Breaking Barriers Exhibition opening reception Saturday night at Left Wing Art Gallery and Tattoo Parlour was a great showing of community spirit. All in all 27 Artists exhibited 44 artworks. About one hundred people came out for reception night and enjoyed the art, food catered by Williams Street Café and wine from Early Acres in Chatham.

 Co-ordinator of the Prosperity Roundtable Danielle Shaw welcomed and thanked everyone for showing support for the special event. “The idea was to use creativity to bring the community together, foster connections and networks, provide a platform for expression and empowerment, build awareness about community issues  and most of all to be inclusive” said Shaw. Studio Nights were offered in February for Artists to create pieces to submit to the show if they wished to. The Breaking Barriers show is non-juried and all art submissions were displayed in the three locations ARTspace, Left Wing and Williams Street Café. “It takes courage to create art about something you feel strongly about, but then to write a statement about it and take in a step further to show it publicly” noted Shaw. 

 Local Artist’s Laban Smith and T.J Brown spoke to their artworks. “It is when you reach outside of your comfort zone that you find new ways of knowing” explained Laban.  Brown described the meanings behind his Artwork named “Between a Rock” about growing up on the East Side of Chatham. “I noticed a trend, when it came to post-secondary education, it was not pursued as

 most face multiple barriers” said T.J.

 All artist statements and artworks were documented and published in booklets. A booklet was provided to eacArtist, Studio Night Participant, Planning Committee Member, and over 15 community partners/sponsors of the Breaking Barriers initiative. The exhibition booklets are available for purchase for $10 to help support the next Breaking Barriers Exhibition. Also available is a survey for feedback which includes a place to put contact info if you wish to become involved with Breaking Barriers.h

The show can still be viewed during each establishment’s regular business hours as the Exhibit will be up until March 30th, 2013.


To purchase Artwork contact Craig Janisse at Left Wing 519-359-9663. All commission proceeds from

Artwork sales will be donated locally. To request a group tour contact Danielle Shaw at 519-354-0430 Ext 213.