November 30, 2023

A Guelph painter is hoping to get more recognition after being elected to the Society of Canadian Artists.

Mary-Dawn Roberts was elected to the society back in June. She has been doing paintings with oil, acrylic and watercolour for more than 40 years.

Roberts couldn’t hide her emotions when she learned her name was being added to the Society.

“I was really happy about it,” said Roberts. “Excited, validated. There are so many things and so many opportunities to be a member of this association that it’s such a worthy thing to try for.”

Roberts had to submit 10 pieces of her artwork that had to be created in the last two years as part of the application process. There is a jury of five people who evaluate each individual’s art and determines whether it is good enough to recognize the artist as member of the Society.

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“Hopefully (this designation) means it is a difference to my collectors who already have my work and believe in me,” said Roberts. “To others who would rather have lots of people say, ‘She does pretty good work.’”

Roberts started painting while she was living in a northern section of Ontario. She recalled doing some painting with a group of artists near Algonquin Park. Roberts said that group encouraged her to continue her work and she has no plans to put down the paintbrush anytime soon.

“I am not happy if I’m not working,” Roberts said. “Even though every one of my friends have retired and are playing golf, I am painting because it is in me. It is in my blood.”

The Society of Canadian Artists was created in 1972 to foster and celebrate the visual arts in Canada and has more than 350 members. Margaret Peter is the only other member of the society who is elected from the Guelph area.

Roberts will be putting her artwork on display, including ones that won her a spot in the Society, as part of her Fall 2023 Art Exhibition at Garden House Gallery in Guelph. It will run from Nov. 11 to 19.

For more information on her exhibition go to her website.

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