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Mar. 5, 2021 | Friday
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Brushstrokes from the ‘Brink: Gallery hosts online series
Peter Paul Rubens, The Honeysuckle Bower, 1609, oil on canvas. Alte Pinakothek, Munich. (Supplied)

Colin Brezicki
Special to The Lake Report

Newcomers to the Niagara region may not be aware of a cultural gem in their midst.

RiverBrink Art Museum, in the historic village of Queenston, has been open to the public since 1983.

Formerly the home of renowned art collector Samuel Weir, Q.C., the art museum is open year-round and features exhibitions from his private collection along with displays of contemporary art and works on loan from other public and private collections.

While COVID restrictions prevent physical visits, director/curator Debra Antoncic and her staff have assembled an exciting series of online talks, workshops and virtual tours for members and non-members over the coming weeks.

Antoncic and retired conservator Sandra Lawrence have launched a five-week course on the works of Peter Paul Rubens that runs on Thursdays until Feb. 18.

Animator Cristal Buemi presents a four-week course on “Mindful Art Making the Frame by Frame Way Online Animation” and invites participants to enter the magical and meditative world of stop-motion animation, as inspired by the Japanese aesthetic Wabi-Sabi.

The sessions are held on Saturdays.

Membership (individual and family) offers these courses at significant reductions along with other benefits, including a discount on all paintings, jewelry, objets d’art and books sold in the museum shop.

An intriguing and exciting initiative to give the public "ownership" of a selection of Samuel Weir’s collection is the “Adopt-an-Artwork” program. Individuals can fund one of several designated paintings, prints or sculptures and have their name attached to the work whenever it is exhibited. Many of the included works are available to view and adopt on the RiverBrink website.

The gallery offers online opportunities to view artwork from the Weir collection at no charge (though a voluntary donation is always an option) through the monthly Weir Collection Wednesday videos on YouTube and through virtual iterations of Coffee with the Curator.

Details of all these attractions can be found on the easily navigable website http://www.riverbrink.org/.

There, readers can explore membership options, along with bus trips to the AGO and other galleries, and walking tours in historic Queenston. These will all be resumed when restrictions are lifted, but thanks to technology Niagara residents can immediately participate in a wealth of artistic experience at RiverBrink.

Colin Brezicki is a member and volunteer at RiverBrink Art Museum.

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