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Local art galleries get creative to emerge from 'hibernation' – OrilliaMatters



This week’s big news, of course, is that we have been sent back to the grey zone … with some modifications. So, small retail businesses are allowed to be open at 25 per cent capacity. This means your local art galleries are open!

Hibernation Arts at 17 Peter St. S. in the Orillia Arts District is one of those local art galleries, and this week I wanted to shed some light on it, and on the owner, Molly Farquharson.

Molly “retired” to Orillia about six years ago, after an eventful working life teaching English all over the United States, Japan, and Turkey. She also operated a café in Turkey! The stories from these times could fill a book, I have no doubt.

Molly had visited her sister in Orillia for years, so picking Orillia as her retirement home base made a lot of sense. She is also a fibre artist, and she knew about Orillia’s vibrant arts scene, and wanted to be part of it. In her art, Molly uses thread, yarn, buttons, and found items for their colours and texture.

Molly showed her work at several galleries in Orillia before opening Hibernation Arts in 2018. Why Hibernation Arts?

“I called the gallery Hibernation Arts because, after being out of Canadian winters for so long, the first couple of winters made me say, ‘Not going out today. Or next week. Or next month.’ Fortunately, I am more used to it now,” she says.

Currently, quite a few artists are showing at Hibernation Arts: Jon Oelrichs, Nicole Rulff, Tammy Henry, Cheryl Sartor, Terry McIntosh, Karen Hollinger, Gayle Schofield, Catherine Cadieux, Barbara Schmidt, and of course Molly herself.

There are also three group shows at the moment: Orillia Fine Arts Association, Zephyr Art Club, and the studio’s own group show in lieu of a guest artist (which will resume next month).

“The support of the artists has been crucial in keeping the gallery going, since the gallery does not qualify for government loans or grants,” says Farquharson. “In the past, Hibernation Arts hosted poetry readings and local music concerts and hopefully those will resume sooner than later. I also hope to host workshops and classes, once it is safe to do so.”

In the meantime, the gallery is open Tuesday to Saturday, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. It is a cozy spot to enjoy a chat and view (and purchase) some beautiful works of art, locally and hand made, with care.

Molly adds, “The people in the Arts District hope to do the Art Walks again this summer (and hopefully the slogan is Meet Me Downtown to include other businesses). Last summer’s Art Walks were a wonderful opportunity for people to get out safely to enjoy the vibrant art scene.”

Don’t wait until summer, do stop by Hibernation Arts and the other galleries in the Arts District today!

Speaking of galleries, Peter Street Fine Arts Gallery and Studio at 23 Peter St. S., has a guest artist for the month of March, Tammy Robinson. Tammy uses oil paint and sand to infuse her large landscape work with rich colour and textures. Her work is on display for the whole month, so drop by and check it out!

In other arts news, the Orillia Opera House is partnering with The Oakville Centre and Ontario Presents to help keep music alive until everyone can safely gather once again. The trio is presenting five virtual concerts for your enjoyment, starting on Friday, March 5.

Each concert features a wonderful Canadian musician and is presented at a nominal cost. Friday, March 5, The Spoons will put on a great show for anyone who buys a $15 ticket. The concerts following are: Royal Wood on March 12, Men Behind the Music: The Beatles, on March 20, Molly Johnson on April 17, and finally, Whitehorse on May 8. All concerts start at 8 p.m.

Tickets prices range from $10 to $20 per household. Tickets can be scooped up here; the presale code is Orillia. Enjoy these wonderful events from the safety of your living room, and help keep the music alive!

In other fun virtual events, Lakehead University’s Office of Community Engagement and Lifelong Learning (yes that is a mouthful), is partnering with Mariposa Arts Theatre (MAT) and presenting Tea with the Dames!

As part of this hilarious event, you can watch some of the best dames around today, Maggie Smith, Judi Dench, Eileen Atkins and Joan Plowright, in a wonderful British documentary, Tea with the Dames, before Sunday, March 14 at 4 p.m., when you will be zoomed in to a discussion and cuppa with some of MAT’s own dames and gents, talking about this amusing and quirky film.

You will also help celebrate one of Orillia’s own dames, Sue Mulcahy, on her 100th birthday, in this enjoyable afternoon. For $20 tickets and more information, click here.

Creative Nomad Studios (CNS) is fully embracing the virtual world we are all living in currently, and has several events online each week, while hitting pause on other, in-person events they were hoping to produce in March and April. If you bought a ticket for those events already, don’t worry, tickets will be honoured when it is safe and allowable to have in-person events again.

In the meantime, CNS is presenting Colour Theory for Artists Part 2 on Thurs. March 4 at 2:30 p.m., on YouTube. This is a free workshop, so don’t hesitate to jump in live, or enjoy later at your leisure, through this link.

On March 5 at 7 p.m. CNS presents another virtual paint night with Steph Whalen, Lone Pine. This workshop is only $10 plus materials, and you will have a beautiful and unique work of art at the end of the night! Click here to sign up for this workshop, and if you need supplies, there is a link there to purchase through curbside pick up at CNS.

