Celebrating Life Through Art

On View
June 2 – 18, 2022


Exhibition Details:
Awakening: Celebrating Life Through Art

June 2 – 18, 2022

Tuesday – Saturday
9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Opening reception, and meet the artists
June 4, 1 – 3 p.m.

To visit, or for more information
(416) 922-2060, or


The Women’s Art Association of Canada is pleased to present a group of artists who are awakening ‘by light’, ‘in spring’, ‘by experimenting’, ‘to time’, ‘after renewal’, ‘to something radically new, or different’, or ‘in the world’, or ‘in the psyche’, ‘below the river’, ‘in mythology’, ‘to one’s heart!’, ‘to a new vantage point’, and ‘in reflection’.

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Featured Works


Artist Statements


Maria Antoniv

Irene Barran-Stec

Maggie Broda

Celine ChanI want to express the psychological side of human beings and the attitude of how people face problems through my paper quilling artworks, giving them the power to be more resilient to difficulties. Also, I believe that the power of love can break through the gap of light leakage in the darkness; therefore, I want my viewers can feel that positive spirit towards life.

Adele D’ArcyFor the night owls, insomniacs and shift workers. We’re awake, alert and somewhat alienated when everyone else is winding down.

Ulla DjelwehBeing awakened by the light of the rising sun streaming through my bedroom window is magical and sacred. Capturing a fleeting moment, I wanted to convey a sense of atmosphere and integrity, document the colour of the morning light as it rapidly transforms the sky and falls on the fabric of my curtains and the sumac foliage outside.

Myra EvansThe two paintings I submitted to the Awakening Show reflect both the inner joy of the spirit and the joy shared with others. The watercolour piece, Namaste, reflects the joy extended to others in a heartfelt greeting by a gentleman I met in India. The second piece, Contemplation, is a celebration of the inner life of the spirit.

Kathleen Gabriel

Catharina GoldnauGrowing up in the rural countryside, I now work in a large urban centre, immersed in concrete. Oscillating between these poles, my work strives to be a coupling of both, inviting the viewer to contemplate a piece of earthiness within the context of a fabricated object. We need nature to regenerate our soul and culture to challenge our minds. Most recently I have been exploring the essence of femaleness, examining complex psychological and physical aspects of womanhood and how women stretch to bridge complex issues. How do girls navigate societal norms of physical beauty and body-image dictated by society and social media? What are the effects of the resulting deep despair and physical illness? How do women navigate the joys of birthing with perpetual self-sacrifice?

Kate GreenwayWhen I contemplate what the idea of “awakening” means to me, my first response is the awakening that happens in early spring. After the dreariness of a long and especially cold winter, I can think of no better celebration of life than the miracle that is the rejuvenation of spring. The return of the robins to nest and raise their brood, the sprouting of the first early crocus, pansies in pots outside the front door, bees and butterflies pollinating buds and sipping nectar, the chirping of early morning songbirds – all bring simple joy.

MaryLou HurleyI am constantly realizing that life IS art and beauty abounds. It is found in the details. Just like an individual person, the unique, colourful pieces of the common rose, suspended here over antique doilies, are each as varied as their past. The striking mannequin EVE manifests life and wears its’ mantle proudly. A look under her skin celebrates her past, the common origin of all life.

Gretchen JeensThroughout the past two years of isolation, visual art, as always, has been a source of solace and healing. For me, active imagination and the creative process have prevailed in these difficult times, resulting in a refreshing awakening of what moves me to paint. The opportunity and experience of experimenting in various mediums, styles, and subjects has led me to a fresh re-connection with what truly moves my own creativity. Figurative painting is what I am continually drawn to…the expression of human emotion continues to captivate and enchant me. Every figure or face that I paint is a reflection of my own emotional responses to life. Allowing myself to freely express how one feels through colour and form makes life rich and interesting.

