I decided to submit this piece to the Oshawa Art Association’s 51st Annual Juried Art Exhibition at the Robert McLaughlin Gallery in Oshawa Ontario.
Give This to Jack and Alice. Words scrawled on the back of an old family photo. This painting is a portrait of my Baba and her sisters standing in front of one of the family farms in rural Manitoba. My Baba was always encouraging of my creative work and always asked me how it was going. She had an incredible sense of humour and quick wit. Alice Hryhorczuk passed away never having seen one of my paintings in person.
A rare sidestep out of my usual subject matter, I wanted to explore my family history through some of the old photos I had collected over the years. Hoping to impart some of the stories I know first hand, and others I am told, to my son, a painting seemed like the perfect entry point for discussion.
I attended the opening event with my son, arriving late after a 7th birthday party of one of his classmates. Running into an acquaintance, Monica, I was asked why I had not gone up when they called my name – confused, I replied “why did they call my name?”. Puzzled, she looked at me and explained that I had been given the Silver award. Pleasantly surprised and honoured.
This is for Alice. This is for family.