Textile Art? Fibre Art? Material? Fabric?

(June 2022 update)

Pretty much forever, the world was told: “Women can’t paint.” Or “Shouldn’t”. Or some other excuse to keep them on the model’s side of the room.

Of course, with lots of hard work and pushing back by female artists and feminists, barriers fell, and women are fully accepted as artists and even leaders in all media.

Or are they?

Even now, I believe, some media are seen as secondary, lesser, not quite art.

As “women’s art”.

Take fiber arts, fabric arts, textiles, for example.

It’s a rare thing for a gallery or museum to dedicate a showing to a fiber artist, and I have long thought that that is due to textile making being seen as a female means of expression, decorative, suited only for utility in the home. “The artificial divide between fine art and textiles is a gendered issue” according to Amber Butchart, writing for Frieze.com (14 Nov 2018)

I’m not saying that textile work such as weaving, dying and quilting, isn’t currently predominantly done by women. I’m saying that it doesn’t matter: these forms are (or can be) art, just as much as paint on canvas is (or can be) art.

As fiber artist Georgianne Holland says in their blog post: “…I can stand with some of my favorite artists who broke free of traditional and perhaps limiting art world boxes and now represent innovation in the fiber and textile arts…” (Wednesday, June 25, 2014)

As Co-Directors of the Newmarket Juried Art Show, we celebrate the reclamation of the textile arts by women who put their work out in the world as art. From our beginnings in 2019, we have backed that celebration by offering a Medium Award for Textile Arts.

Hope to hear from you soon – August 15, 2022 Deadline approaches!

Dave and Peggy

Meet Our 2021 Artists!

And we have a show. Online, but that’s OK – we were pretty successful in 2020, as you can see by clicking here.

Here are the artists who will be in this year’s show, in no particular order. Congratulations all!

Calm Ghosts
Charlotte Sprague
Anita Van Zeumeren
Nancy Jones
Debra Wronzberg
Marlene Bulas
Josee Savaria
Sherry Lynn
Laura Moreland
Walter Bauer
Donna Wise
Leslie Knight
Heather Berios
Theodore Scott
Helen Simpson
Sandra Murphy
Kathleen Pistor
Elena Gaevskaya
MaryLou Hurley
shoshana lock
Sheila Romard
Xiao Wen Xu
Helen Agalawatte
Leslie Bertin
Paul Williams
Pat Dumas-Hudecki
Alexandra K Conrad
Kate Greenway
Eva Folks
Heike Blohm
Ulla Djelweh
Gina McCloskey
Judy Sherman
Rani Satpute
Sibernie James-Bosch
Julia Russell
Jessie Pearson
Thomas Cornell
Linda Chen
Jennifer McLeod
Heather Smiley
Teresa Dunlop
Marion Plaunt
Donna Greenstein
Caterina Stambolic
Natalia Shields
Laura Higgins
Karen L Bowen

We will stick with our original schedule of starting Sept 18, partly because we need a break and hope to get away for a bit. We will record an online Reception (BYOB) where we will announce the award winners. Once again we will be giving $950 in awards, all of which was donated by Newmarket’s art-loving citizens and businesses. As well, we hope to host a gallery in cyberspace in 3D on ArtGateVR.

NJAS2021 Art Is In!

Many thanks to the 70 artists who sent us work this year!

We are excited, honoured, humbled to see the number of artists who entered this year, and to see the quality of the work they sent.

It’ll be a long night getting it all ready for the jury panel. We meet via Zoom next week to decide what work is in the show, and set the awards. Stay tuned!

Textile Art?

Pretty much forever, the world was told: “Women can’t paint.” Or “Shouldn’t”. Or some other excuse to keep them on the model’s side of the room.

Of course, with lots of hard work and pushing back by female artists and feminists, barriers fell, and women are fully accepted as artists and even leaders in all media.

Or are they?

Even now, I believe, some media are seen as secondary, lesser, not quite art.

As “women’s art”.

Take textiles, for example.

It’s a rare thing for a gallery or museum to dedicate a showing to a textile artist, and I have long thought that that is due to textile making being seen as a female means of expression, decorative, suited only for utility in the home. “The artificial divide between fine art and textiles is a gendered issue” according to Amber Butchart, writing for Frieze.com (14 Nov 2018)

I’m not saying that textile work such as weaving, dying and quilting, isn’t currently predominantly done by women. I’m saying that it doesn’t matter: these forms are (or can be) art, just as much as paint on canvas is (or can be) art.

As Co-Directors of the Newmarket Juried Art Show, we celebrate the reclamation of the textile arts by women who put their work out in the world as art. From our beginnings in 2019, we have backed that celebration by offering a Medium Award for Textile Arts.

We have not yet had any Textile entries, so I guess it’s time to really put the word out there…

June 2022 Update: We had a number of excellent entries in Textile Arts in 2021 (and already in 2022, even though submissions have barely begun). Check them out under the Past Shows menu.

Hope to hear from you soon – Deadline approaches!

