Using craft paint, Gelli printing plates, rollers, paper, and random objects, members enjoyed a relaxing afternoon discovering the many ways to ink, distort, and produce fantastic abstract prints. With wonderful instruction from Rodman Hall Art Centre’s very own Michelle Nicholls, The Willow Community got messy and created prints worthy of being displayed. Read More

What a night! Thank you to everyone that came out in support of The Willow Community. I think we can all agree our artist Kim Overholt did a fantastic job. There was so much creativity, great music, and good cheer happening all around.

100% of the proceeds will go directly toward funding programs for the members of our awesome creative community. Your participation last night means so much to us. Thank you all again! ~ Shauna MacLeod  Read More

On a wing and a prayer…. we giggled, grunted, and graced our way through angel origami. Julia was a pro at keeping her cool while ours slowly unraveled, until suddenly- angels took form!

Our class began with a gentle reminder of mindfulness and the eastern teaching of origami. Read More

Artist Mary Burke walked the shorelines of Lake Erie and explored the Port Colborne Rock Quarry to provide us a unique and *FREE* canvas for our acrylics paints. Using the seasons as our inspiration, we expressed spring, summer, fall, and winter using literal and symbolic imagery. We rocked out to The Rolling Stones while we painted, chatted, and sang our way through another fantastic workshop. Read More

Henna Artist Shazia Khan led a fantastic workshop for our members last night at Rodman Hall. Providing an overview of the historic, cultural, and artistic significance of Henna, Shazia inspired the class to create their own Henna design.

Read More

My home away from home is in the arms of Andy Dufresne

The one who teaches of music and how to dance in the rain

The one who’s spirit cannot break

No matter how many beatings he has to take


He teaches me of hope and how from prison hell break free

He teaches me to have dreams and allows me to become me Read More

Members of The Willow came together with music producer/maker Joe Lapinski for an inspired afternoon. We spent some time getting to know one another musically- talking about our favourite bands and learning just how much musical talent our members have (violins, pianos, guitar, choir, clarinet).

We then took some time to listen, really listen, to a song we’ve all heard many times with the intent of discovering new aspects about the melody, lyrics, and overall feel. Heart of Gold by Neil Young.  Read More

Squig I know how…

And I know why…

You chose to make me let this die…


There’s not one day that goes by…

That I don’t cry and remember why…

You told me the plan, you carried it out

And at that time, I then had no doubt… Read More

I am like a snail I carry my home where I go. Home is where my heart is, my memories, past experiences, dreams….

My home is my body

When I open the door, I let the world touch me. I feel the warm of the sun, the freshness of the wind, the smell of a flower, the colours of the world

My home has some cracks, that the years create, but also through them new light can come in.

Artist/Facilitator Mary Burke introduced the class to a novel idea: take a small portion of a famous painting and run wild! Some of us recognized the original art piece, but many didn’t. Truly great pieces were created today- and the grand reveal at the end made the member artists see and appreciate their work alongside the famous image. This art will be showcased on December 18, 2017 at Mahtay Cafe & Lounge downtown St. Catharines.

Belong Empower Create with The Willow Community ~Shauna MacLeod Read More

Artist and paper enthusiast Judith Rudoler provided the tools, materials, and wonderful know-how for us to create our own “Renegade Book”. The goal was to create a book with items we could find around the house (or the local Dollar Store). The results? Fantastic handmade books that can inspire creative writing and future book making! I encourage you all to use these books for sketches or poetry and submit them to our Fall Member Art Showcase happening Dec 18th. Thank you for creating with us ~Shauna MacLeod Read More

I’m wearing two toned, blue coloured running shows that give my feet that salubrious effect of deep soothing comfort on the soles of each foot as if I’m walking on a fluffy, marshmallowy cloud way up in the deep, blue, exhilarating sky.

My colourful, easily seen by others runners lead my two feet in many various directions, depending on which ways, locations and destinations my leader called my brain wants my feet to walk, run, jog or stand and/or stroll around at its command. Read More

Dearest Universe

In the past, most correspondence was of a salubrious nature. In this moment I’m having more of a how and why mindset.

How is it we seem to know more about other planets and stars than our own oceans and forests yet we’ve never been there?

Why haven’t extraterrestrials embraced the dumb humans?

And have full out exposure and interactions rather than a few choice places for craft and mostly speculation on bodies when it comes to any sort of proof.

What happens to a soul when people/things pass?  Is there a difference between living things?

How am I still single? Why have I had to wait such a long duration for anything to happen?

Darryl Burr

 I wear a very special kind of shoes, they are magical shoes.

