The NGA was formed in 2009 to launch the inaugural Newmarket Artwalk & Studio Tour and build awareness of local visual artists.
Since that time, the NGA has grown to provide more opportunities for our artists such as art shows at the Southlake Art Gallery, venues along Historic Main Street, and various marketing workshops.
The NGA is heartbroken to share that our friend and fellow artist Josée Savaria passed away on October 7th at Southlake Regional Health Centre. Josée joined the NGA in its second year as a participant and became a board member in its third year. Since then, she has continued to play an important part of the NGA framework. She lent her distinctive eye to curating the NGA shows at the Southlake Art Gallery, where she was the curator for over 10 years. She also helped curate the group shows the NGA would orchestrate; like our 10 Year Anniversary Exhibition. In recent years, Josée was the steady voice on our social media: posting and reposting. Josée currently has a piece in the Main Street Virtual Experience; a collaboration between the NGA and the Town of Newmarket and in the Newmarket Executive Gallery Show.
Her work as an artist was distinct, colourful and whimsical, yet complex and subtle. Each piece was unique with an elaborate use of pattern, her imaginative landscapes and the different sea creatures found swimming through them. Her inspiration stemmed from her grandmother's love and language of quilting, and was infused with her husband's passion for marine biology. She took these and transformed them with her use of colour, joy and a background in graphic design.
Josée was a mentor to many Newmarket artists, offering advice on hanging, wiring, pricing and posting work. She participated in many juried shows, and her wealth of knowledge was always ready to be shared. She welcomed answering questions about the process or places to look for information. A joy to create with, and to celebrate with, she would greet you with a warm smile and a kiss on each cheek.
Josée has work in many collections throughout North America and Europe. She was represented most recently by galleries in Toronto and Prince Edward County. Her work has travelled the globe and inspired many. Some of the shows she was most proud of are The One-of-a-Kind Show, Toronto Outdoor Art Fair, The New Art Festival, Art In the Park Oakville and of course, The Newmarket Artwalk and Studio Tour.
Josée leaves behind her loving husband Mitch, her son Jérôme, daughter-in-law Gen and her adored grandchildren. Her parents, brother and extended family are in Montreal and throughout Ontario.
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