This Week In Art/Culture/Entertainment

By John Swartz

I popped into Creative Nomad Studios this week, with two purposes in mind. One was to see the folks at the Downtown Orillia Management Board (if you didn’t know they moved into space on the second floor of Creative Nomad). The other was to see what pieces Al Henry had hanging around in the Cloud Gallery space (better hurry, of three, two have been sold so there’s only one left to see).

I discovered Raune-lea Marshall working away at a massive painting. It’s a forest and creek landscape on a 10 x 8 foot canvas. As I’ve said to several artists on occasion, “this painting would be great if you’d done it on a bigger canvas,” but this is almost ridiculous. Not unappreciated, but certainly bigger than I’ve advocated artists do.

It turns out it’s a piece commissioned by Jack Johnston, for his Memorial Avenue, Discover Wellness office. The obvious question is where did she get a canvas that big? Creative’s Anitta hamming jumped in with the answer.

“This is a specially built canvas. It was a Canadian company called Upper Canada Stretchers,” said Hamming.

The commission is to Hamming and Creative Nomad, and she enlisted Raune-Lea to share the painting chores. Raune-Lea was working on the trees when I was there and Anitta said she’s going to do the water – in the creek, not splash water all over it.

That’s expected, if you’ve ever seen any of Anitta’s paintings featuring ice cold drinks, she does water superbly.

There’s still a lot of work to be done on it, but from what I could see already, it’s going to be a fantastic piece of work.

There’s an obvious question here. How are they going to move the painting to its permanent location? They could hire Two Men and a Truck, but there’s still doorways to consider. Anitta said the canvas frame comes apart in the middle and by taking out a few staples the whole thing can fold in half to the size of a sheet of drywall.

In other art news The Orillia Fine Arts Association is bringing back their Mini Art Tour they put together last summer. It was a COVID project meant to get people out doors during the summer lull the course of spreading events.

They’ll have their art set up in the Arts District Saturday from 1 to 4 p.m. with Hibernation Arts as the central point, at 154 Nottawasaga Street and at Mark IV Café.

Meanwhile, Friday night, the next installment of the See You on the Patio event happens. Mississaga and Peter Streets are closed and that means the artists will be out to play on the streets.  

It’s also the second installment of the Orillia Farmers’ Market Friday night markets and Alex Andrews will be playing music. Brian Sutton will be doing the same Saturday morning.

Cassie Dasilva

Also playing music downtown Friday night are Cassie Dasilva and Dray Tony.

Saturday is the downtown sidewalk sale, so the streets will be closed and the musicians Cassie Dasilva, Farrucas, the Neema Children’s Choir will beplaying and you can see DaCosta Magic  as well.

OMAH has some new stuff to see and you can do it Saturday because they have an opening reception for three new exhibits – Conversations: 150th Anniversary of the Ontario Society of Artists, The History Of Orillia In 50 Artefacts and Summer On The Lake. The Reflections of Ourselves exhibit of Maple Leaves constructed by artists from across the country is still up too.

Peter Street Fine Arts has works by Bayside Artists featured this month… Hibernation Art has Raune-lea Marshall’s art featured this month and some of the Bayside Artists have stuff hanging around at Hibernation. If you want to be part of the Friday night street shenanigans email to find out how to get space.

Never Too Old To Learn New Tricks

The Orillia Arts Council got some funding from the New Horizons for Seniors federal program to create some activates for seniors.  They are calling it Helping Elders with Arts and activities will range from movement exercise, mental stimulation, crafts, art, music relaxation and entertainment. Sessions will be lead by artists and musicians.

At the moment, Christine Hager told me they have about 90% of their intended programs set, but there is still room for people to make proposals (these are paid gigs). If you have an idea – and no tying me the mast of the Island Princess doesn’t count, you can email or call 705-309-3351.

There will be information on how to register to participate coming soon.

Driving Aimlessly, But With A Purpose

The Opera House’s next summer theatre play is Driving Miss Daisy. If you haven’t seen the movie with Dan Ackroyd, Morgan Freeman and Jessica Tandy – what have you been doing with your life?

This isn’t exactly the kind of movie (which was based on the play) I would have run to see, except for Akroyd and Freeman being in it, but somehow or other I did see it and liked it very much.

The story is about a widowed, Jewish, former school teacher and the relationship that develops with her new driver (not that way). It’s set in Atlanta, so you can imagine racism is a factor, which is ironic considering she is Jewish.

It started this week and runs to August 12. You can get tickets online. Duck Soup Productions is doing Newsies in the Studio Theatre, with dates through the holiday weekend and on Tuesdays.

The Shorts

  • If you watched Thursdays’ council meeting and heard the mayor say the opening of the Aqua Theatre, which was cancelled on Wednesday, would possibly happen on Sunday, it isn’t. No raindate has been set.
  • Couchiching Craft Brewing has Madison Mueller Saturday night; Will Dunlop hosts Vinyl Night on Thurdays … Quayle’s Brewery has Burke Erwin playing Friday from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.; Woody Woodburn plays Sunday 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. … the Kensington has an open mic night hosted by Tim Kehoe on Tuesdays from 8 to 11 p.m. … the Hog N’ Penny has trivia night every Thursday… the Barrie Concert Band  is at the Aqua Theatre Sunday at 6:30 p.m.

(Photos by Swartz – SUNonline/Orillia and Images Supplied) Main: Raune-lea Marshall working on a new painting at Creative Nomad Studios.

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