Kelly KirkpatrickThe pandemic brought mothers to their knees. Online schooling and isolation became anxiety, desperation, overwhelm and burnout that arose as a result of those days that blended into each other for what felt like an eternity. This piece shows the pain of what should have been a happy time turned upside down where there was no control, and the ability to get through the day felt impossible. As we are slowly, little by little accepting what was, what now is, how we are changed, and how we will never be the same, it is a time of awakening as things begin to turn around.

Iwona KmiecSpring gives us a chance to gather strength and put our energy into action, from sleeping state to alert , unstoppable force. It’s a hopeful reminder of our inner power.

L’ORAwakening is the perfect word to reflect this change in my life . I have discovered a new perspective that enhances my art. An uninhibited gesture liberates expression in the use of colours, shapes and vantage points. The painting changes as the viewer repositions. The viewer contributes to my painting. With every new vantage point the viewer has an awakening.

Susan LappinFrom isolation, forced or otherwise, there is a time that can be emotionally uplifting or fearful. All the negative and positive emotions flood your being. For to venture forth is not an easy task. You feel something emerging within. A candle in the darkness can be the reassurance that you need to step forward, to entertain life again. Where people in the street may feel distant, as they are in another realm but still here. It has been so long. Come back through planting seeds for happiness, peace, positivity.“You’re always one decision away from a totally different life.” – Mark Batterson

Winnie LarsenAwakening inspires me to think about renewal after the dormancy of winter. I associate the awakening with hope and the burst of life in the natural world around us in spring. These pieces were germinated in darker days, when I had a hunger for colour, life and inspiration. I hope they will bring some of the same to you, and inspire you too!

Stephanie Ledger van LogchemFor this show, I thought about some of the major ‘awakening’ moments in my life, and what they meant to me, and what it was that defined them as ‘awakening’. I decided it was a sudden or gradual awareness of something radically new or different in one’s life, or in the world about us, or in the psyche. A sudden incomprehensible, divine spurt of heightened energy that signals the miracle of a new awareness …That moment when glorious wings burst forth out of a dark pupa and embrace a mysterious world…

Karen Iris LucasI have chosen recent pieces of work from my River Nymphs Legend. The nymphs are protectors of the environment of the Sydenham River. River Nymphs Awaken, is a painting of the nymphs dancing on the river surface in joyful celebration of a fine summer day. Awakening Below The River is a painting of a river nymph below the water. She awakens to a new day to find herself surrounded by a school of river minnows.

Suzanne Forgang MillerMy work is mainly Plein Air, sometimes added to afterwards. The experience of working from life involves a wonderful connection with my natural surroundings, and a true awakening of my spirit during this creative experience.

Marjorie MoeserMy paintings are not intended to be real places. Elements in Nature are treated semi-abstractly to suggest different locales…wherever the images may take the viewer. All ingredients are intentional and meant to transport the viewer to a place of awakening that only he/she knows.

Gillian MordenThe title Awakening suggests to me renewal and rebirth.

Joanne Nelson“Persephone, a Greek mythological goddess, is known as Goddess of Spring. She was kidnapped by Hades and taken to the underworld where she would remain if she ever ate any food. Persephone did however, eat six pomegranate seeds. As a compromise with Demeter, Persephone’s mother and life-giving goddess of agriculture, grain, and harvest. Persephone was allowed to return to earth for half the year. Many believe that the Demeter and Persephone story explains the seasons of the year. During the time that Persephone spends away from her mother, Demeter causes the earth to wither and die. This time of year became autumn and winter. Persephone’s arrival to be reunited with her mother signals a renewal of hope. It represents the rebirth of untold splendor and abundance. The earth once again becomes fertile and fruitful. Persephone appears on the right side of this painting. “

Patricia Paolini

Megha ParharThe three images represent the values that keep us alive and tethered: nature, love, hope, history, justice and the protest/on going fight for justice.

janet f. potter As a mixed media Artist I have hand written a ” Collection of Friend’s Family Favourite Cooking Recipes” onto a Hand Stitch Japanese Washi Paper Apron. All recipes were process and cooked during Covid Time with tremendous memories, love and comfort ………Such an “Awakening” to one’s heart!

