She has a mischievous eye; one that catches your glance and also catches the light and images she puts on paper.

By Pepper Parr

BURLINGTON, ON  November 8, 2011  – Repairing the roads is important; developing a Strategic Plan and coming out with a budget that provides the services needed at a tax rate residents can live with is all part of what makes a city “work” – but it is the arts that give a city its colour, vivaciousness and puts a beat in its heart.


Getting your art on the walls of the Office of the Mayor is impressive; does it count if you're married to him?

That art comes from the people that live in the city; the people who take the pictures that are posted on web site; that put brush to canvas and paper to produce the paintings that get sold at silent auctions.  These are the people who came up with the designs for the bicycle racks that dot the downtown streets.  Art extends into the 26 dance studios in this city, the student theatre and the bands that play in the clubs downtown or the jazz sessions at the Lowville Bistro. Burlington has grown culturally to the point where it now has a Performing Arts Centre along with an Arts Centre and a museum in the downtown core.

But behind all the structures there have to be artists who “do art”.

Chickadees have always been an attraction for Cheryl Goldring who uses watercolour frequently.

One of the more public art viewings is the Art in Action event that just completed it’s ninth year and near record public participation.  One of the 27 artists that took place in that event was Cheryl Miles Goldring who works with watercolour and acrylic paint. “The acrylics are a little forgiving” explains Goldring, who yes, happens the be the wife of the Mayor but she doesn’t let that get in the way of her life as an artist and an author.

Goldring, who was raised in Quebec and has some of the culture and appreciation for things artistic that are part of the fabric of that province and which the very uptight Ontario types can’t seem to handle, brings a mischievous view to much of what she sees.  That ability to see things others often miss is layered into a strong steak of compassion that comes from her work as a nurse where she spent many years in the emergency department. “it’s a tough place to be and the people in those rooms are often in desperate straits and need everything anyone can give them.”

Every artist likes to have their work on a wall somewhere and if there is someone who wants to purchase a piece of art – Goldring is a willing seller.  Her art manages to go a little further than most artists because it first graces the walls of the Mayor’s office and is used as a gift to visiting dignitaries.

“I donate the art and the city has it framed and used as a presentation piece given to visitors.  My favourite is the chickadees I seem to be able to capture on paper.”

Simple fence post - forbidding clouds - Goldring

Goldring has written two books.  “One of my books is in the hands of a publisher and I’m talking to another publisher at the same time” says Goldring.  This lady clearly means business and that comes through in the art we see.  Some are very strong and direct and others, with the chickadees being the best example, are soft, almost delicate.

Goldring however doesn’t have the fingers of a painter; they are shortish, strong – the kind of fingers you would expect from a potter or perhaps someone who sculpts.   The woman is to some degree a collection of contradictions – with eyes that are bright, enquiring and have  just that interesting little bit of mischief in them.  She works out regularly, stays in shape and slips away to the family cottage as often as she can.  No word yet on when we might hear a book publishing announcement – it will be interesting to hear what she has to say.


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