Featured works are by Stephanie Porter, Sara Cuthbert, Deanna Logan, Tabitha Verbuyst, and Heather MacIntosh, five of the women who work at three Oxford County arts organizations.
Our stories shape how we view ourselves, each other, and the world around us.
Gender equality has been a significant objective for many organizations for decades, and a recent research review by the Ontario Arts Council (OAC) suggests that women now lead the visual arts sector across Canada when it comes to employment. Women have forged a well-deserved path to becoming a dominant force in the arts and culture world, which is something to celebrate, but it does not come without challenges. While women and men are both equally educated and qualified for the same positions, women often earn lower incomes and are less likely to be recognized for their successes. Despite these ongoing challenges, women in culture dedicate both their personal and professional practice to enriching the lives of others by providing meaningful programming and services to their communities, which cultivate creativity and a sense of belonging.
The important work of improving gender representation and recognition leads to diversified programming and exhibitions, more solo exhibitions for women artists, increased acquisition of art made by women, and more women acting in roles of leadership. This results in women as the primary curators of the visitor and community experience.
Now, more than ever, it is imperative to not only recognize women in culture, but invest in their education, actively advocate for their work, and openly celebrate their career accomplishments.
Sara Cuthbert is the Gallery Operations Coordinator at the Woodstock Art Gallery. She is a self-taught, emerging artist focused on how the daily discipline of drawing reveals relationship, thought-processes, and contrast. Her interests include the exploration of line, pattern, and colour. Sara’s involvement as an arts administrator provides opportunities to develop her artistic practices personally and professionally.
Dee Logan is an established art educator and an emerging artist who primarily explores painting, drawing, and printmaking. Shortly after receiving an Advanced Diploma in Visual and Creative Arts from Sheridan College, Dee began her career at the Woodstock Art Gallery, providing specialized art education to individuals of all ages. Both her personal work and her teaching philosophy are grounded in the awareness that art-making is an essential tool for healing and deep understanding. Dee utilizes her art practice equally as a personal narrative and as an opportunity to better understand herself and the world around her. Dee’s work often reflects her environment and references a connection to nature and all living things. Through her continued teaching and personal practice, Dee hopes to foster and share her passion for holistic wellbeing through the arts.
Stephanie Porter is Head of Education at the Woodstock Art Gallery. Since 2002 she brings art appreciation and enjoyment to all members of the Oxford County community. Stephanie obtained her Fine Arts Diploma from Fanshawe College, a BA in studio specialization from the University of Waterloo, and has completed the Business Communications Certificate program at the University of Waterloo continuing education.
Most recently Stephanie was nominated for the Ontario Association of Art Galleries (OAAG) Education Award for the WAG education program, Mapping Our Environment. As a woman in culture, Stephanie’s life influences her work. Sharing, collaboration and communication play a role in her everyday practice. She considers herself a mixed media artist focused on current issues and concerns from a personal stand point to a global view.
Collaboration is the action of working together to create something; it brings people closer together and helps form stronger, more meaningful connections. “Tuesdays” is the result of a collaboration between Sara, Stephanie, and Dee, three women working in culture seeking to expand their artistic practices. Through this alliance to create, we learned how to communicate with one another, openly and honestly express ourselves, share ideas, and apply our individual expertise. From the very beginning, we set a clear goal and achieved success by meeting one another where we were and worked with what we had; the trust we had in each other, and perhaps more importantly ourselves, to apply each mark and hue, reveals the careful yet carefree process. The many layers signify the building, the planning, the laying of the foundation; the mediums used tested our abilities and personalities as we guided and accepted the tints, tones, and viscous surprises.
Tabitha Verbuyst has attained a BFA degree from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design University and an Advanced Diploma in Fine Art from Fanshawe College. She has participated in various solo and group shows including the annual Oxford Studio Tour, 2017 Evanescent, Satellite Project, London, and 2011 Sketchbook, The Arts Project. Verbuyst enjoys books with mystery and thrills, sketching beautifully dilapidated houses, and anything that involves spending time with her family. Verbuyst practices and resides in Tillsonburg, Ontario, and is the Program/ Community Coordinator & Curator of the Station Arts Centre Gallery.
Drawn to the disappearing, illuminated, obscured, and eerie, Tabitha Verbuyst oil works focus on a fleeting moment in everyday, the dreamlike memory of the otherwise past and forgotten. The enigmatic image with dramatic high contrast using vibrant palettes layered over and over again creates a richness and depth. This disassociates the viewer with the location and instead turns focus to the movement, vibrancy, emotion, and beauty within that moment.
Heather MacIntosh has been painting for many years. After graduating from Ontario College of Art, she worked in illustration and advertising. A move to Ingersoll Ontario prompted a dedication to the Ingersoll Creative Arts Centre where she very recently retired as the Administrator.
“At the ICAC I am privileged to meet artists, see ever-changing exhibitions, and participate in many visual arts classes. Early in my art practices, I studied watercolours, and like an old friend I always come back to the medium.”
In the last few years, Heather has developed a fascination with several other mediums which include acrylics, oil, cold wax, and gelatin printing. She enjoys experimenting and gets very enthralled with new mediums.
“Not long ago I inventoried my art supplies and realized I had enough oil paints to open a store. So I asked myself what will I do with these wonderful paints that I have no idea how to use? About the same time I had become curious about some paintings I had been very attracted to that were created with Oil and Cold Wax Medium.”
The exhibit will be up from October 4 to November 15, 2020
We invite you to visit the Gallery from Monday to Friday between
9 am - 2:30 pm and on Sundays between 1 pm - 4 pm