Located in scenic Lanark Highlands, Eastern Ontario, Canada

drawing by Linda Grenier


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Storm Internet  provides free internet service to MERA. In exchange, Storm asks MERA members and their friends to sign up for Storm Internet service, providing the promotional code MERA2M when filling out the application form or speaking to Storm staff (613-267-3801) Storm will use this code to track MERA referrals and to ensure that new customers get two free months of service.

Visual Arts at MERA

General Guidelines for Art Circle
The Schoolhouse will be open every First and Third Friday of the month from 9 a.m until 12:00 noon to paint together, to share ideas and to learn from each other. In time, this could include trips to galleries, bringing in workshop leaders and branching out into watercolour as well as other media, as the group wishes.  Papier maché and soapstone sculpture could also eventually be considered.

Bring your own paints, canvasses/art paper or other supports if desired, brushes, etc., although there is a small donated acrylic paint supply available for everyone’s use that can be added to. It is hoped that a collection of donated items (cloth, stencils, paper, magazines for cut outs as examples) by the group can be added to the box to create acrylic textures and other collages.

From Gloria Shoebridge: Each artist is responsible for his or her own set up and clean up. The clean up must start at 11:30 so that we are out of the building by no later than 12. It is not unusual for me to leave the building at 12:30 or even 1:00 and I don't want to stretch myself that far. Secondly, all dirty waste water must be poured into the large bucket provided, not the sinks, to be eventually disposed of outside the same day. Acrylic paints can clog up plumbing pipes, unlike watercolour. In future, there will also be a smaller bucket of clean soapy water to do the very last clean up of brushes so that the sinks are not used. Thank you to those who have been already been helping out in this regard.
We have founded a very lively and creative group and it delights me to see such wonderful blossoming. To that end here is a schedule that I hope will work for everyone. I would welcome any constructive feedback on any of these new ideas. The reason for this new approach is partly because I have a very soft voice. When I am trying to impart something important I find that I am having to shout to be heard, no fun for anyone. In addition, when one is in the zone of creating I find it is necessary to have a quiet non intrusive environment, without interruptions. Not everyone can block out sound outside that wonderful creative space.  So, let us try the following to make this easier for all of us:
9:00-9:15: Setting up and general lovely to see you's. The more efficient we are the quicker we can get to the joy of painting. 
9:15-9:45: Communal sharing and possible short presentation of something new. Clearly it would be best if everyone arrived on time so that everyone can be heard and repetitions are not required.
9:45-11:00: Music is a wonderful way to get into the creative flow. I will bring a CD player with some music to start. When the music is on, everyone's creative bubble is to be recognized and respected. My husband has learned that when I am painting it is a no-go zone. Unless the house is on fire of course. Soft talking only and to be kept at a minimum. For those who wish a tea/munchie/chat break, please go into the kitchen area. If anyone has to ask a question of me or anyone please keep it as non intrusive as possible.
11:00-11:30- Music stops. This is where we can learn and share with each other and talk about upcoming wishes and programs. If you are struggling or have had an epiphany (I guarantee that both will happen) this is where we get to listen to each other, to encourage and support one another. Through laughter and/or tears our work grows stronger. I may bring a timer so that we move onto the clean up time on schedule as I can let time get away from me. I look at it as my Mom gently tapping her watch.
11:30: Clean up time of personal work stations, tables put away, wipe up of paint that has dropped on the floor, as well as communal materials put back in the cupboard.
12:00: Door locked and away home. 
It is paramount to me that we are all feeling nurtured by our wonderful new group. If you can think of other ways to make this the best group EVER, bring it on. 


Starting in the fall, the Arts Circle creats handmade cards and donates them to the MERA Christmas Fair with 100% proceeds going to MERA to help offset costs. Paying it forward to the MERA building is always a good plan so that we can continue our creative lives within its walls.  Fibrearts and the potters have done this to great benefit for MERA.  We may also host our own art show in the future where MERA would receive 20% of the sales with 80% to the artist: YOU!


Exhibitions at the MERA Schoolhouse

MERA offers Month by Month Art Exhibitions in the MERA Schoolhouse Main Hall. Wall space is available free to an artist or group who would like to exhibit their work for a month. The work may be offered for sale and a vernissage may be organized by the artist, if desired. Sales will be arranged through the artist, with a 20% commission going to MERA.

The exhibition will be announced to MERA members through email and on the MERA website. Further advertising and insurance will be the responsibility of the artist.

Please send your proposal to Wayne Stryde at gwstryde@gmail.com with your ideas for an exhibition, type of media and a few images of your work. The month of June is usually taken by the Arts Circle to exhibit their work. We do not do exhibitions in July August and December.