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County residents among Insight winners

Insight award - Stephen Haigh of Elora won the Ellen Langlands Memorial Award at the Insights Juried Exhibition of Fine Arts for his piece entitled Flight. This is Haigh’s first entry into an Insights show. The show takes place annually at the Wellington County Museum and Archives which is located on Wellington Road 18 between Fergus and Elora. The galleries are open weekdays from 9:30am to 4:30pm, and on weekends from 1 to 5pm. Admission by donation.  Photo by Jaime Myslik

County residents among Insight winners

by Jaime Myslik

ABOYNE - The Insights Juried Exhibition of Fine Arts is celebrating its 28th anniversary this year.  

“I love that show because I like seeing what everybody submits because there’s a really wide range of stuff,” explained Fergus artist Patrice Baker.

“It’s not all paintings or all drawings or all oil or not all photography.

“It’s different than going to an art gallery opening of a person’s work where it’s one big body of work. It’s tiny snippets from a whole bunch of different artist’s stuff.”

Baker’s work was among the 60 pieces chosen from 259 submitted pieces. The works are chosen by a panel of three jurors that changes each and every year.

“They’re always people that are from the larger artist community one way or another but they’ve either been an artist for quite a long time or had lots of experience themselves in the artist world, have an artist background or they’re ... curators of galleries,” said Insights committee member Elske deGroot.

This year’s jurors included: emerging artist James Nye, curator of contemporary art for the Art Gallery of Guelph Dawn Owen and professor of fine arts at the University of Waterloo Bruce Taylor.

The juried art exhibit consisting of fibre art, photography, paintings, and three-dimensional original works is organized and sponsored by the Elora Arts Council Insights committee. It is hung in a gallery at the Wellington County Museum and Archives.

Of the 60 pieces chosen for the show nine were chosen to be honoured for awards.

Baker was one of the award winners. Her pieces entitled Mica Treasure Box Silk Cocoon, Mica Treasure Box Fossilized Share Vertebrae and Mica Treasured Box Wasp Nest and Snake Skin were grouped together by the jurors and given the Elora Arts Council Award.

“I was thrilled,” she said. “They are the same, they’re three boxes with cool natural and other man-made things in them and covered in mica so I’m quite thrilled that they’re a set.”

Baker, a jeweler of 20 years, has submitted pieces to Insights for the last four years but this is the first year she has won.

“I’ve ... spent lots of time at art galleries and in art galleries I love finding all those pieces where you keep stepping back until you’re sort of surrounded by the feeling that a painting gives you,” she said.

“But because I’m used to making very small things I always want to make something that sort of creates the opposite effect where you have to step forward and get closer and then look in and sort of be curious about what else is in there in tiny little detail.”

Another Insights award winner is Stephen Haigh of Elora, who has been creating his art for the past 47 years. His piece entitled Flight won the Ellen Langlands Memorial Award. This is the first time he has ever submitted for the show.

“I’m very honoured,” he said. “It was a bit of a surprise and it feels good.”

Haigh creates his pieces entirely out of wood.     

“First step is to do a drawing,” he said. “Choose the wood, take that wood and basically like a jigsaw puzzle fit different pieces together to create the picture.

“I’m using a saw and knives but essentially ... I can only think of it as a jigsaw in a way where you are fitting these pieces very, very precisely together.”

He uses different types of wood to give the image different colours.

“I have a lot of different species and I can often look at a piece and at that point it’s going to help by looking at the grain,” Haigh explained. “It could be a sky with a bit of maybe spalted wood underneath and I can kind of picture a heron or something in there so the wood often tells the story ... and the other side of that is that I’ll just take the wood and use it to create an image.”

Because the jurors are different from year to year the show is also always different from year to year.

For a complete list of winners visit

July 14, 2017


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