I grew up in Niagara Falls, which I don’t think would be necessarily considered a big city (like Toronto), but it’s still big enough. We moved to Fonthill (only 15 minutes away) when we got married in 2010, and have absolutely fell in love with small-town living. It’s very different than where I grew up in Niagara Falls, but I love it. We have 1 bank, 1 grocery store, 1 post office, and we constantly run into the same colleagues, friends and acquaintances around town. It’s great.
Many of you know how involved I have become over the past 4 years in the community here in Pelham. I’ve been on countless committees, helping run initiatives such as the Shop Local campaign, Christmas in Pelham, helping with the launch of the first annual Pelham Summerfest, and much more.
One project that has been very near and dear to my heart has been Portraits of Pelham, an initiative that I first started when I moved to Pelham as a personal project. It’s since been adapted by the Pelham Business Association as a promotional campaign for our members. When a member signs up and pays for the Portraits of Pelham program, I am commissioned to create an environmental business portrait for them, and that portrait is used in a Voice of Pelham ad (local paper), MyPelham.com ad (local online news source) and on Facebook.
The Pelham Business Association’s Portraits of Pelham campaign is a special series of Portraits and Personal Profiles to showcase the people that own and operate our local businesses. These entrepreneurs drive the growth of our Pelham economy. They live in our Niagara community and are committed to investing in our future.
The campaign and the portraits have been very well-received in the community. Close to 50 local businesses have participated, and everyone has had nothing but great things to say about the visually stunning portraits that we have created, as well as the concept behind the campaign.
It’s been a really fun project for me, because it allows me to stretch myself creatively and technically. I have 30 minutes to go into a business’s place of work and come out with one great portrait of the owner by thinking outside of the box. Talk about having ultimate creative freedom as an artist!
Ron Kore, the owner of the Fonthill Sobey’s approached me with the idea of taking the campaign one step further. He suggested that instead of just having the portraits in the paper and online, why don’t we also print the portraits and have them on display to the 1,000’s of customers that walk through the local Sobey’s ever day. We were ecstatic and jumped on board with Ron’s idea!
After lots of planning, the portraits are now on display at Sobey’s Fonthill, and will be for quite a few months. Here’s a quick photo of Ron and I as he was hanging them when I went in for a visit. This, to me, encapsulates exactly what I love about Pelham – caring, selfless, community-minded individuals like Ron are what makes this town tick. I can not thank him and his staff at Sobey’s enough for their generosity in being willing to display these portraits, and I could not be more proud seeing my work displayed as 40″x40″ posters all around one of the largest chain grocery stores around.
If you’d like to check out more of the Portraits of Pelham portraits, check them out here at www.PortraitsOfPelham.com, and if you are in the area, pop on in to Sobey’s Fonthill to check them out in person. They’re larger-than-life and they look fantastic!