Little Current Art Club initiates ‘Artist of the Month’

Dr. Roy Jeffery is a self-taught acrylic painter who was the first to be featured as artist of the month at the Little Current Public Library.

LITTLE CURRENT – Although many will know him as a physician in the Little Current area, Dr. Roy Jeffery also has a love for the fine arts and was showcased at the Little Current Public Library as the Little Current Art Club’s artist of the month during February.

Dr. Jeffery has been the pioneer of the efforts of the Little Current Art Club to showcase a local artist each month at the Little Current Public Library.

This is a rather new experience for Dr. Jeffery. The self-taught acrylic painter has never been part of any art shows or had his work displayed in public before.

“I think the idea for me is that in art, as in life, it can never stay the same. You have to let go of what you’re doing right, or think you’re doing right, to go on to develop new ideas. I might be at that stage now where I’m finding out where to go from here,” he says.

Dr. Jeffery says he started painting in watercolour, partly inspired by the medium of choice for both his aunts, but he has since moved to mainly paint using acrylics. 

Although most of his pieces are set securely in frames, he has one work-in-progress on display called Kingfishers. This painting depicts a scene along the Heaven’s Gate Trail in the LaCloche Mountains. 

Dr. Jeffery’s main focus is on natural scenes from Manitoulin Island and surrounding areas, including depictions of the Sheguiandah Mill in several seasons.

Some of Dr. Jeffery’s friends dropped by the open house to wish him well and chat about his artwork throughout the day.

“I think many of Roy’s friends and acquaintances have wanted him to display his art for years, but he’s refused. Roy is very modest,” says Bernice Pleta, who has come to support Dr. Jeffery.

The artist of the month initiative is organized by the Little Current Art Club and Dr. Jeffery was the first featured artist in the series during the mid-winter.

“We have plans to try and to this every month and we hope people will come out to see the artwork,” says club secretary Lee Baxter. The group is actively looking for artists who have between one and 25 pieces of art to display in the Little Current Public Library for one calendar month.

“It offers exposure to the arts and the library and an opportunity for local people to show their stuff, even if they’re not currently making a living off it,” Ms. Baxter says.

Club treasurer Dorothy Atchison adds that the club welcomes all kinds of art, far beyond visual creations.

“Something we’d like to see come into the library is other forms of art, such as jewellery, pottery and others. We don’t want to limit it to just paintings and photography,” Ms. Atchison says.

This current iteration of the Little Current Art Club is less than a year old. Chair Lamar Hyatt says his group strives to support artists in many ways.

“We just want them to know that there’s an avenue for artists to take; we are here for them and will do whatever we can to promote them,” he says.

Dr. Jeffery offered a unique fundraising opportunity for the art club—there was a sealed bid auction set up in the library. The person who submitted the highest bid got to choose their favourite painting and take it home, with Dr. Jeffery donating all the proceeds to the art club.