About Us

Octarine Women Artists’ Collective (OWAC), founded in 2013, is a group of eight women working in various media who have decided to show together.

Current members are Judy French (oil), Carol Hughes (watercolour), Kim Johnston (watermedia and oils), Dianne Kennedy Cruttenden (woven tapestry), Jean Loney (in memory, glass mosaic),  Gail Root (oils and chalk pastel), M. Anne Smith (textile and fibre art), and Nancy Farrell (acrylics).

Their upcoming exhibition, “Everything Connected: Octarine Artists Respond to Climate Change” takes place from Apr. 21 – May 15, 2022 at the Elora Centre for the Arts in Elora, Ontario.  This will be the seventh annual exhibition of new work by the group, after a break during the Covid pandemic.  Previous shows took place in Fergus, Guelph, Oakville, Kitchener and Elora.

The name Octarine is taken from the colour imagined to be the eighth colour in the spectrum, the “pigment of the imagination”, which appears when magic is present.  The concept comes from the books of the late fantasy author Terry Pratchett.

Past members who exhibited in previous shows are Deborah Dryden (encaustic), Helen Hughes (textile art), Mary Karavos (paper collage), Leslie Miles (soft pastel and mixed media), and Susan Strachan Johnson (mixed media fibre).


Octarines making plans in 2021. Left to right:  Dianne Kennedy Cruttenden, Jean Loney, Gail Root, Judy French, Anne Smith, Kim Johnston, Heather Wood.  Photo: Carol Hughes.

Group photo at “Octarine: The Colour of Magic”, 2019.  Back row, l to r: Anne Smith, Leslie Miles, Judy French. Front: Carol Hughes, Gail Root, Susan Strachan Johnson, Kim Johnston. Absent: Jean Loney. Photo: County of Wellington.