The Newmarket Group of Artists (NGA) is holding its 14th annual artwalk and studio tour this weekend. The event provides a platform for local artists and connects the community to art.
On Oct. 1 and 2, 34 artists will be set up at 14 venues in the downtown Newmarket area, displaying their work that includes fine art, jewelry, textiles, photography, ceramics and more.
Artist Ilja Hup-Warmels volunteers on the board of NGA and is one of the organizers of the event. She said the goal is to bring art closer to people and bring artists together.
"Being an artist is quite individual work, so you're in your studio on your own. So it's nice to get a chance to go out, talk to people, show people your art and talk about your art and the way you make it," she said.
Hup-Warmels, whose paintings will be in Trinity United Church, said her art is very intuitive.
"I start out having fun playing because a big white canvas can be daunting when you start. So I try not to have a plan when I start and just play and use colours that I like, lots of marks, layers. And then the painting sort of emerges. I start seeing things," she said. "They're quite intuitive, really. And they're very, very colourful. I grew up in Asia and so I bought the colour palette from Asia in my work."
Her colourful pieces will be showcased in the church, along with the work of five other artists. The remaining artists will be in their own studios or set up in local businesses and buildings in downtown Newmarket.
"Because of COVID, It's been in a few different forms last few years and this year, it's back to its original form, which is inside businesses and venues around downtown Newmarket," said Hup-Warmels.
This will be her first time experiencing the artwalk in its original format as she joined the group in 2020.
"I did join in last year, but that was different. I was on someone else's driveway together with another artist. So this is the first time that I'm going to be experienced in the original format, as well. That's exciting," she said.
When she joined the NGA, Hup-Warmels was new to Canada and had just moved here in 2019.
"We were trying to settle in and because I'm an artist, I was looking for connection in that way as well and I found the Newmarket Group of Artists and decided to join," she said.
Just one year later, she joined the board in 2021 and remains involved as one of eight board members this year.
The artwalk and studio tour is a return to their origins for the group. It was formed in 2009 to host the inaugural artwalk. The group has since expanded to provide opportunities for local artists, including art shows, connection events, workshops, and the Shannon Phair Award, which is given to a student artist every year.
The walk is completely free to attend and Hup-Warmels said people can make a day of it hanging out downtown and visiting other local businesses or restaurants, as well as the art venues.
There will be an information tent set up near Riverwalk Commons where artwalk visitors can pick up a brochure with a map and information about which artists are where. The locations can be visited in any order.
The first location is a home/studio at 295 Avenue Rd., where Carol Teal will be showcasing her ceramics.
The next location is also a home/studio at 344 Millard Ave. where two artists, Rhonda Uppington and Heike Blohm, will be set up.
Main Street Art Club, will be at the third location, another home/studio, located at 146 Victoria St., apt. 2.
The next location, another home/studio, is at 400 Ontario St., where Jason Wighton's work will be on display.
One of the business venues offering space for the artwalk is ADM Designs at 505 Queen St. Four different artists will be located there: Bill Lunshof, Hoda Nicholas, Ana Wood and Leslie Bertin.
Artist Irene Hurdle, will be at a home/studio at 597 Gorham St.
A number of artists will be at the Newmarket Community Centre, at 200 Doug Duncan Drive. Heather Berios, Alka Chopra, Cheryl Fulcher, Julia Spittel, Paulette Fleary and William Lottering will be located there.
Another business participating is Fair Chance Learning at 221 Main St. S where artist Robin Burnett will be.
Thrive Urban Wellness, at 471 Timothy St., is the next location. Artist Christine Stewart will be located there.
Six artists will be at the Old Town Hall, at 460 Botsford St. This includes Allison MacPhail, Edmund Mok, Jennifer Popp, Teresa Dunlop, Jennifer Shigetomi, and Karen Bowen.
Another business hosting artists is The Marc Group at 194 Main St. S. Jane Baker and Josée Savaria will be located there.
Artist Jeff Nye will be located at Metropolis Mercantile + Cafe, at 183 Main St. S.
Trinity United Church, at 461 Park Ave., is where Hup-Warmels will be located, as well as Jane Jacobs, Anna Khokhlova, Mahtab Abdollahi, Shelley Clark, and Stephen Sloan.
The final location is Main Street Realty at 150 Main St. S, where Ghazaleh Naderian will be located.
The artwalk and studio tour takes place over two days, on Saturday, Oct. 1 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and then on Sunday, Oct. 2 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.