Secret Postcard Society

On View
June 28 – July 4, 2023


Exhibition Details:
The Secret Postcard Society

June28 – July 4, 2023
Tuesday – Saturday
11 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Opening Reception
Thursday June 29, 5-8:00

Free Admission /
Donations Appreciated

Charitable # 119026417

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


As the COVID pandemic took over, we were all confined to isolation. This challenging time brought great uncertainty to our lives. As a means of coping with the crisis, a group of very talented Artists from the Women’s Art Association of Canada took to creating one of a kind postcards and mailing them to each other. This was a way of lifting spirits and staying socially connected to one another.

“There was great joy in the experimentation of creating the cards, and much anticipation and excitement in receiving them by post. They were then shared collectively on Zoom. By seeing the cards on video chat, we were able to explain the thought and technique behind each individual card, and more importantly we were able to check in with each other and share in laughter. This became a monthly project, and continued in person when it was safe to gather.”

We are delighted to be able to share with the public, this collection of
beautiful postcards created by “The Secret Postcard Society”. We will also be displaying and selling artwork, inspired by the postcard exchange.

Artist Statement

Ulla Djelweh

Ulla Djelweh is a Toronto-based interdisciplinary artist and a graduate of the Ontario College of Art. She has consistently exhibited and sold her work since 1985. In recent years Digital Photography has become her medium of choice.

A passion for travel and foreign cultures and her keen interest in landscapes, gardens and architecture often plant the seed for a visual story; a natural or man-made environment supplies her with an abundance of new subjects. Colours, shapes and lines – often created by an ever-changing light and its reflections – might become the trigger for a fresh idea. Current social and political issues are addressed at times.


Susan Farquhar

Amidst the Covid a group of WAAC artist members all gathered around the idea of a postcard exchange by snail mail. Everyone got busy painting cutting, printing, collaging. Zoom meetings once a month had us all talking about our profound enjoyment of receiving these gifts from each other. It was a hit; we had seven exchanges ending in December 2021 when the cycle naturally came to a close. As the months have passed the significance of sharing has been remembered well by all inspiring this exhibit in the Dignam Gallery.

BIO: Susan studied at the University of Guelph, York University and with a master printer in lithography at Open Studio in Toronto. She then worked at Novak Graphics a publisher of international and local artists until 1989. Susan and her partner Robert continued in professional fine art printing until 2013 when they closed Atelier GF. They produced fine art prints for artists such as John Chamberlain, Malcolm Morley, Anne Meredith Barry, John Hartman, Alice Tiechert as well as prints for the John Lennon and Miles Davis estates. Susan first exhibited her own work in print shows in Alberta, Ontario and Newfoundland. Unique mixed media works began in the early 2000’s when she began producing solo exhibits for Ferneyhough Contemporary in North Bay and David Kaye Gallery in Toronto.

Susan was awarded the Artist in Residence at the Women’s Art Association of Canada for 2018 – 2019 where she conducted printmaking workshops, gallery visits, a group print show and had a solo exhibit.


Heather Gentleman

Heather Gentleman lives and works in Toronto. Her education includes a MFA from Chelsea College of Art in London, UK. Her work is also found in private and corporate collections in Canada, U.S., Asia, France and Great Britain. In addition to solo exhibits, she regularly participates in group shows. Heather ran her own gallery/studio school in the Historic Distillery District and is currently an instructor at the Ontario College of Art and Design University. Heather Gentleman’s work is narrative in nature, finding inspiration in literature, anthropology, mythology, and symbolism. Characters peer out at the viewer as strangers that belong to a separate, surreal world, telling stories with the sensibility of an intimate conversation, expressing universal motifs that bridge with the personal. The compositions are often of a centred figure or object that creates a natural mirroring with the viewer which enhances the idea of dialogue, enabling the viewer to see him/herself in the story. Each postcard started with an image and the story responded to it. Postcards are written to share an experience with a friend or relative usually during a vacation. The idea of these were to create a liminal space of visuals and text that bridged the ordinary and the fantastical.


Gretchen Jeens

The Society of Secret Postcards not only served as a lifeline while we were in isolation during the Covid pandemic, it also inspired and motivated each of us to continue expression through our artwork. My own emotional journey continued with the representation of the female figure in a variety of different styles and with a variety of different mediums. The use of text and collage in my postcards was an attempt to further investigate new areas of artfulness while I developed my watercolour, acrylic, and drawing skills on these small . I looked forward with excitement every month to receiving these small but might objets d’art. The tangible result of our shared experience with old-fashioned traditional correspondence continues to bring comfort and joy, and will always provide memories of cheerful moments during that difficult time in our lives.


Originally from Toronto, Ontario, Gretchen Jeens majored in Drawing and Painting at OCAD University, graduating with a BFA in 2009. She draws inspiration from the beauty of nature with a focus on the complexities and experience of women through figurative painting. Working comfortably in oil, acrylic, watercolour, pencil, and pen, she achieves a whimsicality in the application of the chosen medium while delighting in the physical and emotional act of painting itself.

Earning many prestigious awards, her work has appeared in juried shows and group exhibitions, along with numerous solo exhibits.

She is currently represented in several galleries throughout Ontario.

