Posts in Art Space
Public Art Opportunity: Rain Garden, Fenelon Falls

Submitted by Darcie Kennedy

The Fenelon Arts Committee (FAC) invites expressions of interest from artists or teams of artists to design and install two sculptures to be mounted on large limestone bases at the Rain Garden, south of Maryboro Lodge: The Fenelon Museum. This opportunity is open to artists and artist teams with a connection to the Kawarthas.

The works should provide an engaging visual art aesthetic that is visible from all perspectives. The works should consider the context and character of the area: as the Oak Street Conservation District, the Indigenous use of the location as a portage and gathering place, the historical development of Fenelon Falls, or the natural heritage of the region and waterway. The budget for each sculpture is up to $25,000. All proposals must be inclusive of total costs.

Initial Submissions to be received by September 30, 2019. For further information and call for submission details, please visit

Established in 2018, the Fenelon Arts Committee identifies opportunities for artists, strategizes on arts initiatives, and works to increase public access and engagement with art in the village of Fenelon Falls. The committee is made up of dedicated residents who share a common vision and passion for art and their community.

All inquiries should be directed to:
Fenelon Arts Committee
Attention: Darcie Kennedy

Introducing the Winners of the Legion's first Literary Contest for Seniors

Submitted by Arlene Colman

Heather Roxborough, Paul Leduc, Nancy Louiseize

Heather Roxborough, Paul Leduc, Nancy Louiseize

Arlene Colman, Seniors Chairman for the Fenelon Falls announced the winners of its first Literary Contest for Seniors as follows:

Placement Name Category

First Place Nancy Louiseize Poem

First Place Paul Leduc Short story

First Place Mary Greaves Memoir

Second Place Heather Roxborough Short story

These talented and creative people are pictured above, with the exception of Mary Greaves who was in France for the D-Day Commemorations. Mary received her flowers and certificate upon her return.

We hope to run the contest again next year so put your thinking caps on and get started on your entry in 2020. There’s something for everyone: poetry, short stories, memoirs and essay. What a great project to fill those long winter months!

The Making of the Fenelon Falls Curling Club Mural

Submitted by Donna Bisschop

I just had a wonderful opportunity to show, and be part of, community here in Fenelon Falls.

My name is Donna Bisschop and I painted the new mural on the side of our curling club.

Last summer the mural was only a thought in a few peoples minds, but the drawings evolved as the Curling Club considered and reconsidered what they wanted to see and express – certainly the history of the town and the evolution of curling were important. Months of drawing and redrawing brought us into last fall and the creation of the full-size drawings.

Once the drawings were approved I redrew them all again onto pellon (transfer material) and then traced the drawings through the pellon onto my boards...

As an artist, nothing is more thrilling to me than moving from sketch to paint, filling out, filling in; making the characters come alive. The winter passed quickly as I painted hour after hour, absorbed in telling the story in pictures I had drawn months before.

The boards not only took up my time, but also my home. Painted flat, on eight foot tables they were a massive footprint to navigate in my living and dining rooms. Every month or so, willing friends would come and help me dismantle tables and stand the three panels up precariously in my living so I could see what was and was not working.

By this past spring the panels were ready for Varathane – and I was ready to have my home back!

My hope is that everyone who takes the time to look at the mural, which is displayed on the Bond St. side of the Fenelon Falls Curling Club, will find something fun, something interesting, something that makes them feel connected to this awesome community we share.

Fenelon Station Gallery - Where Arts and Heritage Intersect

Submitted by Janet Tysiak

Enjoy a blended cultural experience this summer right in the heart of Fenelon Falls!

The Fenelon Station was built during the Railway Age in the 1880s by Sir William Mackenzie from Kirkfield, Ontario. It was built in the regular railway design that included a passenger waiting room, ticket office and baggage room. A bay window on the front was a feature that enabled the station agent to see up and down the rail line.