Lastly, CNS presents Let’s Try Water Soluble Inks, a free workshop live on YouTube March 4 at 1 p.m. Check it out here, live or later. Way to go CNS, for working with what you have and presenting a great variety of fun and interactive workshops!

Finally, another shout out to the Orillia Public Library (OPL). Not only have they been presenting great virtual programming, pivoted quickly to do curbside pick up, supported our seniors, and been a great source of tech support, they are also addressing problems of systemic racism in our culture and in their history.

Check out this statement that OPL put out on Mar. 2:

“The Orillia Public Library recognizes that libraries are rooted in a history of colonialism, anti-Black racism, and white supremacy. While we have always strived to be welcoming and inclusive, we’re now examining our role within a system that creates and perpetuates inequality in our community. OPL will prioritize anti-racism work in our 2021-2024 Strategic Plan by working with Orillia’s BIPOC community to identify gaps and eliminate racial and social equity barriers in library programs, services, policies and practices. We look forward to better serving our entire community and we’re ready to put in the work to do so.”

Kudos to you, OPL!

And kudos, so much, to all of our small businesses, live music, culture, art, and more, who are suffering right now. We support you.

Send your arts news to by Tuesdays at noon to be included in this column.

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Imaginations, creativity of Mountview students on display at Cariboo Art Beat



Creative, imaginative artwork of students from Mountview Elementary School will be on public display at the gallery of Cariboo Art Beat until April 9.

“The students of Mountview elementary were all invited to participate in an art contest,” Tiffany Jorgensen said, an artist at Cariboo Art Beat.

Each class was separately judged by three professional artists at Cariboo Art Beat, Jorgensen said, based on the students’ creativity, techniques, use of space and originality.

“It was extremely difficult to select pieces from the abundance of beautiful art presented,” she said. “There is so much talent and fantastic imaginations.”

The artist of each selected piece was given formal invitations to their art show to distribute to whomever they choose, and Jorgensen said anyone is free to view the beautiful artwork throughout until April 9.

Honoured at the show were works from local artists Ryker Hagen, Annika Nilsson, Rylie Trampleasure, Angus Shoults, Izabella Telford, Isabella Buchner, Kai Pare and more.

“Come view their wonderful pieces to get a glimpse into the minds of our creative youth,” Jorgensen said.

“It’s been so fun. The kids have come in and seen their work on display with their grandparents, parents, and they’re all so excited.”

Following up on the success of the Mountview art show, Jorgensen said more elementary schools have been invited to participate.

April will feature the works of Nesika and Big Lake, followed by Marie Sharpe and Chilcotin Road next month.

Cariboo Art Beat is located at 19 First Ave., under Caribou Ski Source for Sports’ entrance on Oliver Street.

Rylie Trampleasure, Grade 2, has her work on display at Cariboo Art Beat. (Photo submitted)

Angus Shoults, Grade 4. (Photo submitted)

Angus Shoults, Grade 4. (Photo submitted)

Grade 3 student Izabella Telford. (Photo submitted)

Grade 3 student Izabella Telford. (Photo submitted)

Grade 6 student Kai Pare shows off her artwork. (Photo submitted)

Grade 6 student Kai Pare shows off her artwork. (Photo submitted)

Isabella Buchner

Isabella Buchner

Source:– Williams Lake Tribune – Williams Lake Tribune

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Launching the conversation on Newfoundland and Labrador art history



ST. JOHN’S, N.L. —

“Future Possible: An Art History of Newfoundland and Labrador” is a book that has been a long time coming, Mireille Eagan says.

While working at the Confederation Centre Art Gallery in Prince Edward Island, Eagan curated an exhibition marking the 60th anniversary of Newfoundland and Labrador joining Confederation with Canada.

“As I was researching, I noticed that there was very little that existed in terms of the art history of this province,” she said. “There wasn’t even a Wikipedia article.”

Noticing this large gap, “Future Possible” was a book that needed to exist, she said.

As the 70th anniversary approached in 2019, Eagan, now living in St. John’s and working as curator of contemporary art at The Rooms, envisioned filling that gap.

Over two summers, The Rooms held a two-part exhibition. The first looked at the visual culture and visual narratives before the province joined Confederation and the second focused on 1949 onward, Eagan said.

“At its core, it was asking, what are the stories we tell ourselves as a province? It was looking at iconic artworks, it was looking at texts that have been written about this place, and it put these works in conversation with contemporary artworks,” Eagan said.

In the foreword to the book, chief executive officer of The Rooms Anne Chafe described it as a complement to the exhibition and a project that “does not seek to be the final say. It seeks, instead, to launch the conversation.”

History and identity

One example of that conversation between the past and the present mentioned by Eagan is the work of artist Bushra Junaid, who moved to St. John’s from Montreal as a baby. The daughter of a Jamaican mother and Nigerian father, Junaid said her experience growing up in the province in the 1970s, where she always the only Black child in the room, was not like most.

“All of my formative years, my schooling and everything, took place in St. John’s,” she said. “It’s very much shaped my current preoccupation.”

