Local artist makes ‘breakthrough’ to win Sustainable Orillia competition
The piece by local artist MJ Pollak captured the theme of trees in a competition that drew submissions from eight local artists
MJ Pollak, an artist from Orillia, is the winner of the second Sustainable Orillia art competition in 2021!
The competition, launched at the end of May with a deadline of June 30, asked local artists to submit an artwork that expressed the theme of “trees,” the communication theme of Sustainable Orillia in the third quarter of 2021. Eight artists responded, submitting paintings and a piece of fabric art.
Three judges evaluated the submissions and their choice of winner was Breakthrough submitted by Pollak.
Pollak explains his thoughts on the work as follows: “The name of the piece is Breakthrough as the rising sun brightens the top of a tree. Trees have been considered mystical spirits by many cultures since the dawn of time. They take advantage of the sun and restore nutrients. They purify the air and provide protection from the elements. “
MJ (Mary Jo) Pollak’s profile at the Orillia District Arts Council (ODAC) reveals that “she began her post-secondary studies at the Ontario College of Art (now OCADU). While doing general fine arts studies there, she became interested in theatrical design and enrolled in the Theater Crafts and Design program at the Banff School of Fine Arts. This led to an internship in the design department at the Juilliard School in New York City, after which MJ returned to Banff as a professor in the drama department.
“The next step after that was a resident costume designer position at Le Cercle Molière Theater in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Four years later, MJ decided to return to Ontario where she worked as a freelance decorator and costume designer for many years until she started a family.
“MJ is currently focusing on improving his acrylic painting skills. She regularly exhibits paintings and photographs at Hibernation Arts, [on Peter Street] in Orillia. MJ has been nominated twice for the Orillia Regional Arts and Heritage Awards.
As the winner, Pollak will receive a check for $ 75 and her work will be featured on the Sustainable Orillia website.
Sustainable Orillia thanks all the artists who submitted work for our second competition. Choosing the winner from among the submissions was a difficult task, but the work of Pollak, a combination of tree and sun, clearly expressed Sustainable Orillia’s focus on the environment.
The third Sustainable Orillia competition will be announced at the end of August with a deadline of September 30. Like our first two competitions, it will ask local artists to submit work on the Q4 Sustainable Orillia communications theme – the theme to be announced at that time.