/ by Jonathan Centeno

The piece above is part of the Heart of the City Series.  A similar piece (Lakeview) was acquired by a special person ( an artist herself) this weekend in Sarnia, Ontario.  I begin this blog with a new perspective.  I didn't think I needed reminding about what truly matters in this existence because, as an artist and teacher, I have been fortunate enough to have been involved with charitable events and I have served as a mentor for many students.  As you know, I do not mention names in this blog, but I can tell you that if I was going to begin, I would not have space enough to mention all of the wonderful people we met this weekend at An Event Apart in Sarnia.  Our invitation came through my cousin who resides with his family in Bright's Grove.  I couldn't refuse as the cause is one of epic importance in today's society, and on a lighter note, we could not refuse the chance to dine with my cousin (an unbelievable chef).   I realize that thanks to my network of representatives and galleries I have been spared the hard work in doing shows.  I appreciate their efforts.  But this show was surreal.  My wife and I would not have missed it for the world.  We had absolutely no idea of what to expect from a show held in a greenhouse!  The even light during the day made it the very best possible light for viewing artwork.  The uplifting feeling of being in that light, along with live fine music added something difficult to replicate in a gallery.  To cap it off, everyone from the volunteers, local artists and artisans from all over Ontario contributed to a positively charged atmosphere.  We met and chatted with people from all walks of life- many collectors and many who simply just love the arts. Some came from a distance just for a chance to chat with yours truly and to take some pics-humbling indeed.  Some came from out of the past- University of Toronto and Sheridan College days-and because we were in greenhouse light-we hadn't aged a bit!  I was privy to many stories between conversations revolving around art.  Again the light served to relax and disarm.  I had stories of my own. They weren't important.  What was important was the other topic of conversation-the charity, and the struggles people have in coping with loved ones who contemplate ending it all.  And so I listened.  To mothers of veterans, to fathers of kids that "just don't get it", to parents of special needs children.  I listened and I knew we were there for a good reason.  Was I back in the classroom or was I in my studio?  A bit of both, really.  Everything we do affects someone in some way.  Awareness is a good thing.  Awareness of what we say and do and how we influence others is an on-going process of refinement.
I want to thank everyone involved in An Event Apart.  I feel truly honoured to have made a humble contribution. As for my cousin-hey, we're family. 

So we drove on London Line toward Lakeshore and the Huron sunset that they were all talking about-it did not disappoint.