The station remains authentic and well preserved to this day but with a unique addition. A group of local artists have made this historic train station their home.

The rustic space that was once a passenger waiting room, baggage room and ticket office is transformed every season into an eye catching display of beautiful artwork. Visitors can step into the past and at the same time browse through the diverse and high quality work of our cooperative artists.

The members volunteer their time to manage the gallery so that during operating hours there is always an artist present to greet and assist you!

Come on board and make the gallery one of your stops this summer! Doors open for the season on Saturday, May 18.

Check out for hours, scheduled artists and demonstrations.

Colborne Street Gallery: Up Came The Sun, by Leanne Baird

Submitted by Darcie Kennedy

A new exhibit of paintings by local artist Leanne Baird are being displayed at the Colborne Street Gallery from May 1st - 26th. The opening reception for the exhibit is Thursday, May 2nd, from 6:00 - 8:00 pm - please drop by to see this stunning collection in person.

Baird’s paintings are both a study of the physical and metaphysical. Exploring the natural landscape and investigating the way light behaves in these environments are constant sources of inspiration for her work. Deconstructing these complex environments into the basic elements of art, Baird transcribes the line, shape, form, and colour of these quiet moments in nature. Citing painters, Emily Carr and Lawren Harris, as inspiration for both their artwork and their spiritual journey, Baird continues the tradition of Canadian Landscape painting through her recording of scenes in and around the Canadian Shield.

Baird has a Bachelor of Arts with Distinction from the University of Toronto. She has also completed studies internationally and at the Haliburton School of Arts, the Royal Conservatory, and the Art School of Peterborough. Baird has exhibited her work at the Kathleen Gormley McKay Art Centre, Ethel Curry Gallery, the Art School of Peterborough, Agnes Jamieson Gallery, Varley Art Gallery, Rails End Gallery and the Art Gallery of Peterborough. She has participated in many studio tours including Peterborough, Uxbridge, and the Kawarthas. Baird was a Guest Artist at Lakefield College School in 2016, a past Board Member at the Art School of Peterborough 2010-2012, and has been featured as a Guest Artist on HGTV. She has also taught children’s art classes at the Varley Art Gallery and numerous school boards in Southern Ontario as well as Lakefield College School and the Art School of Peterborough.

The Swimming Pools at Colborne Street Gallery

Submitted by Darcie Kennedy

Colborne Street Gallery proudly presents Geoff Fitzgerald’s The Swimming Pools, a selection of photographs documenting public pools across Toronto, Hamilton, and Oakville. This SPARK Photo Festival Featured Exhibition can be seen at the gallery from March 27th - April 30th, and we invite you to join us for the opening reception this Saturday April 13th from 2:00 - 5:00 pm.

The swimming pool has been a source of inspiration for many artists. Matisse made a work titled The Swimming Pool in 1952, Hockney began painting his famous pools in the 1960s, and Edward Ruscha’s first book project in colour, Nine Swimming Pools and a Broken Glass, was printed in 1968. 

Oozing with vibrant colours and a boldness typical of summer days, these images of a fleeting moment in the hot sun, also project the uncanny. One of Ruscha’s pools shows wet footsteps running off the diving board, yet no figures are present. It’s slightly off-putting. In a similar way, Fitzgerald has shot his photographs from an altered perspective; the bird’s eye view. His pools do not depict sparkling blue water and splashes in the sun, they are taken in the off-season; devoid of people and the warm tone of summer. They are empty, almost abandoned with a certain unease. Fitzgerald’s awareness and exploration of formal qualities combined with striking composition invites you to consider these spaces anew.

Fitzgerald is an award winning, Toronto-based freelance commercial and editorial photographer. He has worked with various clients including the Fairmont Hotels, Canadian Geographic, Ryerson University, and Habitat for Humanity. His most recent exhibition was held at Hashtag Gallery in Toronto in the Fall of 2018. 

