This year’s International Women’s Day Art Show is all about connections.
That’s the theme of the 23rd annual exhibition, which will open at the Orillia Museum of Art and History on Feb. 16 and run until April 14.
“We’re always looking for a theme that gives artists a lot of leeway in terms of how they interpret it,” said show co-ordinator Juliana Hawke.
An artist suggested the Connections theme because of “the amazing amount of artists connecting with each other through this show and meeting new artists,” Hawke explained.
As always, there will be plenty of art in various forms, from paint and photography to sculpture and video. The exhibition will feature the work of more than 130 artists.
While the artwork of women has become more common in galleries over the years, that wasn’t always the case. Those behind the Orillia show recognized that, and that’s how the exhibition was born.
“When you look at art history, you don’t see a lot of female artists being shown in galleries. This allows women artists to show their work in a group show,” Hawke said.
It’s also known for being inclusive and not as daunting to artists who might be apprehensive about submitting their work to a juried show.
“We welcome artists who may be intimidated by taking part in an art show where they’re being judged,” Hawke said.
Having a theme that is open to interpretation presents a challenge to Hawke and the others who arrange the various works. They have to consider not only the visual aspect, but also the stories behind the pieces.
Participating artists submit a brief write-up that is displayed with their work.
“It’s a lot of work, but it’s very exciting to do that,” Hawke said, noting it takes a couple of weeks to set up.
An opening reception for the show will take place Feb. 16 from 1 to 4 p.m.