The Public Art Centre is a not-for-profit charitable organization with a mission to promote the appreciation for and support the practice of the visual arts in St. Thomas and Elgin County; with our doors closed and our programs cancelled we are already seeing the effects. If you are in a position to do so, you can help to support STEPAC the following ways, every bit helps!
The doors to our building may be closed, but please enjoy our online exhibitions and new artists biographies, online publications, and resources, sign up for the newletter, and don’t forget to follow us on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook and subscribe on YouTube.
In 2019, the Public Art Centre celebrated its' 50th Anniversary, our successes have been put on hold for awhile. Our Redtail Cocktail Party and Silent Auction has been postponed and we will be working with Redtail to bring you the safest way for us to get together. Thank you to our sponsors for their ongoing support!
Since humans first illuminated bands of rain and lightning on the inner walls of their cave homes, artists have been absorbed with illustrating our physical environment. Yet, for centuries, the environment's form in art was meant to be read either as wonder for our natural world, or as a background subject for the documentation of human stories. In the 20th century, together with rising global concerns surrounding the state of the earth's health, and our impact as humans upon it, many artists use this concern to create images that will drawn attention to the ecological issues and will as our relationship and contribution to them. Stanley Lewis was one such artists, with his simple depictions of humans and environment produced with limited colours and forms. This straightforward technique allows for the simple message to be delivered to the viewer. Below you will find some examples of his work from the permanent collection.
While we are experiencing a time of social distancing or self-isolation, it is typically the destiny of the artist to work alone. The themes of loneliness, isolation and estrangement frequently arise in their artwork providing us with an opportunity to contemplate and interpret and with complete understanding. The Following selections are some examples from the permanent collection that we think perfectly express solitude, and isolation.
Merle "Ting" Tingley
(1922-2017) was a Canadian Cartoonist who was the main editorial coartoonist for the London Free Press (ontario), from 1948 to 1986 as well as being syndicated for 60 other publications as well.
In World War II, Tingley was the official cartoonist for the Canadian Army magazine, Khaki, and a contributor for the overseas army newspaper, The Maple Leaf. After his discharge, Tingley toured the country on his motorcycle hoping to find work as a cartoonist only to have the various newspapers in applied at turn him down. When Tingley reached London, Ontario, he was out of funds and had to gain a menial job at the London Free Press with a friend's help. However, Tingley's fortunes improved when an editor on that paper noticed a cartoon Tingley drew of the mayor during the municipal election. The editor was impressed enough with that work to arrange to have Tingley become the resident editorial cartoonist.
Tingley's mascot was a worm character called Luke Worm who usually was present in each of his cartoons.
Tingley's honours include the National Newspaper Award for editorial cartooning in 1955, National Headliner Award for Editorial Cartoon year for 1965 and induction into the Canadian Cartoonist Hall of Fame in 2015. In addition, collections of his work are stored at the University of Western Ontario, the St. Thomas-Elgin Public Art Centre and at Library and Archives Canada in Ottawa.
After his retirement in 1986, his artistic contributions have been commemorated since 2014 in the Ting Comic And Graphic Arts Festival in London, Ontario. It is an annual three week arts festival at The TAP Centre for Creativity devoted to cartooning and sequential art which includes gallery displays of various local Canadian artists including selections of Tingley's art, as well as various activities devoted to the medium and is scheduled to conclude with the annual Free Comic Book Day event.
The following images are a few examples of the 117 original art works in the St. Thomas-Elgin Public Art Centre's permanent collection.