Molly Yimlei Yep is a certified personal trainer, an instructor of Tai Chi, and an accomplished artist.
She was also the organizer of this weekend’s successful Queenston Art Show, which was last held in 2018.
She hoped for entries from between 40 and 50 artists, and had 45 register — a perfect number for the size of the Queenston Community Centre and Library room traditionally used for the show.
With each artist able to provide two works of art for hanging, and two unframed to be displayed around the room, the show ended up with 145 pieces of artwork to be sold. And throughout the weekend, as they were sold, artists had the option of replacing them, Yep explained. She had her two sell quickly and was able to hang two more for the remainder of the show.
Yep, a Queenston resident and member of the Queenston Residents Association, said she has been a participant of the art show several times over the years, and took it over “because nobody else was going to do it,” and she wants it to be something that could continue.
She is accustomed to organizing art shows from her time with the Parkway Artists’ Guild, and having retired from teaching architectural drawing at Willowbank School of Restoration Arts, has more time for her own art and for the show, “to continue Queenston’s long tradition,” she says.
The grid panels used to display the art works were rented from the Parkway Artists’ Guild — panels she designed for their art shows, and perfect for placing around the room. They go together easily and come apart for storage, and a thin layer of canvas between them allows works to be displayed on both sides.
As an instructor at Willowbank, she used to bring her students to the community centre library room to practise their skills. They would measure the room, and do floor plans and detailed drawings, she says. “They learned a lot about architectural drawing in this room,” she says. “And I came to know it well. It’s the perfect place for an art show, the right amount of space, and the big windows to let in lots of light.”
Some of the artists displaying their work have participated in the Queenston art shows for years, and others were newcomers. She also encouraged the artists in her Tai Chi classes to bring their work to the show.
Tai Chi may look like gentle exercise, but it’s a good workout, she says, building core strength and improving balance. If you are not fit and healthy, you can’t fulfil your life in other ways, she explains.
Yep has a passion for Tai Chi, and for art, and they work together in her life — keeping fit and healthy allows her to fulfill her passion for art, she says.
“I couldn’t do what I do without Tai Chi,” which she continues to teach at the community centre.
Her paintings on display at the art show were trees of Niagara, on rice paper. She uses water colour, and explains that the paint seeps through to the other side, and then she paints on the back of the paper, to fill in areas that are left unpainted on the front side.
There was a wide variety of art on display, including water colours, acrylics, photographs, copper-plated etchings from Merijean Morrissey, a Brock professor and artist-in residence in Dublin, Ireland, and scratchboard black clapboard etchings by Tony Smith.
The show was well-attended, with volunteers helping to set it up and be onhand for sales, and Yep hopes it will once again become an annual event.