Let it be art – ASK has many plans for 2016

January 13, 2016   ·   0 Comments

By Grazyna Tonkiel
As the new president and artistic director of Arts Society King (ASK), I would like to wish every King Township resident a healthy, prosperous, and eventful 2016.
How eventful? Please have a look at the Flemish painter Jan Miel’s work titled Carnival in the Piazza Colona, or listen to the second act of the Giacomo Puccini opera La Bohėme. What you would see and hear is the emotionally charged richness of experience and the joy of life, exactly what ASK wants to bring to King.
I would like to thank ASK’s volunteers, board members and past President, Sue Iaboni, for their outstanding dedication and contribution.
ASK is a volunteer run organization. “Enriching King Township through arts and culture for all” is the vision we follow. We bring together artists, outstanding volunteers, as well as, partner organizations and sponsors. We are the conduit, the framework, the facilitator creating a context and the initial impetus for art to happen and be enjoyed in our community.
We have our own quarterly magazine, King MOSAiC  (produced and distributed by London Publishing). The magazine promotes local and guest artists, highlighting King’s natural and built heritage, and informs our readers about local events and activities.
There are two main, staple events we organize each year.
The Studio Tour. It is planned for April 23 and 24.  Close to 30 artists will be opening their studios, some inviting guest from other areas. This year we will be presenting, for the first time, two King painters Hans Martin and Denis Flys and three visiting artists, painters Judy Sherman and Eva Folks, as well as sculptor Gordon Becker.  Judy and Eva have been designing the Studio Tour brochure.
Please also mark Sept. 11 in your calendar, and get ready to be dazzled by 40 artists exhibiting their work at the Schomberg Street Gallery. This event has grown tremendously over the last nine years and has been visited by over 2,000 spectators, who last September strolled through Schomberg’s historic Main street.
But wait! There is more.
On Jan. 24, in partnership with the Heritage and Cultural Centre, we are planning a celebration of Robbie Burns Day.  Tickets for The Art of Scotch entitle participants to try different samples of scotch, taste local Scottish fare, listen to bagpipes, and enjoy Scottish entertainment by a member of the Humber River Shakespeare troupe.
The newly invented Experience Series, sponsored by the new Bank of Montreal branch in King City, begins on Feb. 9, with an opportunity to meet artist Brett Davis, a local sculptor famous for his outdoor ironwork. He will reveal his secrets of sculpture making.
March 17 will bring an evening of Irish fun with Irish stew and limericks, clever, funny and sometimes even a little off-colour.
On May 18, art historian and curator of Georgina Art Gallery, Eva Chwojko and composer Dr. Steeve Srawley, will present a fascinating story of The Invisible Women; outstanding female artists and scientists who achieved unprecedented results, against all the odds in a male dominated society, but who never received adequate recognition. Finally, this presentation will give the invisible women the spotlight they deserve.
ASK is also planning music concerts for 2016 and 2017. As an opera singer with over 30 years of stage experience, I have many favorite composers and music, and expect that most of King’s residents have their own preferences. What are they?
Would you prefer to listen to Chopin waltzes, spicy jazz from Latin America, Monteverdi’s harpsicord concert in one of the King’s heritage building by candle light? Please let me know, kindly call ASK or send me an email.
Now, let me take an opportunity to introduce our new board of directors:
Maurdene Pozdrowski, director of community outreach. Maurdene is a long-time volunteer working with many King organizations. You will be able to find her at any of ASK’s outreach booths.
Ward 5 Councillor Debbie Schaefer is a board advisor.
Ann Livingston, director of volunteers, is a King City artist and will be recruiting new volunteers (if interested please give Ann a call at 905 939-8318).
Another board advisor is Kathleen Fry, Township of King Museum Curator.
Chloe Ramerill, secretary, is our youngest new member and will bring a young, fresh perspective to the organization.
Denny Staritt, director of membership, ASK’s past vice-president, and I hope her charm and hard-work will continue to bring new members to the organization.
Deb Reilly, representative of Kings Craft Studio, is a board observer.
Sharon Bentley, King Township Public Library Branch Manager, is another board advisor.
Sue Iaboni is ASK’s past-president. Under her leadership ASK prospered.  Sue is a retired educator and creative writer, who will continue as our Editor-in-Chief of Mosaic Art Magazine.
Tom Wray, director of marketing, is a gifted, sensitive photographer and the beating heart of the Schomberg Street Gallery.
Teri Hastings, executive director, brings a wealth of experience, passion, superb organization skills and full dedication to ASK.
Blair Day, current ASK vice-president, is a 40-year resident of King City. He is a very successful educator and a great mediator.
As mentioned, I am president and artistic director. I am an opera singer, actor, visual artist and an environmentalist.
Len Vernon, ASK treasurer, is our true treasure. Len and his wife, Phyllis, have been affiliated with ASK since the very beginning.
With great enthusiasm, Arts Society King, is looking forward to continuing to bring art to King Township, because as Pablo Picasso once said: “Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.”
To learn about our initiatives and upcoming events, please visit our website,, send us an e-mail at, send me a note at, or call us at 905 939-9357.



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