Metropolitan Homesick Blues

Southampton Stories & Other Stuff

Laz and the Southampton Art Gallery

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Oliphorist Tree Bird – Visionary Award Winner

After Laz and Michelle became a couple, they knew their future together was somewhere far from Toronto.

Laz (or Larry) is a graduate of the Ontario College of Art and Design. Scholarships and awards easily came his way in recognition of his talents.

As an Art Director he spent 13 years in the ad game in a couple of Toronto’s high profile advertising agencies. My son was his long-time partner and the other half of a creative team that won numerous national and international awards for their work. They were young, prolific, with a strong reputation in the Toronto ad scene.

Michelle spent a decade in the spa business. She learned how to do it all. From esthetics to massage techniques to aromatherapy she became an expert in the natural, holistic, approach to health and well being, as well as creating her own custom-made body products.

Eventually, they found their way to the North Bruce – to a new home and a new outlook. They left their big city life style behind and brought their talent and dreams with them determined to put them to good use in their own way and on their own terms.

Larry and Michelle found a home in the Oliphant/Wiarton area.

He opened LASARUSI STUDIOS and she opened MIRTH and life began anew.

Laz is indulging in his first love now. He says his work reflects his new surroundings. He describes his art as, “a mosaic of modern, traditional, impressionist and graphic elements working together in a unique way to express his perceptions and experience of the environment and the new world around him.” Laz, clearly hasn’t forgotten ‘adspeak.’

But dreams can become a happy reality. Michelle’s business is thriving. And Laz has emerged as a creative force to watch.

This past Friday (April 11), Laz presented his recent artworks at the Southampton Gallery as part of the 6th Annual ‘Feast for the Eyes’ juried exhibition for emerging artists in the greater Peninsula area. Not only was he asked to represent the event in a live interview on radio 98:TheBeach, he was also honoured with the jury’s Visionary Award, chosen from over 150 submissions. The Southampton Art Gallery presented an impressive display of local talent that night. It was good to see that Laz was a key part of it all.

Penninsula People

Now he’s looking forward to becoming a bigger part of the Southampton Gallery and Art School and is getting ready for the upcoming Shoreline Artists tour of artist’s studios June 21-22 and their annual art show in August.

Breaking into the Toronto art scene was not something Laz wanted. Finding a place and time of his own was. Ambition has its rewards when it takes a new direction.


•You can reach Lazarus Ioannou of ‘Lazarusi Studios’ at 519-534-5346 or email at for a home-studio tour or information regarding his art or design.

•Michelle at “Mirth Body and Beauty” can be reached at the same number. Email:


Written by metropolitanhomesickblues

April 15, 2008 at 9:25 PM

Posted in Home Town

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