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Art exhibitions celebrate Sarnia’s multitude of local artists

Cathy Dobson Sarnia loves its local artists and this month offers a great opportunity to see some of their best work.
Lawrence House board member Lynne Brogden is flanked by Mary Groombridge, left, and Jane Hunter, artists who chose this year’s Floyd Gibson Juried Exhibition winners. Missing is juror Mary Kilbreath. Cathy Dobson

Cathy Dobson

Sarnia loves its local artists and this month offers a great opportunity to see some of their best work.

No less than 50 artists submitted a piece of original artwork for the Lloyd Gibson Juried Exhibition currently at the Lawrence House Centre for the Arts.

Gibson was a respected Sarnia educator, watercolour artist and dedicated volunteer at the Lawrence House until his death in 2008.

Every year a call goes out for local artists to participate in this exhibition by submitting what they consider their best work.

The calibre has always been high and this year is no different, says Lynne Brogden, chair of the Lawrence House board.

“We have both hobby artists and some very good professional artists, including three pieces by brand new members,” she said.

The show is juried, this year by artists Mary Groombridge, Jane Hunter and Mary Kilbreath. Last week, they announced the winners of this year’s show: First place ($250) went to Jennifer Murphy; second place ($150) to Cathy Earle and third place ($100) to Trevor Jamieson.

Honourable mentions went to Laura Kreviazuk and Karen Schaw.

The exhibition opened to the public Jan. 5 and closes Feb. 4.

Every piece is available for sale, with the Lawrence House taking 30% of the revenue.

“It’s a good fundraiser for us,” said Brogden. The Lawrence House is a community-based non-profit. Cash for this exhibition’s prize money was provided by the City of Sarnia.


The Judith & Norman Alix Art Gallery (JNAAG) is also opening up opportunities for local artists to present their work to the public.

The gallery’s curators have a call out now for submissions for the annual Look & See “pop-up” exhibitions that take place in June and July.

“We’re hoping as many artists as there are in Lambton County apply,” said assistant curator Sonya Blazek. “I don’t know why they wouldn’t.

“Going through the curatorial process is a great experience, especially for artists who haven’t done it before.”

All submissions of up to 12 works will be judged by the curatorial team. A small number will be chosen for studio tours so that the work can be viewed in person.

“Even being selected for a studio visit is great practice for any artist,” said Blazek. Ultimately a small handful of artists will be chosen to show their work at Look & See and present a public talk and tour of their exhibition.

Last year, three artists were chosen for the pop-up shows, so named because they are shorter exhibitions held between the gallery’s bigger shows.

One will be held June 1 – 17 and the second July 6 – 15.

“The JNAAG is very dedicated to supporting local artists,” said Blazek. “We’re very hopeful for a strong response.”

All submissions must be mailed or dropped off at the galley by Feb. 18. For application forms and submission details, visit

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