When the Queenston Art Show was last held in 2018, it was expected to be the end of a decades-long tradition.
But four years on, residents of Queenston are once again preparing to host the show, organized this year by Yimlei Yep.
“The 2018 show was going to be the last one and it was a tribute to Alice Duc Triano, who was the founder of the art show and passed away a few years ago,” Yep said in an interview.
Triano founded the Queenston Arts Show in the 1980s and was the main organizer for 38 years. With her death, residents of Queenston generally accepted that the art show would be gone with her, Yep said.
“But we didn’t realize that, with the pandemic, everybody was so depressed. There was nothing to do, we could not show any art even though we were painting at home like mad,” Yep said.
“So, we said let's revive the art show.”
In an odd turn of events, the Queenston Arts Show has COVID-19 to thank for its rejuvenation.
The sale was so closely associated with Triano that Yep hopes carrying it on without her will signal to other residents that the show must go on.
The art sale will be held on the Victoria Day weekend, from May 20 to 23, between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. at the Queenston Community Centre and Library.
Artwork from more than 45 Niagara-based artists will be on display and available for purchase. All work is original and will encompass a variety of styles from acrylic paint to photography, Yep said.
A former teacher at the Willowbank School of Restoration Arts, Yep, now in her 70s, said she is happy to help keep Queenston active as an artistic hub.
“It’s really to celebrate the artists. They’ve been wanting to do art shows every year just to give artists a place where they can show their art,” she said.
Yep said the weekend will be a busy one in Queenston.
“The Laura Secord Homestead is going to be open for the season, as well as the Mackenzie Printery.”
Yep is putting on the show with the help of the Queenston Residents Association, which will receive 25 per cent of all sales to help cover costs. The remaining 75 per cent will go directly to the artists.