FRIDAY, Feb. 5/10



ACT Presents:  ‘Dearly Departed’, 8pm, $15, at Old Town Hall theatre (Saturday 8 pm and Sunday 2 pm and next weekend). Tickets at Campbells etc.


Jerry VanPatter;   of Aylmer;   on Feb. 4;   in his 88th year;   husband of Dorothy;  He was a resident of Malahide all his life;   Visitation at Kebbels Funeral Home on Friday 2-4 and 7-9 pm;   Funeral at Kebbels on Saturday at 2pm.

-Abe Wiebe;   of Aylmer;   on Feb. 3;   in his 64th year;   husband of Margaret;   Visitation at Kebbels Funeral Home Friday 2-4 and 7-9 pm; Saturday funeral at EMC Mt. Salem  at ll am.

-Glenwood Haight;   of Aylmer;   on Feb. 4;   in his 76th year;   Visitation at Kebbels Funeral Home on Tuesday 7-9 pm; Funeral Wednesday at Kebbels at 11 am.


(Judy Minor, of Aylmer, has been notified that her painting ‘Lang Syne’ has been awarded ‘Best in Show’ at the Miniature Art Society of Florida’s (MASF) annual miniature show recently. This is a prestigious honour and the highest award at this exhibition. The MASF hosts the largest international miniature art show in the world; this year, over a thousand submissions were juried from 11 countries.  The final judge was John Seerey-Lester, a prominent U.S. artist. Judy provided the following  info for AylmerNews:)

1-Why did you choose this scene? –  We have an assortment of ‘almost antiques’ on display in our house which probably have no monetary value, just everyday, well-used items from days gone by. I fondly remember my own Bunnykins bowl.  Before the days of plastics, dishwashers and microwaves, many of we 50’s children were fed from these dishes, with a long-handled silver baby spoon, and the two-handled Bunnykins mugs, before these things became too expensive for the average person. The little white baby shoes were common (hard to picture that Mark’s size 13’s were once this size) and the baby rocker in the background is an old Thompson family relic. Those were simpler, often harder, days but things were built to last for several generations. I often paint well-worn items like that, and often muse about the stories they might tell.   I also find the textures and shapes of that era quite satisfying to paint; the leathers and wood and carefully handcrafted things including the hand-painting on the Bunnykins dishes. They all absorb/reflect the light differently.  When I am painting this tiny, I am reminded of ‘The Friendly Giant’ show when we were kids–I was always fascinated with the early part of the show, when the ‘giant’s’ big fingers would move the tiny settee closer to the fire. My family (all tall, and I’m not) and artist friends tease me relentlessly about the miniatures, nicknaming me Mini Minor, indicating I should drive a Smart Car etc.  One artist suggested that I must just do normal-sized paintings, then wash them in hot water and stick them in the dryer. I replied, no, I have tiny elves painting overtime in the studio for me, and they work for peanuts!

2-Have you submitted entries to this show before? –  My art career started around 1991 but I started doing miniatures in watercolour, as an experiment, around 2001. At that time I was not at all aware of how ancient this specialty art form is and about all the different world societies which are dedicated to preserving it. I put a few up in one corner of my booth at one of my Windsor art shows. Karen McConnell (originally from Springfield, and a miniature painter of note herself) saw them, and urged me to investigate the international shows. I found out that the Canadian Miniature Society (Ottawa) had just achieved Charter status and so I entered that one in 2002 and did quite well with the awards; the judge bought one of my pieces and sent me a little handwritten note to be sure to enter the Miniature Art Society of Florida’s show, ‘the world’s best’. I did do the MASF for a couple of years, I think, and received some divisional awards there. On a whim in 2004 I also sent a couple of pieces to the ‘World’s’ (in Washington DC that year, at the Smithsonian), which is held every 4 years or so, and was pleased to get an ‘Judge’s Award for Excellence’ there, which was a rare honour. Around 2005 until recently, I was concentrating on my other works–the miniatures are a sideline for me–so I stopped entering the miniature shows for awhile.  However, I did want to try to do oils in tiny size and started that a couple of years ago and enjoyed it. I thought I’d send a couple off to the MASF for this year’s show and see what happened.   Miniatures are much different than ‘small paintings’. Small paintings are meant to be viewed with the naked eye and have just that amount of detail. The standard for miniatures is higher in that they are meant to stand up to magnification, and once the viewer examines them that way, more and more detail becomes visible. It is like viewing a much larger painting while still holding it in the hand. For this reason, miniatures tend to be physically demanding to paint, so I can’t do them all the time; and I enjoy the variety of doing larger, less detailed works, and also much looser plein aire pieces (getting outside to paint), as well.

