Sadie’s Showcase coming to Alton Mill next month

July 26, 2018   ·   0 Comments

By Constance Scrafield

“It’s all about bringing people into a place which feeds their passion. Then, they share that passion with those other people and the issues around their disabilities are no longer at the forefront.”

From August 8 to 12, the proof of how well this works is on exhibition in the Falls Gallery at the Alton Mill Arts Centre in Alton. Sadie’s [Sarah Godfrey] Showcase is five days of demonstrating that what matters to her and her guest artist, Nathan Gatten, is that they are artists of considerable talent and interest. Further than that, they use their unique insights to enhance and create art that sees as others do not and reaches for the stars in a way, mysteriously, few other artists do.

Sadie, which is Sarah’s nickname, has been mentored by some well-known artists, including Pete Paterson, Jane Ohland Cameron, Susan and Tony Reynolds and, most recently, Paul Morin. All these artists and more have brought Sadie along, encouraged her in her art and her confidence.

Sadie loves being creative and says, “I love that people want to see my art. … I’m very shy so I am happier showing how I feel with my art.”

Indeed, she is happiest, perhaps, when people are wearing her art, for she now has a business called Kalleidescope Designs whereby she invites a customer to choose from 24 of her original designs and receive on order, prints, cards and/or shirts, called “Sadie Shirts”. She was helped to establish this business by Facilitation Wellington-Dufferin’s lead facilitator, Jodee Jack.

In her first year with the shirts, Sadie was part of the Creative Partners On Stage (C.P.O.S.) production of Out of the Box at Theatre Orangeville. Every member of the cast was wearing one of her Sadie Shirts.

It was during this extraordinary production, written and directed by Jane Ohland Cameron, that Sadie spoke her monologue, which she wrote herself and through which she declared herself as an artist, speaking, as her mother, Leslie, remarked, “very movingly about seeing the world through her art. The response was overwhelming and gratifying. In a sense, she emerged through that experience with the support and enthusiasm of other creative people.”

Her beginnings with painting and art took place at the Listening Centre in Toronto, at a therapy program in the early 1990”s, Sadie told the Citizen. At that time, she was part of a documentary on the Discovery Channel called The Child That You Do Have.

She said, in addition, “I had a really good art teacher at ODSS, Jan Pinney, who made funky jewellery and used awesome colours and designs. I love her work.”

Also, she commented, “My stepdad, Glenn, is an artist and former art teacher…so, I’ve been around art all my life.”

Paul Morin offered to mentor Sadie prior to the show for the sake of furthering her work and to give her a chance to paint with him. It was very thrilling for her.

There was a firm “yes” in answer to being asked if Mr Morin helped her improve her work. Said she, “The painting sessions with him really worked. Ideas flowed from being there.”

Leslie added, “One of the gifts that Paul has, he creates a space so full of energy and light.”

So, Sadie assured us, “Painting with him was wonderful.”

The decision to invite Nathan Gatten was fairly simple. They were connected by that same Jodee Jack, and, so Leslie commented, “We met Nathan with the idea that it would be up to Sadie if she wanted him. From the beginning, I would say both families hit it off well.”

“I’ve seen his dog paintings and I love them,” Sadie told us. “He’s a really nice guy.”

In a similar conversation with Nathan and his father, Jon, we learned that Nathan has been painting since 2010 under the mentorship of Meredith Blackmore. Before that, he drew everywhere and all the time since he was about nine years old.

However, as he says in his artist’s statement, “My love of drawing had shed its skin and gave way for my desire for colour and texture.”

Meredith Blackmore is an artist in oil painting, a portrait artist.

“I don’t do portraits,” Nathan averred but “she really pushed in a good way. Meredith helped me and I took off from there.” Of his many paintings, his favourite seems to be painting stars as the Hubble telescope shows them in all their splendour and mystery.

“I love reading astronomy magazines and National Geographic.”

Talking about his space paintings, which are of the Hubble sightings, “These are surprisingly beautiful. Painting is almost a meditative experience. No one’s really painting these.

“I did a series of wolf paintings.” He was asked for a wolf painting and then another, as well as pet dog portraits.

For the show, he is bringing some of his dog paintings and those of space, some landscapes.

“They are based on a Cherokee legend that we have two wolves within us, one represents good and the other bad; the winner is the one that you feed.” he told the Citizen. “I studied philosophy around the time I started painting. I started asking those sorts of questions, finding ways of relaxing. I love to read – books about Gandhi and Buddha – biographies. I am an information sponge. Learning never ends.”

Reflectively, he said, “It’s really helpful – I have some medical problems, so, it’s hard to travel. I’m painting the ultimate travel.”

About art: “I encourage: everyone should have the chance to have a creative outlet. It’s really making time for yourself; it allows you to look at and be personal with yourself. It’s a beautiful experience.” Like Sadie, he is looking forward to the show.

As she said, “The Alton Mill is a gorgeous place.”

Sadie’s Showcase, featuring both Sadie and Nathan, is on in the Falls Gallery at the Alton Mill Arts Centre from Wednesday, August 8 through to August 12, with an opening reception on Thursday, August 9 from 5:30 to 8 p.m.

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