The St. Thomas-Elgin Public Art Centre’s three galleries were packed on the evening of November 9 for two new exhibitions, Deborah Worsfold’s “Renaissance” and Sarah Van Pelt’s “Pint-Sized Perspective.”

Laura Woermke, Executive Director/Curator of the St. Thomas-Elgin Public Art Centre, was extremely pleased with the event’s turnout. Guests filled the building from the beginning of the evening until after the event ended, which Woermke says you can expect with two really great artists who are passionate about what they do. Their passion, Woermke says, is “what I admire about artists. That’s the kind of artist I want to work with.”

crowd at St. Thomas Elgin Public Art Centre

Deborah Worsfold’s paintings, both her foundation work and new pieces, are on display in Galleries One and Two until December 29, 2018. The pieces vary in scale and style, but as Worsfold says, there is a constancy between them. You can see a progression in the paintings towards the abstract style that she has recently embraced. Worsfold is a London-born artist whose individual style is recognized and collected all over Canada.

Artist Deborah Worsfold with two of her paintings
Artist Deborah Worsfold with two of her paintings

Sarah Van Pelt’s collection of miniature dioramas are featured in Gallery 3 and will also be on display until the end of the year. Tiny scenes range from China’s national forest park to a Tudor family kitchen to a derelict barn from our own county. Every diorama is different, but on average, Van Pelt spends about 40 to 120 hours on a piece. Though she is passionate about her work, Van Pelt says she doesn’t take herself too seriously as an artist because she does it for the pleasure of it.

Artist Sarah Van Pelt with two of her miniature dioramas
Artist Sarah Van Pelt with two of her miniature dioramas

“I’m just doing it for fun. And to create a little joy in the world.” –Sarah Van Pelt

As a complement to her exhibition, Van Pelt will be teaching a Pint-Sized Perspective Sculpture Workshop at the art centre on November 17. People of all experience levels are welcome to learn how to create miniature food from the artist herself.

Miniature food sculpture

Earlier that day, the St. Thomas-Elgin Public Art Centre was packed with about 80 students who came through as part of a curriculum-based tour. The kids got a chance to see the new exhibitions and then explore the elements and principles of design themselves in a more hands-on component on the second floor of the art centre. Woermke says they often work with educators from the Thames Valley District School Board to create these kinds of experiences for students.

To see the new exhibitions, visit the St. Thomas-Elgin Public Art Centre Tuesday and Wednesday 10-4, Thursday and Friday 10-9, Saturday 12-4, or Sunday 10-3.