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An open juried Ontario-wide exhibition of painting and drawing

October 1–27, 2017 at the Arts & Letters Club  

Deadline for Submissions: August 1, 2017

For more information click on the logo above or through this link



Watch for news of art-related happenings and the Club, and meet the winners of the Arts & Letters Club's inaugural NEXT! exhibition in October 2015

Watch as we add profiles of all the winners in this first exhibition in the countdown to NEXT2.


July 2017

NEXT! 2015: Peter Adams — Cherry Carnon Award - $1,000.

Jul 17, 2017 11:00 AM
Laurie DeCamillis


Can you tell us something about this work—where it came from, its inspiration.

We'd be interested to know more about your work. in general.

My artwork has always represented a response to changes happening in my immediate surroundings.  (Having been trained as a filmmaker years ago, I still have instincts of a documentarian.)  Most significantly, my move from an urban environment to a rural setting 15 years ago, has led me to focus much of my attention on the abandoned and collapsing structures of an evolving agricultural industry.  I have long been interested in the realm in which human and natural worlds meet - both in harmony and in opposition.  I am fascinated by the human relationship with landscape and subjects that have some poetic juxtaposition of harmony and conflict, growth and decay, grace and tragedy.  

My current work is largely focused on resources and how we use them.  In 2012, I began a new series that I have since called Earth Scars.  Aware of the unprecedented demand for limestone aggregate in Ontario, I began researching the largest holes in the earth.  My research was first focused on The Big Hole, a diamond mine in Kimberley, South Africa.  Mining ceased in 1914, though it is still believed to be the largest hole in the earth that was entirely excavated by hand.  I have since gone on to research the mines of Russia, South America and Canada.  I see the paintings in this series as portraits of a landscape transformed by humans.  I see them as reflecting pools for a discourse on the sustainability of resource extraction, asking the viewer to ponder which are the vital resources and at what cost are they extracted.    


Who are your influences? 

Mark Rothko, Brice Marden, Jackson Pollock, Georgia O'Keefe, Alex Colville, Bob Dylan. 

I had recently travelled to Chicago and one of the things that struck me is just how foreign it is to someone living in small town Ontario to have so much iron, steel and concrete overhead.  Hope to take a trip back and do more in this series.   



Contact Peter or see his work at


Here are two more of his paintings:


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NEXT! 2015: Erin Gillis — Cherry Carnon Award - $1,000.

Jul 9, 2017 11:00 AM
Laurie DeCamillis


ell us about your inspirations and your work.

I was inspired at a very young age by my grandfather who was an excellent artist. Although he developed Parkinson's disease at the age of 29, he continued painting and drawing, built his own studio, and taught art lessons. By the time he was 50, though, the disease had progressed so much that he was forced to end his career. I only knew him at this later stage in life, as he sat in his chair unable to walk or speak clearly.  I loved looking at all his drawings and paintings around his home, especially the many portraits he drew. This I believe is what planted the seed in me to become an artist. I studied at Dundas Valley School of Art and then Sheridan College. 

I have done still life and landscapes, but always come back to portraits. Capturing ones personality on fascinates me! I love to create. It makes me feel good. And I strive for the viewer who sees my work to experience that same feeling too. I work in several different mediums including charcoal, graphite, acrylic paint, copic marker, and prisma pencil.


As per social media, I currently have a facebook account showing some of my pieces. It is called 'Erin Gillis Illustrations'. Link is here: 











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NEXT! 2015: Micheal Zarowsky — Sedlmayer-Katz Award - $1,000.

Jul 1, 2017 11:00 AM
Laurie DeCamillis


Tell us about this work.

Certain places have charmed us time after time. In exploring for ideas, we come upon a place and then make it our own. The world opens up to us as equally much as we go looking for it. 

The painting is based on sketches made from a tiny 4 to 10 foot wide, in places 6 inch to 2  feet  deep,  creek that meanders for miles through a forest before emptying into the Saugeen  Rver. When summer comes the shallow stream is all reflection reflection reflection.  Over the years, I have painted the Saugeen River and the small streams that feed into it. The marigolds and wild irises that line the banks early each summer, as well as the changes each fall brings. 

