WCAS adapting to COVID-19 fall

Special to WC Online

WEST CARLETON – Art is something that traditionally is enjoyed in person. But this is far from a traditional year, and the West Carleton Art Society (WCAS) has had to change on the fly as the not-for-profit, artist-run organization works to support its artists.

Probably the most noticeable difference in the way the WCAS operates was this year’s Expressions of Art show – the biggest show the WCAS hosts each year. Normally a weekend long event featuring around 30 artists and held at the Carp Agricultural Hall moved online this year.

“This year represented a new approach for Expressions of Art,” the WCAS released in a statement. “The WCAS had to pivot from a physical show to a virtual show early in the process. Nonetheless, we came away with a well-received virtual show that featured a variety of artists, many new to the show. Music by Natalie Hoffman was a wonderful accompaniment to the art.”

Show lead, Ginny Fobert, wishes to thank all those who participated in the fall online Expressions of Arts Show and Sale.

“Special thank you to those who worked tirelessly to promote the 26 artists and their 243 masterpieces,” Fobert said. “While sales were down considerably, compared to our former physical EOA shows, several pieces have moved on to new homes. Congratulations to all. Fingers crossed that 2021 takes us back to our physical show at the Carp Fairgrounds.”

The WCAS has also worked to get its artists’ art on public walls around west Ottawa.

“We hung a new show at the Juke Joint on Sept. 22, and it is scheduled to be there until early January 2020,” photographer and member Freeman Keats said.

At the time of hanging, the restaurant was open, but subsequently the owners decided to return to take-out menu only. It remains that way today and will into the future until current restrictions are lifted.

“Unless an artist requests return of artwork, it will remain hanging for viewing by customers who choose to enter the restaurant to pick up orders,” Keats said.

Coordinators Deborah Guthrie and Richard Pell reported on WCAS’s one-day Pop-up Art Gallery held Sept. 20, featuring seven artists’ works on the patio of Zola’s Restaurant in Kanata.

“This event which was coordinated with the changeover of our exhibit in the restaurant,” the WCAS said. “It was a beautiful day, where several artists enjoyed lunch on the patio – and a number stayed for dinner. Although there were not a huge number of buyers, two artworks sold. Moreover, we received several positive comments about the art in the pop-up gallery as well as the new exhibit in the restaurant.”

Restaurants in Ottawa have been challenged by COVID-19, forced to close twice for extended periods since the beginning of the pandemic.

“Hopefully the restaurant will re-open after the 28-day closure here in Ottawa and patrons can view our new exhibit ‘Fresh Start’ in the restaurant while enjoying a delicious meal,” the WCAS said. “This show continues until Jan. 3, 2021.”

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