Art Exhibits

Current Exhibition

 Sonia DiMaio | The Hidden Selfie

June 26 - July 13, 2019

Opening Reception:  July 6 - 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm

When I joined Twitter in 2012, I would not have imagined it would lead to artistic inspiration. But it did evolving into the creation of a series of textual acrylic portrait paintings.

Twitter is an odd place. While at times funny and crude, I also surprisingly found connection to certain posts. I recognized myself in other women’s tweets. We would comment on or “like” each other’s posts, and it became a true support system. The unique women I connected with became more and more beautiful to me through their words.

Our friendships evolved further when I joined Instagram. Small and private, my Instagram account has served as an imagistic diary. No longer limited by 120 characters, I could get to know these women better through my preferred medium: visual expression.

Encouraged by these ‘virtual’ friendships to become a truer version of myself, I felt compelled to capture the essence of these women on canvas. I also strove to communicate their impact on my life. I created acrylic portraits which reflect how I got to know them online: a compilation of their “selfies” and tweeted thoughts.

Portraiture as an art form has a long history, where the artist’s purpose was to capture a subject’s likeness. Now, an individual has the power to decide how they would like to be portrayed. By taking a “selfie” the roles of artist and subject become intertwined. Each of my portraits is based on a “selfie” taken by the subject. I chose to paint the “selfies” as a way to take these images out of Instagram, a virtual and fleeting environment, and transform them into permanent/classical portraiture.

Along with my portrait the subject’s “selfie”, I asked each woman to provide me with a favourite tweet that they had written. Interestingly, they rarely selected tweets that were among my favourites. This difference in perception reinforces that social media connections depend on the personal interpretation of the viewer/reader. In most cases, when I’ve shown the portraits to the subject, they are surprised at how they have been represented. There is more emotion captured in the painted version of them than in the original “selfie”. They witness both their strength and vulnerability through my work. These portraits are how I see these confident and brave women. By capturing them in a more permanent form, I am able to see what they do not.

Ms. Sonia Di Maio is a graduate of the Ontario College of Art (now OCAD U) who has worked as an interior designer and project manager, while maintaining her art practice through craft, drawing, and photography. These portraits are completed in a medium she loves and now focuses on, painting.

Image Sonia DiMaio


Past Exhibitions

Young Artists | Inspired by Nature

June 5 - June 23, 2019

Mary Ellen Chapman Gallery Show Above & Below

May 13 - June 2, 2019

Omar HopkinsonCentre Perspective

April 23 – May 12, 2019

Fine Arts Society of Milton’s Annual Heart to Hand Members Show

April 1 – April 18, 2019

Southern Ontario Visual  Artists The Best of Sova

March 11 - 31, 2019

Shifting Identities | Tin Can Collective

February 19 – March 10, 2019

Re-Focus | Milton Photographic Arts Club

January 14 – February 17, 2019

Celebrate the Season

November 26, 2018 – January 6, 2019


November 5 - November 24, 2018

Nature’s Canvas

October 15 – November 4, 2018

Reflection II | Barbara Ariss-Stroh-Wasser

September 24 – October 14, 2018

Faces of Hamilton | Jeff (Fuzzy) Mall

September 4 - 23, 2018

Fly | Children’s Art Camp Exhibition 2018

July 16 – August 31, 2018

Halton-Grown 150 Years of Local Agriculture | Halton Region

June 25 - July 16, 2018

Young Artists Inspired by Nature

June 4 – 24, 2018             

4 Art's Sake

May 14 – June 3, 2018   

Youth Visual Arts Mentoring Program | Fine Arts Society of Milton

April 23 – May 13, 2018

From Heart to Hand | Fine Arts Society of Milton

April 2 – 22, 2018             

Niagara Shores Artists

March 12 – 31, 2018       

Davoud Khosravi & Anna Olszowka   

February 12 – March 11, 2018    

Scott Abbott

November 27 – February 11, 2018

Celebrate the Season | Fine Arts Society of Milton

November 6 – 26, 2017    

When 3 Friends Get Together | Brigitte Schreyer, Nadine Smith & Judy Kalina

October 16 – November 5, 2017

Artists & Children Together Exhibit | Milton Community Resource Centre

September 25 – October 15, 2017            

Rural Roots Abstract Expressions of Country Living | Robert Attrell

September 5 – 24, 2017

Westover Artists

June 12 – 30, 2017          

Canadian Landmarks II | Colour & Form Society

May 23 – June 10, 2017 

Party of Eight

May 1 – 20, 2017             

Southern Ontario Visual Artists

Apr 10 – 30, 2017            

From Heart to Hand | Fine Arts Society of Milton

March 20 – April 9, 2017               

Youth Visual Arts Mentoring Program | Fine Arts Society of Milton

February 27 – March 19, 2017    

Carbon Manifest | JR Bernstein

January 30 – February 26, 2017

Justino Magalona

January 3 – 29, 2017

Sir Colbourne Art Group

December 5 – January 3, 2017