There’s a new artists organization in Hawkesbury, with a new space to showcase their talent.

The Art Hawkesbury Collective was recently formed by six painters from Hawkesbury, L’Orignal, and Grenville. On Sunday, September 5, they held their first exhibition inside the indoor area of Plaza 179, located downtown on Main Street. The collective has named the display space the Cranberry Gallery. 

“I said we should exhibit,” said Karen Mingarelli, one of the artists who organized the collective. The group began looking for space, and they fortunately found a location, free of charge, from Plaza 179 owner Yves Berthiaume. 

“It was very kind of him,” Mingarelli enthused. “It’s a cute little gallery.”

“I encourage all communal spaces to do the same. Give the town some some spirit!” said artist Benoît Perrault. 

The collective presently has six members. It does not cost anything for members to display their work. 

“We believe anybody can paint,” Mingarelli said. 

The collective’s activities include teaching each other, having artists come and give lessons, and offering first vernissage opportunities for artists. 

“The purpose is to give artists in the area a chance to actually exhibit their work,” Mingarelli explained. 

“We never had something like this before,” said Gail Hocquard, an artist from Grenville. 

The group wants to help people who are artists realize their potential and make realize their talents are appreciated by the community. The participants at Sunday’s exhibit agreed that sometimes artists do not think their work is considered art, or that their hobby makes them an artist. 

“I’m proud to say it now!” said artist Lori Turpin. 

According to Mingarelli, approximately 20 people visited the Cranberry Gallery on September 5. It will be open every other Sunday from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. The next Sunday it will be open is September 19. The collective plans to continue the gallery for as long as possible and into the winter months. All of the items are for sale, but visitors are under no pressure to purchase. 

Perrault said he wants as many people as possible to visit. He will also be having a solo exhibition of his own work at Le Chenail Cultural Centre in Hawkesbury. A vernissage for that exhibition takes place this Thursday, September 9, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. 

Dale Garvin of L’Orignal and his paintings, which reflect local natural beauty and history. Photo: James Morgan

Gail Hocquard, of Grenville, with her paintings on display at the Cranberry Gallery. Photo: James Morgan

Flowers are a prominent feature in the work of Hawkesbury artist Lori Turpin. Photo: James Morgan