Posts tagged Christina Handley
A Year of Art in Fenelon

Submitted by Chris Van Lierop

It has truly been a year of art! I was sent an email the other day and asked to highlight some of the changes that Fenelon Falls has seen this year and so many of those changes have an artistic flair!

Most recently we saw the Fenelon Marquee turn its lights on; a wonderful restoration project that will light our way down Water street and the Trent Severn Waterway.

Earlier this year we saw the addition of decorative metal banners by Christina Handley on the bridge, welcoming visitors into town, and we also saw a lot of art programming happen this year in Fenelon: the Kawartha Yarn and Fibre Festival kicked off its first year with lineups to get in and is happening again this year; in addition to their robust new programs and events this summer, Maryboro Lodge: the Fenelon Museum opened its new play space where kids can play with toys and sketch to their heart's content.

The Colborne Street Gallery opened and exhibited ‘Cottages’ by Joan Horsfall Young, and the Kawartha Lakes Arts & Heritage Trail maps and signs popped up at many places throughout town showing tourists what culture in the Kawartha lakes is. This year, the Kawartha Lakes Country Living Show doubled attendance from the previous year, and for the first time included artist studios for 10 artists to showcase their work.

The Horticultural Society added a new rain garden to their mix of gardens throughout town and the colorful and fun splash pad opened at Garnet Graham Park to much fanfare. You may have also noticed the large triangular stones which have been erected in several spots about town - these stones will soon bear etchings with directional information, to help visitors find their way around.

It's been a great year for Fenelon Falls that has also included the addition of several new businesses helping to fill some empty storefronts, and a new "bike-share" system at Lock 34 that you can use to get around town.

I’m looking forward to next year where we will see the continued expansion of natural gas into Fenelon Falls by Enbridge, the introduction of a walking tour to downtown Fenelon Falls by Maryboro Lodge, and the 30th Anniversary of the Kawartha Arts Festival amongst many other exciting things to come.

With the election happening as I write this I’m reminded that we all get to cast our vote on who helps us continue to move forward and show our greatest side. We’re so thankful to the creativity we all bring to this wonderful town and the great businesses and volunteers who help make it the vibrant place it is.

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?

Chris