Artists from Peel Police dedicate annual show to colleague who died of cancer
Filling a blank canvas or capturing images through a camera has helped this unusual group of artists cope with the stress of their day jobs.
Little wonder then that members of The Police Artists of Peel (PAOP) have unusual perspectives, when it comes to creativity.
Their work was on display Saturday (Oct. 15) as part of the ninth annual charity art show in Brampton in support of Special Olympics.
The event featured art and photographic works of a dozen or more sworn police officers, as well as civilians and included a variety of styles, techniques, themes and media.
“Deep and compelling artwork is not something normally attributed to cops and members of our police family. However, due to the very nature of police work we are often exposed to the harsher realities of life and the suffering of victims we are sworn to protect,” explained PAOP Chair Shawn McCowell. “This art show has provided us with a creative vehicle to transform the burden of carrying this responsibility to a most honorable and charitable end.”
This year’s show was dedicated to the memory of David Spence a retired officer, photographer and original member of the group, who succumbed to cancer Saturday (Oct. 15) morning.
Monies raised through a silent auction table will benefit Special Olympics athletes such as David Whyne, 23, a gold medalist downhill skier and talented pianist.
The annual art exhibit was founded by Staff Sgts. Shawn McCowell and Kim Taylor in 2006 and is recognized as one of the more exclusive ones across North America because of the high calibre work from members of the Peel Regional Police.
Every year, the PAOP offers a bursary to a youth artist from Mayfield Secondary School and gives them an opportunity to exhibit their work in the show.
Madison Bertrand, 18, was this year’s recipient.
The current cadre of PAOP include McCowell, Geoffrey Maxwell, Susan Watson, Annie Pilniuk, Susanna Hellman, Lee Calver-Guy, Greg Jones, Chris Gillespie, Roy Nauffts, Johanna Dinwoody, Gary Carty and Jan Fundano.
For more information visit PAOP’s Facebook page.