Aurora Art Show & Sale returns for its 58th year
The Society of York Region Artists (SOYRA) event will take place at Aurora City Hall on April 30 and May 1
As we shed the remnants of a dull, gray winter, local artists are thrilled to bring a splash of vibrant color to City Hall with the return of the Aurora Art Show & Sale.
A partnership between the City of Aurora and the Society of York Region Artists (SOYRA), the show is back for its 58th year after a two-year hiatus from in-person shows due to the global pandemic – and participating artists n couldn’t be more excited to share their work with local art lovers.
“This is our first in-person event in two years and it’s so exciting,” said SOYRA President Linda Welch. “This is the first opportunity we will have to see a large number of people under the same roof at the same time or dispersed throughout the weekend. It is truly a landmark event.”
The Aurora Art Show & Sale usually brings together between 350 and 400 works created by SOYRA members and artists from the community at large, and this year will be no exception.
“There are always people who are surprised that there is such a high quality of art in the region,” says Welch. “Based on the communities where the art comes from, the geography is a bit narrower this year. We look forward to people coming and spending part of the day enjoying the creativity and the colors after such a dull winter as we have had. It will be a very pleasant way to spend time, whether you decide to buy something or not. Of course, we are always delighted if [sales] happen, but most of all we’re honored to have our work there for the public to enjoy.
The Aurora Art Show & Sale is also a chance for members of the public to see works created by some of the most talented emerging artists in the community.
“We have a strong component of youth entries and I’m always really excited about that because having been following this art show for several years now, you see very young elementary school students coming in and then they come in again at high school – and I have followed them and their artistic development over the years [into university] and that’s such an inspiring thing.
“City dwellers should come and see what young people are doing. It’s inspiring for everyone and the youth category is always every artist’s favorite. They love to watch what young people create.
Since the artists were last able to gather in person for this exhibition, a number of changes have taken place to the City Hall gallery spaces that will improve the way art can be exhibited. While easels will fill hallways groaning under the weight of paintings, drawings, etc., professional wall hanging systems have since been installed to maximize space.
This is just the latest chapter in the city’s support of local artists, says Shelley Ware, special events coordinator for the city of Aurora.
“The city has been so progressive in supporting the arts for almost six decades,” says Ware. “The fact that this is the 58th annual exhibition speaks volumes about the foresight of the city council 60 years ago to organize an art exhibition and still support it today. The partnership is extremely special, longstanding for decades. SOYRA is so passionate about arts and culture that it has really kept the local arts community together, intact, and certainly also built a strong cultural network. We couldn’t do the show without them, their presence, their partnership and their volunteerism.
“By the time the show opens to the public, collectively they would have volunteered over 300 hours to get the show off the ground.”
Behind-the-scenes work has also taken place to ensure members of the public can congregate safely. Additional hand sanitizers will be available for members of the public, while easels will be further apart than in the past.
It might have a slightly different feel, but being able to reconnect artistically will be worth it.
“What’s great about the show is not just the appreciation for the arts, but also the dialogue that tends to grow organically when you watch such passionate art,” says Ms. Ware. “It’s not a show that you rush from start to finish; it is a sight that you take in and enjoy. It is certainly a strong sight to behold. We have all seen, whether you are an art lover or not, the absence of art in the community during COVID. It was quite significant. If this show is a new experience for you, you won’t regret it.
The 58th Annual Aurora Art Show and Sale will be held at City Hall on Saturday, April 30 and Sunday, May 1 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Free entry.
Brock Weir is a federally funded Local Journalism Initiative reporter at The Auroran