A full-capacity crowd attended the first-ever art exhibition of Slovak-French Canadian visual artist Pauline M. Portelance, which was held at the Richelieu-Vanier Community Centre in Ottawa on Friday November 15, 2013. I was privileged to attend the event along with Ambassador Milan Kollár and Mrs. Soňa Kollárová as well as several members of Branch 63 of the Canadian Slovak League. The exhibition, which is on display until the end of December, is entitled "Les Pavots", or "The Poppies". Poppies or "mak" are important in many aspects of the Slovak tradition, as reflected in her large canvasses painted in vibrant colours.
This is the first exhibition for the artist who has dabbled in painting for the past 25 years. Her influence stemmed from her mother Marta Serafina Matková, who was born in the village of Huty in the Orava district of Slovakia. Pauline's grandparents were one of the first Slovak pioneers in Northern Ontario, specifically the community of Tabor which was located not far from the Slovak village of Bradlo. From a young age, Pauline was impressed by her mother's love of art and her need to express her creativity and passion .This same passion is expressed in Pauline's bold paintings of flowers, landscapes and abstracts.
Now retired from a long career teaching in Northern Ontario and her work in communications in the public service, Pauline is continuing the journey to express herself with different styles and various media.
Mary Ann (Hačková) Doucette
President, Canadian Slovak League