Kayin Queeley expresses himself with his entire body. One can feel his enthusiasm in every sweep of his hand, in the set of his shoulders and the widening of his eyes.
While many of us may be reluctant to say goodbye to summer, there’s a lot to look forward to in autumn — including, for art lovers, the Apsley Autumn Studio Tour.
The annual free, self-guided tour is returning for its 29th year in 2022, running from 10 am to 5 pm. on Saturday, September 17th and Sunday, September 18th.
This year’s tour features 29 Ontario artists and artisans in 12 studio locations in the Apsley area in North Kawartha Township, midway between Peterborough and Bancroft, with one studio location in nearby Coe Hill in Wollaston Township.
The Apsley Autumn Studio Tour is renowned for the quality of the artists working in a variety of disciplines, including painting, jewellery, glass art, sculpture, fabric art, pottery, felting, and metalwork.
Not only will you be able to view new work created specifically for the tour, but you’ll have the opportunity to meet the artists in person as well as purchase their works.
The studio tour includes artists who live in the area as well as visiting guest artists. New artists are also admitted to the studio tour every year, through a juried process.
New artists on this year’s tour include Cobourg painter Stephen Gillberry, Coe Hill painter Anita Murphy, and Selwyn visual artist Kelly O’Neill.
Many of the 12 studios on the tour are tucked away in scenic locations, made even more beautiful with the emerging fall colours.
To help you discover all the artists and their studios, the Apsley Autumn Studio Tour introduced a new app last year, created by local software developer Brad Carson. This year, the Apsley Autumn Studio Tour is part of Carson’s free Toureka! app, which you can download from the Apple App Store or Google Play. You can also download a tour map.
You can take a day trip and stop in at one of the local eateries in the area for refreshments (including Woody’s in Apsley, Border Town Market & Cafe and The Grape & Wedge in Glen Alda, and The Barn Chefs in Coe Hil), or make it a studio tour weekend by staying at local accommodations such as the Burleigh Falls Inn or Viamede Resort.
For your convenience, here’s a summary in alphabetical order of the artists and artisans participating in the 2022 Apsley Autumn Studio Tour, including their disciplines and the studios where you can find them, as well as a link to the studio tour map.
Rachel has introduced her artisan soaps to compliment the unique wools she’s been recognized for. She began experimenting with herbs from the garden and wild plants from her farm and woodland, blending them into the wholesome soaps. Rachel says creating artisan soaps along with novel wools is not only a manifestation of nature and colour, but also celebrates the charm of farm life.
Read more about Rachel Conlin.
Working from his home on the edge of the Canadian Shield, Brad maintains a successful practice as both a sculptor and a functional glass blower, often traversing the line between.
Read more about Brad Copping.
Jacques is a self-taught woodworker who uses only wood from dead or fallen trees. Gnarls, insect holes, and spalted wood are his materials of choice. He is always ready for a creative challenge of any size.
Read more about Jacques Deslauriers.
Valerie has been sewing for over 40 years starting with clothing for herself and her family, which eventually grew into a children’s clothing home business in Calgary. After moving to Saudi Arabia in 2000, she brought her seamstress skills into the practice of machine quilting. Valerie enjoys the mathematical aspects of quilting. She has grown to also love the practice of free motion quilting.
Since 2005, Valarie and her husband Ted have spent the bulk of her summers at Chandos Lake in Apsley. Valarie and Ted repatriated to their log home on Chandos Lake in 2015.
Read more about Valerie Foster.
Mary Ellen Gerster sees the world according to shape, value, and colour, immersing the viewer in her bright and glowing watercolour paintings. Through the layering of transparent colours she creates photo realism in her still life, fruit, flowers and waterscapes. She is inspired and challenged by subjects with strong lights, shadows, shapes, colours and is especially drawn to high contrast and bright colours.
Read more about Mary Ellen Gerster.
A new guest artist at the Apsley Autumn Studio Tour this year, Stephen is an accomplished artist who has spent the past 30-plus years developing his own unique style of painting. He has experimented with colour and texture in an effort to capture the beauty and spirituality of natural elements. Currently living and working in Cobourg, Stephen studied at the Ontario College of Art and Wilfrid Laurier University and his work is widely shown and well represented in galleries and corporate collections.
Read more about Stephen Gillberry.
First introduced to oil painting as a child, David has been painting ever since and has developed a unique distinctive style. He uses a multi-layered technique, applying thick swaths of oil paint to create images inspired by the Ontario landscape.
