Beaches Arts and Crafts Show hits three decades

The Beaches Arts and Crafts Show has come a long way since two local sisters brought 25 exhibitors to Kew Gardens in 1984.

While the show is now operated by Signatures Shows, which took over several years ago, this 30th anniversary show will be no different than years past in the quality of products on display by craftspeople and artists from across Ontario and Quebec.

Tamara McKay Thalmann is a Beach painter who has been exhibiting her work around the city for the past decade. While she has exhibited in galleries before, this is both her first Beaches Arts and Crafts show, and her first large outdoor show.

Like many artists, she’s been creating all her life. However, her creative output stepped up when she left her hometown of Guelph.

“Things got really interesting for me around 2000 when I moved to Toronto,” she said.

Tamara McKay Thalmann
Tamara McKay Thalmann

Thalmann said she got more serious about her work in 2004, which is the year she began publicly exhibiting her painting. They include work in oils, acrylic, watercolour and mixed media. From 2006 to 2012, she earned a masters degree in clinical psychology, while taking as many art course electives as she could fit into her schedule.

“I learned a lot and it really pushed me,” she said. “I find human behaviour is a really fascinating influence on my work.”

Thalmann describes her work as medium- to large-scale abstract expressionism, with a recurring visual theme of reflections and cityscapes, though she enjoys hearing what others see in her work.

“I do want to encourage a broad range of interpretations,” she said.

Her most recent work, done on birch panels, is inspired by her husband’s job as a streetcar operator.

Other Beach and East End creators who will be at the show include photographer Jennifer Allison, Stone Folio MosaicsRoberto Centazzo, the leather work of Carolyn Lee, artist Anne-Marie Olczak, bag maker Nancea Whitham and jeweller Catherine Winter.

The Beaches Arts and Crafts Show runs from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, June 14 and 15, at Kew Gardens. Admission is free and the show runs rain or shine. Neighbourhood Link will benefit from some of the proceeds of the show.

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