Margaret Rodgers Undercover is literally a pieced together compilation, a sewn and painted canvas hanging 25×42 inches (variable) made from studio scraps. There is a section that can be peeked inside, thus the title. It is a loosely rendered scene about play. Through its form it is an expression of resourcefulness. In terms of subject matter it articulates the way that the element of play continues through adversity.

Leslie SavageZebras: wild and untameable, say those who have tried to domesticate this beautiful relative of the horse. My zebra head, a soft quilted sculpture using my own radiation mask as a base, has become an avatar celebrating my rededication to artistic production in the wake of a cancer diagnosis.

Theodore ScottThe photograph which I am submitting is quite a literal interpretation of the title of this exhibition, with some extension to the idea.

Diane Segger The two pieces I have painted for this particular show illuminate and express life in two totally different ways. “Glorious” depicts positive, uplifting, creative and peaceful energy – the kind to begin your day in a free and open way. Whereas my second piece named “Explosive” demonstrates life’s positive and negative energy charges colliding, with the unimaginative and uncontrollable results occurring until all is revealed in its natural form and we are left to put the pieces together. Both paintings speak to our emotions in different ways and in ways at times in our lives we can relate to.

Diane Seker “I want to be a mermaid,” says Freja, a nine-year-old girl from the land of Hans Christian Andersen. “I don’t really know why … I just think they are special. They can do anything.” “A new sort of mermaid is the quintessential 21st century woman—and literary heroine. Freed from some of the less pleasant conventions of old fairy tales, she owns her body and its power. She is a lover of beauty, a free spirit, and a member of a society where women govern themselves. Perhaps her allure can’t be entirely defined, but it can be celebrated for a new generation.”” Susann Cokal

Brenda SherwoodWild Pink Cosmos in full bloom during the summer, a classical adaptation from a photo taken by myself. They evoke happiness in the viewer through their bright pink and violet colors.

Lena ShugarIt is dawn, a time between the end of night and the beginning of a new day. It is an awakening, the promise of renewal, a time for reflection.

Catharine Somerville My Intention is to create a moment of awakening. A brief meaningful moment when spring breaks through a blanketed winter. Nature seems to be more alive , more active as the buds and green reappear on the hillside.

Triveni Srikaran My portrait is a homage to Venus – the Greco-Roman goddess of love, beauty, desire, fertility, prosperity and victory. This widely popular cult goddess was worshipped throughout antiquity as an embodiment of love and sexuality and was known to be the creator of the essence of life. By absorbing and tempering her male counterpart Vulcan’s energy with her love and virtue, Venus balanced the male and female in mutual affection to present a harmonious and contented life. This is my aspiration for my sitter, a young trans woman on her journey to womanhood, to find all the graces of Venus, emerge and rise above all darkness to discover life and vitality itself.

Anita SteinAll of my work comes from internal feelings the day the painting begins. Large, small, bright, subdued, collage , texture. It all begins when my hand hits the canvas. I love each of my pieces because they are different. They are unique and with each piece comes a new “Awakening”!

Barb SymonsBoth figurative pieces “EMERGED” as the printing process progressed —both begun through an inner conversation -striving to convey the energy that emergence demands.

Sally Thurlow


Spring has sprung, oh joy

the world’s a mess, oh boy

art speaks our minds

the curious find and

contemplate and toy.

Nina Tschupikow

Talyaa VardarThrough my art, I seek our connection to the Spirit and the ancient symbolism that we find in medicine, mythology, and shamanism. I start my art with a question and then seek answers through aesthetic experience. Each time, through the creative process, I am amazed that forms, colours, and symbols take control and guide me towards something, that is always different than my initial quest.

Wendy WeaverUndercurrents, putting old with new as life continues.

Karen ZavitzThe title of this piece “Angels are Near” refers to the phrase “When feathers appear angels are near”. We often need reminders to uplift us and reawaken us to the beauty and wonders of life. As a beautiful earthly symbol of the beyond these feathers remind us and reawaken us to beauty and the divine; both always so close at hand and often just beyond our grasp.