The uniqueness and sensibility of my paintings evolves as the elements of the work is continuously rethought, adjusted, refined, worked, reworked, reinvented/rediscovered anew, to express what is a continuing, growing love for my partner in work and life, Wendy, the everchanging relationships with growing adjustment not only to myself, to the world around me, to everyone in our lives. Any realism in the work has more to do with an attitude than with a style. 


You can see Michae's work and contact him at, or









Other works by Michael in this series:



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June 2017

NEXT! 2015: Janet Hendershot — Gold Award Winner, $5,000.

Jun 16, 2017 11:00 AM
Laurie DeCamillis

Janet Hendershot has taught drawing and painting in various media at the Art Gallery of Ontario,Toronto; the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, Victoria,B.C.; the McMichael Canadian Collection, Kleinberg, Ontario; as well as the Varley Art Gallery, Unionville, Ontario. 

She served as President and Vice-President of the Ontario Society of Artists and continues to be active on the Council representing the OSA on the Board of the John B. Aird Gallery, Toronto.


We asked her about her influences:

There have been many influencing instructors, artists and artworks contributing to my development as an artist—instructors Anthony Benjamin and Tim Whiten at York University and seeing works by Cezanne, Monet, Kandinsky and Matisse when travelling.

Following abstract expressionism, I have admired the work of Helen Frankenthaler and Jules Olitski. William Ronald was also an early influence and encouraged me to keep painting. The New York critic Clement Greenberg discussed my work with me and had a powerful influence as well as Canadian critics Paul Duval and Ken Carpenter.

Joan Murray was a friendly supporter in my early painting years. Judy Singer, a Toronto contemporary, has been a strong support and offers helpful critiques of current work.


See her work and contact her:



Here are two of Janet's works from the same series:


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NEXT! 2015: Nancy De Boni - Silver Award Winner, $2,500.

Jun 14, 2017 11:00 AM
Laurie DeCamillis

Where did you study? 

I studied at the Ontario College of Art graduating in 1972, and since then have taken several workshops in Ontario.  

Who are your influences? 

I  refer to  Bonnard, Anselm Keifer, Richard Diebenkorn and Egon Schiele for his landscapes particularly. 

My work addresses the impressions we witness and the traces we leave behind. Hinged on realism, my goal is to invoke a familiar narrative to which the viewer may relate. Similar interior landscapes exist for us all. 


See Nancy's work and contact her at














Two other paintings by Nancy DeBoni:




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NEXT! 2015: Kathe Merilovich — Cherry Carnon Award - $1,000.

Jun 1, 2017 11:00 AM
Laurie DeCamillis



Tell us what motivates your work.

My work Integrates art and science and explores fundamental forces, paradox and the curiosity of human nature—the same fundamental forces that prevail throughout the universe echo inside us. As an abstract artist, I wonder what is it that entices us to seek something we suspect is there yet is outside the parameters of our senses?  I studied Fine Art at Humber College, Brock and McMaster Universities. 


This work is part of the a series. Tell us more about it .

It's called The Infinity Series. The tendency to strive to understand the regularities of nature is an innate human characteristic, and this series of paintings examines the idea of infinity. Galileo used the geometry of a triangle to aid in his quest to define the infinite. He challenged the accepted notions of space and time which was begun by the ancient Greek philosopher Zeno. Questions surrounding the search to define infinity continue to stumped mathematicians providing enough aggravation to lead to numerous discoveries transforming the way we think about the very large, the very small, the complex and even ourselves.  

You can see kathe's work and contact her at 









Two other paintings in Kathe's Infinity Series:





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May 2017

Julian Mulock and Warren Clements Exhibition

May 31, 2017 1:00 PM
Laurie DeCamillis

Here are our current shows at the Club: Julian Mulock—Silent Spaces and Warren Clements—Comic Strips and Illustrations, from May 29 through June 23.


