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Gibson Centre hosts first in-person show since lockdowns started

October 9, 2020   ·   0 Comments

Art collectors and connoisseurs had lots to look forward to on Sunday, October 4, as the Gibson Centre hosted its first art show since it was forced to close in March as a result of the global pandemic.

While only a handful of people turned out to the Meet the Artists Reception during the “Art in Isolation” Exhibit due to poor weather and potential health concerns, many have viewed it online and those who attended enjoyed speaking with the artists behind the pieces.

Gibson Centre artists Marilyn Sexton, Sherryl Hopper and Gillian Wharton paint at the Centre as a group each Wednesday and showed off a unique display at the exhibit.

“I think it’s a very nice show, very uplifting, powerful at this time, I hope people come and just have a tour,” said Wharton.

The exhibit launched on September 1, when the Gibson Centre reopened and runs until October 25.

The exhibit can be viewed virtually at or individual pieces can be accessed through the Gibson Centre’s Facebook page.

Sexton, Hopper and Wharton have been painting together for roughly 25 years and each have their own unique artistic style. However, landscapes, flowers, nature, and depictions of people are the subjects for most of their work.

In addition to painting with acrylic, watercolour and oil, the trio also does quilting, knitting, and utilizes other mediums to create art. They noted that the act of painting in itself is very relaxing and there are always new techniques or topics to explore.

“Painting is something where every time you do it, something different happens and also you’re never really finished…it’s a lifelong learning experience, really,” said Wharton.

Hopper said for her, painting or creating art helps her enter into a state of flow where she’s fully immersed in the present moment.

“You lose yourself in it and you don’t think about anything else,” she said. “It’s a form of mediation.”

Looking for new materials at art stores and being involved in the arts community are other aspects of the craft that Wharton, Hopper and Sexton thoroughly enjoy.

“When you meet other artists, there’s never a lull in the conversation, they immediately almost become your friend,” said Sexton. “They’re really nice people and they’re very supportive in sharing each other’s work.”

While COVID-19 put a stop to all in-person exhibits earlier in the year, the arts have been well received in an online format throughout the pandemic. Wharton, Hopper and Sexton say they saw great success with their virtual shows.

Wharton told The Times she attributes their online success to people being stuck inside looking at their computers or blank walls.

Sexton noted that many people redecorated their houses during lockdowns, creating a larger market for the visual arts.

Currently, the three artists have a separate exhibit running at the Adjala-Tosorontio Municipal Building (7855 30 Sideroad Adjala) which kicked off Monday.

The display features exclusively watercolour paintings, depicting landscapes, people, barns and nature.

Next month they plan to have their work displayed inside of Stevenson Memorial Hospital.

Going forward, Hopper said she’s working on smaller acrylic pieces to sell as originals at Christmas shows.

Hopper, Sexton and Wharton encourage people to view the exhibit at the Gibson Centre and stop by the Adjala-Tosorontio Municipal Building to see their latest work.

In the months ahead, the trio has their fingers crossed that Ontario remains open and they’re able to continue painting together at the Gibson Centre.

By Sam Odrowski
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter


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