By John Swartz
Now we’ve moved down a peg on the colour scale of restrictions stores are opening up again and so are the galleries. Of course things are decided at Queen’s Park, and the rest of us are left to react rather than plan. So while smaller Arts District galleries like Hibernation Arts and Peter Street Fine Arts are open because they had stuff hanging around ready for viewing, others like the Orillia Museum of Art and History have a bit of organizing to do to be ready for visits.
We start by introducing a couple people new to the organization. Last November Lindsay Earle took over the knick knacks as the history programming coordinator.
That means she’ll be planning exhibitions involving bits and pieces the museum has collected over the years, stuff like costumes, tools and plungers. One of the things she’s been doing is posting videos on their Facebook page, asking people what they know about items in the collection. She also plans workshops and basically makes sure all the stuff in the collection stays were its put (i.e. knows were they are put)
At the same time, Tanya Cunnington joined as the arts program coordinator. She will be planning exhibitions, managing the collection OMAH owns and planning workshops.
Of course Tanya is the proprietor of Lee Contemporary Art, or was, or maybe still is. She decided to put the gallery on hiatus. She’s still maintaining the lease, but she hopes her mother, Annie Kmyta Cunnington, can be convinced to take over the gallery. The problem is her mother lives in Kirkland Lake, but she’s been here often enough, and had a few exhibitions at Lee, that could change.
“They’ve been threatening to do it for 8 years (move to Orillia), but they haven’t made it happen,” Tanya said.
Lindsay and Tanya are working toward opening OMAH March 9 with a couple exhibits.
“We just came to a decision last week. We have a medical exhibition opening in the lobby,” said Tanya. Lobby? They’ve also been rearranging the furniture.
“We moved our gift shop into the small red room. So now what we have is the whole lobby is open as exhibition space.”
The main floor Mulcahy Gallery also has an exhibit opening March 9. It’s called Artifacts: The Art Behind the Art.
“We’re having so much fun because we are pairing art and history. For example we have Franklin Carmichael’s easel and we have two Franklin Carmichael (paintings),” Tanya said. There are 67 different vignettes of items which put the things artists used to make art along with the art. Despite so many items, it won’t be using all of the main gallery.
“We kind of made the space just a little bit smaller so people can walk through and see the first floor only,” Tanya said. They are also getting ready to open the second floor next month.
“We’re hoping to have our second floor open by April 12th,” Tanya said. The main attraction is an exhibit of work by Jill Price.
“She’s doing a really fascinating exhibition called Unfurled about the North American fur trade and colonization.” This will combine pieces from the historical collection with new art by Price.
“We also have on the second story a history exhibition opening on immigration called Welcome To Orillia,’ said Tanya. “Lindsay has interviewed people from 5 continents that are new to Orillia.”
But wait, there is a third floor to use. It’s opening next week because life drawing classes start on the evening of the 2nd.
And OMAH still has the QuarARTine online art auction fundraiser happening.
Those with a sense of what used to happen this time of year may be wondering what happened to the International Women’s Day Show. Can we say, here’s to the 2022 Women’s Day Sow?
“As I understand it Julianna (Hawke, show organizer) has basically taken all the submissions and saved them and the artists are now doing it next year instead,” said Tanya. More on this below.
Meanwhile across the street, Hibernation Art, Peter Street Fine Art and Three Crows Speak Studio are all open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily except for Sundays.
Hibernation is about to hang some new stuff from the Zephyr Art group. Molly Farquharson also has stuff by Orillia Fine Arts Assoc. members top go with the stuff already up by Barbara Schmidt, Jon Oelrichs, Tammy Henry and others.
Hibernation is about to hang some new stuff from the Zephyr Art group. Molly Farquharson also has stuff by Orillia Fine Arts Assoc. members to go with the stuff already up by Barbara Schmidt, Jon Oelrichs, Tammy Henry and others.
Brian Tosh is about to hang some new work, big pieces he says, by Tammy Robinson to go along with his own art and that of Xavier Fernandes, Kristine Drummond and others.
The Shadowbox is also open Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
The Women’s Show
The postponement of the annual International Day Women’s Art Show to next year is a disappointment. The last few years there have been 130 or so pieces in it. Opening day is a packed affair and any time I’ve dropped in during the exhibits to get another look there have always been other people checking it out.
On the bright side, those that got pieces ready for this year have 12 months to work on other things. For Tammy Dore, her piece commemorating the memory of Kathy Geden’s daughter, Erika, is not something she could wait to share. She posted it on Facebook, and there’s a bit of story about the piece.
“It all started back in the summer, the Hawksley Workman concert at the drive in. I was there with Kathy. She has this locket a friend had given her in honour of Erika. That night there’s a Gibbous moon, the same moon the night Erika was born under.”
The period between a full moon or new moon to a quarter moon is called a Gibbous moon, and that’s also the period when on good days we can see the moon during daylight hours. The locket has an image of a Gibbous moon on it.
Kathy asked Tammy’s husband, Ron Hill, to take a picture of her under the moon, Tammy said.‘’
I said, “take the locket off and hold it in your hand and hold your hand up to the moon,” Tammy said. “Nobody’s going to see the locket around your neck. Ron said, ‘Oh, that’s not going to work.” I said, “just shut up and do it.”
“I picked out three poems to use in the piece.” Kathy picked the same one Tammy liked. Tammy had the idea to create a faux tattoo on the image of Kathy’s hand that read Lifeline.
“As I was working on that, the women’s art show sent an email and their theme this year was called Lifeline. I thought this is just too weird.”
The rest of the image is a watercolour Tammy did. The emotional driver for this project is Erika is a victim of the Opioid crisis.
“There’s still so much that needs to change and she doesn’t know how or how things can change. I just thought it was important to get her story out there,” Tammy said.
Music and Other Stuff
Zachary Lucky is doing a concert from his home on Youtube February 28 at 8 p.m.
Creative Nomad Studios has a bunch of online workshops and courses coming up.
Steven Henry takes requests Saturday nights at 8 p.m. here. It’s good way to spend two hours.
Joe Huron plays jazz guitar Sunday’s at noon on Facebook. Catch him here.
The Leacock Associate’s annual student writing competition is open to high school and college students aged 14 to 19. There are prizes of $1,000, $700 and $300. Entry details are here. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more details or questions.
The City of Orillia made a video about how to apply for the Ontario Small Business Support Grant. Did you know, artists are also small business operators? Watch it here.
The Orillia Silver Band has new recordings to listen to. The Earle of Oxford’s Marche is from The William Byrd Suite. They also uploaded Scott Joplin’s Something Doing. You can find the music on their Facebook page.
Check out The Nate Mills Show. Do not sit near the computer keyboard with a coffee or anything liquid in your hands. He’s a master at quick cuts to absurd things you will laugh at.
Stanton McKinnon, formerly of Terry Savage and the Wonky Honkies, has been writing some music. You can hear it on his Soundcloud page.
Cole Mendez is taking to the tubes to pass on his knowledge of music. You can catch him talking about how to make music online – and there are a few surprises on that channel too.
Reay has a new video for the song Junkyard. You can watch it and other video they produced here.
(Photos by Swartz – SUNonline/Orillia and Images Supplied)