Janice Mason Steeves, OSA sums up the what it means to be part of the Ontario Society of Artists best from her own experience:
‘I became a member of the OSA in 1993. I wanted to become a member to find approval of my painting skills from this illustrious group. To my great surprise, I was accepted into membership. Afterwards, I attended the occasional meeting or annual general dinner. But it wasn’t until 1998, when urged by a board member, that I decided to take on the position of Vice President. That was the best thing I could have done! Ernestine Tahedl was the President of the OSA at that time. We began to chat on the phone at least once a week, becoming friends and discussing OSA issues.
Fellowship of Artists
As Vice President, I came to know the other members of the board, attended all of the monthly meetings, the general meetings and other events, and served as the Juried Exhibition Coordinator. I had jumped right in. Besides learning leadership skills, I came to know many other OSA members, whose advice I could turn to when I was having an exhibition or needed help with a project.
Rich History of Famous Artists
In 2000, I became President of the OSA, inspired by it’s rich history. This history included artists such as Tom Thomson, Paul Peel, J.E.H. MacDonald, Arthur Lismer, Florence Wyle, Frances Loring and Doris McCarthy, among many others.
Part of Ontario’s Cultural Heritage
The cultural heritage of Ontario is entwined with the OSA in the founding of such institutions as the Art Gallery of Ontario and the Ontario College of Art and Design. Throughout the years, OSA members have been interested in preserving the landscapes of their inspiration. Art historian Robert Stacey, wrote, ” Perhaps the OSA’s single most significant ecological intervention was its crusade to prevent Ontario’s scenic LaCloche Range from despoliation by uncontrolled mining and lumbering.” Assisted by these efforts, Killarney, with it’s O.S.A. Lake, was designated a provincial park in 1964.
Exhibitions, Artist Community, Sharing
This history alone should inspire an artist to become a member of this organization. But there are more practical considerations as well: having opportunities to exhibit, getting to know other accomplished artists and having a community in which to gather and work, to share ideas and information.
The richness of this organization is fully realized when you sit on the board and become involved. It’s then that you feel the cloak of history cover you and inspire you.’
– Janice Mason Steeves, OSA