Annual Memberships available online. For more information.
To help prevent, manage and mitigate the possible spread of COVID-19 the Art Centre is closed temporarily until February 11, 2021. During this time we can be reached by email.
Now more than ever, art can help lift our spirits and support our well-being. Stay connected with the Public Art Centre at home with our online activities, exhibitions and explore your local artists. Visit our Access to Art page for more.
With an evolving collection of more than 1900 works of art, we invite art lovers to browse our online exhibitions. Many of the selected works are by artists that have been featured in our exhibitions and some works have never been seen yet.
Visit online exhibitions
Preservation : Caring for a Collection
November 21 to December 19, 2020
Gallery One and Two
In over 50 years of its existence the St. Thomas-Elgin Public art Centre has amassed one of the most significant collections of local and regional artworks of paintings, sculptures, prints, drawings, and photographs. From the beginning with the purchase of Clark McDougall’s, Talbot Street 1964, the collection has grown to more than 2000 works today.
During the lockdown brought on by the pandemic, the duty to protect our important collection has occurred behind the scenes. These works are vulnerable to pests, changes in temperature and exposure to light all of which demands constant vigilance. This preservation has been happening in large and small galleries and museums all around the world, in our own community and at the Public Art Centre.
Part of our commitment to preserving a community collection, Preservation : Caring for a Collection, Recent Acquisitions, will feature new works of art included in the permanent collection from 2019-20. The art works, all of which are donations, accentuate the continued importance of collectors and the preservation, in the development of the permanent collection.
We are looking forward to seeing you again at the Public Art Centre and we encourage you to visit all our local museums and cherish every moment of the dedication of our cultural workers.
Miniature Show and Sale
November 14 to December 19, 2020
A miniature show and sale provides a perfect opportunity for artists and the community! Many people don’t always have the ability or space, to acquire or collect large, more expensive pieces of art from their favourite or new, favourite artist. This show and sale is a really easy, fun way to do both. Whether you’re starting or adding to a collection or purchasing a one-of-a-kind gift for someone on your list this upcoming holiday season, this show has you covered.
Drawing from a collection of over 1900 works of art, UNMASKED: Portraits from the Public Art Centre’s collection, features portrait works that explore how artists have chosen to portray themselves and their subjects. Created in all media, from plaster sculpture to oil painting, the works in this exhibition can inspire ourselves to see others with empathy and understanding.
As we are confronted each day with mandatory mask regulations and social distancing rules many find it difficult to connect with others. So, we think this is an opportune time to reassess the significance of self-portraiture and portrait art in relation to our current time in history.
The exhibition contains examples of self-portraits, with Dorothy Stevens’, Untitled Self Portrait, c. 1940, that is rarely seen. It also includes works by Mackie Cryderman, Clark McDougall, Bob Bozak, Marion Long, Greg Curnoe, Kathleen Daly, Gerald Pedros, Robert Reginald Whale, Norval Morrisseau and many more.
UNMASKED is curated by Laura Woermke, curator and Sherri Howard, program director at the Public Art Centre. The exhibition will also include self directed educational prompts to further develop your experience and exploration into the world of portraits.
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It is the mandate of STEPAC to advance knowledge and understanding of the visual arts within St. Thomas and Elgin County through exhibitions, acquisitions, lectures, public programs, education programs, traveling exhibitions, and adherence to standard museum practices. STEPAC seeks to present and facilitate a broad range of visual art practices and to reflect excellence through all aspects of its programs.
STEPAC’s exhibition program is invitational, and the also accepts exhibition proposals on an ongoing basis from artists and curators. The exhibitions are booked at least two years in advance.
In the event that the proposed artworks have not yet been produced, please provide a detailed description of the intent in addition to support material featuring past work.
The Art Centre is not responsible for lost or damaged submissions. Please do not submit original slides, artwork or master DVDs. If you want to have your support materials returned, you must include a self-addressed envelope with the required postage. Please remember to contact the Art Centre if you have a change of address and/or telephone number.
Please note, the Art Centre will only reply to proposals in which it is interested.
Submit applications to:
St. Thomas-Elgin Public Art Centre
301 Talbot Street, St. Thomas, ON. N5P 1B5
Submission Guidelines for Artists and curators