Read more about David Grieve.
Anja works with broken china, pottery, porcelain figurines, and tile to give these elements a second life in her whimsical mosaic art pieces. She also incorporates forks, beads, buttons, bottle caps, and typewriter keys.
Read more about Anja Hertle.
Dolores’ work includes quilts, using imported fabrics from England and Japan, as well as wall hangings, runners, and smaller items. Many of her pieces have wool felting incorporated into the quilting, as well as beads, silk, and quite a number of other interesting embellishments.
Read more about Dolores Hopps.
A member of Kawartha Potters Guild and Spirit of the Hills Art Association, Melanie enjoys creating personalized pottery, particularly clocks. She enjoys making one-off pieces and is currently experimenting with raku and smoke fire techniques.
Read more about Melanie Edson Horner.
Carolyn’s artwork includes hand-woven tapestry, acrylic painting, block printing, fabric painting, and painting on birch bark. As a tapestry artist, Carolyn has exhibited in Canada, United States, and England. Her paintings reflect her understanding of textile structures, her eye for colour, and her ongoing interest in geometry and pattern in art and nature.
Read more about Carolyn Jongeward.
Vivienne is a contemporary artist based in Toronto whose work is very much influenced by natural forms. She creates highly distinctive jewellery using both traditional and non-traditional materials.
Read more about Vivienne Jones.
Living in rural Apsley, Lisa paints the world around her. Jack pines, full maples, wild flowers, and rural homes, Lisa paints what is found outside her front door.
Read more about Lisa Mace.
After a successful career both nationally and internationally in architecture, Barbara Miszkiel has returned to her original interest in fine arts, painting primarily in acrylics. Although Barbara has created new buildings most of her career, in painting she is drawn to old buildings, live subjects and landscapes.
Read more about Barbara Miszkiel.
The starting point for all of Molly’s work is the pristine landscape that surrounds her: the lake, forest, and uninterrupted skyscape are the foundation of every piece she paints. A visual artist whose primary focus is abstraction, she works primarily in acrylic and mixed media.
Read more about Molly Moldovan.
A new guest artist at the Apsley Autumn Studio Tour this year, Anita’s works of art are about emotion. Despite having spent her life in rural settings near Bancroft, her work is inspired by the interaction between people and nature rather than the wilderness itself. A member of the Canada Council for the Arts, Anita studied at the Toronto School of Art and has work in private collections across the world.
Read more about Anita Murphy.
Britt designs functional furniture and other objects in wood, and her designs are often playful or interactive.
Read more about Britt Olauson.
A new guest artist at the Apsley Autumn Studio Tour this year, Kelly is a multidisciplinary visual artist who enjoys the immediacy of dry materials in her drawing practice, and engages with found objects, natural materials, video, assemblage, and textile practices to create three-dimensional forms and installations. The Selwyn-based artist studied sculpture and installation at Toronto’s OCAD University and Her work has been shown in galleries in Ontario, Quebec, and British Columbia.
Read more about Kelly O’Neill.
Tom’s work exemplifies both rustic and contemporary styles, and is greatly influenced by the natural forms of wood.
Read more about Tom Parsons.
Applying multiple patterns in a range of colours on clay, Cathy creates one-of-a-kind functional pieces of art or a whimsical collectible. New animal-themed mugs, piggy banks, and horse figurines add to the collection among a continuation of animated forms of snowmen, gnomes, Santas, and assorted critters.
Read more about Cathy Pennaertz.
After working for many years in the tech industry, Judy Ranieri retired and began to explore her creative passions. Many of Judy’s projects are inspired by nature and utilize natural fibres, fabric, colour, design, and textures to create one of a kind textile and fabric art pieces.
Read more about Rudy Ranieri.
In her 30-year career as a glass artist, Susan has drawn inspiration from the landscape in which she lives. An avid gardener, she continues to explore the idea of garden through her vessel and sculptural works and is well known for her vibrant floral vessels.
Read more about Susan Rankin.
Kathy has been a stained glass artist for over 25 years, using traditional techniques to produce stained glass art. Concentrating on the copper foil method, Kathy looks to nature for inspiration.
Read more about Kathy Robichaud.
Arne revisits his sketch book and paints his canvas with his travels to Sweden, Italy, and Estonia, and life’s inspirations in tow.
Read more about Arne Roosman.
Catharine is a self-taught artisan who is inspired by the natural beauty of coloured gem stones, the ability to form and create meaningful pieces of art through wire working, and her own creative style of stringing that can be worn at any time of the day with any style of fashion.
