They say that those who do not learn history are doomed to repeat it, but who wrote the history we learn in the first place?
After a challenging year for the arts community, the public will have the chance to support some of the region’s most talented artists when the Art Gallery of Peterborough’s annual Kawartha Autumn Studio Tour returns for its 37th year on the last weekend of September.
This summer, you can also get a preview of selected works from artists participating in the tour when the gallery is open again during step three of Ontario’s reopening plan.
The Kawartha Autumn Studio Tour, which takes place from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. September 25 and 26, is a self-guided tour that allows you to step into the working spaces of regional artists working across a range of styles and mediums. Participating artists in the city and county of Peterborough will welcome visitors into their studios, share their practice, and promote and sell their work.
This year’s tour features 43 artists, eight of whom are new to the tour in 2021.
From painting, sculpture, and jewellery, to drawing, printmaking, and letterpress, the participating artists work in a wide range of mediums including oils, acrylics, watercolours, graphite, ceramics, textiles, metal, glass, wood, stone, mixed media, and even found materials.
With a variety of artists and mediums this diverse, there is truly something for everyone on the tour.
“We have such an exciting, talented, and diverse group of artists and makers in this region, and it’s really great to showcase that and be able to support them,” says Andrew Ihamaki, Education Programming Coordinator at the Art Gallery of Peterborough.
On the gallery’s webpage for the tour at agp.on.ca/kast, the public can view profiles of each of the participating artists and images of their work to decide which studios they want to visit. The locations of each artist’s studio, along with a downloadable map of all of the tour stops, will be available on the gallery’s website closer to the event.
When you arrive at a tour location, signage will direct you to the right place. You will be greeted, welcomed into the studio, and invited to explore. Some artists provide demonstrations in their studios so visitors can watch how they work. Artists will also display their work for viewing and sale, and you will have the opportunity to chat with them. Each studio varies as much as the artists do. While some are in a commercial space, others are right inside the artist’s home.
“Each artist imparts their own personality into each of their spaces,” Ihamaki remarks. “It’s amazing to see. The studio itself is an insight into the artist’s mind. The locations are so different too. We cover such a wide range of the area.”
In addition to the tour itself, the Art Gallery of Peterborough dedicates an exhibition to the tour, featuring a work from each participating artist.
Not only does the exhibition capture the rich diversity of outstanding art produced within the region, it also acts as a perfect “buffet menu” opportunity for the public to come in and sample a bit of each artist’s work. From there, you can determine your destinations for the tour.
“Selections: 37th Annual Kawartha Autumn Studio Tour Exhibition” will open along with the gallery during step three of Ontario’s COVID-19 reopening plan, currently expected to begin in late July.
In terms of the pandemic’s impact on this year’s tour, Ihamaki says the gallery will continue to monitor public health measures. He anticipates a limited capacity of visitors to each studio at one time as well as physical distancing measures. Ihamaki also points out that, after pivoting the tour last year to accommodate public health measures, they are in an excellent position to pivot again if needed.
Last year’s studio tour was spread over a month to accommodate public health measures, including a requirement for visitors to book appointments at the studios in advance. While the pandemic resulted in fewer visitors than in previous years, the tour was still very successful. Ihamaki says it attracted as many as 500 visitors, with the participating artists collectively grossing $58,240 in sales.
The studio tour is typically an excellent economic driver as well as a great outreach event for local artists. In its best year, the tour grossed $100,689 for participating artists. Additionally, the tour would draw many visitors from other areas before the pandemic — visitors who spend money in the area in places such as local restaurants.
The tour is an excellent opportunity for artists to promote themselves and connect with potential buyers, and a great educational opportunity for the public to learn about the work involved for professional artists in creating their works.
And that’s the ultimate goal of the Art Gallery of Peterborough in organizing the annual studio tour.
“It’s always been at the core of this tour to put the artist at the forefront,” says Ihamaki. “We do a lot of work to put this event on, but the whole point of it isn’t the Art Gallery of Peterborough. It’s a great way to support the artists while working with them to support our mandate, which is to emphasize local art, artists, and education.”
To learn more about the Kawartha Autumn Studio Tour and the Art Gallery of Peterborough, visit the gallery’s website at agp.on.ca. For updates, you can also follow the gallery on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
This story was created in partnership with the Art Gallery of Peterborough.
Utopia: an unattainable goal of societal perfection, and even here, the best we can do is a temporary one. Tucked in the corner of the parking lot between Cafe and Restaurant, the Temporary Utopia Greenhouse is hosting the knick-knack/art/curiosity shack: FLOWERSHOP, a once-a-week pop-up featuring printed socks, objects and leisure wear by Strathcona (Ryley O’Byrne strathconastockings.com), with Tiny Moon Flowers (Kyra Power, on Instagram: @tinymoonflowerfarm). Only Sundays, 10ish to 6 p.m. For more info: temporary-utopia.com.
