Beth Stewart

Other Names: (Mary) Beth Stewart (née Collins) 

Beth Stewart is a founding member of the London Arts Council and has been a part of the Central Organizing Group of the London Artists’ Studio Tour since 1999.
She was an art therapist for the Canadian Red Cross Society and Parkwood Hospital and has been teaching with the Thames Valley District School Board since 2004.

Beth Stewart (née Collins) is a professional artist and educator. Born and raised in Windsor, Ontario, she attended the University of Windsor, earning a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Education. Moving to London, Ontario, Stewart continued her education at Western University, where she was mentored by art therapy pioneer Irene Dewdney, earning a Diploma in Art Therapy.

While working as an art therapist for the Canadian Red Cross Society and later for Parkwood Hospital (1986 to 2002), Stewart immersed herself in London’s vibrant art scene. She showed for three years as part of Lisa Rochford and Leslie Rogerson’s Big Picture Show (1993 to 1995). Over the years, Stewart has been an enthusiastic participant in numerous other group shows including Michael Gibson Gallery’s Miniature Show (1993 to 2002), Art Mart (2003 to 2008), and Westland Gallery’s Square Foot Show (2012 to 2022).

Stewart had her first solo show at the Forest City Gallery (1999), followed by shows at the Spencer Gallery (2000), Cozy House Restaurant (2007), and The Art Exchange (2008), for which she received an Ontario Arts Council Exhibition Grant.

Stewart was a founding member of the London Arts Council and served as its third president. She joined the London Artists’ Studio Tour in 1998 and has been a part of its Central Organizing Group since 1999.

In 2002, Stewart teamed up with artist Jill Price to open the artist collective AXIS studios in the Covent Garden Market. In 2003, she became involved with the London Fringe Festival. Working with Kathy Navackas, she initiated and curated the VisualFringe (2003 to 2018).

Stewart was the arts editor at Scene Magazine (2004 to 2006). Following this, she founded Artscape Magazine (2006 to 2008). In addition, Stewart wrote on the arts for Lifestyle Magazine (2006 to 2017) and was the copy editor for The Beat Magazine (2009 to 2013).

Stewart began teaching visual art and English at the Thames Valley District School Board in 2004 and is still going strong almost 20 years later.

Biography Courtesy of Beth Stewart

I work mainly in dry media, especially in lead or coloured pencils. My favorite subject matter includes objects that I collect as well as things that I admire, ranging from small toys, to local wildlife. Over the past decade, I have focused on rendering wild and domestic birds. Of late, I have turned my hand toward natural objects such as nests, rocks, and sticks.

Much of my work is informed by the “Cabinet of Curiosities” phenomenon that reached its peak of popularity in the 17th century. The term “cabinet” originally described a room, rather than a piece of furniture, that was filled with things of wonder. Objects were arranged within a cabinet according to their owner’s notions of importance, similarity, connectivity, and aesthetics. Cabinets are the precursors to our modern museums.

My own collection upon which most of my art is based is composed of both natural and man-made objects that reflect my particular interests and obsessions. Like early collectors, I am not interested in scientific classification, but rely on my own unique organizational structure.

Key concepts that drive my artistic vision are: experiencing a sense of wonder in all kinds of things; discovering new and extreme examples of natural and manufactured items; experimenting with arranging, re-arranging and classifying things; and making connections between seemingly unlike items.

Artist’s Statement Courtesy of Beth Stewart

CV Courtesy of Beth Stewart

Biography Profile Photo:
Beth Stewart
coloured pencils
Courtesy of Beth Stewart

See also: Irene Dewdney; Agneta Dolman; Jill Price; Margarethe Vanderpas

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