Read more about Catharine Scott.
Clare owns Rusty Girl metalwork studio in Toronto, where she designs and makes railings, furniture, arbours, limited-run production pieces for the garden, and sculpture.
Read more about Clare Scott-Taggart.
David is inspired to create new works in watercolour, acrylic, and oil by the surrounding landscape. Painting full time following a career in advertising, graphic design, and colour retouching, he applies this knowledge and skill into his paintings.
Read more about David Smith.
Obsessed with the relationship between great food and handmade pottery, Judy believes eating from handmade pots elevates the dining experience. Her work is carefully hand crafted to be enjoyed as everyday art.
Read more about Judy Sparkes.
From the delicate to the dramatic, Frances’ jewellery designs are timeless treasures, which will serve as wearable art for years to come.
Read more about Frances Timbers.
You can also download a printable version of the map.
First launched in 1994, the Apsley Autumn Studio Tour creates public awareness of the arts by promoting and supporting artists in the community.
This branded editorial was created in partnership with the Apsley Autumn Studio Tour. If your business or organization is interested in a branded editorial, contact us.
Kayin Queeley expresses himself with his entire body. One can feel his enthusiasm in every sweep of his hand, in the set of his shoulders and the widening of his eyes.
He uses language that echoes his passion in phrases like “tapping into” and “taking the step” and “resonance.”
Queeley is the director of the Montreal Steppers, a team that uses their bodies to create rhythms and beats. The non-profit percussive dance group performs for themselves, for the community and visits schools for workshops and discussions that Queeley says quickly become “next-level.”
Percussive dance has origins in West Africa. It was a form of celebration and communication among slaves in North America and became popular among Black fraternities in the 1940s and ’50s, making its way to Canada by the ’90s.
Queeley, who is now a crisis case manager for students at McGill University, joined and went on to lead a stepping team while doing his undergrad in Upstate New York in 2007.
“What I didn’t realize then,” Queeley says, “was that stepping was going to introduce me to part of my history, a rich art form rooted in blackness, rooted in Black expression, Black healing. These are ways we are communicating with each other. For me, it was very superficial at first. It was cool, it looked good. Yet it has meant so much more for us.”
Although he had fallen away from stepping by the time he moved to Montreal with his wife in 2014, the need to “keep the art form alive and keep the passion of using my body to make music” was never far from his thoughts. Montreal Steppers was formed in 2019 and has 18 members, 13 of whom are active steppers, while the others take charge of such things as stage management, music direction, media, photography and spoken word.
When Queeley goes into a school for a workshop, the children will learn how to step. Yet the first thing he tells teachers is that he will allow the students to ask anything they want. A statement like that makes teachers nervous, he says, but he is blown away every time by the depth of conversation children set in motion.
He introduces himself and, with mid-elementary and older children, will begin, “About a hundred or so years ago (I’m just being generous), I would not be allowed to be in your classroom. The kids stop and say, ‘Mr. K., why?’ I say, because of my skin colour. At that time, although slavery had ended, there was segregation. Some ask, ‘What do you mean, what is that?’ It starts questions right away. As a Black man, I would not have been allowed into a white school. I would only have been allowed to teach at a Black school.”
In this way, the Steppers are bold about centring Black history and acknowledging what some children might not have had to think about. Kids, with their finely tuned sense of justice, “call out what is wrong,” he says. The workshops are wrapped up by talking about people’s differences and the importance of appreciating them.
Children stomp and clap, they walk and clap, they are almost always in motion. Yet when they experience it in rhythm, they are linked with their peers in an intangible way, Queeley says.
“We use our bodies to tell the story of stepping and history. We use the art form as a starting point to have dialogues and conversations around blackness, Black art, Black history, Black importance, around creating a safe space and taking up space for ourselves.”
It has been healing for the Montreal Steppers, Queeley says.
“As we dissect deeper into stepping, we connect the history. We recognize that this is not new. This has always been part of our ancestors’ expression. Going back to 14th century, back to West Africa before these folks were displaced against their will and brought to this North American context, these were elements of expression they were tapping into.”
The only time Queeley grasps for words is when attempting to define the connection his team experiences while stepping.
“Some folks say, ‘As you step on the ground, as you hit your body, you’re activating your land and you’re waking up your ancestors. It’s something we can’t really describe. … We’re tapping into something our ancestors laid down.”