SPARK Photo Festival is a celebration of photography in Northumberland, Peterborough, and the Kawartha Lakes regions. For the month of April, more than 50 venues take part in various photographic-related programming including exhibitions, workshops, talks, films, and other special events. 

Art in the Off Season

Submitted by Chris Van Lierop

After a summer of art, art in the Kawarthas continues! This month at the Colborne Street Gallery we have the privilege of hosting a speaker event featuring Will Huffman: marketing manager of Dorset Fine Arts, executive director of the Inuit Art Foundation, coordinator of the audience and market development office at Canada Council for the Arts, and associate director with the Toronto Arts Council and Toronto Arts Foundation. The event is taking place on November 17th from 2:00 - 4:00 pm, and all are welcome! Huffman will share his knowledge and experience working with Inuit artists, traveling to the far North, and the newly opened Kenjuak Cultural Centre in Cape Dorset, Nunavut. The Colborne Street Gallery is and will continue to be showcasing specially selected Inuit prints and sculptures.


Also at the gallery, we will be hosting a Holiday Art Market from November 17 - January 6. The market will feature a wide selection of works from local artists as well as artists outside of our community. It will champion original and affordable fine art. You will find a large selection of works $400 and under. On Saturday, December 1st we will be hosting an opening reception for the holiday market. You’ll also be able to find a holiday market the weekend of November 17th - 18th at the Fenelon Falls Community Centre; The Kawartha Lakes Arts Council will be hosting a Made in Kawartha Lakes 2nd annual Showcase & Sale of Artists and Artisans. Head over to the community centre and check it out, you’ll find lots of options for your home or for wrapping up and leaving under the tree!

The Colborne Street Gallery and Home by Tim + Chris are gearing up for Santa Day and the holiday season, so come check out our window display which you will see installed shortly! For all the gallery’s programming please see our website at As always the gallery is free and open to come visit, we look forward to seeing everyone come through the doors.

The Artists of Kawartha Book Launch

Submitted by Chris Van Lierop

Have you been looking for a great introduction to some of your local artists? Been searching for that perfect coffee table book?

On October 13 from 3-7, the Colborne Street Gallery will host the official book release of The Artists of Kawartha written by Andrea Hillo. The newest release of a series of four books featuring local artists from different areas of Ontario's cottage country, the book presents work from 32 contemporary artists from in and around the Kawarthas. The book, featuring photos of works by each artist as well as some background information, was conceived from the desire to honour artists and bring their work to the attention of a wider audience.


The focus of the book has been known to be called “The Land Between, which is a transition zone where the volcanic rock from the Canadian Shield to the north meets and merges with the sedimentary bedrock of the St. Lawrence lowlands to the south. This 250 km long and 35 km wide corridor extends roughly from Georgian Bay in the west to Kingston in the east and is made up of a richly varied mosaic of habitats, some with features entirely their own,” describes Michael Dumas in his foreword to the book. We have found the artists featured to be as varied and wonderful as our landscape!

At the Colborne Street Gallery from now until November 8th you can check out some of the works in the book and see other examples of work from artists featured in the book. In fact, I think you’ll find the gallery more eclectic than it has been since opening! You will find bright paintings of nature from Leanne Baird, fun paintings by Henry Fernandes who is also an illustrator, animal paintings by Clive Kay, and scratchboard by Lori Dunn among many others.

If you’re in town and looking to find some inspiration in works done by an amazing group of artists please come join us for the launch. You will be able to visit and speak with many of the artists and the author Andrea Hillo as well as being able to be one of the first to own a magnificent representation of our local art scene, The Artists of Kawartha. You can find all the info on our website at

Look forward to seeing you there!


The Kawartha Arts Festival

Written by Chris Van Lierop


It’s almost that time of year again: the Kawartha Arts Festival. Over the Saturday and Sunday of Labour Day weekend, the festival will be celebrating its 29th year.

