Postcard exhibition delivers message of support to local artists

They may be small, but the latest works exhibited at Brock’s Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts (MIWSFPA) pack a big punch.

Original postcard-sized artwork from across the Niagara region are now on display at the Visual Arts Gallery and Student Exhibition Space in the MIWSFPA.

The exhibit, A Postcard Project, invited creations by Brock employees, students and local artists, demonstrating the strong ties between the downtown St. Catharines arts school and the Niagara community.

When the call for submissions went out, Gallery Co-ordinator Sonya Marie de Lazzer was encouraged by the many people who quickly reached out about taking part in the exhibition and sale.

“As soon as the call went out, I immediately started receiving emails from Brock students across many departments, local artists and the community at large expressing interest in participating,” she says. “It has been so exciting to get the chance to meet with so many students, staff, faculty and members of the public.”

The submissions, de Lazzer says, “reflect unique talent and an incredible variety of subject matter, but most importantly, they contribute to the creative spirit of our community and emphasize the importance of expression.”

Aditi Shah, an international student in her first year of studying Psychology at Brock, is among the many artists whose work will be on display.

She says the exhibition gave her the opportunity to showcase her work and become more involved with the local artistic community.

Visual Arts Associate Professor Amanda Burk says A Postcard Project highlights the community connection the MIWSFPA has as a creative hub for the Niagara region.

“The wonderful thing about an exhibition like this, is that it brings together artists and visual makers at different stages of their careers and fosters connections and networking opportunities, and builds a deeper sense of community,” she says. “Community is so important for artists, as is public visibility for their creative practice, and these are two things we are always working to foster at the Marilyn I Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts.”

The postcard format was chosen in hopes of garnering interest from a wide range of artists from across the region.

“We were attracted to the idea of the postcards because of the smaller format and its approachable size,” Burk says. “We really wanted this opportunity to be accessible for students and professionals alike.”

Cathy Peters found the small format size an exciting and challenging opportunity.

A full-time professional artist from Port Colborne, Peters has had her work featured in the Pelham Arts Festival, Niagara-on-the-Lake Arts Festival and many other juried art shows. She describes her postcard submissions, which incorporate many collage materials, as pieces of a puzzle that culminate into one final piece.

“I think it is so wonderful that Brock, which has a highly respected arts program, is reaching out to share their space and give back to the community,” Peters says. “Having my work exhibited at Brock expands the viewership on my work and this is an opportunity that I typically don’t get. Presenting to a wide range of viewers is crucial for me because my pieces are abstract and interpretive, and I always hope that the viewers finish the work for me.”

The opening reception for A Postcard Project will be held Friday, Nov. 25 from 4 to 7 p.m.

All artwork included in the exhibition will be for sale from the reception event through to December 17. Each piece is offered at a flat rate of $40, with all proceeds going towards the artist.

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