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April 4 - May 12, 2019

Can art inspire us to make a change in our own life, our own neighbourhood, our own community? How can it make us think a bit differently and grab our attention to sharpen our world view? Can creativity and artistic expression partner with social justice causes to inspire people to act differently? Let’s find out.

Many of us are aware of our local water concerns regarding Nestle’s proposed large-scale water pumping at the Middlebrook well. “Here in the township of Centre Wellington, Nestle is planning on extracting 1.6 million litres of groundwater every day from our local aquifer” says Amy Corner of Save Our Water. “That equals the daily output of 3 township wells” she explains. The removal of vast amounts of water in tanker trucks causes significant environmental damage. Carbon emissions, climate change and a planet choking in plastic are all tied to this industry. Perhaps some of us are alarmed by the 8 million tons of plastic that enters our oceans each year (basically like emptying a garbage truck of plastic into an ocean every minute). There is more microplastic in the ocean than there are stars in the Milky Way.

The Elora Centre for the Arts decided they wanted to do something to help. What could our role be in helping to share the critical state of our water both locally and globally, and somehow encourage a few people to take a stand, make a few small changes or get involved? Art has always had the power to make us think and reflect. The Elora Centre for the Arts is hoping their spring exhibition will do just that, and then some.

H20 for Good features the work of three different artists who have been inspired by our oceans, lakes or rivers. Rebecca Brianceau of Toronto, Carolyn Sharp of Elora and Helen Utsul of Vancouver Island have each embraced the beauty of water in a way that will harken peaceful days at the beach, the power and might of the ocean, and the restful calm of our rivers. The exhibition will also remind us that our water is precious, and clean water is something worthy of protecting.

With the help of Save Our Water, the exhibition will try to encourage people to translate creative inspiration into motivation for one small action for good.

The ripple effect could be extraordinary.

Learn More, Do More!

10 things you can do to reduce your carbon footprint.


Rebecca Brianceau – currently based in Toronto Ontario.  Rebecca’s Ocean Soul art series was inspired by a journey she took to Brazil where she joined local marine biologists on a 2-week work trip along the coast of Sao Paulo.  She worked picking up garbage samples from the shoreline.  The amount of garbage pulled from a small radius was outrageous and was enough for her to see how damaging human behaviour has been to the ocean, sea animals and beaches.  They picked up shampoo bottles from Poland, Coca-Cola bottles from China and water bottles from around the world that had all washed up on the once-pristine shores of Brazil.  After realizing that the biologists communicate their different findings in lengthy reports, Rebecca felt that she could contribute by communicating the information by telling this dark story through beautiful, scenic ocean pieces.  Spreading the message of loving and preserving our water from oceans, to lakes and to wells.  Rebecca is a self-trained artist and visual storyteller.


Carolyn Sharp – Elora Ontario. Carolyn’s work is about the Canadian landscape, meant to connect the viewer with a sense of human frailty in the face of the natural elements. Her paintings express a love for the land and waters surrounding her home and studio in Southern Ontario. Her current work seeks to convey the sense of freedom felt in wide open spaces – the raw physical elements, big skies and surging lakes and streams. She offers these painterly impressions for viewers to interpret as they wish, hoping they connect with the underlying energy, gentle calm, or raging elemental force that she is remembering in paint. As these recollections of Canadian lands and waters tumble onto her surfaces and the process ebbs and flows, her intent is to absorb the viewer with the powerful forces inherent in our natural world and ultimately, the importance of its preservation.


Helen Utsal – Vancouver Island BC.  Helen Utsal’s colourful paintings express nature’s exuberant and vital spirit.  Gesture, expression and emotion weave into colour, texture and light.  Helen spends a lot of time in nature, sometimes painting outside with acrylics to study and capture dynamic impressions.  In the studio she uses oil paint mixed with cold was medium to bring texture and depth to the painting.  Helen likes to work on a large scale, using big palette knives and lots of motion.  Born in Montreal, and now based on Vancouver Island, Helen runs Art Alchemy Studio, a shared artists studio space and gallery in Courtenay, BC.