Bits and Bites of Everyday Life


Arts Night, an evening to remember

“Art can never be understood, but, can only be seen as a kind of magic, the most profound and mysterious of all human activities.”

True North Perspective
Alberte Villeneuve-Sinclair is the author of The Neglected Garden and two French novels. Visit her website to learn more

Arts Night at the First Unitarian Congregation of Ottawa was a real treat. Attendees are true fans of the arts and it shows. The monthly event always starts with an open invitation where members can offer a five-minute presentation in any art form. We first enjoyed a lovely mini concert of flute and piano played by Sam Clemann and Elisabeth Morrison at the piano, then, a reading from Joycelyn Loeffelholz who has been the driving force behind these popular art get-togethers.
As you may recall from last week’s announcement, the visual artist was sculptor, Angela Verlaeckt Clark, the musical artist, Lori Lynn Penny, and I was the guest artist for the literary offering which I shared with you in last week’s column. What really impressed the three of us from the beginning was the special connection we felt almost instantly. We realized that during our childhood we had been basically shy individualists. Angela who was born in Sherbrooke, Québec, admitted that she became painfully shy mainly because of her family’s many moves due to her father’s work. “I would walk through the school halls with my head down, always the new girl in town.” But the stimulation and challenge of new places helped her shake off the painfully shy and introverted young girl and become a confident, independent woman, both in her art and in life.
The eldest child of three in a family of mixed heritage, this gave her a unique vantage point on the world. Her mother’s Abenaki heritage brought her an appreciation of nature with its rich textures and colours. Her father, a Belgian immigrant, taught her that working toward a goal must be steady in stride and true to oneself. Her father enjoyed painting; her great-grandfather, apart from being an hotelier, had been a sculptor (a fact Angela only discovered prior to leaving for the UK in the 1990s).
Alberte Villeneuve-Sinclair with Angela Verlaeckt Clark and Lori Lynn Penny at last week's Art's Night.  

Angela started out working with clay and then turned to stone sculpting to “freeze frame” a moment or a feeling. Slowly, she moved to more abstract pieces and combined them with poetry to produce the book “Witness Stones and Reflections” which was published in 2010.

“Try to understand that which is already perfect”… As life is all about balance, so is Angela’s art. Her current endeavour is her fused glass art hangings and jewelry which complements the balance she has found in her life.
Angela’s travels in Europe, Africa, Sri Lanka, Russia, Australia and China have been a source of inspiration. One is rarely a prophet in his own country and artists must often travel to the United States or Europe to gain more exposure and recognition! So it was that her art was truly recognized and appreciated in the UK.
In Angela’s own words, “Life is all about being passionate, being engaged, seeing beyond the visible and being enlightened…”
This, of course, also resonated with Lori Lynn who chose music as her means of expressing her feelings and sharing her talent. Lori holds a Bachelor of Music in Elementary School Music from the University of Calgary, as well as a Diploma of Fine Arts in Music with a specialization in the Kodaly Concept of Music Education. She has been teaching music since 1990, first in her studio in Edmonton and then in Ottawa since 1998. Teaching is a “work of Heart” and it is obvious that is where Lori Lynn’s heart is. As a volunteer, Lori Lynn is Treasurer of the Ottawa Region branch of the Ontario Registered Music Teacher’s Association. She is a member of the College of Examiners for the Royal Conservatory of Music and is very proud that her composition “Party Shoes” for vocal solo with piano accompaniment was published by Alberta Keys Music Publishing Co. in 1990. She finds it wonderful to see some of her former students move up in the music field… Proud moments for a dedicated teacher and musician!
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe said, “The moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred… unforeseen incidents, meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamed would have come his way.”
I believe, as Lynne McTaggart says in her book The Field: The Quest for the Secret Force of the Universe: “Our natural state of being is a relationship, a tango, a constant state of one influencing the other”. And I feel that Angela, Lori Lynn and I were meant to meet that evening, thanks to Joycelyn who made it all possible! I thank her very much and hope everyone enjoyed the presentations!
To learn about the social activities of the First Unitarian Congregation:
Blessings to all!