Newsletter – Happy New Year to you all!

artPontiac Board Of Directors / Photo Cheryl Dolan

It’s the Year of the Rabbit and your new Board, elected at our Annual General Meeting on the 4th of December, is off and running. Left to right: Glen Hartle (Communications), Marcel Renaud (Treasurer), Claire Taillefer (Vice President), Cheryl Beillard (President) and Linda Roy (Secretary).

This first message of the year is particularly important as it serves as the launch of our process to establish this year’s programs, including details concerning the call for artists to submit their applications to do the following:

  • exhibit work at the Stone School Gallery, Cafe 349 and several new venues in the Pontiac and adjacent areas;
  • teach various art and crafts courses and workshops (at the Stone School and online); and
  • showcase their work for sale in our permanent gallery, the Stone School Shop, in Portage du Fort.

Call for Exhibitions

1. Stone School Gallery Artists are invited to apply for solo/duo/group shows at our main Gallery in Portage du Fort. Exhibitions usually cover a 4 to 5 week period. You must be a Member of artPontiac to exhibit. Building on the model we have adopted for the Shop, there will be no commission on sales from the Gallery. Instead, we have increased the rental fee for Exhibitions to $100 per week. For group shows, this is a very modest fee. For solo or duo shows, by dropping the commission, the cost would be recovered by one or two sales. After that, all revenues again go directly to the artists. This ensures a set income for the Association for the season and will allow us to cover basic costs and pay for promotion via our brochure, print advertising and social media.

If you are interested in having an Exhibition in the Stone School Gallery, please complete the application found on the Gallery page of our website and submit it to by March 1, 2023.

2. Stone School Shop In 2022, we created a ‘permanent Gallery’ to sell art and fine crafts on the main floor of the Stone School. It allowed many more of our artists, including emerging artists and members who had never exhibited at the Gallery, to show and sell their work.  The Shop was a tremendous success, drawing visitors from near and far, providing a means to showcase the range of mediums and talents of more than 40 of our artists and artisans. Sales were far beyond our expectations!

Many of the artists who participated in our first year at the Shop have already applied to return to the Shop. Given its success, we anticipate more demand for space in 2023. You are encouraged to let us know if you would like to place work in the Shop as soon as possible.

All revenue earned from sales goes to the artists. Like last year, artists are not required to pay a commission on sales, but all participating artists must be Members of the Association and pay a flat fee of $50 for the season (June to the end of September). Artists with work in the Shop are also expected to volunteer for one or more days of supervision over the course of the season.

If you are interested in placing your work in the Shop, please complete the application on the Gallery page of our website and submit it to by March 1, 2023.

Hours The Stone School Gallery and Shop will be open Thursday to Sunday, from 11am to 4pm, from June to the end of September.

Supervision As an organization staffed by volunteers, artists participating in an Exhibition and/or the Shop are required to supervise at least one or more days during the season. Artists at a distance or with mobility issues will be expected to contribute in other capacities.

3. New Off-Site Exhibition Space In 2022, artPontiac, in collaboration with MRC Pontiac, launched a project to create a regional tourist map. Its purpose is to attract visitors to our main Gallery and Shop, participating art studios and existing galleries, or businesses that support artPontiac as Sponsors. The Stone School Gallery and Shop will be promoted as the hub, a key destination for any visitors coming from either side of the river. The project will create new opportunities for more of our Members to show and sell their work.

The map is nearly done and we are working on a process for our new businesses to select the artists and/or artisans they wish to host. Details are being worked out but artists should be aware that offsite galleries may charge a small commission on sales.

Getting on the List If you are interested in submitting work to be considered, or would like to know more, please let us know by emailing us at We are starting a list to work from when our consultations are complete and the process is finalized.

4. A Coordinated Approach to Scheduling With the introduction of new destinations for our artist’s work, we are incorporating Cafe 349, an important space for our artist Members for many years, into our overall scheduling of Exhibitions. Some commitments exist for the Cafe in 2023 but we are considering options to create more space for a few more artists this year.

This is where you come in. If you wish to have an exhibit at Cafe 349 or any one of our other new off-site galleries, please let us know by contacting Cheryl Beillard for details as soon as possible (deadline March 1, 2023).

Acceptance of Exhibition proposals will be the decision of artPontiac’s Gallery Committee.

Call for Instructors and Course Proposals

The Pontiac School of the Arts (PSOTA) is a not-for-profit, volunteer-run, art school whose mission is to inspire creative discovery in everyone.

We are looking for instructors to teach ART AND FINE CRAFT COURSES in French and/or English to adults 15 years and over. We are also open to WORKSHOPS targeting children and youth from (8 to 14) and 15+ for all other courses.

Courses will take place at the Stone School in Portage-du-Fort during the week from June to the end of September, from 10:00 a.m to 4:00 p.m., with a half hour for lunch. We will also consider proposals for courses that would be delivered:

  • on line; or,
  • off site, at artists’ studios in the region, where the medium requires equipment and/or facilities not available at the Stone School.

Instructors will be paid an hourly rate, according to a sliding scale determined by the number of students. Please see the application form on our website for more details.

Acceptance of course proposals will be the decision of artPontiac’s School Committee.

Please submit your completed application to teach using before March 1, 2023.

Start of the 2023 Sponsorship Campaign

Last year we did amazing things with the strongest support we’ve had in years. We are extremely grateful to our Sponsors whose generosity helped us to cover expenses that keep the lights on and our programs running. As we start our Campaign for the year, we hope that we will see similar results this year so that we can continue to grow and create opportunities for our artists to connect with the community with the art they produce. We are starting our outreach again for this year, hoping that we receive similar help this year. We limit out Campaign to a three month period at the beginning of the year. Our letter to past Sponsors will go out shortly to help with several new initiatives.

Time to Renew your 2023 Membership!

Everything we do hinges on our Membership, both in numbers and engagement. If you signed up between August and December of last year, you’re on the books as a Member for this year. Otherwise, this is the time to go to our website and sign up again. You can do it all online now, and we also accept e-transfers. We will be announcing some new activities this year, but already with opening up of new spaces for showing work, we have a lot to look forward to.

Finally, we are working on another artPontiac ‘feature’ Exhibition focused on nature and conservation, to engage our artists, the community and children in celebrating and protecting the beauty and biodiversity around us. Last year, our focus was turtles and the wetlands they inhabit. If you have a suggestion for a particular species to promote, let us know before the end of January, via

Thank you for taking the time to read our first newsletter of 2023!