Instagram: gret.ourhouse
Facebook: Gretchen Jeens

Patricia Paolini

The Postcard image celebrates the ‘Plant Hunters’, of the Victorian era and the ‘Sculptural Seedhead’, illustration set against my background collage, acknowledges the lifepreserving, ‘Seed Bank, at Kew Gardens, London U.K.

Blue Bowl Form; Hand formed clay: inspired by the, ‘Cupped’, forms of seed heads.

I enjoy working in a variety of mediums, clay, textiles, glass, paint as well as mixed media.

Selection is decided once the most effective medium for the message being portrayed becomes apparent.


I started with Fine Art and Design Degrees from the University of Birmingham and the University of Newcastle Upon Tyne leading to a Post Graduate Advanced Certificate in Museum Studies at the University of Leicester, EnglandI particularly enjoyed interpreting cultural and natural objects at the British Museum and the Manchester University Museum while on staff. Other areas included teaching Visual Art in Canadian High Schools: Loretto Abbey, Loretto Brunswick, St. Joseph’s.

Later I became involved with disadvantaged communities, teaching visual art Young Offenders Maximum Security Prison, I volunteered teaching at our two son’s school, Saint Bridget’s By The Sea’ N.S.W.was a blessing. I reaffirmed natural respect for, reverence of, and focus on our oceans, land and air, inspired by my father and our respect for David Attenborough, who attended the Saturday Morning Club of Leicester Museum where I later trained and led such groups.


Karen Perlmutter

Sometimes the most turbulent times in our lives, can also be a time of great solace and


I was inspired during this challenging time to create postcards and mail them to the other members of the Secret Postcard Society. What inspired me, were the things that gave me comfort….my son, my dog, food. These inspirations were then translated into photo images and embellished with textured fabric, and paper. The exploration of colour and texture were important to each concept. Other times I used the power of words in collaboration with the images. My postcards created new memories, while also conjuring up old memories.

This project became a lifeline and a constant way of communicating for me.

Karen Perlmutter is an award winning Photographer living in Toronto, Canada. She is a graduate of the Ontario College of Art, and was a resident of the Banff School of Fine Arts. Her career has taken her to Italy, France and Mexico, where she photographed landscapes, street scenes and portraits for her Solo Exhibitions. A collection of her work is housed in the Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris, France.

“The texture and detail of the scene is where my inspiration lies. I work with intention, accentuating the fine details of each shot.”

Instagram: kperlmutter1

Janet F. Potter

As a Professional Artist I have become totally indulged in the Usage of Recyclable Materials. My Process of lost and found Materials range from Rocks, Books Newspapers, Milk Cantons. Japanese Washi Paper etc. including Vintage Windows and various other found objects that will be created into a Zen Piece of Art.


“My Collective Works of Art” is a reflection of the good fortune of growing up in the idyllic settings in the Ottawa Valley, Halifax N.S., Vancouver Island B.C. and Washington D”C. An environmentally nurturing upbringing gifted me with a deep understanding of Nature’s intrinsic Beauty in Landscapes, and Plant Life.

My family was composed of exceptional talented female Artists that recognized my particular artistic interests and qualities and encourage me to travel worldly to observe a wide range of different cultures. Rigorously studying the Art of Chinese Brush Painting after several major Asian trips I earned a highly prestigious Professional Studio Stamp

Awards, Honours and Publications have been received including a 2008 Toronto Washi Summit International Award plus the Maritime Museum, Halifax, N.C (Permanent Collection) owns one of my books called “A Sailor’s Log Book” and the Brooklyn Library Art Museum have two Art Books. My paintings also appears in the Beauty and Best Film and the Canadian TV Series “Private Eyes”

As of today after several years as Co-Curator at the Women’s Art Association I am now focusing my time and energy on self-direct Art Studies and continuing my combination Artistic Western Art Techniques and Chinese Brush Painting to create a vision of depth emphasizing colours, and textures to give the viewer a sense of serenity through a peaceful Zen Style

Contact:, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter

Deniz Ergun Seker

In my postcards exhibit, I explore the fascinating relationship between mushrooms, pigeons, and the Canada Post. The pigeon, a creature deeply intertwined with human history, has played diverse roles throughout the ages, serving as a symbol, a source of sustenance, and a sacred or secular messenger. Unfortunately, in today’s urban landscapes, pigeons are often seen as a nuisance, and opinions about them are divided between love and detestation. However, this contemporary prejudice overlooks the profound significance of pigeons in our shared past.

Through my artwork, I aim to shed light on the multifaceted nature of pigeons and their historical importance. By featuring postcards adorned with intricate mushroom illustrations, I symbolize the connection between nature’s wonders and the messengers that have played a crucial role in delivering postcards.

A proud member of the Women’s Art Association of Canada, Deniz co-curated and installed more than 40 art shows since becoming a member in 2009. She continues to exhibit through the city in private galleries. During Covid days she created seven websites for online group art shows & artist galleries and several art books for other artists. Her “Deniz in Musroomland” series is exhibited at Latitude 44 Gallery in the Junction all year around.

“The Creative Adult Is The Child Who Survived”

Throughout my life I have also been a self-guided student of the natural world, poetry and stories. I see objects as forms of visual poetry. Through them I seek to speak to my viewers quietly, often whimsically of the beauty of earth.

Hidden under our feet is an information superhighway that allows plants to communicate and help each other out. It’s made of fungi. So my message is we are all connected. We are more resilient when we are together.


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