120101-CobourgElena Hogan, Northumberland News
COBOURG — Artists of the Colborne Art Gallery are introducing themselves to the west Northumberland community through an exhibition at 600 William St. For just over three months, five Colborne Gallery artists will be showcased at the Northumberland County Services building, bringing local art into a public space and providing the community with awareness of the Colborne Gallery collective.

"Because I help coordinate the public art shows at 600 William, I thought it would be a good idea to bring in the Colborne Art Gallery," said Heather Roy of the gallery and Northumberland art council member. "It doesn't have much of a presence in the Cobourg/Port Hope area and we wanted to change that as well as encourage public art."

Ms. Roy has been a member of the Colborne Art Gallery collective for four years now and is about to begin her third year on the arts council. Also an elementary school art teacher, she sees the importance of visual arts and believes there is a lack of art in public spaces.

"If you don't have it there for people to see, then people won't go to seek it out," she said. "The art in public spaces committee is trying to change that so people can develop a receptivity to art. And the Colborne Gallery is very accessible with a selection of artists that range from realists to totally abstract, allowing for everyone to find something they can emotionally relate to."

The show, which opened in the beginning of December, consists of approximately 25 works of art from Ms. Roy, Barbara Buntin, Pat Stanley, Avril Bull, and Jillian Roos-Markowitz.

Each artist has their individual focus and chose which pieces they wanted to show, said Ms. Roy. They all looked at the show as an opportunity to make people in the west Northumberland area more aware of the artist-run gallery and what it has to offer.

"The overall purpose for spaces like the 600 William St. gallery is to have work there for people to see who don't usually seek out art on their own," said Ms. Roy. "We need to create more accessibility to art for adults in the area and increase their art awareness."

"That's the purpose of art in public spaces." she continued. "Whether you have a positive or negative response to a work of art, it's the fact that you have a response at all that matters. The fact that it's there to respond to is the very purpose of art itself."

The Colborne Art Gallery at 600 William St. will be open to the public until March 2, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday to Friday. For more information on the Colborne Art Gallery or the Arts Council of Northumberland, visit www.thecolborneartgallery.ca or www.northumberlandarts.ca.