This past weekend Art In The Park celebrated a milestone 40th anniversary, while it’s founders, Rotary Club of Windsor (1918), celebrate their 100th anniversary this year. Once again, one of Ontario’s largest outdoor arts and crafts show attracted artists and artisans from all over the province and Quebec, over 270 in total, and thousands of visitors.
(Local artist Owen Swain chats with visitors to his booth at Art In The Park Windsor on June 2, 2018. Photo above by Eric Bonnici.)
Some artists and groups set up in the park for the first time while others have been attending for years. Some of the artists we spoke with include Asaph Maurer (Windsor), Tiffany Horrocks (Guelph), and members of the Windsor Essex Association of Representational Artists.
Emerging visual artist Asaph Maurer set up shop as an Art In The Park for the first time this year. He recently relocated to Windsor from Toronto about a year and a half ago. “It’s my first time exhibiting at Art In The Park and I love it,” says Asaph. “I popped in last year to see it, and found there were so many people, and such good energy here. You’ll find things here that you won’t get anywhere else.”
Asaph was working on an acrylic “splatter” painting during the event. It showcased his distinctive style and ability to capture striking human emotion. He is preparing for his first solo exhibition taking place in Walkerville at Art Council Windsor and Region’s Artspeak Gallery. The exhibition will run from June 24 to July 1, 2018, with an open reception on June 29.
For more about Asaph visit his facebook page at: https://facebook.com/Asaph-Maurer-2022644437807540/
Tiffany Horrocks, from Guelph, Ontario, has been an exhibitor every year for the past seventeen years, except for one. “I like Art In The Park, it treats me well,” says Tiffany. She was working on an acrylic painting of Birch Trees at her booth. “I’m using acrylic paint, mixed with a gel medium which is a thickener, and applying it with palette knives.” Her works result in heavily textured paintings. A professional artist since 2000, she started out as a sculptor. “I have retained my fascination with texture. The textural constitution and structure of the surface is as important to me as the subject matter.”
Tiffany’s signature style is a technique known as Impasto, “it originates in Spain, and means thickly applied.” Impasto is evidnet in the work of artists such as Vincent van Gogh.
For more information about Tiffinay visit: http://www.tiffanyhorrocks.com/
Willistead Manor was open to the public during Art In The Park. Visitors had the opportunity to explore the historic home in its original beauty, decor and craftsmanship. Inside several art organizations and artists greeted people. They shared their art and information about their respective organizations.
While the Windsor Essex Association of Representational Artists was founded in 1978, by Joanna Johnson, this was the groups first time being represented at Art In The Park. Member Vivian Klink, painting live inside Willistead Manor, while board members spoke with visitors. The group was especially happy to speak with the younger generation who showed interest. “We’re hoping to grow our membership and get younger people to keep our group alive and flourishing,” explains Trudy Dempsey, ARA Chair. “We’ve had a bit of interest by some of the people stopping by, we are really looking for younger members, to keep our association alive with young and fresh eyes.”
“If you don’t keep the tradition of the craft of anything going, passing it down generations then people lose it,” explains Mariano Klimowicz, ARA Vice Chair. “It’s like ship building, no one builds ships from wood anymore, they have to find people from around the world to do this.” He drew on shipbuilding as a comparison, explaining a replica of La Santa Maria, the largest of three ships sailed by Christopher Columbus, was built for it’s 500th anniversary. However, finding people with the skill and knowledge to do it was difficult. “They had to search for and bring people in from Brazil, Spain, and Portagual in order to craft something like that. They’re a dying breed. The Same with art.”
Mariano says the knowledge his group passes down to younger generations is priceless because traditional art is not being taught very much anymore. “A lot of the focus is on digital.”
Currently the ARA has three members under 18 years old, and membership is free for anyone under 18. The group meets the third tuesday of every month, except for July, August and December, at the Caboto Club.
“This is our 40th anniversary and we are doing a big show this year at Windsor Crossing,” says Trudy. The ARA’s annual art show and sale will take place from October 19 to November 11, 2018. It will include a juried artworks competition.
For more information visit http://www.arawindsor.com
Art in the Park is held the first full weekend in June each year and is the signature event that launches Windsor’s festival season. It is held on the 15.5 acres of gated grounds surrounding beautiful and historic Willistead Manor in Olde Walkerville.
Nearby, for the past three years, the legendary Low Martin Mansion has been opening it’s doors for house tours during Art In The Park Weekend. For those who missed it there is also a “Low Martin Mansion Tour and Tasting” event at this historic prohibition era home on June 14, 2018.
Proceeds from Art In The Park are shared by the Willistead Restoration Fund and the charities supported by the Windsor Rotary Club (1918). Over the past 40 years, Art in the Park has raised over $1.3 million dollars for the restoration of Willistead Manor and its grounds and an additional estimated $2.1 million to support local community organizations including John McGivney Children’s Centre, Maryvale and others.