SILENT SPACES – new work by Julian Mulock

My first encounter with Julian’s work was standing before stacks and stacks of identically framed paintings, all the same size, all with the same composition.  I found myself without words, not unusual for me but maybe, this time, even appropriate.

My next encounter was standing in the Great Hall of the Arts and Letters Club surrounded by Julian’s paintings hanging on the walls. Doorways opening onto more doorways and through each doorway light streams across the path from some unknown source until finally the view ends in radiance. As I look from one painting to another, each with the same composition, each spaced equally apart, each with the light in the center, I feel it – the drum beat, the heart beat. 

This exhibition is about visual music, silent rhythms and resonances. Each painting has its own subtle colour variations forming its own harmonies, each a tone poem, a mantra. 

The paintings, each of a specific interior— art galleries and jails, a slave owner's home near Savannah Georgia, the interior of Toronto's defunct Hearn Generating Station or the Diefenbunket at Carp Ontario—together take us on a journey, like a recurring dream, to places a child would feel lonely and frightened, a nightmare of sorts.  But, the adult feels peace and the resonance with all that has come before, a feeling of continuum.


Silence: Cartagena


Silence: Castletown House, UK



When you enter the Club lounge this month, you can be sure to find one or more people perusing the art on the walls and chuckling. What they are looking at are originals of comic strips— two per frame — from Warren Clements's the Nestlings, which ran for a number of years in the Globe and Mail.  

The dialogue is mostly between birds, or worms, or birds and worms. Occasionally other creatures, such as ants, make an appearance. The birds are dim-witted, the worms are savvy and literate and have read Dante and Proust. The characters are the perfect vehicle for Warren's healthy sense of the ridiculous, and many of the strips provide an erudite, but wonky, take on the foibles of our modern society.  It's a real treat to spend time with these guys!



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NEXT! 2015: Eva Widmeier — Marg King Award of Merit $500

May 27, 2017 5:00 PM
Laurie DeCamillis

Tell us about your work:

Each of my works is unique and inspired by my feelings of the moment. I am influenced by modern artists as well as the old

masters, but I do not imitate or try to adopt a style similar to someone else's. I have studied with excellent teachers in Canada and the USA, and as a younger person in Germany, with well-known painter/instructor Ernst Wolfhagen.

For about three years now, I have been thrilled to create collages, and every shape is created in my mind and will not be repeated.

You can see Eva's work at:


Here are two of Eva's other collages



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NEXT! 2015: Jessica Maan – Elisabeth Legge Gallery Award of Merit - $500

May 26, 2017 10:00 AM
Laurie DeCamillis


Tell us about yourself:

In 2016, I received a diploma for the completion of a 3 year Visual Arts Fundamentals program through the Art Centre of Central Technical School in Toronto.

And tell us about the Series:

My neighbourhood and the places I frequent in Toronto could be considered normal or commonplace, yet I feel an admiration for the beauty and peace in the buildings I walk past or enter so often. I wonder about the activity and life which take place between all the bricks and mortar. Buildings which are so stoic yet alive, majestic. I find a sense of refuge, yet other times am locked out, peering in, with hope or disappointment.




Visit Jessica's website or contact her:

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NEXT! 2015: Warren Hoyano — Dr Bruce Robinson Award - $500.

May 8, 2017 11:00 AM
Laurie DeCamillis

We asked Warren to tell us something about this painting - where did it come from, what was its inspiration.

The heart symbol, although ever present in popular culture, is defined in a very restricted fashion. The meaning is often limited to liking or loving something in a superficial sense. In this series, I tried to present the symbol in ways that expand the meaning.

To accomplish this, I used text in combination with the heart and referenced such things as mythology and poetry. I wanted the symbol to embody the soul or spirit of a person and the text to be descriptive of a psychological state, or be an exhortation, or an admonishment.  







See Warren's work or contact him at











Other works in this series:

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