Local artists are getting the spotlight at the Dryden & District Museum with the grand opening of the "Just Breathe..." exhibit featuring works from the Dryden Artists Association from 7 to 9 p.m. on Friday.
Pat Pernsky is the organizer of the exhibit, as well as one of 15 local artists who are part of the showcase, which runs through Oct. 26.
“It’s awesome to be able to reach out to your friends, neighbours and people who don’t know you and show off what you can do,” she said.
Pernsky’s displaying mixed-media pieces at this show. She made a scene using paint on canvas and wood adorned with polished rocks given to her from a rockhound friend in Arizona.
“I’ve been hauling around these rocks for quite a while, and decided to put some use to them and so I’ve created these pictures for this show," she said.
The artists in the group range from beginners to professionals said Pernsky pointing to Jennifer Caie, who exhibits her paintings across Canada.
“Basically, the group gets together to encourage each other and keep going,” said Pernsky. “We’re hoping that we have a lot of people this year come in and just see what people in Dryden can do.”
The coordinator of the museum, Michelle Walter, said the exhibit’s title – “Just Breathe…” – was intentionally chosen to create a calming space after a tough few years.
“All of the trials that everyone has gone through with COVID brought everyone’s stress levels so far up,” she said. “So this is kind of giving people a place to take a moment and just breathe... Chill out, enjoy the art. Contemplate whatever you need to, but know that you can just come here, take a break, and have your creative juices flowing.”
It’s important to show the creativity within the community, said Walter.
“We have so many wonderful people within Dryden. If they don’t have the chance to display their art and continue making their art within our hometown, either they're going to go somewhere else or they might even stop creating entirely, if they don’t have those other motivations, right?”
There is a large variety of art displayed at the exhibit, she said, from watercolour and acrylic paintings and sketches to beadwork and sculpture using felt and wood. Some of the items on display will be available for purchase she added.
The grand opening event on Friday night, which will include live music and snacks, is free for everyone. After that, usual museum admission rates will apply.
Related workshops will also be offered in conjunction with the exhibit, said Walter.
For more details about Just Breathe… visit the museum’s website.
Eric Shih, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Thunder Bay Source