The Gumboot Nation’s new groove! As Kronk says, “Oh yeah, it’s all coming together!” This Creek Daze is a rich example of our DIY attitude – we can’t wait for someone to make our fun, we make it ourselves! Sunday, Aug. 22, bring your Gumboot pride to the school at 10:30 a.m., the parade will begin at 11:11. The Mandela stage runs from 11:30 to 7 p.m. and the Slow Sundays stage, noon to 6 p.m. There is the “The Heart Centre” kids zone, hosted by the amazing Kelsey O’Toole, and a couple of food vendors lined up (more are welcome!). If you want to help, shout out to email@example.com.
Hawthorn Ceramics open house Saturday, Aug. 7 (that’s tomorrow if you managed to get the paper on Friday like I do, or yesterday if you waited till Sunday to read it, but I digress …), 11 a.m.-5 p.m., 1551 Lockyer Rd. At the end of the driveway, ground floor of the house, you will find the studio filled with fresh fired usable art to buy and take home. Hang out on the back deck and have a cuppa Davis Bay tea. Also, check out the basket of seconds and experiments for sale.
A new art piece at the mouth of Roberts Creek has some along the waterfront tilting at windmills. Almost immediately on its installation, far into the tidal foreshore, this guerrilla art raised a few eyebrows in the neighbourhood, with cries of “how long will that be there?”
The artist(s) have assured me that, with the help of our watchful community, any errant parts will be dealt with and should it come apart, it will be picked up and recycled. I have been told we may expect more, in among the pylons, in what some hope will become the Gumboot Nation sculpture park.
This week, Aug. 8, Slow Sundays presents Whirlwind Woodwind Quintet (Heidi Kurtz, John Storer, Danielle Stephens, Meredith Bingham and Yvonne Mounsey) at noon, followed by teen singer/songwriter Kaishan at 1 with Martini Madness Band (Kevin Crofton, Andy Amanovich and Graham Walker) closing the afternoon. Always free, bring a seat and your love of music.
Our Little Legion hosts a group jam Friday evening, but be sure to catch the Burying Ground, Saturday, Aug 7, as they blend prewar blues, early jazz and American rural folk music traditions into their own material. Find tickets to all shows at rclegionevents.com.
Next week Phantom Limb Syndrome, melodic hard rock all the way from Gibsons, B.C. They are Dylan Clark, Dylan Brackett and Scott Reinson (mind if we call you Dylan to avoid confusion?) with guests Redwhyn, Friday, Aug 13.
I’m picking up what you’re putting down, firstname.lastname@example.org.
August is a busy month for us at the Parrott Art Gallery, and we are pleased to be sharing even more exceptional artwork with the public.
Throughout this month, visitors to our third floor gallery will be able to view a selection of artwork by Florence Lennox. Thanks to the recent, very generous donation by her daughter, we are pleased to present several pieces from our Permanent Collection by this popular Belleville artist, now hanging in our corridor gallery.
“Expressions”, the Quinte Arts Council’s juried exhibition and sale, continues in Galleries 1 and 2 until Thursday, August 12. This show has delivered on quality and content, with artwork in a multitude of different mediums.
While the show is available to view online, it is well worth the trip to our Gallery to experience this artistic collaboration in person. We encourage everyone to vote for their favourite piece as well. A People’s Choice Award will be handed out at the end of the show and you can vote online through our website or in person.
Tom Ashbourne’s upcoming show, “County Artist, County Art” will open on Saturday, August 21 in Gallery 1. Featured in this summers’ edition of Watershed, this Wellington artists’ sculpture has been steadily gaining local and international recognition, and has been accepted into exhibitions in London and Florence this year.
Ashbourne also topped the list in World Biz Magazine’s, “Artists to Collect in 2021” which features 30 artists from around the world. In his upcoming exhibition at the Parrott Gallery you can expect to see a large assortment of Tom’s stone carvings and multimedia assemblages, accompanied by a selection of work from his personal art collection, by County artists like Barb Whelan and Celia Sage just to name a few. We hope you’ll come to see for yourself why Ashbourne’s sculpture is winning such high acclaim.
At the same time in Gallery 2, Linda Mazur-Jack will be presenting a show called, “Memento: Alzheimer’s, A Personal Journey.” Using multi-media installations, sculpture and painting, the artist will be offering her testament to the ongoing devastation of the terrible disease that took her husband’s life.
