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  • Writer's pictureLorenda

Jury Duty

But it's not what you think! The respected Arts & Letters Club of Toronto recently contacted me asking if I could be one of two jurors for their current exhibit, "Boundless Light." The show is now hung until March 24th in the club's gobsmackingly beautiful St. George's Hall (1891), with its eclectic mix of Romanesque, Flemish and medieval architecture at14 Elm St. just five minutes from the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO)

The 3-story hall is crammed with Canadiana celebrating all creative disciplines and housing vestiges, treasures really, such as banners by J.E.H. original art, prints, photos, musical notations, and author-signed books in its library. Sir Wilfred Laurier, Robertson Davies, Marshall McLuhan, A. J. Casson hung out there, to name just a few. In fact, the Group of Seven would be there “just about every day, for company and a good meal."

And today, it is still a hub of activity with its 400 members, musical performances, art exhibits, live model drawing sessions, and even hosting weddings. I highly recommend planning a trip to visit or rent the place or even to entertain applying to become a member yourself.

But I digress. Upon arriving off the slick wintry city streets last Saturday morning, I was met with lovely, kind and welcoming members offering me a comfy seat, a coffee and other refreshments to wind down. This was very in keeping with the club's founding purpose: to be a “comradely haven for kindred souls.”

Not only did I have the honour of judging several works of member art for their aesthetic qualities and suitability. . .I was also given a space on the Jurors' Wall to share three pieces alongside fellow juror, Edd Baptista's marvelous work.

I only managed to tear myself away because I was determined to catch the Leonard Cohen show and bask in the Flemish masters at the AGO before closing time. I returned home with a belly full of Ethiopian fare and the satisfaction only an artist can feel after being close up and personal to current and past fellow artists' original brush and pen strokes. It was a good day.


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