The Beach Guild of Fine Art is celebrating two decades with a month-long exhibition at the Beacher Café, the site of its first show 20 years ago.
Winona Gallop first considered forming a guild after spending time painting with a group of artists downtown. She made some remarks in a Ward 9 News article about a show at her home, and soon enough, artists in the Beach started tracking her down.
“That article spurred the dormant artists in the community, and there were quite a few of them,” she said.
The initial Guild included Gallop, Shirley Jones, Mary Cserepy, the late William Taylor, Jennifer Cline, Carolyn Pack, and Janice Gibbins. Cline, Cserepy, and Jones are still active members, while Gallop is an honourary member at large.
From that initial group, the Guild has grown to include more than 60 active artist, supporting, and honourary members. The organization holds several annual shows, until recently at the Lions clubhouse at Ashbridges Bay. This year the Guild has moved to the newly renovated Beach United Church, while one annual show takes place at Kew Cottage, the venue Gallop and the original group originally hoped to show their work.
Although the group’s members are happy to have places to hold shows, the Beach really needs a permanent space dedicated to artists, said Gallop. After all, the whole point of creating art is to show it to others, she said.
“You don’t want to paint in a black hole in the universe. You paint to be seen, you paint to share.”
While she’s not directly involved with the Guild these days, Gallop said she is nonetheless impressed by the current leadership.
“I very much admire the organization, which is why I started it in the first place,” she said. “It’s a proper Guild that one can be proud of.”
The Beach Guild of Fine Art’s 20th anniversary show will be up at the Beacher Café, 2162 Queen St. E., for the month of November. Current and past members and supporters are invited to a special reception on Wednesday, Nov. 12, from 6 to 8 p.m.