Insights Committee

The following individuals commit their time for a year to deliver the annual exhibition for your enjoyment.  Committee members do not get automatic admittance or special consideration for their works in the exhibition.

I f you are interested in joining the committee, please reach out to, we'd be happy to have your help!


Dick Marvin

Dick has been an Insights Committee Member since 2009, and has been Chair of Insights for 5 years.  Prior to accepting the Chair position, Dick's committee role focused on selecting and Charging the Jury, and in 2012 establishing the "Walk With the Jury" which takes place the Sunday following  of the opening of each year's show. Dick oversees Jury Day and applies a significant amount of time each year fund-raising for Insights.

Dick a westerner by birth, came to Toronto from Saskatchewan to study Advertising Illustration at the Ontario College of Art & Design.  After graduating Dick had a 25-year career as a freelance illustrator working for a long list of advertising, corporate and publishing clients both in Canada and the United States.  Dick was a part time faculty member at OCAD for 14-years between 1974 and 1988.
Dick turned to Plein Air and Landscape Painting in 2000, and many of the summers since then have been spent painting Plein Air in various parts of Canada and the United States.  Summer Plein Air studies are often the foundation for larger studio landscape paintings.
Dick currently maintains a home and studios with his wife, artist Judy French, in the Village of Elora.



Melanie Morel

Melanie joined the Elora Arts Council and volunteered as their Treasurer in the mid-1980s, when JoAnne Harder was Chair of the EAC. This job included being Treasurer of the annual Insights Juried Art Show, the Elora Fergus Studio Tour, and the Words by the Water Writers' Festival.

Melanie became a member of the Insights Committee in 1999, when Olga Domjan headed this Committee.  Melanie was herself Chair of Insights for three years prior to the tenure of Dick Marvin.

Melanie works primarily in natural fibres – silk, wool, mohair, linen and cotton – but experiments and mixes it up with rayon chenille, novelty yarns and some exciting new “green” fibres that are available now.  She produces functional pieces for the body, the horse and the home, relying on an innate sense and appreciation of colour to give each work a personality of its own.  She experiments with some whimsical and representational mixed media pieces to get away from the loom and into the forest outside for inspiration and materials.


This is Judy's 5th year of involvement with Insights and 4th year on the Insights committee. Judy helps with physical intake of works, mailing lists, and other requests. 

Born in Samia, Ontario, Judy French has lived in many parts of Canada, and since 2006, has lived in Elora. She graduated from the University of Guelph in 1976 with a BSc.(Agr.) and has run a commercial smokehouse and raced sled dogs, with many other
activities in between.

Painting was part of her earlier life and since 2002 has become her main focus. She enjoys sharing this demanding profession with her husband and fellow artist, Dick Marvin. Judy works In water based media in her Elora studio and paints outside
“en plein air" in oil. Urban and rural landscapes and her delight in the colour and play of light over them are her principal interest. She often exaggerates what she sees to involve the viewer. Any handy tool may be used to apply paint to canvas or board to achieve the effect she is after.

An award winning artist, Judy exhibits in private and public Galleries in Ontario and is a member of the Monday Night Painters.




John McGill

Originally from Sudbury Ontario, now residing in Fergus, John has been an avid photographer since the early 1970s.  His interest in nature has provided a strong focus for his work.

His images are available in a wide array of sizes, both framed and unframed. John has utilized a variety of media to display his photography, including; canvas, aluminum, and acrylic.  Many of his pieces are auctioned off in support of various non-profit charities.

John is the treasurer for the Insights committee and liaison for the Elora Arts Council. 2019 will be his 5th year on the committee.

Heather Nagel

Heather Nagel is a fibre artist on a journey of boundless, joyful discovery.
Over the years, Heather has experimented with various creative mediums through workshops with individual artists and courses at the Dundas Valley School of Art and the Haliburton School of Art but when she discovered, and abandoned herself to the art of felting, the threads that connected her creative soul with the natural world began to weave a new, and vibrant material.

Heather joined the Insights Committee in 2016 and is responsible for scheduling volunteers.


Steve Cole working sm.jpg


Born in Wales and raised in Kincardine, Ontario, Stephen began painting in high school. He attended Sheridan College in Oakville and left with a diploma in Graphic Design. He has developed a successful career as a designer working in studios all over the Toronto area. Although Graphic Design is his career he has never stopped painting. Creating art is his way of expressing thoughts and experiences. He travels the world and brings back inspiration from wherever he goes. He creates a sense of dimension and depth to his paintings, inviting the viewer to enter and explore. He constantly strives to improve his technique while exploring a range of subjects.

In his first year with the committee Stephen provided all the graphic design and has created the new brand for the exhibition, and continues that support through 2019, his 3rd year on the committee.  |

Diane McCrimmon

Diane published her first art piece at age 5, appearing in Jack and Jill magazine. Growing up in Port Credit, she attended Sheridan College, studying art fundamentals and graphic design. Moving to Guelph in 1986, her home was featured in several American interior design magazines.  She owned and managed Santa Fe Marketplace, offering interior accessories and leading edge giftware from around the world, in downtown Guelph for over 15 years. 

She joined a plein air group, with the Wellington Artists Gallery, in 2010. This reignited her passion once again for art.  Diane has worked in acrylics, oils and mixed media. Her current interest is in large abstract paintings in acrylics. She works quickly, often completing a large painting in a day.

In her spare time, she enjoys hiking, cycling, cross-country skiing and birding, with her two beloved collies. 

This is Diane’s third year serving on the Insights Committee. 



Sara Phillips

Sara is a professional in the HR Management Systems technology field. Not having a whit of artistic ability herself, Sara nonetheless believes in Neil Gaiman's mantra of "Make Good Art", and tries to support that idea in other ways.  She travels the world with Steve Cole, collecting experiences to inspire his art, and satisfying her inner history geek. She loves the intersection of history and art, especially in a great portrait or mosaic.

This is her third year providing technical support to the Insights Exhibition.

elske degroot

Elske is a photographer, creative thinker, motorcyclist, and all around student of life. She loves photography, wine, food, and watching the world, mostly in that order, and she lives to learn and share as much about this world as possible. Simply put, she loves a good story! She has many varied interests, which translate in to many different types of images. One thing that remains constant with all her images is that they evolve. She uses various printing techniques to complete her images. Her favorite are platinum and giclee printing.



Wendy Gottmers

Wendy Gottmers is a well known caterer and banquet manager, working presently at Victoria Park East Golf Club and as well has her own company, ‘Southern Belles Catering’.  She conducts cooking classes and caters for all events which includes weddings.  She resides with husband, Fred, in the village of Belwood and enjoys the proximity to Lake Belwood.  Wendy & Fred have one son, Ashley.

Wendy began her interest in artwork and drawing in her early childhood – pencil-drawing buildings, people, and surroundings.  By designing paper dolls and their costumes, she entertained  friends for hours.  When given the gift of a John Nagy Learn to Draw art set, she advanced into charcoal drawings and refined pencil drawings of mainly landscapes and a neighbouring barn.