Pelham Art Association: New Community Centre Promises Creative Home
PELHAM – November 27, 2017 – For the 100 active members of the Pelham Art Association and its president Mary Powley, the new Pelham Community Centre holds nothing but promise for expanded artistic opportunities.
For Mary Powley and her fellow artists at the Pelham Art Association, the new community centre in east Fonthill bears a promise – a promise of a space to create, share and collaborate.
In early November, Powley, the president of the association, was busy launching an exhibit at the Pelham Public Library’s Fonthill branch. Since it’s inception in 1987 the association has called the library branch its home of sorts. The association was instrumental in the founding of the Pelham Art Festival. Association members were there when the festival first laid down its roots in support of the library, hanging paintings and works on backyard fences for the earliest renditions of the festival that has since grown into an integral stop on the Ontario summer art festival circuit.
For years, members have held shows in the library’s community room. Every week classes in an array of mediums pack the room. “This studio here right now, we have it filled to capacity,” said Powley, who, along with the association, looks forward to a bright future at the currently-under-construction Pelham Community Centre.
For the association, the centre is a new space for its artists to share their works, a new space to engage the community in art, and a new space to hone their artistic talents. It’s not that the association will leave the library behind, but the new community centre offers the promise of larger classes and more diverse events.
“It’s going to be a wonderful venue,” said Powley, who works in an array of paint mediums, with realist pieces representing her travels alongside more abstract pieces.
The new centre, she said, won’t just offer greater room for classes and workshops, but also a better opportunity for artists to share their works. She said that ability to share and to show their creative efforts is critical for artists in the community.
“It makes you feel good that you’ve accomplished something, that you’ve grabbed someone’s attention,” she said, noting beyond that the new centre promises to bring together disparate parts of the community. Powley sees it as a place where new residents will meet and mingle with long-term residents as the community grows.
“We can have so many things going on at once,” she said.
While Pelham has always had a strong connection to the arts, Powley said the new centre would only enhance that, allowing for larger exhibits in its multipurpose spaces and larger classes engaging individuals in the arts. For the artists who call the town home, the creative endeavors, of individuals ranging from amateurs to professionals, can only strengthen the ties that hold the town together.