Community Snapshot: Yvette Prince

Written by Lisa Browning

Art is a way of survival.
~ Yoko Ono

Local artist Yvette Prince was born in Collingwood, but has lived in Guelph for the past 50 years. She is a mother and grandmother, and the second oldest of 7 children. Yvette first became involved in creative pursuits when she started going to the Baker Street Art Gallery, located at 40 Baker Street. Run by Guelph’s Out of Poverty Society, 40 Baker Street was a place where people could gather and create art for free.

An older pattern, multi-media piece.

No longer in operation, Baker Street was a safe, non-judgmental place, and it provided Yvette with an opportunity to socialize, which also helped ease her depression. It was after going there for a few years that Yvette first sold a few of her paintings.

When she is painting on a canvas, she feels positive and happy. Her spirits are lifted and it keeps her out of her head, where her negative thoughts can be. She now paints at Art Etc., which started after Baker Street closed, and is now held every Saturday at Hope House. This is a time for Yvette to get out and be social in a safe place.

Yvette’s life has not been easy. She is a single mother who has struggled with mental health and addiction issues, as well as being in an abusive relationship. With the help of Stonehenge Therapeutic Centre, another of Guelph’s outstanding community support organizations, Yvette has been clean for almost 21 years.

She continues to struggle with mental health issues, but found a way to cope when she was introduced to Hope House in 2015. She now spends her Saturdays painting at Hope House’s Art Etc., which offers a time for her to get out and be social in a safe place. She has also served as a member of the Hope House board for the past 1 ½ years. It is a connection that has turned her life around.

Yvette is another shining example of how art, as Yoko Ono has stated, is a way of survival.

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