Local art show draws in both young and old talent

Don’t be fooled by Emma Pedersen’s young, quiet exterior.

Although she may appear a touch timid, Pedersen can swiftly brush her way into anyone’s heart.

Pedersen received the top prize at the ninth annual Creative Visions Art Show and Sale in east Scarborough last week with her acrylic piece ‘Whales,’ which depicts the beautiful marine mammals in various spectacular shades of blue.

“I don’t want to say good, but it does feel good [to win],” said Pedersen, 19, who is a third-year student at the Ontario College of Art and Design.

The visual arts show provided a forum for artists of all ages to present their creative talents to the community on Sept. 19 and 20 at the Port Union Community Centre.

Organized by the Port Union Seniors in partnership with the Scarborough Arts Council, the highlight of Creative Visions was the youth category.

“This year we’ve had more entries in general, but especially in the youth section which really makes us happy,” said Rose Anne Hart, president of the Port Union Seniors. “I also think that the artwork is of better quality.”

Artists between the ages 13 and 24 were awarded first, second, and third prizes that combined monetary winnings and gift certificates given by the Port Union Seniors, the Scarborough Arts Council, D. L. Stevenson & Son, TD Canada Trust, Art Emporium, and IAMFRAME.

“The awarding of the youth is always a great time for us,” Hart said.

After taking first at last year’s showcase, Drew Steadman, 24, came in second with his oil piece named ‘Memory.’

“The fact that artists of different ages are coming together is great because everybody benefits from it,” Steadman said.

Tahira Mursleen’s pencil work, ‘Nature Attack,’ received the third place prize.

Art pieces ranged in price from $25 to $5,000. Pedersen and Steadman’s artworks were not for sale, while Mursleen’s piece cost $200.

Port Union Seniors received 15 per cent of the gallery sales as part of the association’s fundraising efforts.

“The show is a year-long process and it takes many hands, but the intergenerational aspect of the show is great,” said Zephine Wailoo, a city of Toronto staff member involved in organizing Creative Visions. “The youngest artist is 13, and the oldest one is in his or her 90s.”

Scarborough East councillor Ron Moeser said he strongly supports the local youth who participated in the gallery.

“The range of the participants’ ages is wonderful,” Moeser said. “This is exactly the kind of thing that really helps as far as promoting our youth, keeping them off the streets, and getting them involved in the community.”

This year’s Creative Visions attracted more than 70 artists who entered just over 300 works of art, the most the show has seen since its start in 2000.

Numerous artists were present to discuss their work during a reception last Friday evening where various foods and drinks were served.

“This is not a for-profit event, but a community service which brings artists of all ages together,” Wailoo said.