Local Women Make Connections with Their Art

To celebrate International Women’s Day, OMAH is once again hosting the annual Women’s Day Art Show. As the organizer and curator of this diverse exhibit, I am thrilled that we can present the artworks of over 130 women artists in the spacious and bright Mulcahy Family Gallery!


For the past 23 years this independent art show has encouraged women to express themselves artistically and to participate in a themed group exhibit, which is non-juried and therefore inclusive. It offers a unique opportunity for women artists to show their work with the support of and within a community of peers. It is above all else, a celebration of women’s art!


Our theme this year is “Connections” and in the exhibit visitors will see 132 interpretations of this theme in an exceptionally wide variety of mediums and styles. Each art piece is accompanied by a few words by the artist, which allows the viewer a little more insight into the life and thoughts of these inspiring women.


It is amazing to see how this show has grown over the years from our humble beginnings in 1997 at Linda and Bill Tiffin’s little shop off Peter St., to Orillia’s newly renouvated public art gallery 9 years ago.  From 40 artists 23 years ago to consistently over 130 artists more recently!


The theme of the first Women’s Art Show exhibit was “Women’s Stories” and one of the founding organizers, Mary Ann Tully, said these words at the opening reception in March, 1997:  “The stories provide our connection to each other and to our past and future. Women’s History, rarely written down, nevertheless has been preserved through stories passed on from one generation to the next. Women have been creating art and expressing themselves through art from the beginning of human history. It is in the million and one things we create and recreate each day. I believe that exhibitions like this one are so important in honouring and celebrating women’s creative work”


I am pleased to have been one of the organizers of this show for the past 9 years and so fortunate to have also been a participating artist for the past 23 years. Being known primarily as a nature artist and illustrator, I found that I could use the opportunity of this show to create something a little different and more personal. My first submission to the Women’s Show was a drawing of my late grandmother sewing one of her quilts. My story was about the female comradeship of quilting bees and the creative spirit of my grandmother.


Over the years hundreds of artists have been inspired to present their work in this eclectic annual exhibit resulting in a fascinating and sometimes moving experience for the viewer.

I want to congratulate all the artists past and present for sharing their art and their personal thoughts and experiences. It has been such an honour for me to be part of this very special art show!



Written by Juliana Hawke, International Women's Day Art Show Coordinator