Old Girls’ Art Show

The Old Girls’ Art Show, featuring 30 artists from the Elmwood community displaying over 80 works of art, started with a very successful Vernissage on Friday night and continued throughout the weekend. A portion of the sale of each work of art is generously donated to the Old Girls’ Scholarship Fund. Thank you to the Art Show Co-chairs, Elizabeth Raymont Heatherington '63 and Lynne Evenson '79 for their incredible leadership and organization. Thank you to Vicky Wilgress '71 for leading the wonderful group of volunteers, and Peter Honeywell and Joanne Lochhead who curated the show again this year.  A very special thank you to Elmwood Visual Arts teacher, Heawon Chun and all the Elmwood girls who participated in the student portion of the Art Show. The efforts of Joan Brodie '68, Nancy Colton '58, Marnie Edwards '72, Kathy Gillespie '70, Amanda Jackson '79, Janette Marett '64, Nila Varan-Matthews '89, Keltie Mierins '77, Lynn Parker '79, Moira Phillips '69, Judy Reid '50, Susan Senn '77, Janet Uren '67, and Paula Zoubek, contributed to the incredible success of the weekend as well. 


The Biographies

A former Elmwood parent, Philip is an architect by profession. For many years, he has been working with clay and creating sculptural pieces which he wood fires at his rural retreat near Merrickville. He has exhibited frequently and has won awards.  His creations are enjoyed in people’s homes across Ontario and in Europe.  

Head of the Junior School from 1972 to 1988, Nancy took up painting in 1994 after she failed, she said, as a piano student. She continued to paint well into her retirement. To the sorrow of the Elmwood community, Nancy died 2 years ago.  

A professional interior design consultant, Marilyn is self-taught in watercolour and pastel and has participated in workshops with the renowned watercolorist Tony Onley. She is currently working on several books that have involved her in painting for Rockcliffe Sketches (a series of watercolours of residences in the area) and illustrations for a walking tour of Ottawa.

An alumna of the Junior School from the 1950s, Marianne has pursued her love of painting all her life. She has worked as a graphic artist, an art consultant, an art instructor and was entrenched in the Montreal film industry for 15 years.  Among many of the films that she worked on, she co-directed a documentary on the abstract impressionist, Jean-Paul Riopelle. Marianne’s work has been exhibited in numerous group shows and can be seen regularly at Galerie Old Chelsea where she has a yearly solo show.  

Maureen is a fused glass artist who began practicing the art after suffering a bad concussion 7 years ago. It is a quiet activity that gives her immense joy.  Inspired by movement, changing landscapes and the splendour of the Gatineau River, her ideas are endless. Because of her passion for interior and exterior spaces and love of the outdoors, Maureen’s designs come to life with colour and texture to create unique pieces that will enhance and add interest to a particular space or room. Her specialty is producing large window and wall panels.  www.maureenfehr.com 

Helene Anne is one of North America’s leading portrait photographers. She has won many awards, including the Grand Prize for Canadian Geographic Magazine and Photo Life International, where her images were selected from among 18,000 entries. Helene Anne has also won a Governor General of Canada award for her work. Helene Anne’s studio is located in Wakefield, QC. In this peaceful setting, she invites clients to celebrate their life through her lens.  www.portraitsofyourlife.com 

Inspired by colour, landforms, reflection, and light, Pamela practices her art primarily in watercolour and pastel.  An Ottawa resident and painter for many years, Pam has a studio at La Fab in Chelsea, QC.

John was taught linocut in high school by a gifted teacher who was a refugee from the Bolshevik Revolution. He has been carving them periodically ever since.  Educated at Queen’s and Cambridge universities, John is a former diplomat and ambassador. He has written three books, including a memoir “Whose Man in Havana: Adventures from the Far Side of Diplomacy” and “Potholes and Politics, a Cartoon Portrait of Ottawa”.  At present he is a writer and editorial cartoonist for an Ottawa Community newspaper. His mother, Emily Graham, was principal of Elmwood in the 1950s.