The team has done more than 300 workshops and has met close to 10,000 students, Queeley says. It is one way they want to sow into Montreal communities.
“We want people to see us and know who we are: ‘This is in response to everything you have said about Black people and believe about us.’ We are incredible. We are gifted. We are intelligent. We are impressive.”
The Montreal Steppers are part of the English Language Arts Network’s education program, wherein schools are granted an amount to invite artists to hold workshops.
The Steppers have made an intentional decision to not do any workshops during Black History Month, to avoid being tokenized or made a checklist item. They use that time to focus on their own healing.
The group has set a fundraising goal of $4,000 for the month of September. The money will go directly to four community groups that have identified specific needs. The Steppers want their performances to be accessible and therefore not tied to fundraising, so donations are accepted online only. The groups benefiting are: The West Island Black Community Association’s robotics program; Côte-des-Neiges Black Association’s teen program; South Shore Youth Organization’s tutoring program; and Tinsdale Community Association’s high-school perseverance program.
“We want to continue to find ways to serve, teach, heal ourselves,” Queeley says. “Wherever this goes, if they feel a need to connect with us, we are happy to. We have seen the impact. We are very optimistic about what lies ahead.”
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Weaving together truth, reconciliation and healing, community members in Brandon created a commemorative teepee Saturday.
The art project for the upcoming Truth and Reconciliation Week in the southwestern Manitoba city was designed by Canupawakpa Dakota Nation visual artist Jessie Jannuska.
“The piece is called Coming Together, and I really hope that people do come together when they look at this teepee and they feel strength and resilience, and just feel honoured,” Jannuska said.
The teepee will be displayed at Brandon’s Riverbank Discovery Centre for Truth and Reconciliation Week, which officially begins Monday and leads up to the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation on Sept. 30, also known as Orange Shirt Day.
In Brandon, there will be events at the Discovery Centre every day from Tuesday to Sunday.
The teepee will be used by the Brandon Friendship Centre’s Sixties Scoop support program to share teachings, promote healing and encourage reconciliation, said program co-ordinator Julia Stoneman.
During what’s referred to as the Sixties Scoop — which actually began in the early 1950s into continued into the early 1990s — child welfare authorities took thousands of Indigenous children from their families and communities, and placed them with non-Indigenous foster or adoptive parents.
Stoneman described it as a continuation of the residential school system.
The message behind Coming Together is a critical part of truth and reconciliation, Stoneman said, because it encourages people to join in learning the stories, history and experiences of people affected by residential schools, the Sixties Scoop and other colonial traumas.
Hearing the experiences of survivors adds a human face to that history, she said, making reconciliation a personal experience for people.
Jannuska hopes that people who see the art project will feel the strength and resilience of Indigenous people in Canada.
“You can’t just keep people in the dark.… You need to let people speak about their truth,” Jannuska said.
“I think these families are really sad. They are estranged. They want their children back, they want the connectivity, they want the love back.”
Events like the teepee community art project serve as a way to honour and acknowledge their experiences, she said, while strengthening cultural identity and self-love.
There is a strong Indigenous presence in Brandon and the community is rallying to support reconciliation, Stoneman said, by encouraging people to live as their authentic selves.
“This is our way of honouring those people and helping them to find their identity and their community and their culture again … because they lost that too when they were sent away,” Stoneman said. “Now they’re able to come together and they’re able to learn that.”
Jannuska will be at the Discovery Centre on Friday afternoon to participate in an Orange Shirt Day walk and to answer any questions people have about the Coming Together teepee.
“This community project is an act of healing.… It can be a communal, cathartic thing that the community can jump in on,” she said.
The roots of this week’s events go back to the creation of the Brandon Urban Aboriginal People’s Council in late 2010, said council co-ordinator Michèle LeTourneau.
“It included Indigenous organizations and governments and institutions and organizations that were non-Indigenous, all coming together to work together to ensure that Indigenous people are reflected in their community,” she said.
Those efforts culminated in Brandon’s Truth and Reconciliation Week in 2021, centered on the principles of “commemoration, education and celebration.”
The goal of the week’s events is to inspire the entire community to work together in the pursuit of reconciliation, which “is something that we all need to do together, Indigenous and non-Indigenous,” LeTourneau said.
“We can create lines of respect, of friendship, of working together to make Brandon a better place for everyone.”
Educational opportunities have been woven into programming to help attendees better understand Canada’s colonial past. The conversations sparked during Truth and Reconciliation week are part of a bigger question — how to keep reconciliation alive every day of the year, LeTourneau said.