3-Did you attend?/What do you actually ‘win’? –   We didn’t go, no–I understand that the MASF President was hoping I’d attend the awards banquet and I was sorry to disappoint. This came as an immense surprise to me so I wasn’t at all prepared…..There have been two ‘oh my gosh’ moments with the missives from the MASF in Florida. The first letter I casually opened thinking it was just a notification that my work had been accepted by their jury, but it had me reaching for my glasses to carefully reread ‘highest congratulations, you have received Best in Show’. The second such moment was when I received a frameable certificate, which I knew about; but tucked inside was another gold-sealed envelope with a nice award cheque. That part hadn’t crossed my mind.

4-One of your biggest achievements? –  (Haha, should this be ‘biggest’ (in quotes)?)    Artistically, this particular award pleased me because the judge was John Seerey-Lester, whose (normal sized) work I admire a great deal; he is a master realist collected worldwide, and sought-after for his knowledge and ability. I will treasure his comments about ‘Lang Syne’. In the press release he indicates how highly he respects miniaturists, and that the MASF show is his very favourite one to judge, due to the high calibre of art despite the size constraint. One’s own peer group is the toughest audience, and these artists are extremely visually literate and know what to look for, above and beyond a ‘pretty picture’. With all the hours of work that an artist spends alone at the easel, this is nice encouragement from the larger group that one is ‘on the right track’ .    However, it’s the process of making art which is by far the most exhiliarating for me–the awards are like a nice little touch of applause after the fact. I remember a quote which expresses that feeling, ‘Be it jewel or toy, not the prize gives the joy, but the striving to win the prize.’ (Robert Bulwer-Lytton)

5.Why the title? – Lang Syne, Broad Scots for times gone past. I felt it fitted the piece.


(At last week’s Council,  Mayor Bob Habkirk hinted that plans for an area recycling program may soon be underway. Director of Operations Rod Tapp provided this update to AylmerNews.)

The current status of the Proposed Joint Recycling Depot Project is as follows:

Ø       London is still waiting to hea from the Province as to how much funding will be made available for the project, which is estimated at $25 Million. (it is hoped that notification will be forthcoming in the near future)

Ø       Waste Diversion Ontario and Stewardship Ontario have approved and committed $4.5 Million so far for the project.

Ø       Once all funding details have been approved by the various government agencies involved for the project, a complete Report will be going to London Council for approval.

Ø       Once approved by London, a meeting will be held with all interested Municipal parties, at which time, all costing and operating details etc. will be provided for the project.

Ø       A complete Report will be subsequently forwarded over to the Town of Aylmer Council for their review and consideration as to whether the Town will opt into the program.

Ø       The Recycling Depot will then be constructed on a pre-approved site located at the south end of London on Manning Drive and is estimated to take 1 year to complete.

Ø       The Recycling Depot will be a state of the art facility and will be capable of accepting and processing all recyclable materials from London and surrounding municipalities with room for future growth etc.

Ø       The Depot will process the materials and market them for sale with all proceeds going directly back to the municipalities’ using the facility.

From all accounts, preliminary analyses of the Proposed Joint Recycling Project and Program appear to be very positive for the Town of Aylmer which includes the following:

1.)     The ability to expand the Town’s current recycling program to include many more items that are not currently offered for pick up from the Town’s current service provider.

2.)     Provide for a significant reduction in the Town’s overall Recycling Costs

3.)     Adhere to and/or exceed all the current “Best Practices and Provincial Standards’” identified and used in the industry, which in turn will increase annual Government operating funding.

4.)     Enable the Town to achieve a much greater waste diversion rate for the Town that will be in line with Provincial Mandates (60% Diversion).


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