The OAG was first established in 1955 by nine women brought together by their art. Today the group counts 85 members among its ranks, offering community and support through workshops and exposure.
“We are art and culture in the community of Orangeville,” says Warren Galloway, a painter and vice-president of the OAG. Warren has been involved with the group for four years, which helped connect him with other painters and artists in the area when he made the move from Toronto.
The group runs nine workshops every year that help artists improve their skills or introduce them to a new medium. It was a 2001 course in painting that brought Warren into this section of the fine arts – and into the fold of the artistic community in Orangeville. The OAG also holds an annual fall show and sale, featuring more than 30 artists in various mediums – pottery, sculpture and painting – which helps bring the group some much-needed exposure to the community. This year they celebrated their 43rd show at the Tony Rose Arena in Orangeville.“I would have been lost in the community without having something to get me into it,” he says.
These events and workshops all function to bond the artistic community – and having a strong community of artists makes for a stronger community at large, Warren asserts.
“The community really lacks something if it doesn’t have a vibrant art community,” he says. “It’s part of community spirit, it’s part of everything that goes on.”