“It really starts within each of us, whether Indigenous or non-Indigenous, and it’s a sort of an inner reconciliation with our own selves,” she said.
“That carries forward into … changing thoughts, changing minds and hearts and then, you know, that seeps into your daily existence.”
She encourages those who attend any of the free events to come with an open heart and open mind.
That includes Friday’s Orange Shirt Day Walk, honouring residential school survivors and those who did not make it home. It begins at the Riverbank Discovery Centre at 1 p.m. and continues to the former Brandon residential school site.
Sioux Valley Dakota Nation survivors will be at the site, LeTourneau said, to see “the mighty support that the people of Brandon have for them.”
Saturday marks a day of celebration of Indigenous culture with an event titled Healing by the River.
“I call it an evening of ceremony and performance, and that is celebrating the rich, rich culture that was almost extinguished but was not,” LeTourneau said.
“It’s a really beautiful way to bring everyone together to celebrate.”
With Paris+ by Art Basel making its debut in the French capital at the Grand Palais Éphémère from October 20 to 23, 2022, I sit down with Javier Peres, founder of Peres Projects established in 2002, which currently has locations in Berlin, Milan and Seoul, to find out his thoughts on the very first Parisian edition of the world’s most well-known modern and contemporary art fair. The gallery’s presentation at Paris+ will focus on painting and sculpture by a diverse group of promising artists exploring the human experience and condition, including Shuang Li, Donna Huanca, Manuel Solano, Rebecca Ackroyd, Richard Kennedy, Tan Mu and Stanislava Kovalcikova.
What were you thoughts when you heard that Paris+ by Art Basel would replace the FIAC art fair?
It’s an exciting development and is a further testament to the increased importance of Paris as a global art hub. We are very much looking forward to taking part in the inaugural edition.
Why did your gallery decide to exhibit at Paris+?
Art Basel puts on art fairs of the highest quality both for the benefit of the audience and also for us as exhibitors. So we have high expectations that this fair will be a great success and become a focal meeting point of the fall art calendar in Europe. We expect the same high-quality service, presentations, etc. that we see across the Art Basel fairs in all its other locations. We exhibit at all of them in the main section. Peres Projects has always focused on identifying, supporting and championing artists that we felt could expand the canon of art history, irrespective of where they come from. The identity of the gallery, and what I think is special to our DNA, is that we primarily focus on showing artists at the beginning of their careers, giving audiences an early look at the artists that will shape art history, both in the immediate time and in the future. Either way, we always aim to present the best artworks possible at all fairs.
What is the expected impact that Paris+ will have on the Parisian art scene?
We think this is further confirmation of the importance of the Parisian art scene and indeed the French art market as a whole. Paris is an important center and also a city that everyone enjoys visiting for its many interesting possibilities.
Who are the biggest buyers of modern and contemporary art today, and what kinds of collectors is your gallery targeting in particular at Paris+?
Our clients are completely global. We have important clients from all parts of the globe. In recent years, we have seen greater importance to our business from younger collectors, under 50 years old and even under 40 years old. We’ve noticed that artists, collectors, museums, curators, writers, etc. have become more and more connected and the overall size of the art ecosystem has expanded to many areas that previously were on the periphery. New regions have become important and new institutions have emerged, corresponding with a rise of new and younger collectors who support and establish these institutions. These changes are impacting our business every day and it’s part of what makes what we do so exciting. We thrive on working with new institutions, new artists, new collectors, etc., especially those from parts of the mainstream that haven’t always been included in the conversation. It’s an exciting time for us.
Which categories of modern or contemporary art have you been noticing that are registering the most interest from collectors lately?
What interests us most when considering new artists is that they have a unique voice, whatever that may be, and that what they have to say is interesting, something that we can all learn from. I want to be able to learn from an artist and to share what they have to teach with our audience.
Which are the three most interesting modern or contemporary artists who will be exhibiting at Paris+ to collect today?
We will be presenting major new works by Donna Huanca, Shuang Li and Rebecca Ackroyd. All three artists are incredibly gifted and committed to their practices and have very clear focus in their work. They are also receiving a great deal of well-deserved institutional attention with Donna Huanca having museum exhibitions during the upcoming 12 months in Mexico, Korea, Italy and Latvia; Rebecca Ackroyd in France and Germany; and Shuang Li in Switzerland, and her work is also on view at the Venice Biennale in Italy.
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