The Group on Brackley Bay had its beginning in 2005 with several artists getting together once a week during the summer months to paint and hook. As we worked together, shared pot lunch lunches, and became friends, a rare and wonderful camaraderie came about.
To mark this solidarity, we felt we needed a name. The group has included as many as nine artists at any one time, most of us living either on Brackley Bay or close to it, or working in the area, and so - the Group on Brackley Bay - seemed to be an obvious choice.
As a group, we participated in the 2006 and 2007 PEI Studio Tour weekends at the Brackley Beach Community Centre and in 2008, we held our own exhibition at the North Winds Inn and Suites in Brackley Beach. Although we were all showing our work in various venues around the Island, the idea of having our own gallery was always in our minds.
After the 2006 Studio Tour, we investigated various options that could lead us towards having our own gallery. The success of the August 2008 exhibition, along with encouragement from family, friends and group members became the impetus to making the final commitment.
The group pursuing this venture comprised Mary Carr Chaisson, Betty Jenkins, Linda Shaw Packard, Mary Ploughman Jones, Janet Mays, Margaret Muzika and Mary Roscoe Murphy Robertson.
In the fall of 2008, we acquired Howes Hall on the Brackley Point Road. During the winter and spring, basic renovations were carried out, including the installation of professional gallery lighting. We set about the tasks of owning and operating a business, put administrative and operational procedures in place, and on June 1, 2009, we opened our doors.
Mary Carr Chaisson left the group after the first year of operation and the six remaining artists carried on in to the second season.
On November 30, 2010, Janet Mays passed away at her home in Toronto. As one of the founding members of Howes Hall Gallery, and more importantly, as a good friend, a fellow artist and business colleague, she is sadly missed. Her sense of humour, strength of character, and her dedication to her family and her friends are some of the sterling qualities which endeared her to us. Her artistic talent and her enthusiasm for us as a group and for the success of our gallery leaves us with
a legacy to fulfill.