The Queenston Community Centre and Library got a vitality boost on the long weekend as the much-loved Queenston Art Show returned after a four-year hiatus.
“I come every year, but it hasn’t happened since 2018,” Niagara-on-the-Lake resident Susan Brown said at the show on Sunday.
“It’s wonderful. It’s just a part of the community and we couldn’t do anything for those years when it was off,” she said.
“I missed it.”
Brown said she always purchases art to support the artists.
“My house is full,” she said.
“I used to bring my husband and then it got to a point where he couldn’t come in any more so he used to sit and wait for me in the car while I came in and browsed,” Brown recalled with a laugh.
The library has a long history of hosting Queenston’s social events, NOTL resident Marlene McCarthy recalled.
“You know, back in the 1970s we had a chili bake-off here. It was a contest about who had the best chili recipe,” she said.
“The best one was the one with chocolate in it.”
McCarthy said these events provided a space for residents to meet and learn from each other.
She was born in Niagara Falls but raised in NOTL and has lived here virtually ever since. She went to Niagara District High School.
Brown said she hopes the art show marks a return of events at the library.
“I wish I had an excuse to come here more often,” she said.
Brown and McCarthy are longtime admirers of St. Catharines artist Anne Reimer, whose work has been displayed at the Queenston show for many years.
Reimer sold a painting at the show on Friday and said she was glad to be back.
“I’ve been painting for about 40 years,” the 83-year-old said.
“I get inspired every day by my garden and the places that I travel and the surrounding area.”
Reimer had two paintings on display at the show on Saturday. One was of a peony and another was of a home in Queenston.
“I just love the peony. They are so tender and delicate and I love it when they bloom,” she said.
“They have a very short blooming period and fade easily. So, if I paint them they last for a long time.”
All of the paintings on sale at the library were original works. Reimer said it can be difficult to part with an original piece.
“They are a part of me. It’s sentimental to me but I’m also glad when somebody else likes them,” said Reimer, who also teaches at the Niagara Pumphouse Arts Centre.
All of her paintings were done with a palette knife using oil paint. She said it allows her to make remarkable textures in her paintings.
Viewed from the side, Reimer’s works literally leap off the canvas.
Art show chair Yimlei Molly Yep said she doesn't yet know whether the show will happen again next year.
Evan Saunders, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Lake Report