This year marks two special anniversaries for St. Barnabas on the Danforth: the 160th anniversary of the church and the 30th anniversary of their Riverdale Art Show and Sale.
“It’s an event that brings people from the community in,” said organizer Jane Smith.
The art show, held last Friday and Saturday, displayed the paintings of 23 local artists, with part of the proceeds going toward church programming and parish restoration.
“We’ve done some major overhaul inside our church,” Smith said. “Some of that money went to new curtains, flooring, our garden, and an accessibility project.”
The latter involves elevator maintenance and the construction of a ramp to ensure that churchgoers can enter the parish comfortably.
The Riverdale Art Show and Sale was created by Jenny Reid, a member or the St. Barnabas congregation for more than three decades.
“We needed a fundraiser at the church, so I put forward the idea of calling artists in from the community and from the church,” Reid said. “We thought it wouldn’t work, but they said, ‘OK, have a go, but it can’t cost the church anything.’ The artists put money in a pot and it worked very well.”
Reid is the only artist to have showcased her paintings at every exhibition since 1988. This year, she became more comfortable with exploring mediums such as oil and acrylics, as opposed to other years when she used strictly watercolours.
Participating artists also help out in other ways.
“We’re all expected to do our bit advertising and spreading the word,” said Reid. “We also provide food for the reception, set up the hall, and help with the dismantling.”
Artist Nora MacPhail has been involved with the event for more than 15 years.
At this year’s exhibition, she displayed watercolour paintings of cafe scenes and animals.
“A big part of the event is for the community,” MacPhail said. “It’s great to get your art out there, meet other artists, work with them and give to the community.”