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BMFA Update (Posted On: Sunday, January 25, 2009)

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The Blue Mountain Foundation for the Arts is anticipating another positive year of exciting arts and culture programming as we approach almost 35 years of active promotion and support of the arts in the Georgian Triangle.

The recently elected Board includes new Directors Brian Barker, Frank McNulty, Marianne MacMillan Hogg, Stewart Carter and Ron McRae combined with experienced Board members Pat Williams, Myrna Westcott, June Rathwell, Janet Peters, Janet Allen, Tony Allen and John Pretty, and will be chaired by Jennifer Macnaughton for the next two years through a period of dynamic revitalization and growth.

That growth is to follow the recommendations arising from a recent Strategic Planning process facilitated by member Annette Snowdon. The Board,

along with two committees representing both the BMFA membership and community arts and culture stakeholders, intensely examined what the BMFA is, could or should be, and where it may want to lead into the future. The results of the sessions will be presented in January to provide a basis for the next calendar year of BMFA programming.

In the interim, the beautifully renovated Arts Centre remains open to the public through a series of unique exhibits planned for the winter season. The grand heritage building has been alive with gallery shows, people and performers since the closing of our consignment store in September.

The 16th annual Juried Photo Show took place in November at the Arts Centre, after a lengthy and rewarding tenure at the Collingwood Public Library. The show was a resounding success with amazing entries, fantastic jurors, high attendance numbers, musical performances by Fox Farm and David Whipper and free photography seminars by Jim Stacey and Tony Pickard.

The season of giving was hallmarked by the Gift of Art show, a group of 10 artists who filled the space with a variety of art mediums from photography to sculpture. Led by Eleanor Brownridge and Ellie Legrandeur, the artists capably managed their own show and reception and delighted attendees with the wealth of talent presented.

2009 will mark the beginning of a new style of gallery show intended to invite both current members and the general public to participate in thematic, entry fee based shows. The shows concepts were generated by a new committee at the BMFA, the Member’s Advisory Committee chaired by Allison Billings. Functioning as a “think-tank” to assist the Board with viable uses for the Arts Centre space, the committee is delighted with the Board’s approval and overwhelming support for their ideas.

“We are more than pleased to see the energy and enthusiasm of our member artists and volunteers renewed with such a strong sense of purpose, and the advent of a new, positive and clear sighted approach to supporting and promoting all of the Arts”, stated Jen Macnaughton.

Who We Are: A BMFA Member’s Show in January 2009 will present a celebration of who the BMFA is as an organization; as individuals, as volunteers, artists, musicians, and arts supporters. The exhibit will showcase the work of our member artists alongside the faces and commentary of our committed volunteers. Photographs of BMFA members were taken by Lenore Burton and Eric Sutton and members were invited to submit short statements about why the BMFA is important to both themselves and the community. Both elements form a very special feature of the show. The opening reception was held January 10, and featured the impeccable musicianship of singer songwriter Romney Getty. The show continues until February 02, 2009.

February launches “Face off: Contemporary Portraiture”, a show open to all artists in all mediums from February 4 to March 1, 2009. Portraits have long fascinated both the artist and the viewer by being at once a descriptive exercise, a technical challenge and a window on our own humanity. Entries must communicate the idea of a “person”, whether through documenting their visual appearance or a more interpretive communication of a person’s “essence”. Artists are encouraged to broadly interpret a contemporary definition of portraiture.” It’s hard for a viewer not to engage with a portrait…we can’t help but identify with it. If art is about trying to communicate and eliciting a response then this is a well received method of doing so. The show is also inspired by past employee, volunteer and artists Sue Belcher who was named to the Royal Society of portrait painters last year, “says committee Chair Allison Billings.”

March will sail the arts sea with a show entitled “Vessels (To Transport)” from March 4 to March 29, 2009, inviting a display of handmade objects that meet the literal definition of the word “vessels” in that they are a hollow utensil (like a bowl or pitcher) or a depiction of the other meaning that hearkens to Collingwood’s past; a water craft, etc. The show is an opportunity to highlight an amazing array of potters, glass artists, jewelers, wood turners and other fine craftspeople (potter Louise McFarlane is the project manager of the show) to be found in the Georgian Triangle, Ontario and beyond.

Esteemed in the community for over 28 years, the Blue Mountain Foundation for the Arts Juried Art Show will take place at the Collingwood Public Library in April 2009. Capably chaired by Jane Tilley, the organizing committee expects the same high caliber of entries and jurors that has marked this annual event year after year. Interested artists can download entry forms from the BMFA website and pick up hard copies from our Arts Centre as well as various community locations.

The 22nd Annual Town and Country Studio Tour, a dynamic and long standing event in the Georgian Triangle highlighting the tremendous talents and methods of local artists, will take place June 5, 6 and 7, 2009. The Arts Centre will host a Gallery Show of the artists’ work for the month of May, showcasing the best in fine art and craft. Application forms are available now on our website and in the Arts Centre.

Although the Visual Arts have dominated our events and work recently, we are committed to continuing to integrate performing and literary arts into our repertoire of events. Look for lively and entertaining demonstrations, seminars and performances in the future, as well as our Tuesday night events on the last Tuesday night of each month at the Arts Centre from 7 to 9 pm. These are free and open to the public.

2009 will mark an interesting period of development for the BMFA as it seeks to remain responsive, relevant and connected to the communities it supports through arts and culture programming. The BMFA welcomes new members!!! Please go to our website www.bmfa.on.ca to read more and download application forms.

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