The festival has grown to be one of the largest arts festivals in Southern Ontario, hosting 120 artists. This year, the Kawartha Arts Festival is proud to be hosting many local artists, but as the only show hosting the works of Indigenous artist Kris Nahrgang this year, they are doubly proud to be showcasing his work.

Earlier today at the CNE Kris unveiled his newest work, the Unity Pole. At 28’ the pole will be one of the first commission pieces purchased by the CNE since the 1940s. The pole was created to offer a story of Unity, and healing for all Canadians. Read more here:

Kris is the Chief of the Kawartha Nishnawbe First Nation and holds an eagle
feather, the highest honour a chief can receive. It was bestowed on Kris four times in recognition of his tireless work as a community organizer and advocate. It will be a true honour be able to see his art in person.

Also at the show, you’ll be able to see many different genres of work including Oil & Acrylic by Fenelon artist and festival organizer Maud Skoog, Watercolors by Bobcaygeon artist Elly Wilson, pottery by Port Hope artist Brenda Sullivan, sculptured glass by Campbellcroft artist Lee Shelton and many more.

As you may have noticed by the success of last June’s Kawartha Yarn & Fibre Festival ( these traditional textile methods have become the rage again - they’re certainly not just for your Grandmother anymore! At the show, you will find weaving by artist Janis Huisman and textiles and fibers by Amor Tenggardjaja, and many more.

Other local artists featured can be found on Every year the Kawartha Arts festival continues to grow, now attracting thousands of visitors annually. This year you can catch a shuttle bus from the Fenelon Fairgrounds for easy access, and there will be artist demonstrations and some ‘Young at Art’ displays. You’ll even be able to walk
around with our beloved Kawartha Dairy Ice Cream.

We hope to see you at the festival. Donations are a big part of what keeps the festival running and with each of your donations, you will be entered in a draw for door prizes.

Can’t wait to see you there!

Let's Talk Public Art

Written by Chris Van Lierop

Today I wanted to talk about public art. In June, the City of Kawartha Lakes approved a policy for the approval, ownership, and maintenance of public art, something that had been lacking in their policies. Along with a new art strategy, loudly supported by our city councilor Doug Elmslie, the City of Kawartha Lakes allocated a small budget for the purchase of public art and a small budget for the maintenance of this art. This is a big step for the city and one that is welcomed in our town. The City’s inventory of public art currently consists of 5 pieces of art stretched throughout our large area and at least 2 artifacts.  

As home to many artists, Fenelon Falls has been talking about and looking at the placement of public art. We have made some proposals to the city, but with no formal policy, it has been hard to get approval to place art on city property.  Well, not anymore! 

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If you’ve ever been to Haliburton, you might have noticed that public art is something that has been on the top of their mind for years. In 2001, Haliburton opened the Haliburton Sculpture forest, with 3 sculptures. The forest that runs through Glebe park has views over the river and now consists of 34 sculptures and a new campus for the School of Art + Design for Fleming College. It’s a great trail that brings tourists from all over and exposure to many artists.

In Elora, the Elora Arts Council started their public art display by putting out a request to artists for 15 pieces of art to display throughout the area. The pieces of art were displayed in public places. Rather than a small town having to invest heavily (and likely without the resources) in art, Elora purchased 1 piece of permanent display art and erected multiple permanent sites that could host a rotating exhibit of art. The pieces of art were displayed on consignment to the town and were available to purchase by anyone walking by. Each year there is a call out to artists for submissions to place on the permanent sites, guaranteeing a new and interesting walk around town each year. Now there’s thinking outside the box!

In Fenelon we’re talking about new murals; we’ve placed steel banners by Christina Handley along the bridge into town and now we’re talking of the possibility for art installations throughout town. Maybe we’ll pursue a strategy that has been successful in another town. The city has paved our way for a process to get approval to put these pieces of art in town, now bring on the art!  

What would you like to see and where would you like to see it?