Small wonders, big talent on display

New exhibit at Annandale Historic Site

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Earlier this year Mary-Anne Murphy, cultural coordinator of Oxford Creative Connections Inc., was wondering if she would be able to hang art for the third annual Small Wonders, Big Talent art show.


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Recent changes to COVID-19 restrictions allowed Annandale National Historic Site in Tillsonburg to showcase the OCCI exhibit (by appointment only) Sept. 8 – Nov. 4.

On Thursday, OCCI volunteer Diane Roberts met the artists in the parking lot and brought their work inside for Murphy to display in the Pratt Gallery.

“It’s almost like a work of art the way they put it together the last two years,” said Woodstock artist Cheryl Mader, who brought some of her own art and three by her son Kyle Rose. “You go into that room and it looks amazing. I think a lot of times that’s why the show does so well… because people walk in there and they say ‘wow.’ That’s a real talent – how to display the art.

“Can you imagine all different shapes, different framing, and different mediums even? It can be all sorts of things, not just paintings. It’s very complex… more than people realize. It’s not as easy as it looks to do a nice display and they do an excellent job.”

It is a show and sale, noted Patricia Phelps, manager of Culture & Heritage/Curator at Annandale National Historic Site.

“Twenty per cent of the listed price goes to the Annandale House Trust. So if you come and do a little Christmas shopping, it’s a double win. You can support a local artist and support your local museum at the same time.”

All major credit cards, debit and cash are accepted.

“The museum staff thanks OCCI and its members for that 20 per cent contribution that they are going to make.”

In the first two years the show had about 140-150 pieces of art on display and for sale.

“This year I’m not sure until they show up,” said Murphy Thursday morning as art was still arriving. “It’s a different year with COVID.”

The number of submissions might be down a bit this year, but it did look like they would have more than 100 pieces of art.

“There’s a huge variety of works including paintings, sculpture, woodworking, some pencil drawings,” said Murphy who also plans to offer an online version of the show on the website.

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