Story by Gareth Vieira
Photo by David Sheffield

A bevy of Port Hope’s best, turned out for Victoria Hepburn and Graeme Lawson’s art show Out of the Darkness, at Coffee Public on Friday, October 6th. David Sheffield was there wearing a snazzy new shirt, taking pictures and sharing praises for both artists, which Graeme returned with kind words back.

“David has been more than a friend,” said Graeme. “He has been a mentor to both Vikki and me through the years and his support has been like an anchor in our lives.”
Behind the counter, Wendy Denhollander served delectable drinks and snacks with that ever-present smile and good spirit, not breaking a sweat as the cafe filled to the brim. (Sorry, I just couldn’t resist it).

D.J. Fabio Palermo set the pace with the perfect musical accompaniment, just enough of a good thing to pull you in and draw you out, foot tapping while conversing with friends.

The art on display shows a portrayal of how the artists, though different, connect through a shared understanding and perspective of the darker times in life.  Vikki’s bright colours contrast perfectly with Graeme’s darker shades and together the pieces illuminate the emotions one can feel during the day and throughout life. As you take in each piece it is apparent the name, Out of the Darkness, was chosen to reflect this.

David Sheffield said it best in a fitting tribute to both artists.

“I’ve known both Vikki and Graeme for a number of years and we have been through a lot of things together and what comes through from both of them is a seeking towards the light, a seeking towards something better. I recently re-watched two short films directed by Rob Quartly, on both Graeme and Vikkie. In it, Graeme talks about putting things in perspective and gaining insight into himself through art and seeking the light and Vikki talked about how art takes you out of things and takes you away from things and the important role of being able to do that. It has been a privilege for me to work alongside Graeme and Vikki over the years. I think their work is a good example of how art can save souls”

Graeme has a heart of gold that anyone who has met him can attest to. He is so kind it verges close to the ridiculous. We’ve shared some great conversations and shared some of our favourite poets. He is an artist, a poet, a musician, and my friend. 

Vikki is the kind of person who keeps her eyes out for others. I can’t tell you how many times she has called me to tell me she found a hat that I would like at Big Brothers, and she bought and she says, Gareth dear, I will leave it at the Green Wood Coalition’s office. 

I am honoured to call both of these great artist my good friends and I highly recommend taking the time to visit their show at Coffee Public. And while you’re at it, try the Cortado – it’s a shot of goodness you can’t help but love.