Her interest in history, identity and representation led her to making “Two Pretty Girls…,” which used an archival photograph of Caribbean sugarcane workers from 1903 with text from advertisements for sugar, molasses and rum from archived copies of The Evening Telegram collaged over the women’s clothing.

In her essay “Of Saltfish and Molasses” published in “Future Possible,” she described the work as “(allowing) me to place these women and their labour within the broader historical context of the international trade in commodities that underpinned Caribbean slavery and its afterlife.”

It’s a direct connection between Newfoundland and people in the Caribbean, a historical line not often drawn through the context of the transatlantic slave trade, but one she knows personally through the stories told by her mother, Adassa, about their ancestor, Sisa, who “as a teenager, survived the horrors of the Middle Passage, enduring the voyage from West Africa to Jamaica in the hold of a slave ship (Junaid).”

A book like “Future Possible” allows people to interpret themselves and their past, present and future, Junaid says.

“I appreciate the ways in which they really worked to make it as broad and diverse as possible,” she said. “It’s also striving to tell the Indigenous history of the place, the European settler history … and then also looking for … non-Western backgrounds such as myself. It’s enriching.”

What shapes us

St. John’s writer Lisa Moore contributed an essay called “Five Specimens from Another Time” that weaves together moments from her own life, the province’s history and current realities and the art that has inspired her over the years.

“It’s really interesting to me to see all this work of people that I’ve written about in the past and whose work influenced me, even in my writing of fiction, and then newer artists,” Moore said. “I just think that the book is a total gift.”

With such a rich cultural history ready to be written, she imagines “Future Possible” is just the first of what could be many books about art in the province now that the “ice is cracked.”

“The writers that (Eagan) has chosen to write here are also really exciting critics from all over the province, talking about all kind of different periods in art history,” she said.

As time passes, the meaning of the works in the book becomes richer, she said.

Mary Pratt’s 1974 “Cod Fillets on Tin Foil” and Scott Goudie’s 1991 “Muskrat Falls,” for instance, are two images with seemingly straightforward and simple subject matter. But any viewer looking now, who is aware of the cod moratorium and the Muskrat Falls hydroelectric dam, would find it difficult to see and interpret these images outside of those contexts.

“Artists, writers, filmmakers … they’re keen observers of culture and the moment that we live in,” Moore said. “They present things that are intangible like the feeling of a moment, or the culmination of social, political and esthetic powers that come together at a given time and shape us.”

“Future Possible: An Art History of Newfoundland and Labrador” is available online and in stores.

Andrew Waterman reports on East Coast culture.
[email protected]
Twitter: @andrewlwaterman



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Parrott Art Gallery goes virtual to help flatten the curve – The Kingston Whig-Standard



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Feeling stir crazy because of COVID and the latest lock-down? Take a virtual trip to Morocco!

On Wednesday, April 14 at 2:30 p.m., the Parrott Gallery will host Lola Reid Allin’s Armchair Traveler online presentation: “Morocco: Sea, Sand and Summit”. Allin is an accomplished photographer, pilot, writer and speaker. Travel with her through the land of dramatic contrast and hidden jewels, busy markets and medieval cities, and enjoy some virtual sun.

For more information and to register for this free online event, please visit The Armchair Traveller Morocco photography exhibit is also available to view through the Parrott Gallery website until mid-May.

Even though our gallery is currently closed to the public, our exhibitions are all available to view online. Sam Sakr’s show “The Housing Project” is certain to bring a smile to your face. His collection of mixed media artwork will take you to a playful land of fantastical creatures that inhabit imaginary, stylized cityscapes. If your spirit needs uplifting, you need to see to see this show. I hope that everyone will be able to view Sakr’s work both online and then in our gallery after the lock-down ends in May. Without a doubt, it will be worth the wait to see it again in-person when we re-open.

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Another exhibition that you can currently visit on the Parrott Gallery website is the group show “Spring Sentiments: a Reflection of Art in Isolation”. This was a collaborative effort by the 39 artists who submitted their work, our staff who put the show together in the gallery and online, and our guest curator Jessica Turner. We are thrilled that Jessica was able to transcribe her experience with this show into a final paper for her Curatorial Studies BFA degree at OCADU.

The fact that we have had to close our doors just as this show was opening is a sad reflection of the theme as the audience must now reflect on this artwork at home, in isolation. The up-side to viewing this exhibition online is that one can read the artist statements that accompany the work and get a more in depth view of the artists’ perspectives. We encourage viewers to support our artists by sending in their comments and to vote for their favourites in the show by following the appropriate link on the webpage.

When you can’t come in to our building, the Parrott Gallery will bring the artwork to you. And then when the sun and flowers come out in May, and when it is safe to return to our gallery on the third floor of the Belleville Public Library, we hope to see you all again.

For questions about our online talk, our shows, or to purchase any of the artwork please call us at 613-968-6731 x 2040 or email us at

Wendy Rayson-Kerr is the Acting Curator at the John M. Parrott Art Gallery.

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