Oh! Really?

Yes, they lead my feet to very special places.

If I walk backward I can visit my past, and see it with my present eyes. Stressful, scary, funny, lovely moments don’t feel the same. They happened at one moment very precise in the past and now I am not the same, I am all the moments of the past. And it is magical to see new meanings to old moments. Read More


The Willow Community was happy to be invited to participate in this year’s Culture Days out-front of The Red River Gallery in the beautiful heritage district of Port Dalhousie. Jordinn, Mary, Patricia, Krystal, and Jenn set up their easels, unpacked their art supplies, and created some fantastic art. We are grateful for the members of the public that came out to learn more. I look forward to making more afternoons like this happen in the future. ~Belong Empower Create ~ Shauna MacLeod Read More

The Willow members were thrilled to have local artist Patricia Laraia back to teach her Freedom Through Art workshop this week. With instructions such as: leave your monkey brain at the door, yes you can paint your feet and dance on your paper, and come as you are- bring whatever you have with you and use it, our members explored and stepped out of their comfort zones to create some incredible and powerful pieces.  Thank you for trusting in the process and creating with us. ~Shauna MacLeod Read More

An inspired evening spent creating art, talking about our communities, and having some fun. Led by the multi-talented artist/educator Julia Blushak, The Willow members added to her world’s longest art project. The results? A unique and remarkable array of art.

Thank you for creating with us~ Shauna MacLeod. Read More

Through the dark and light, my shadow moves me

And I move my shadow.


He’s the masculine to my feminine

The capable to my cowardice Read More

The Willow Community was thrilled to be a part of the 8th annual Queenston Harvest Festival celebration that took place this past weekend. It was a joy to meet new people and see a lot of familiar faces. There was music, goodies, crafts, and art: the makings of a great day! We are proud to be a community partner with Start Me Up Niagara. Our family game nights will resume this Fall (Sept. 29 6-8pm) at their drop in centre at 17 Gale Crescent. A big thank you goes out to Joanie for all your help and especially to all the wonderful people who stopped by to leave us a doodle, message, or create a piece of art for us. This is what community feels like! Belong Empower Create ~ Shauna MacLeod Read More

Led by artist and educator Krystal Brant, our members were introduced to still life drawing. Recreating 3-D images onto paper is no easy task, but our artists produced some incredible work. Helped by some shadow-casting lighting in the art room at Rodman Hall Art Centre, we drew, shaded, textured, erased, highlighted and created real-life representations of gourds. And the company? Fantastic! Our members are great. Lots of laughing and sharing with plenty of encouragement to go around. Thank you for creating with us ~Shauna MacLeod

Read More

The Willow Community’s first ever Annual General Meeting will take place on Oct 2nd, 2017 6pm at The Niagara Artist Centre. This is a great opportunity to hear from the board of directors, engage in discussion, mix and mingle with members of the community, and of course… eat! We ask that those attending please bring a dish to share.

Reports don’t have to be boring! We are going to celebrate all the hard work that has gone into taking this from a grassroots effort into a full blown arts organization. Read More

Sitting in my living room

Watching through the window,

As floats by a butterfly

Oh to be a butterfly

And to be able to just flutter by,

Read More

You’d never believe me if I told you that I traveled through time, but it’s true, and I can prove it!

I wish I could say that I found a ring of magical standing stones that transported me to sometime in the distant past, but I must blame it on my friend Dexter. Dexter is a mad scientist, you see. I’ve known him since high school, and he was working on becoming a mad scientist even then, getting impossible grades of 100% in both Physics and Math.

Read More

Led by the talented, local artist Cynthia DiSimone, our members were taught the fundamentals of lettering: measuring, planning, font creation, sizing, and colour choices. There was a lot of erasing going on, but the words came to life with the artist’s own unique fonts and designs.

Read More

Even though I’ve been alive and living now for many years, I’ve never had the opportunity to see or meet my grandfathers from either of my parents. In my opinion, I opined that it would have been wonderful to have been old enough to travel back in time and travel to Europe during the period of better times before the second world war started and meet and hang out with both my grandfathers while they were still both alive, vibrant, free and the future seemed and appeared to be prosperous and glorious. Read More

My shadow is so lucky,

he doesn’t think or feel.

It isn’t even imaginary,

in fact he’s very real.

One day I might just follow him

for a time to a different place.

I just hope that we don’t find ourselves

lost without a trace.


The Willow Community member artists had their first ever public showcase yesterday evening at Mahtay Cafe. Art that was created during our summer program schedule was proudly displayed. Artists, friends, families, community members, and educators came together to celebrate. I am so incredibly proud of our members and look forward to an awesome fall program together.

