Markham Group of Artists

The Markham Group of Artists (MGA) opened an exhibit of their fine arts to the public at the new home and law office of Joshua Azan and Alison Rioux on Saturday, August 24th from 1:00 – 5:00 pm. The contributing MGA artists who have work on display are: Edward Abela, Marilyn McKay, Helen Walter, Brenda Bornstein, Rina Gottesman, Gail George, and last but not least, MGA president, Linda McIntosh, who curated the show.

Abela explained that art had been a hobby when he was a boy. He won a few prizes and didn’t start to take up painting full time until about 20 years ago. “I love to travel and most of my work is landscapes for example of Arizona, Europe and Malta (his country of birth).” He continued: “When I haven’t painted for a while, I feel the urge to go back and paint. There is something in you that tells you, you have to paint.”

When asked about the challenges of painting, Vera Walton, another MGA who was visiting the show explained, “When I see someone do something with a different media, I want to try it. You also have to know what the people want.” Abela added, “There is a lot of competition for people’s attention. We compete with print media.” They both agreed that there is an artist inside that wants to come out. “It starts when you are a kid,” said Walton and Abela added, “but some take it up much later in life and are very successful.”

Walter, one of the exhibitors, explained that the passion to create comes from experience and that everyone has a story inside that wants to come out. Everyone has a book inside.

Azan and Rioux, a husband and wife legal team, bought their heritage home in September 2018. Azan explained that they love art and wanted to do something for the community. While studying law in Miami, they had seen restaurants that had local art for sale. After they set up this office for Levstein, Azan Barristers and Solicitors at 21 Washington Street, they knew that they wanted to open their space to local artists and found the Markham Group of Artists. Rioux was ecstatic about the show’s success and added that they could not have done it without the help and expertise of group president, Linda McIntosh who carefully selected and arranged the beautiful artwork throughout the house.

The exhibit continues for the next three months which will allow members ample time to visit, view, and if interested, purchase one or more paintings. The next open house will take place in early December and will feature new artwork from various MGA artists.

Pictured: Edward Abela and Vera Walton
Photo: Linda Walesch
Thanks to E. Abela, V. Walton, A. Rioux and L. Walesch for editing, comments and additions.


Andrew Fuyarchuk is a high school principal, author and professor. He has published numerous articles in academic journals and has authored two scholarly books. Concerns include Canadian heritage, community and nature. He serves as a Director for the Markham Village Conservancy and as Vice-Chair and Chair of Sites sub-committee for Doors Open.

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