The Grimsby Public Art Gallery asked the community where hope was being found a year into the pandemic. Over 80 responses came back in the form of mixed visual mediums ranging from acrylic paintings to textiles.
Having previously done other community art projects, the gallery turned toward the format again to stay engaged with the community while the doors were locked.
“There’s definitely some themes that come through,” gallery director, Rhona Wenger said. “This one got more personal.”
Nature and family as a force of hope were common elements.
The “Hope Squared” community art project seen in the community exhibition space of the Grimsby Public Art Gallery and Grimsby Public Library on March 25, 2021.
The gallery also reached out to educators, and two Our Lady of Fatima kindergarten classes responded.
“A lot of the kids said, ‘My mom brings me hope,’ which brings a tear to your eye,” Wenger said.
Titled “Hope Squared,” the collection of paintings, drawings, stained glass, photography, assembled pieces, collages, and textile work will be on display along a 25-foot long wall in the lobby space shared by the gallery and Grimsby Public Library until May 29.
Also on display is a collection of artwork from artists belonging to the Lakeside Pumphouse Artists’ Association in the main gallery, until April 3.
“They’ve become a real powerhouse, a real force in the local artistic community,” Wenger said of the group. “It’s a show we’re really excited about doing.”
The exhibition was originally planned for last year, covering work across the group’s 20 year history, but has since evolved to feature the work of present artists.
Wenger said they worked closely with the artists to showcase work which spoke the most for their larger work.
The exhibition showcases some “amazingly talented” artists who have worked hard to advance their careers, Wenger said.
Both exhibitions are also available online at the Grimsby Public Art Gallery YouTube page.