Ward is a local potter, geologist by training and the son of an Elmwood alumna. With a background of travelling through Europe during his parent’s postings, he has seen and appreciates the many varieties of design and colour that are found in global centres of trade, commerce and art. Ward finds joy in creating unique pieces with flowing colours.

Clare, a graduate of Elmwood and photographer/photojournalist in BC, and Kemp, the son of an Elmwood Old Boy, are co-founders of InFocus Canada, a company that specializes in the production of sustainably produced scarves that raise money for charity while promoting Canadian artists. For their latest line, they worked with a photographer per province and territory across Canada, as well as a Haida artist. Each photographer took a quintessential image of their surroundings which were then transferred onto an ultra-light sheer fabric produced entirely from recycled plastic bottles.  These are limited edition scarves.  www.infocuscanada.ca 

As a parent of an Elmwood alumna, Bev has been painting since the mid-1980s. She spent many years doing decorative art in acrylic on wood, from small items to cabinets. She has since turned to oils on canvas and enjoys a new challenge with still life and landscapes.

Lois, who is presently an employee of Elmwood, is a Canadian painter and printer whose artwork reflects her excitement and energy for life. Originally born in Wainwright, Alberta, she now resides in Ottawa. Exploring colour and its power is a major driving force behind Lois’s work. Viewers of her artwork are consistently overwhelmed and entranced by her colour choices. www.artbylois.com.

Joan, the parent of an Elmwood alumna, has taken art courses over the years including watercolour with Morton Baslow (OGS) and printmaking with Russel Yuristy (OGS). She has been a convenor of an art appreciation group at the National Gallery of Canada for 10 years. Many of her works have contributed important support to such causes as CHEO, the Bruyère Foundation, the Council of Aging and others.  

Ruth graduated from Elmwood in 2010 and moved on to do a Bachelors of Fine Art with a minor in anthropology from the University of Victoria. She now lives happily in Japan as a supervisor at an English teaching company. Her aim as an artist is to produce conceptual pieces that identify and examine intricate patterns and nuances of the world we live in.

Diane is a multidisciplinary artist who creates mixed media sculptures, textile art and paintings, drawing inspiration from her surroundings, nature and her own life. For the past 16 years, Diane has been experimenting with felting techniques and has been seduced by this ancient craft of working with wool. Always faithful to the principle of recycling, many of her scarves incorporate recycled fabric, felt and jewels. Wearing a Diane Lemire creation is a unique experience, as no two scarves are the same.  

Polly studied equine care and training at Fanshawe College in London, Ontario. During those years, she also painted and exhibited her artwork at a local gallery. Her works reflect her love of light and colour and are in many private collections.  www.pollylochhead.com.

Ariel is an artist from Lambton County (Petrolia) who moved to Ottawa five years ago and is enjoying being part of her new community. She is a graduate of McMaster in Fine Arts and has taught art at both the high school and college level. Her current series of Ottawa and surrounding area landscapes is a new focus. She looks forward to sharing her love of art with her Elmwood neighbours. 

Mohammad’s academic and artistic career started after he earned a BSc in soil engineering and two years of teaching college degree at Tabriz, Iran. He later received an MSc and a PhD in soil chemistry from the University of Amherst at Massachusetts.  After completing 18 years of teaching in Iran and the USA, he settled down in Ottawa. He taught at Elmwood School for 17 years as a senior chemistry and science teacher. In celebration of the 100th anniversary of Elmwood, Mohammad dedicated five paintings: the portrait of Mrs. Theodora Philpot, the founder of the school, and the portraits of four school house heads. 

Caroline was a student in the first Kindergarten class at Elmwood in 1997 and continued as a student for 8 years. She completed her undergrad with a Bachelor of Commerce at Queen’s University. After working for CIBC in Toronto for two years, she went on to do a Master’s in Art Business at Sotheby’s Institute of Art in New York City. Caroline currently lives in Manhattan where she works at Hammer Galleries, which specializes in Impressionist and Modern European masters.  