Dave and Peggy

Meet our 2021 Jury Panel

Here are our Jurists for NJAS2021

Janet Read is a painter, musician, and poet, whose childhood was spent near the shores of Lake Simcoe. The artist has sought the water’s edge ever since. Her roots go back to the Ottawa Valley Irish, Belfast, and county Wexford in Ireland. Perhaps this explains a fondness for fiddle music, poetry and the sea.

Residencies in Newfoundland and Ireland, and travels in Norway, Iceland, and Scotland have allowed her access to the sea, leading to a lifetime’s investigation of water as a metaphor for strength and fragility. Recent travels in the high Arctic prompted an ongoing body of work, High Arctic Light exhibited at the Propeller Art Gallery and virtually at the Heliconian Club of Toronto.

Exhibitions include commercial and public galleries, including the Robert McLaughlin Gallery, Oshawa, with a catalogue, the Art Gallery of Peterborough, and the Frederick Horsman Varley Gallery in Unionville. Paintings can be found in public and private collections and internationally in Australia, England and the US.


Janice LeBlanc is a Simcoe Region based artist, Art Therapist and educator.  Janice holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts (Honours) and Bachelor of Education from York University (1986), as well as a Masters Diploma in Art Therapy (2001).  She is now a retired secondary school educator, having taught Visual Arts for over 30 years.  Janice has been practicing Art Therapy in various organizations for over 20 years and is currently in private practice. Through many ongoing workshops and courses, Janice has explored a variety of art media including acrylic painting, mixed media, encaustic painting, pottery, jewellery making and printmaking. Art exhibitions include a solo show in Barrie and participation in group shows in Creemore Ontario.  She continues to enjoy taking art workshops both locally and internationally and creates pieces that integrate many media and varied perspectives. 

2021 call To Artists

The 2021 Call To Artists is now open.

Here are the critical dates (Bracketed dates are left in so everyone knows what a normal year looks like):

  1. Deadline: Saturday, September 14 2020, 5 p.m. Eastern
  2. Notification: by September 23
  3. Delivery of Accepted Works: October 5 (No delivery during pandemic)
  4. Exhibition Dates: October 6 and beyond (since it’s online on our website, and in 3D on ArtGateVR)
  5. Opening Gala: Oct 6, starting at 14 pm, online – you will be sent an invitation link (Bring your own wine & snacks :^)
  6. International Virtual 3D Reception on ArtGateVR: October Date TBA
  7. Pick up work: October 23 (That pandemic thing again)

SO – Share and Enjoy!
Think Globally, Art Locally!

Hashtags – #NJASArt, #NJAS2021, #NJASArt2021, #OntarioArt, #OntarioArtist, #LocalArt

Meet Our Jurists

I think that you will be excited to meet our 2020 jurists, Jeff Nye, Pat Dumas-Hudecki and Sarah Burtscher.

Jeff Nye is a Newmarket-based artist, writer, teacher and curator. Jeff has a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree with Distinction from Concordia University in Montreal (1998) and a Master of Fine Arts Degree from the University of Regina (2007). His paintings and multimedia installations have been exhibited in public galleries across the country. He has curated exhibitions for the Mackenzie Art Gallery, Dunlop Art Gallery, and Last Mountain Lake Cultural Centre. He has also instructed studio and art history classes at First Nations University of Canada, University of Regina and Georgian College. Jeff has received several distinctions and awards for his work, including grants from the Canada Council for the Arts, the Saskatchewan Arts Board, the Ontario Arts Council, and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.
http://www.livestudio.ca/

Pat Dumas-Hudecki is an Ontario artist who has been in many solo and group exhibitions, and has won many awards. She sends this statement:

Through my different painting series I want to chronicle how the everyday objects around us transform and convey their own unique narratives. My realistic acrylic paintings pay homage to the sweet disorder and chaos that surrounds us; they are an integral part of our living spaces-indoors and out.
When I paint the visual chaos of my interior spaces I capture the domestic wilderness of activity and play that is too often tidied up and civilized before it can be appreciated for its beauty and meaning.
When I paint urban and rural utility poles I show how they have developed unique personalities as they alter through time and purpose.
I enjoy creating art that makes people take a second look at their everyday surroundings and transforms their perceptions of it.
http://www.dumas-hudecki.com/

Sarah Burtscher is the Gallery Director at Stephen Bulger Gallery, Toronto’s leading commercial photography gallery for historical and contemporary work from Canadian and international artists. Sarah has curated exhibitions including Open Call 2019 for the Exposure Festival in Calgary; MYTORONTO, an exhibition through which participants affected by homelessness connect with their community; and SNAP!, an annual photographic fundraiser in support of programs and services provided by the Aids Committee of Toronto. She has also been on several exhibition juries including THE FENCE 2018 and RMG Exposed in 2017 and 2018.
Sarah holds a BFA in Photography Studies from Ryerson University’s Image Arts program.

Newmarket Juried Art Show