St. Thomas-Elgin Public Art Centre - Still Connecting, Even When Doors Are Closed



Since the Art Centre has been forced to close it's doors to the public, they have been working diligently to continue to connect with the community.

They have been sharing posts from other artists, studios, and pictures from their current exhibit "Great Beginnings Secondary", which features artwork from high schools across St. Thomas and Elgin county. (Side note: I still remember how much it meant to me when I was at CECI and had my artwork selected to be showcased at the Art Centre. Initiatives like these create incredibly important landmarks for early artists!)

Laura Woermke (Executive Director, STEPAC) also sent in a statement for this post. (Thanks Laura!)

"We are eager and driven to fulfill our mission: “The Public Art Centre is a not-for-profit charitable organization with a mission to promote the appreciation for and support the practice of the visual arts in St. Thomas and Elgin County”.  
As you know the next scheduled exhibition was “Great Beginnings Secondary”, but due to the temporary closure, we wanted to make sure the hard work and creativity of these students was shared with everyone.   We hope that the student’s artwork can bring some moments of inspiration and happiness at this time.   
We have added some new content on our website with new stories, videos and online exhibitions.  With more to come over the next few weeks. 
We are really looking forward to seeing everyone again!"

Scroll down through the photos and videos to catch a glimpse of everything that they have been doing. Then check out their Facebook Page and Instagram Account to see everything. For more information check out their website.

 STEPAC Instagram Account
STEPAC Instagram Account

 STEPAC Facebook Account
STEPAC Facebook Account
The Art Centre is also posting videos on their YouTube channel featuring the work of Clark McDougall (1921-1980), an artist from North Yarmouth (just north of St. Thomas). McDougall is an iconic artist and one of the most talented artists from this area. If you've driven by 230 Talbot St. recently, then you'll have seen the new mural that features his painting of Talbot Street titled "Ann's Snack Bar" from 1964.

Photo: Grayden Laing, Establish Media/Laing Studios

The latest videos are Clark's slides and include his person notes beside them that Laura Woermke (Executive Director, STEPAC) has been creating and uploading over the past two weeks. Laura is also a talented artist and you can see posts about her own artwork on her Instagram, Facebook.


There is also a slideshow with audio that features Clark's slides while he talks about them and his art career that I helped produce for the Art Centre way back in July 7, of 2017



To get a sense of how prolific the Art Centre has been, here are some screenshots I took while scrolling through their Facebook page.

Arthur Voaden Student Showcase for Great Beginnings

Studio Feature Post

Artist Feature Post

Artist Feature Post

Photos of all the High School Features

The Public Art Centre is a not-for-profit charitable organization with a mission to promote the appreciation for and support the practice of the visual arts in St. Thomas and Elgin County; with their doors closed and their programs cancelled they are already seeing the effects. If you are in a position to do so, you can help to support STEPAC the following ways, every bit helps!

Renew your Membership
Make a Donation
Sponsor an Event, such as In View of the Artist
Legacy and Planned Giving

Don’t forget to follow them on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe on YouTube.

- Posted by Grayden Laing.

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Disclaimer - I'm an artist, my work and Studio (Laing Studios) has been featured in the posts by the Art Centre - for which I'm grateful! I also volunteer on the Art Centre Board. I believe Art Centres, especially in rural Canada, need support so they can serve artists of all ages and disciplines. If you've worked in the arts in Canada you know how tough things are to make a living, so any and all support is important. - Grayden Laing

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