By Michelle Poirier
The Belleville Art Association played host to another mini art workshop, this time to help preserve the image of historical houses on West Hill.
Donna McPherson, member of the Belleville Art Association, hosted her first mini art workshop on Tuesday. She frequently attended many workshops in the past and she thought of the idea to paint the houses on West Hill.
“Not much was being done to document houses on West Hill… I thought this would be a good exercise to do,” she said.
Pictures were taken of the historic houses on West Hill and then artists would chose a picture and paint the house. Photos would then be given to the archives and the original paintings will be hung in the Belleville Art Association office on Front Street.
McPherson shared a quote by The Hasting County Directory from 1860 that gives a description of Belleville referring to the West Hill: “To the westward are beautiful slopes which are adorned with handsome dwellings and tastefully arranged grounds where men of business and toil find a quiet retreat.”
McPherson said West Hill now has a bad reputation of crime and houses not being taken care of when it used to be a community filled with architects, lawyers and contractors who helped build the community.
The goal of this workshop was to preserve the history and raise awareness of the historic houses on West Hill. McPherson did not want the houses to continue to be forgotten.
Susan Holland, gallery curator at the John M. Parrott Art Gallery where this workshop took place, said events like these usually have a good turn out.
There are many arts programs that take place at the gallery throughout the year. The Gallery collaborates with other groups downtown such as the Quinte Arts Council and the Belleville Art Association; they provide the space for the groups to use for their artistic purposes.
Holland said the arts community is so big in Belleville because of the beautiful environment surrounding Belleville and that the arts can only help a community.
“[There is] no determent, everything that is done in the arts helps the community,” she said.