Oshawa artist group offers free workshops

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Story and photos by Hillary Di Menna

The class worked at Judith Mason's painting workshop at Bola.

Bola may be closing up shop, but the room’s vibrancy hasn’t dimmed. Every Tuesday this May The Iris Group will provide free art workshops at 20 Simcoe St. N. from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m..
The classes have been so popular that due to all spaces being filled, an extra class will be offered Monday, May 14 for $10 as this class exceeds their budget. An exhibition of the work created by the artists from class will be at the store May 31 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.. The free event will be their closing party.
Oshawa Community Partnership Grant funds the classes. Margaret Rodgers was sent an application from Oshawa’s Downtown Development officer, David Tuley. Rodgers decided it was worth a shot and The Iris Group was chosen as a grant recipient.
Laura Hair, who will be leading a printing workshop, said the group wanted people who had no art experience to participate, but the classes are offered to those of all skill levels.
Rodgers founded the Iris Group in 1996.  The collaborative of all women has feminist principles, said Rodgers. “The creative process when we get together,” she said, smiling, of working with these other women artists, “You don’t even know where the ideas are coming from.”
The group is based in Durham Region and has done several events including classes and exhibitions in honour of women’s day. Rodgers had an exhibition in the vault at Bola in recent years.
Though the classes are full, there is a waiting list, two people didn’t make the May 1 class so there are potential spots. Those interested may register online or call 905-436-8465
Monique Brent, Margaret Rodgers and Judith Mason at Bola.

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