Vibrant Communities In Focus
Image Credit: Peter Bregg
[Blue Mountain Foundation for the Arts] “Art needs protection! It’s not a commodity that’s valued in the corporate world, and yet it is the heart of the human community,” says Angela Plesa. “It keeps us in touch with our deepest emotions. It’s the real side of life often lost when we are too busy trying to make a living. I paint because it helps me bring out the spirit. Good art taps into the emotions of the viewer. It brings things to the surface.” Angela is one of hundreds of artists who are supported by the Blue Mountain Foundation for the Arts, which is, in turn, supported by OTF. The Collingwood non-profit organization promotes the arts throughout the Georgian Triangle. Deborah Mobbs says it helps the artists feel connected, inviting them to be part of studio tours and juried art shows at the Foundation’s Art Centre. The landscape of the area is diverse and rich, from the shores of Georgian Bay up into the “mountains” of Collingwood. But she says condos and new housing are changing the region, so artistic expression is more important than ever. “We had one fellow who painted enormous oil paintings and his partner played music to go with them. That’s vital at a time when some of the natural habitat is being eaten up by new developments. It’s a lonely life to be an artist and I’m just happy to be able to help bring artists together, to give them a community, a kinship. Nature unifies us and the artists reach out into the community and share their vision ... and we all feel connected and enlightened.”