In 2012, Scarborough Arts embarked on a project where SA members take up “residence” in the Bluffs Gallery for a series of afternoons. The artists are encouraged to create works in their chosen mediums inspired by the view from our gallery window overlooking Harrison Estate Park and the Scarborough Bluffs. Here is what some of the participating artists have to say about this program:
ARTIST Lori Kallay:
My experience as an artist in residence with Scarborough Arts was such a great time! It was wonderful to have time uninterrupted to simply focus on the work. I made new friends and developed a better understanding of all that the hard-working staff at Scarborough Arts does for our arts community. The entire experience was relaxing and friendly, with lots of positive feed-back from visitors and staff. I received some great information on selling my work. I look forward to spending more time working at SA in a very artist-friendly environment!
ARTIST Margaret Chown:
Scarborough Arts’ artists-in-residence program gave me time to soak up the feel of the Bluffs Gallery and Harrison Estate grounds. I could feel the echoes of those who had lived there before — particularly the womenfolk, who I learned had worked side-by-side their men to build the house. I thought about how they had recently been granted the right to vote and would soon be bobbing their hair and shortening their hemlines. I also saw a strong connection between the house and the landscape in details, such as the wild blackberries, which are native to the area, represented in relief paneling by the front door. Overall it was a lovely and inspiring place to spend a few afternoons. Thank you Scarborough Arts.
ARTIST Irene Sakata:
The opportunity to use space at Scarborough Arts as part of the “artist-in-residence” program was critical to the completion of a body of work that will be exhibited shortly. It provided the time and space to focus solely on my painting with a view of a forest beside the Bluffs: an oasis in the heart of Scarborough. It was as close to “plein air” painting as one could get without actually going outside! Being surrounded by the work of other artists made me feel immediately at home as was the warm welcome of the staff including Tim and especially Susan.
Making art is usually a solitary activity so it was a real change to have a community around me. I usually paint in my kitchen which is white and needs to be covered in tarps. It is definitely not ideal trying to make art and meals in the same space. It was wonderful to be able to leave my mess and start painting immediately. Trees appear in many of the canvasses. Hopefully, the chance to study light in the rain and sunshine at the end of summer helped me capture some of the beauty of this corner of our world.
This direct support of artists is very much appreciated and I am very grateful to Scarborough Arts for allowing me to participate in this program.
ARTIST Mussarat Bhatti:
I am greatly thankful to Scarborough Arts for giving me the residence project opportunity.
As an outdoor and studio landscape painter, I highly admire this concept – to use the wonderful view from the SA galley window to inspire painters and photographers. Resident artists will be able to create a series of landscapes – not only summer but fall and winter seasons as well.
At the location, I sketched three compositions of the sun-filled view, and selected two of them for oil painting on canvasses of 12” x 16”. As those landscape views were so detailed I simplified them for time management. Method of painting was: wet on wet, almost all primed technique and full color blocked in. Although the Harrison Estate Park has a variety of green colors, I tried to enhance and make and more colourful by adding visitors.
ARTIST Karen Evans:
I just wanted to thank you both for allowing me to be the “artist in residence” at Scarborough Arts for 4 days. I had a lot of fun and was very productive, producing 5 paintings, 3 that are fairly large. The view and the light was superb and CBC Radio 2 was nice background music to paint to.
Painting at the gallery was a new experience for me and Susan was very insightful and fun to be around while painting. I hope to be able to come back again in the fall. For me, it was an ideal place to paint outside of my studio. It is always good to paint somewhere different.
Q: What is an Artist in Residence?
A: “Artist-in-residence programs and other residency opportunities exist to invite artists and all manner of creative people for a time and space away from their usual environment. They provide a time of reflection, research, presentation and/or production. They also allow an individual to explore his/her practice within another community; meeting new people, using new materials, experiencing life in a new location. Art residencies emphasize the importance of meaningful and multi-layered cultural exchange and immersion into another culture.” — Wikipedia