SOYRA Successful 25th Anniversary Celebration, Celebration of Art, My Footage

SOYRA Successful 25th Anniversary Celebration, Celebration of Art, My Footage

The Society of York Region Artists (SOYRA) on January 21st, 2012 held an opening reception for their 25th anniversary show and sale exhibition. I recommend that if you have a chance or you are in the area please do drop by.

Photos tell a thousand words but they do not tell the complete story. The art of over 60 artists is beautifully displayed on the first and second floor of the Aurora Cultural Centre and it will be there until February 4th.

Shawna Patenaude, Artist

Wet Apple - Green, Art by Shawna Patenaude

I arrived on time and people trailed. The rooms were filling up. I met up with my favorite artist, my guide that day, and a very friendly soul Shawna Patenaude (emerge into light). This was my second time to meet with her. Shawna is also the executive secretary at SOYRA and was instrumental in setting up the exhibit rooms.

SOYRA 25th Anniversary Celebration Exhibit, Aurora Cultural Centre

The opening reception was going to start in about forty five minutes so I had lots of time to walk around and explore, and of course to take photos of the paintings and artwork. Sometimes I wish I could operate paint brush like an artist – it is a skill and great talent and unique to each artist. But after all I am happy that at least I can operate my camera.

Herbert Pryke (Fall Reflection) and Zorica Miric (Red Connection)

Two paintings were sold and the show wasn’t even opened yet. Coincidentally one of the paintings sold, Red Connection, was by Zorica Miric who exhibited the same painting at the Skylight Gallery at the Town Hall, and I blogged about it back in November last year, Chores at the Town Hall, Skylight Gallery On The List Always. Another face to face encounter.

The other amazing painting sold was by another great artist Herbert Pryke, Fall Reflections.

Isaac Petch House by Jennifer Blacquiere

Something else caught my eye in the corner of the Red Gallery. Something I see all the time, the Isaac Petch House by Jennifer Blacquiere. At first I thought, a photograph? I never seen so much detail captured in the painting. Just the brick itself, the vine and the grass. Everything about this painting was so real.

Too bad that we will be saying a good-bye to the real thing anytime soon – Isaac Petch house is up for demolishing. That reminds me I should follow up on the log Petch house that has been undergoing restoration since last summer.

SOYRA New Logo

I never heard about SOYRA before so I wouldn’t know about the logo. I guess it was time for the makeover, and for another 25 years or more SOYRA will have a new logo, the swatch wheel in the O. Personally this is a very nice and elegant logo, not overwhelming, and definitely represents SOYRA members.

Nancy Newman, SOYRA President

I also got to meet interesting people, including Nancy Newman, President of the Toronto Watercolour Society (TWS) and the Society of York Region Artists (SOYRA), who is also a water colour artist. I visited her website and found everything she does and did in the past – very impressive portfolio.

Nancy Newman Speaking at the Opening Reception

Nancy Newman Speaking at the Opening Reception

Geoffrey Dawe Mayor of Aurora

Because of the invitation, I was much comfortable taking pictures of the opening reception. It was so nice to be part of this event, and I am amazed that for the size of the town we are, over fifty thousand people, how people still have special connections and friendships in the community.

Paintings by the SOYRA Founders

In the front podium three paintings were displayed by the original founders of SOYRA, including painting on the left by Ann Armstrong and painting on the right by her late husband. She was also at the reception.

Ann Armstrong, One of the Founders of SOYRA

Well how can I possibly summarize this great event in one post. Another blog post, and may be another blog post will follow. I will talk more about the magic on the wall and my personal observations.

Zorica Miric Looking at Paintings, Aurora Cultural Centre

Note I have submitted more pictures to be posted on SOYRA or Shawan’s Facebook, so please visit there to check for more event pictures.

Antique Wagon by Shawna Patenaude

About the Author

Anna Lozyk Romeo

I am living in Aurora and this is my photo journal blog. A picture says 1000 words - but not always, so I write. You don't have to travel 1000 miles to find a treasure - all I have to do is zoom through my lens and I will find it for you here in Aurora.


  1. We are so glad you came to our event at the Aurora Cultural Centre and included so many terrific photographs in your blog. A fun afternoon, a great resource for Aurorans and we loved having you!

  2. Thank you Lynda for your nice comment.
    I really enjoyed the show, and it was a great experience.
    Hope to be part of more of those shows in Aurora.
    Thanks again,
    Anna :)