“A lot has changed in the last two years, but it’s undeniable that the pandemic has had a major impact on all of us here in Mississauga and Brampton, just like it has on the rest of the world.
That impact is laid bare in the Peel Art Gallery Museum and Archives’ (PAMA) recent Expressions Art Competition, which invited local artists from Peel to share their COVID-19 experiences in art form.
PAMA serves the communities of Mississauga, Brampton and Caledon with a wide variety of art exhibits, cultural history, events, and art competitions such as this one.
The Expressions Art Competition saw over 300 pieces submitted, judged and voted on, with more than 6,000 total votes cast. The long process narrowed down the submissions to three from the youth category (ages 8 to 17) and three from the adult category (ages 18 and up).
These six pieces are breathtaking for the strong but relatable emotions they portray: Feelings of emptiness, confinement, and living life in an increasing virtual world.
A display of these six pieces will be at the Region of Peel head office, at Bramalea City Centre in early August until September, and at Erin Mills Town Centre in September-October.
The idea for the art competition was conceived in early May of this year, when PAMA and Region of Peel Health Services sought a way to recognize the community for its strength, resilience, and efforts during the COVID-19 pandemic.
A public callout to artists of all skill levels was issued through local media outlets and social media, resulting in a massive response of over 300 artistic submissions that captured the sentiments felt during the pandemic.
Many were moved and inspired by the art they saw. Feedback and comments left by community members include:
- “Perfect depiction of our world today.”
- “This opportunity inspired me and helped my mental health.”
- “These are all PHENOMENAL works of art and have inspired me to start taking art seriously. To the artists, keep up the great work!”
- “Every single artwork presented is stunning, both in composition and subject matter.”
- “Wow all the artists did such wonderful work, I can feel the raw emotions of each piece. This is history, this is what we feel.”
To those who missed their chance to participate in this art competition, not to worry – another will be happening in late August, in partnership with Gallery 35, PAMA, Downtown Brampton BIA, and Beaux Arts.
This competition will be a one-day live event in which artists will create their pieces outdoors “en plein air.” Early registration is available now at liveartcompetitionbrampton.ca or by visiting Gallery 35 at 35 Queen Street West.
Located at 9 Wellington Street East in Brampton, PAMA is one of Peel’s premier centres for culture and the arts, and continues to host a wide variety of events and exhibits all year round.