera Club and the Latow Photography Guild from 2:00 to 4:30 pm.

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