Dr. Roberta Bondar
The Art Gallery of Algoma is pleased to hold works in its Permanent Collection by renowned scientist, doctor and photographer Dr. Roberta Bondar. In our lobby space, you will find a few of these works on display.
Common Horsechestnut (Aesculus Hippocastanum)
Amongst the greens of spring we find white, an eye-catching treat, especially when shaped in cones. Ice cream, sorbet and frozen yogurt are not far behind. Memories stirred by familiar plants bursting forth can center us with predictability as we embrace them like old friends while we move through life, year by year. We count on their beauty to uplift our spirits and as the season of warmth and humidity approaches, we seek out their protection from the penetrating rays of our nearest star, the sun.
Squirrels may find the fruit of the common horse-chestnut irresistible but the seeds inside are toxic for humans and many other animals. If you are not a squirrel or a member of the deer family, do not attempt to roast fallen fruit. This you can do with real chestnuts from the once plentiful American Chestnut, Castanea dentate - now rare, having succumbed to imported chestnut blight.
In Memory of Linda Burtch
By Sally Gibson, AGA Board Member
Linda came to Sault Ste. Marie in 1981 with her husband Michael and their two young children, Sara and Michelle. She completed her degree in History at Algoma University and went on to complete an archival technician diploma at Algonquin College. She worked as a reference librarian at the Sault Ste. Marie Public Library for twenty years and developed an archive that holds an array of material culture from major local industry including documents from Algoma Steel. Linda also archived the papers and artifacts of Doctor Roberta Bondar.
Linda embraced life with passion and enthusiasm and her contributions to the City of Sault Ste. Marie were many. Among them she became a member of the LACAC board and spearheaded projects such as a geophysical survey of the Queen Street cemetery, a brochure/booklet of local plaques and designated buildings, and published a history of the Great Lakes Power Company. Her achievements in our community are simply exemplary.
Linda was always there to help at the Art Gallery of Algoma where, for more than twenty years, her husband, Michael, was the director. She hosted visiting artists and dignitaries at their home, she ably assisted with fundraising events, and she carried out endless chores without fanfare. Her tireless commitment is appreciated by all who worked with her.
Linda died in 2008 at the too young age of fifty-five. She is greatly and sadly missed by her family, their many friends, and all those in the Sault Ste. Marie’s cultural community.
Star Portraits is a series produced by Bravo and inspired by a BBC television program of the same name. The series, which explores the art of portraiture, brings together three portrait artists and one celebrity in each episode. Host Louise Pitre hides the identity of the celebrity subject until just prior to the sitting, when artists are given 3 hours to capture a sketch of the sitter.
During two weeks of studio work, the audience gets to know the artists through their philosophy and approach to art making and portraiture. At the grand unveiling, the celebrity sitter is allowed to choose their favourite works.
Dr. Roberta Bondar was the celebrity subject in Season One, Episode 10. These three portraits by (top to bottom) Shannon Reynolds, Kim Van Stygeren Medland and Travis Shilling, are the final paintings produced in that episode. Which one is your favourite?