Before the Rush . . .

By: Martha Stroud

Volume 17, Issue 11, November 2022

The popular Before the Rush Show will be back again this year, on November 26 and 27, at the Firehall Theatre, 185 South Street, in Gananoque. It will be open from 10 am to 5 pm on Saturday and from 10 am to 4 pm on Sunday. As usual, admission is free, and there will be music in the afternoon, with a cash bar. We have exciting new exhibitors, and some favourites will return. We hope to see you there! For more information, and to see the treats in store for you, visit our website

2022 Artists

Artist: Colleen Lynch

Colleen Lynch is a new face at the show. "I use traditional, practical, handwork skills for sculptural intentions, melding the techniques with ideas and concepts drawn from just about anywhere:  language (both written and spoken, and how words can be used to either clarify OR obscure), geology, mythology, art history, tactility, transposition, folklore, living in traditional communities, and academic research. Using traditional techniques in untraditional ways. If someone smiles or has a delightful reverie when looking at my work, I have done my job!"

Artist: Ed Vanderbaaren

Ed Vanderbaaren, recently retired from his Brockville business, now has much more time to devote to his pottery. "I simply enjoy entering my studio, preparing my clay for a sit down at the wheel. Sometimes I have a direction I want to explore and other times it’s just happy accidents. Pottery is a process and with much practice, you can sometimes control your results and other times it’s just magical!"

Artist: Anne Warburton

Anne Warburton returns for a second year with her popular fibre art. "My fibre art focuses on the outdoor world and the impacts of time, weather, and human intervention on both nature and manmade objects. I seek out the beauty and artistry in these impacts, capturing elements showing the transitory nature of our surroundings. My process begins with making sketches of these elements close-up, to capture the artistry and texture: tree bark discolorations and marks, lichen, moss, a crumbled leaf, worn or crumbling stone. I then assemble, alternating layers of fabrics, paper, and repurposed materials to symbolize the changing layers of my subjects, sew them together, then cut and slash, distress, and embellish."

Artist: David Burley 

David Burley, a Gananoque based artist, has sold at craft/art fairs across southern and eastern Ontario for over a decade. "I am a self-taught artist, and over time I have slowly honed my skills through research, experimentation, and practice, and expanded my workspace with new tools and equipment. I strive for originality and the unusual. I focus on textures over making things that simply sparkle. I like the natural colours and patinas offered by copper, steel, and silver. I prefer bleached barn board driftwood, and unusual stones like eudialyte. My art is unmistakably handmade and each piece represents hours of preparation, assembling, and finishing work."

Artist: Kathy Verbeek

Over the past few years Kathy Verbeek has been involved in Fusion Clay and Glass Mentorship. "This has allowed me to explore new surfaces on my ceramics using slips and glazes and underglazes. It has allowed me to explore concepts like urban decay and graffiti, and how it contrasts with the more traditional forms used to hold the surface. It has been a few years of growth in the making and decorating, as well as the technical aspects of firing the kiln. I still am excited about Raku and pit firing methods, which continue to explore surfaces but in a more quiet, traditional, ancient way."

Artist: John Sorensen

John Sorensen's background as an architectural antique dealer and his passion for ballroom dancing influence his choice of painting subject matter. He uses the rich warm colours and texture obtained from traditional oil paint to interpret his two primary interests – old room interiors and “ordinary” people dancing or just sharing a quiet moment together. Lately, he has turned to using the artifacts from his architectural gleanings to create unusual and interesting pictures and sculptures.

Artist: Lea Hamblett

In The Artful Dragon Studio, Lea Hamblett designs, and creates by hand, wearable art jewelry in 0.999 fine silver, polymer clay, resin, leather, wood and resin, and silver wire. Currently, collections include mixed metals in art jewelry, and different 3D art using cut metal and alcohol ink. New in 2021 was the Koi Pond Collection, featuring koi ponds in miniature, using ceramic dishes with fish, lily pads, and lilies cut from metal and then painted. There can be up to 8 layers of resin to give the piece a 3D effect.

Artist: Su Halle

Su Halle has worked in many mediums and fields, from graphic design to acrylic painting to fibre arts. "My love for vibrant festival culture led me on a journey to create Triptastica, my line of clothing and accessories. My love of nature and concern for the environment made working in a sustainable way an easy choice. I create treasured sweater coats made from fine recycled sweaters, using natural wools whenever possible. Lately I have been motivated towards zero waste productions, which is pushing me to use my scraps in inventive ways.

Artist: Sue Steffes

Sue Steffes says, "Felt making has been my main medium for many years. A few months ago, however, I unpacked containers of fabric remnants I’ve been collecting for longer than I can remember. It was time for them to be useful to me or find another home. Finding it hard to let them go, I decided to work at integrating them more into my felted work. This, I think, has created more texture and interest to my existing felted style, and I am excited to continue this exploration. Much of my inspiration comes from the natural world where I am a curious student. Born and raised in the prairies of Alberta, you can certainly see the influence of those landscapes in my work."

In addition to these wonderful artists and artisans, Deb Stagg with her garden ornaments, Ellen Fraser with jewellry and paintings, Maureen McDonald with pebble sculpture, Mike Doxy, a very creative potter, Eric Peters and his beautiful turned wood, Martha Stroud and Betty Matthews with paintings and cards, Pam Prince with jewellry, and Kevin Juckers with his woodwork, will be at the show. Looking forward to seeing you there too! It's a wonderful opportunity to buy a very special Christmas present for a loved one (or even for yourself!)

By Martha Stroud,

Martha Stroud's family emigrated from Ireland around 1908, to live first in Gananoque, then Kingston, and finally Toronto, where she was born. She has lived and worked on three continents but is very happy to have retired back to Kingston and the Thousand Islands area, where she tries to capture nature ever-changing on canvas. See Martha's past articles and the work of her many artist friends here and here!

Posted in: Volume 17, Issue 11, November 2022, Artists

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