A former Elmwood parent, Pam is a lifelong learner, first learning the art of science and now learning the science of art. Her work is process driven with the goal of travelling from realism along a continuum towards abstraction. Abstraction strips everything down to form and fractals, transcending human constructs thereby bringing the work closer to truth and reality itself. Encaustic medium facilitates movement in this direction as recognizable subject matter emerges in abstracted form.  

Tim, father of an alumna, is a retired architect who practiced in Ottawa and abroad for 45 years. He took art classes at the National College of Art in Dublin and the Ottawa School of Art. He describes himself as a Sunday painter, but “not every Sunday”.  

Ras-Jeevan (“RJ”) is an Elmwood alumna and former Arts Prefect, class of 2015. She was born and raised in Ottawa and has been an avid ceramicist for many years. While completing her BSc (Hons) degree in Physics at the University of Ottawa, RJ continued to pursue ceramics in her spare time. Now a recent graduate, she is taking the opportunity to explore new techniques and designs, along with creating custom pieces for commission. 

A former Elmwood student, Maureen has studied, practiced and taught art in Europe and North America. Her work continues to grow in popularity and can be viewed on her two websites: www.maureenoneill.ca  and www.liafail.ca.  

Claire, parent of an alumna, has lived and studied in several countries and now calls Ottawa home. She has worked in a variety of media and likes experimenting with different techniques, from the delicacy required for Chinese brush painting to the broad brush strokes of impasto. Claire’s preferred medium is acrylics which offer her the flexibility to move between styles, which are often dictated by the subject. Her work expresses her fascination with colour, light and texture.  

Jeannie, a parent of two Elmwood alumnae, is an Ottawa-based artist. She creates from her studio at Ottawa’s The Rectory Art House. Through painting and sculpture, she explores concepts of memory and identity. Her work has been shown in both solo and group exhibits and is held in private and corporate collections across Canada and the USA.  www.jeanniepolisuk.com.

A former Elmwood student, Elly’s work focuses on the figurative, exploring vulnerable and intimate moments through paintings of friends and family. She is currently based in Toronto and exhibiting in New York and Munich. Elly recently ran a workshop for the Benjamin Eck Gallery in Munich teaching other artists how to draw and paint portraits using coal and oil.  www.elly.ca.

After graduating from Elmwood in 2016, Zamzam proceeded to study Fine Arts at the University of Ottawa. She is passionate about creating art with a specialization in painting. Zamzam is currently completing her Bachelor of Fine Arts, and is looking forward to a successful future creating, learning and teaching art.  

A former Elmwood student, Inger is a year two PhD candidate of Conflict Studies in Ottawa with a focus on water. Collaborative work started as an underwater photographer in the Turks and Caicos Islands whilst living off the grid. Some of her accomplishments include starting the Montreal Mirror, showing her photography in the Elaine Fleck Gallery of Toronto and working with Indigenous high school girls on empowerment issues. One ongoing collaborative project is to co-curate photographic shows and adjudicate international films for the Female Eye Film Festival which will be moving to TIFF Bell Lightbox in March of 2020. 

Catherine, the granddaughter of Billy Bishop, is a former student of the Ottawa School of Art. She created her own style by studying Canadian folk artists such as Maud Lewis, Joe Norris, William Kurelek and E.J. Hughes. Catherine has been selling and exhibiting her colourful and detailed genre-style of painting since 1988.  www.cwillisoconnorfolkart.weebly.com

A former Elmwood parent, Paula Zoubek was Assistant Curator at the Royal Ontario Museum and recipient of a Canada Council grant, as well as an Ontario Arts Council grant. In the three images submitted, Paula is continuing her exploration of childhood, using paper cutouts of her drawings of children incorporated into acrylic paintings.