For nearly five decades, Blue Mountain Foundation for the Arts (BMFA) has served an essential and important role in the regional arts’ scene.
Headquartered at 65 Simcoe Street in Collingwood, the charitable, non-profit works hard to bring artists of all ages to the forefront by inspiring excellence in visual arts through education and creative opportunities, including special exhibits, awards and workshops.
“BMFA has been around for 45 years in the community,” said operations manager Susan Cook, noting the organization provides a great opportunity for local artists and artisans to display their work.
“We support a lot of artists who are emerging, through our programs and awards. Many successful artists in the community have gotten their start through us. We are the only dedicated public gallery in the region.”
Cook said the group’s 39th annual juried art show, which began April 28 and runs until May 25, not only provides a venue for seasoned and up-and-coming artists to show off their wares, but also affords great feedback thanks to the three-person jury.
“It creates a learning opportunity with a critique of each item submitted,” Cook said. “And each year, we change the jurors because art can be subjective.”
But besides the show, BMFA also holds an annual arts festival to encourage creativity in its catchment area that stretches from Angus and Meaford to Stayner and Thornbury.
“We have approximately 200 artists and 100 non-artists, who are members of our organization,” Cook said. “Collingwood has a thriving arts community. Many of the artists are busy working in the community or have retired to the area.”
And with potential changes to the province’s high school arts curriculum, BMFA will undoubtedly play an essential future role for the younger set.
“Young people are our future and there will now be fewer opportunities for creative arts in schools,” Susan said. “We need to inspire Creative Minds, if we are seeking Creative Solutions for the world around us.”