Mazur-Jack will be transforming personal items, found objects, paint, words and more, in a visual experience that cannot help but move the viewer. This show can only be experienced in person, and is guaranteed to be like nothing you have seen before.
While we are still unable to hold in-house events, we are continuing to offer our online art workshops, including Sheila Wright’s “Acrylic Pouring Workshops” and Rachel Harbour’s “Monday Zoom Classes”. These workshops are suitable for new and experienced artists. We will also be holding a zoom webinar on Thursday, September 2 from 7–8:30 p.m., called “Presenting your Art in Today’s Online World”. This webinar will feature the insight of sculptor Tom Ashbourne and the advice of photographer Mike Gaudaur and we hope that this free webinar will help artists improve their chance of exhibiting both locally and further abroad.
Information about all of our current and upcoming programming is available to view on our website. We are here to answer your questions, and we look forward to seeing you at the Gallery in August!
Wendy Rayson-Kerr is the Acting Curator of the John M. Parrott Art Gallery.
They say that those who do not learn history are doomed to repeat it, but who wrote the history we learn in the first place?
As someone who has been deeply passionate about the arts from a very young age, I’ve often found myself at odds with this question. Over the years, my interest in the arts has led me to take classes throughout high school and university. I’ve also volunteered at the Woodstock Art Gallery, where I currently work as a front desk attendant summer student.
Throughout my exposure to the arts, I’ve learned the discipline, like many others, is built upon the works and contributions of those who came before. Ultimately, within the uniqueness of every piece of art, something innately human is revealed. Yet, the more I read about old masters like Michelangelo, Da Vinci, and Raphael, the more I can’t help but wonder – where were all the women artists? When I gathered the courage to ask my former art teacher why the majority of our art history curriculum catered to white men, the answer I was met with was simply this: “It is difficult to learn about female artists in art history because there’s hardly any significant female artists to talk about in the first place.”
So why is there a lack of female artists to begin with?
Many, including myself, might at first assume that women just aren’t as capable as men in terms of artistic ability. In her 1971 essay, Why Have There Been No Great Women Artists, art historian Linda Nochlin writes the mere question “falsifies the nature of the issue at the same time that it insidiously implies its own answer: ‘There have been no great women artists because women are incapable of greatness.’” The fact that these assumptions still linger is a testament to the shortcomings of art history. What is the actual reason behind the distinct gender gap we see in art today, and to what extent has historical bias influenced our current perception of the art world?
It goes without saying that women’s underrepresentation and lack of recognition in Western art history is complicated. Women were historically excluded and actively discouraged from partaking within the same spheres as men, including the artistic sphere. Women were likewise barred from entering art academies, undergoing formal artistic training, or even acquiring an education in general – the very building blocks to becoming an artist in the first place. The quintessential middle-class, white, male archetype associated with the default “ideal artist” prevailed because aspiring female artists were excluded from these institutions that helped cultivate artistic proficiency.
As Nochlin explains, one example of gender-based institutional discrimination can be seen through women’s access to life drawing during the 19th century. Due to the rising popularity of history painting at the time, life drawing was seen as a mandatory prerequisite to one’s artistic cultivation. Even once women were finally allowed into life drawing classes, they were burdened with the responsibility to have their works remain modest – a restriction that did not apply to men – despite the common belief that “there could be no great painting with clothed figures.” The male administration specifically prohibited nude models from appearing in anything less than “partially draped.” While men could undergo artistic training without restraints, women often faced hostility when fighting for equal footing within those same institutions.
All in all, to truly learn from history, we must also understand the foundations on which it was written. Though notable names such as Artemisia Gentileschi, Berthe Morisot and Frida Khalo have gained considerable mainstream notoriety, it remains true that the number of male artistic masters still outnumber the women. While we cannot rewrite the past, we can add nuance to how it’s told.
As I’ve learned in my time at the Woodstock Art Gallery, one place we can start is right here at home. The gallery’s 2019 exhibition, Given Her Due: Oxford County Women Artists 1880–1908, showcases the work of talented and sometimes overlooked female artists of this region, including Eva Bradshaw, Betty McArthur, Jaquie Poole, Fryke Oostenbrug, and more. You can explore a 3D virtual tour of this exhibition online at www.woodstockartgallery.ca. The gallery’s permanent collection also highlights the artwork of Florence Carlyle, who broke boundaries as a prominent Canadian painter in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Carlyle – along with other notable female artists in the collection – is featured in the current exhibition My Favourite Artwork, which launched when the Woodstock Art Gallery reopened on Aug. 3.
Vicky Lin is the front desk attendant at the Woodstock Art Gallery. The Woodstock Art Gallery acknowledges the support for this position, which is funded by two federal student employment programs: Young Canada Works and Canada Summer Jobs.
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