Group of Seven in River John: Celebrated artists spending week in village to document, through art, life there

Community

RIVER JOHN – Artist Joy Laking believes art changes lives and perceptions.
An award-winning professional whose gallery is near Great Villagea, she‘s been painting scenes of rural coastal life in communities in Atlantic Canada and around the world for many years.

After closely following the activities in the community of River John over the last few years, Laking was impressed by their ongoing, positive resilience despite several closures and she has long been aware of the beauty of the landscape. Before leaving for Africa last winter, she reached out to community members and asked if there was something she could offer and organize this summer to celebrate the village and support this community in its efforts to forward a brighter future.

The community said yes!

The result, River John: Through Our Eyes, is a week-long artist colony starting Thursday, Aug. 11.

Laking and six of her professional artist friends will reside in River John during the week. They will paint, sculpt, compose, and photograph scenes and images throughout the village and area.

This first-time art initiative in River John will culminate in a reception and art exhibition on August 19 from 4 to 7 p.m. at the River John Community H.U.B. Center (the former school.)

The program begins at 5 p.m.

A portion of the proceeds of art sold that evening and for three weeks following the event will go back to the River John Community Action Society.

The other celebrated professional artists participating with Laking include Bill Rogers, Laurie Gunn, Susan Patterson, Dawn MacNutt, Chris Gorey  and Rosalee Peppard. Local writers including Linda Little and Monica Graham will give readings. MC for the event is writer Sheree Fitch. All are welcome to come view the works created that week in River John, meet the artists and celebrate rural, coastal and community.

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