By SHELLEY CINNAMON
The members of the Beach Guild of Fine Art are taking on the challenges presented by COVID 19.
As artists we live a fairly solitary life working towards opportunities to show our paintings, when we get the chance, and enjoy interaction with the public at our shows.
This year, compared to last, has been extremely different with the onset of COVID-19.
Our monthly meetings and our three annual shows have been put on hold. Last year not only did we have our regular shows but we also celebrated the 25th anniversary of the start of the Guild.
In 2019 we had art shows at Beaches-East York MP Nathaniel Erskine-Smith’s office; at Essentia on Queen Street East; and at the Beacher Café.
Some of our members were also showing at Sunnybrook Hospital and in the Botanical Gardens Library at Edwards Gardens.
We did have one lovely, socially distanced and masked outdoor meeting in September of this year near the boat house by the much loved and oft painted Leuty Lifeguard Station.
The Guild was started in 1994 by a group of seven local artists with the first call for artists going out in the Beach Metro News.
From among that group of artists there are two honorary members, Mary Cserepy, who still attended meetings when we could have them and Winona Gallop Lavier, who for several years sponsored the Winona Gallop Award in Art Excellence. Now Winona is generously donating those funds to help with COVID-19 relief.
Sadly, another of the initial group of members, Shirley Jones, passed this year after being an illustrious and much admired member of our group.
Over the years the Guild has been supported by many of our Beach friends and neighbours, as well as by numerous Torontonians who came to our shows. We truly miss the interaction with each other and with those who visited us.
To keep ourselves motivated and to help keep us painting we have moved to an online, virtual show with no fun-filled opening night and no awards but still with the proud presentation of our work.
Our hope is that buying a painting that brings a smile to your soul or reminds you of a cherished or happy moment that will help alleviate the stress we have all been experiencing during this pandemic. We look forward to being back to what used to be our “normal”.
For the moment, though, please visit us online at the www.BeachGuildofFineArt.com to find a link our holiday show. You can also log in to the show directly at https://bgfaholidayshow.format.com/art-gallery
Shelley Cinnamon is a member of the Beach Guild of Fine Art.