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Caledon artist Maher debuts solo exhibition “Cadence”

April 11, 2024   ·   0 Comments

Show is on until mid-May at the Alton Mill Arts Centre


Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

A local photographer and painter launched a solo art exhibition last weekend. 

On April 6, Patty Maher held an opening reception for “Cadence”, her new exhibition at the Alton Mill Arts Centre. The exhibition is located on the first floor of the centre and can be seen right when one walks through the main entrance.

Maher has been doing photography since 2010, when she started snapping pics on a whim for a 365-day project. It was a way for her to take pictures every day and start to look at the world a little differently. 

After uploading her pictures to social media, Maher began making friends in the photography community. She said this inspired her to work harder and try different things, as she saw all the unique things other photographers were doing. When Maher, who used to live in Toronto, moved to Caledon, something clicked.

“I was inspired by the landscapes… I was just moved by all the space and all the beauty,” said Maher. 

While she started with landscape photography, Maher soon discovered she wanted to add more to her photos. 

“I had this feeling — what if I put a person in there and was telling a bit of a story?” she said. “I’ve been doing that ever since and I find it really enjoyable.”

Something unique about Maher’s photos is that she never shows her subject’s faces. Even more unique is that she started this practice unintentionally, and had it pointed out to her. 

“I wasn’t consciously not showing their faces… I had to really think about why I don’t show faces and I realized, I like the photos to be anonymous because when you show a face, it immediately closes the story,” said Maher. “When you don’t show the face, it could be anybody.”

Maher said she likes her photos to be open; for people to be able to see them and say “that could be me, it could be my sister or my daughter.” 

She said she often gets messages from people who say they identify with the feelings evoked from her photos. 

“It’s amazing how much emotion you can evoke just by the posture,” said Maher. “When I take photos, I have the shutter just clicking, clicking, clicking because I want to capture that right moment.”

Not showing faces in photos has the added benefit of it not being hard to find models to work with. Maher said when people learn they do not have to show their face, they are excited to model for her. She said most of her friends have modeled for her over the years.

“They can be a part of the art… they don’t feel like I’m taking a picture of them,” said Maher.

Maher has been painting for years, but really started to get deeper into the art form during the pandemic. With lockdowns in place and not much to do, Maher found that painting was an amazing way to spend her time. For her current exhibition, Maher said she wanted to paint a lot of flowers to celebrate spring.

“Painting flowers is really joyful,” she said.

Maher said she was excited to have a solo show at the Alton Mill Arts Centre and said it is an amazing opportunity. She said she loves the environment there and that it’s a beautiful place to be. 

“It’s great to meet everybody and get people’s feedback, people are so nice,” she said. “It’s been a wonderful experience.”

Cadence can be viewed until mid-May at the Alton Mill Arts Centre, and all the art from the exhibition is for sale. Maher plans to be there on the weekends for anyone interested in meeting her and chatting about art.



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