On Sunday September 18, I decided to brave the crowds and venture over to Visual Arts Mississauga for Art in the Park. Hosted in Riverwood on the bank of the Credit River, I was greeted by an abundance of greenery as I made my way through the path towards the gallery.

Tents boast local artwork in the grass outside the gallery. One tent holds canvases with painted images of Canadian landscapes, and another displays crafted jewelry. At this moment, I can’t decide what I like better: the unpredictability of artistic ingenuity, or the prospect of enjoying it in the middle of nature. Luckily, I was exposed to both.

I move on to the art studios inside, and am taken aback by the vast number of booths packed into the small space. Although these exhibits are inside, the studios are built with floor-to-ceiling glass windows overlooking a forest, giving the rooms a more natural feel and look.

I’m drawn towards the paintings on the wall. They depict exquisite patterns resembling henna. The canvases share carefully-painted images that are incorporated into the colour of each canvas background. I take a card from the artist, Payal Gupta. She explains to me that the unique designs on her canvases are made with syringes used to create henna patterns. This unique touch to Gupta’s work reminds me why I like supporting local art so much.

Across from Gupta is the booth for Strung Out on Pearls. I’m impressed by the table of jewelry. When I try on the hand-woven metal necklace laced with purple beads, I can see why the jewelry is such a success. I’m told to stand directly under the window, so that it twinkles slightly in the sunlight. The people around me couldn’t seem to get enough.

I pass by a table of notebooks made from teabags and coffee cup sleeves. I make one last stop at a table displaying paintings of Canadian fall weather. One canvas exhibits a long pathway up North, showcasing the yellows, oranges, and reds of the trees lining the walkway.

As an art lover, the two hours I spent roaming from table to table was a dream. Before heading out, I glance around and feel grateful that I belong to such a talented community of artists. If nature could mirror only half these works of art, then maybe the impending cold weather wouldn’t be so bad.

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