Travelling art show gives new perspectives to northerners
Artist Bruce MacKinnon poses with one of his paintings in Cochrane, Ont., in September 2019. The work is part of a series of disused cobalt mines. (Ted O’Connor)
SUDBURY -- The 63rd Annual Northern Ontario Art Exhibition is adding a splash of colour to the Grey Gallery in the Timmins Museum until Jan. 26.
A travelling collection of juried art, representing 15 northern Ontario clubs is taking a rest in Timmins. Its tour began in Cochrane in September and will wind its way throughout northeastern Ontario -- from Moonbeam, to Burks Falls, to Sault Ste. Marie and many points in between.
“The Northern Ontario Art Association continues to encourage art and the appreciation of the work of artists, and to further art education in northern communities,” Karen Bachamann, curator of the Timmins Museum, says in a press release.
The 40 works on display will give viewers much to experience.
“Art in general is educational, thought-provoking, and in a lot of cases cathartic,” says Bruce MacKinnon, artist and president of the Northern Ontario Art Association.
“The region benefits from seeing new work, new ideas, and new ways of seeing beauty,” he adds.
MacKinnon’s painting is one of the featured pieces. He came into painting later in life.
“I honestly didn’t think I had any ability to paint. Like my wife says, ‘It’s cheaper than him going out to drink and I still have my dignity in the morning,’” he jokes.
As MacKinnon turns reflective, he thinks art has the ability to stabilize a person’s mental health.
“I have seen many examples, not just from mine, of people who have ADD or ADHD and can be able to sit and paint for hours and be calm and very focused,” he says. “It’s a very refreshing feeling when you’re scattered most of the time.”
The exhibition will be on tour for the rest of the year.
“Art is meant to be uplifting and good for the soul. Everyone needs that,” adds MacKinnon.
Admission to the Grey Gallery in the Timmins Museum is always free.