“We Don’t Make Mistakes, Just Happy Little Accidents”: Art School of Peterborough

“Something Spatial” by Victoria Wallace. Acrylic Triptych on Masonite, 16” x 48”, 2019. Image courtesy of Art School of Peterborough.

Art comes in an infinite number of forms, as every artist has an individual mind that creates like no other. Vincent Van Gogh believed that the accomplishment of art resided in one’s ability to love many things, so it’s no surprise then that the Art School of Peterborough, nestled at 174A Charlotte street, produces such wonderful works by both students and instructors alike. These artists are surrounded by a community brimming with beautiful people, structures, and nature. The following artists have poured their dedication and boundless love into their work, and now they present it just for you!

Charlene Kloos, from Bowmanville, is a student at the Art School of Peterborough who rekindled her childhood love of arts and crafts ten years ago. She began classes at the school and found the environment to be welcoming, supportive, and most of all, fun! She loved how the school supports individual decisions to continue art as a hobby or delve into a career, and finds the opportunity to experiment very enjoyable. Her favourite medium to use is oil paint, and one of her personal favourite famous works of art is “The Scream” by Edvard Munch. However, this is not echoed in her beautifully calm work “Solid,” which depicts a rocky shore on a frozen lake with darkened forest in the distance. Charlene is currently the Featured Artist of the Month at the School, so stop in to see more of her work hanging on the walls.

Victoria Wallace is a mixed-media Toronto-born visual artist and art educator, now living in Peterborough. She has been both exhibiting and teaching courses and workshops in acrylic, encaustic, and sculptural media at The Art School of Peterborough. Of her work, Victoria says, “my paintings hover somewhere between the genres of Surrealism and Magic Realism. Both movements used a mixture of observable reality and fantasy. I like painting the dangerous juxtaposed with the comical, some of my ideas sourced from dreams, some from the absurdity of the realistic posed against the bizarre or uncanny in unlikely settings.”

Susan Donald is a pottery student who grew up in Montreal. Susan travelled the world before deciding to settle in Peterborough, which is a compliment of the highest order to our beautiful city! Her pottery work is not limited to one style, but is rather an amalgamation of techniques she uses to work the clay into her own distinct design. She draws influence from English potter Michael “Mick” Casson, who worked with solid salt-fired traditional pottery in his day. She also loves the work of Morgan Hall, who used vibrant colours and interesting shapes to carve her niche into the pottery world. Susan explains that although the Art School of Peterborough has all the physical materials one needs to create art, it is the people there that really inspire you. They ensure that your art journey is not a journey traveled alone. Collaboration with other potters can result in exciting new designs, and of course, you make friends along the way. For anyone who is struggling with their own talent in art, Susan says that you should embrace failure, for “if you have never failed, you have never really tried.”

Interested in learning more? The Art School runs pottery date nights (but bringing friends is great too!) the first weekend of every month, where you and your other half can play on the pottery wheel for 2 ½ hours for only $65 per couple. Any finished pieces you want to keep are fired in the kiln and glazed for $10 a piece. The next available dates are January 3 and 4, February 14, 15, and 16, as well as more in the following months.

Pottery not your handmade cup of tea? Try out their painting classes which are on the first Saturday of every month. All supplies included for just $45 per person, with the next available dates being January 4 and February 15. Book now as classes fill up fast!

If you’re really not sure what you want to get yourself into, the school is hosting an Open House on January 5 from 12 to 3 p.m., where you are welcome to walk around the studios, check out materials, and receive 10 percent off on an annual membership just for showing up.

“Solid” by Charlene Kloose. Oil on Canvas, 12” x 12”, 2019. Image courtesy of Art School of Peterborough.