Betty McArthur began her painting career when her fiancé, Bruce, gave her her first box of oil paints. Living in Port Colborne, Ontario, she was 19 and attended painting classes with Tony Sisti, a well-known Buffalo, N.Y. painter and later with Jock MacDonald at the Doon School of Art, which is now the Homer Watson Gallery in Kitchener. Betty attended art classes during the summers of 1954 to 1959 and was awarded the Director’s Scholarship in 1956 and Best Painting of the Year in 1957. She gave painting lessons in her dining room every Wednesday for many years. In 1960 and 1961 the Canadian Group of Painters exhibited some of her paintings across Canada.
In 1957 she and her family moved to Woodstock and Betty began teaching at Ingersoll Creative Arts Centre, College Avenue Secondary School, Ingersoll District High School and Central Senior Public School. She and her husband opened the Betty McArthur Art Gallery in 1973 where she exhibited her own work as well as that of local artists. She also sold art supplies and did framing. During this time she published two books of architectural drawings, one of Woodstock and the other of Stratford.
After selling the business in 1978 Betty continued to paint and travel with her camera. Her interest in photography grew out of classes she took at the Ontario College of Art in Toronto. Some of her photographs were exhibited at the O.C.A. gallery.
Betty’s paintings have been sold around the world including in South America, Europe and Australia. She was also very generous in donating some of her works to various charities for fundraising. Betty McArthur was a very versatile artist, painting flowers, geese, houses, architecture, animals and a lot of commissioned work.
Harry Whitwell (1912-1979) was born in Wales and moved to Canada as a boy. He worked in art since he was a child and studied for two years with Fred Varley, a member of the Group of Seven.
He was well known for his many drawings of Ingersoll, many of which were used in his book “Our Heritage – The History of Ingersoll”, published in 1977. He taught art classes for many years at the Ingersoll District Collegiate Institute, in Tillsonburg, Aylmer and Strathroy, as well as at his home and at ICAC.
He worked in oils, acrylics, watercolours, black and white drawings as well as handcrafted jewellry and artistic stone work.
He had many shows of his work, including a showing at the Tom Thomson gallery in Owen Sound.
Alan Franks is a 20th Century artist. For many years he had a studio in Lunenburg Nova Scotia. He specialized in maritime scenes and in depictions of his local area.
Betty Crawford was born in Ingersoll in 1910. To the outside world she is known as C.B. Crawford but preferred to go by Betty. She was the librarian at the Ingersoll Public Library from 1941 to 1972 and during those 31 years she taught art in the basement. Betty formed the Ingersoll Sketch club which became the foundation of the Ingersoll Creative Arts Centre in 1972, of which Betty was a founding member.
Mainly a water colourist, she often stated that she was no purist. She would use pastels or chalk or any other medium in her paintings in order to achieve the effect she was after. Her work is included in the collections of the London Art Gallery, the Woodstock Art Gallery and the Hamilton Art Gallery. In 1954 she was elected to the Canadian Painters, Etchers with whom she exhibited in Toronto as well as with the Western Art League in London, Ontario.
Betty won many awards for her involvement in life and art in Ingersoll. She was always encouraging to every artist she met and supported the I.C.A.C with donations as well as by bringing guests to every exhibit. Betty died in 2002 at the age of 92. She was a vibrant contributor to the community and is still missed by many.
Elmo Parker was a well known artist in this area while mainly working with watercolours, she branched out to do some wonderful collage pieces. Her work is included in the permanent collection of the Woodstock Art Gallery.
Sue Goossens, is an Otterville-area based watercolour professional artist who paints in a traditional, yet innovative watercolour style. Beside painting the rural scenes of Oxford County, Sue’s work is inspired by her travels to Italy, Scotland and an exploration of Vancouver Island.
Sue Goossens one of the Oxford Studio Tour’s founders, and remains pleased not only with the longevity of the Oxford Studio Tour, but its continued evolution and growth while remaining true to its core principles.
Jim Wilford started quilting seriously in 1991, taking workshops from local guilds and from Canadian Quilt Association conferences. He learned a great deal and has taken approximately 70 workshops. He has also taught quilt workshops for about ten years at Guilds and Conferences across Canada, including three conferences with the Canadian Quilt Association.
Jim is currently a member of the Oxford Quilters Guild. Previously, belonging to 6 or 7 guilds over a span of 15 years. He has had quilts accepted in the CQA national juried shows, over a period of 22 years. Solo shows at Gibson Gallery; Amherstburg; Art Gallery, Saint John New Brunswick; Creative Arts Centre, Ingersoll and part of an invitational show at Art Gallery, Windsor.
He has won numerous ribbons at Leamington Fair.
15 Awards with Canadian Quilt Association.
International awards with American Quilting Society and Crossroads Quilt Show.
Several viewers choice awards at various guild shows.
Jim was an art teacher with the Windsor Board of Education, as a result he is a painter, weaver, enameller and is once more dabbling in pottery.
Pat Gibson is an artist, art educator and former Curator of Exhibitions at the Ingersoll Creative Arts Centre. She is co-founder/co-curator of Oxford County Art Project: Art in Public Spaces. As an Educator, she has taught art classes for adults and children in Woodstock, Ingersoll, London and Brantford and served as Education Officer for Woodstock Art Gallery. In cooperation with Oxford County School Board and the Ontario Arts Council she has completed many Creative Artists-in-Schools projects. Gibson has exhibited her mixed media work in numerous solo and group exhibitions throughout Ontario. Her award winning work is in public and private collections throughout Canada and the USA.
Margaret Charron has been creating art since she was a toddler. At her mother’s knee she used scraps of fabric along with found items to make clothes for her dolls. Drawing and doodling filled her childhood. She was one of the first members of the Ingersoll Creative Arts Centre where she took several classes, learning all the skills needed for painting with watercolours as well as other mediums.
Margaret has had several exhibitions at the Centre from 1987 onward. From 1990 to the present day she had paintings exhibited at the Woodstock Juried Exhibitions. In 1999 she, along with Maureen Jansen and Rita Milton, presented a 3-woman show at the Ingersoll Creative Arts Centre.
Margaret continues to practice her craft and is still active at the Arts
David E. “Smokey” Dale got his first camera at age 17 when he was a Junior Forest Ranger, and with it, his interest in capturing the beauty of nature grew. During the time he spent in the forest as a Forest Ranger and taking picures there, he was nicknamed “Smokey”. His first camera was an old “Brownie” but in the 70’s he purchased a 35 millimeter Canon which expanded his depth in the perspective of the overall design. Then he moved onto an Epson digital camera which broadened his ability, with the use of his computer and programs to enhance the pictures, and then onto various cameras; Canon Digital SLR and Fujifilm.