Monday, October 26, 2020
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Art on the Park

Sister Virginia Varley with her art.

Between May 5 − 8, over 250 people viewed the creations of seven artists who have been painting together for the last eight years, a group that includes Sisters Virginia Varley and Betty Lou Knox.

Sister Virginia explained the benefits of working together this way, "The advantage of painting together is that we are guaranteed a day of painting a week and during the sessions we pick up the energy of the others who are painting. We have a sense of an art community and fondly see ourselves as The Toronto Group of Seven."

They gather at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church’s basement every Thursday and paint from 11 am till 3 pm. "Coming together in a bright space conducive to painting, we share a quiet atmosphere away from the telephone," said Sister Betty Lou. "Here we exchange ideas and support each other in expressing art in our individual styles."

Both Sisters see a close relationship between art and spirituality. Sister Virginia shares the spiritual aspects of art with others in yearly Creative Sacred Art Retreats where she is part of the retreat team. "I paint my way in and out of mystery, and my hope is that persons who see my art are drawn into that mystery and become engaged in their own dialogue with it." Sister Virginia paints in oil, acrylic, watercolour and mixed media. In this exhibition, Sister Virginia included her works on Yupo paper with mandalas and design work, with the underpainting following Chakra colours.

Sister Betty Lou credits nature with inspiring her watercolours and acrylics. A creation-centered spirituality program gave birth to her life as an artist. She has also combined her nature photography with her interest in the spirituality of Hildegard of Bingen to create a book. Both Sisters also have cards, which they offer for sale.

The Regis College exhibit delighted many, and both Sisters enjoyed meeting and speaking with visitors.

Creative Sacred Art Retreats

For more information, please contact Sister Virginia Varley at (416) 929-4799 or


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