Your art matters. Your voice matters. You matter.  ~Belong Empower Create~  Shauna MacLeod

Read More

We sit at a table; the wood is hard on us. A profile from the province, a statue with scars, stands solid and lurks at us from under the veiled sun, a sliver of shadow stretching away from it. We smile and prefer comfort. At times, we step up and read a few lines from the paper. We flee and do not look where the shadows dig their holes. We fly with the wind, let the darkness and the twilight follow us when we don’t breathe and think of our friends. The shadows crawl on the ground where five hundred white boats once Read More

Dedicated to my grandmother Florence MacLeod

July 11, 1931 – July 28, 2017

Read More

My grandfather. His name is Ron. He is a second-generation Mohawk Indian living off the reserve. His father’s parents were taken and put into Residential school. He served in the United States Military and when he came home, he married my grandmother Gayle, whom I’ve never met. They had my mother, aunt, and uncle. I remember him even though I wouldn’t say he was ever a role model or inspiration. He drank a lot, smoked, and listened to Patsy Cline. He watched me a lot when I was very young as my mother Read More

St. Catharines is the largest community within the Niagara region with a demonstrated need for accessible and inclusive recreational services form persons actively engaged in their mental health and addiction recovery journey. The Willow Community’s free, art workshops and social gatherings encourage membership activity and participation.

Read More

The Willow Community
Fall 2017 Schedule

Welcome back members of The Willow Community! Class is now in session. We have exciting new workshops to offer, and we’re bringing back some of our favourite artists. One big change this season is we are now able to offer one class a month in the evening. We hope this will allow new members to join. For more information, please visit the website or call 905-328-9277.
Read More

The sun was high in the sky while we painted our sunsets on the beautiful grounds of Rodman Hall. This was a fantastic workshop led by the multi-talented Mary Burke.

Read More

We spent a lovely afternoon under the trees at Rodman Hall learning basic crochet stitches. Armed with a hook, some cotton yarn, and wonderful instruction, we began to create our own dishcloths. Read More

Check out our member artists’ creations! Pencils, crayons, markers, paper, and a whole lot of creative talent is all that was needed. The Willow Community members are full of incredible ideas. Read More

A fire, a fire

To build it without wire

or strings or anything loved,

or life’s desire  Read More

Our members were introduced to the fascinating world of book binding. We had access to fantastic materials and tools, and given detailed instruction to create two beautiful, handcrafted books. Read More

I can’t see.

I push and stretch,

Weave and Bob.

Steve and Marie.

I can’t see. Read More

When asked a question like “what does normal mean to you?” there are too many variables to consider if one intends to answer honestly. What is normal here – in this exact location? What is normal in the next town over? Read More

I really didn’t want to do it. I was filled with dread at the thought of having to write poetry/prose about George not returning my love. Read More

Spring Day

A beautiful spring day makes me feel absolutely wonderful. A breezy day spent outdoors is my idea of paradise. I spent part of my morning planting the final flower pots for this summer. I really have an addiction to the number of pots I create. I always try to limit the amount of pots I have because it is a nuisance to water them daily in the heat of the summer. Read More


There is one thing, silly really, that I dread doing: washing dishes. I have dreaded and detested this task since I was eight years old. Funnily enough, doing dishes at a friend’s house isn’t as bad, perhaps because of the novelty of seeing someone else’s dinnerware. Read More

We were introduced to a new art material today: recycled bottles! Art really can be accessible to everyone. All it takes is some creative envisioning of materials and an openness to try. Thank you for making good (and bad!) art with us today 🙂 Read More

Read More

Photo Credit RN Wagner of NayburZ with FlavoR

May 6th 2017. The air was cool and the hairspray was aplenty! What an incredible night of music, friends, fun, and fundraising! Many thanks to our incredible volunteers, donors, sponsors, and especially to the members of The Willow Community. The money we raised this night goes directly into our awesome programming.

I have a feeling we’ll have to do this again next year because it was that much fun. It’s never too early to start working on your costumes 🙂 Thank you again for making this night memorable.

– Shauna

***Click here if the slideshow below is not working.***



This slideshow requires JavaScript.


Read More

I envision a dragon as a scary beast! He is not a nice dragon, he hurts people and destroys things with his fire and rage. But true to my personality I come closer and closer to the dragon. I can feel his hot fired breath. Read More


If I present my heart so pure,

And with it a simple request

For you to take this fragile heart

And treat it with respect.

Read More


The Willow Community supporting member artist Jordinn James’ first art show

Read More