Exhibitions and Events

CURRENT EXHIBITION

To play a daredevil's advocate

Jordyn Stewart
January 13 - April 13, 2024

a hand tossing a blue rose over the niagara falls. video still

Jordyn Stewart, Honouring the Heroine of the Falls, 2022 (video still). 10 minutes, HD video. Image courtesy the artist.


Opening Reception: January 20, 2:00 - 4:00pm

Free Zine workshop with Jordyn Stewart and Sonali Menezes: January 13, 12:00 - 3:00pm (view details

To play a daredevil’s advocate, pays tribute to Annie Edson Taylor, the first person and woman to go over Niagara Falls in a barrel and survive. In the early 1900’s, during the height of daredevil activity surrounding Niagara Falls, one woman surprised everyone. Confined in only a whisky barrel, padded with a few pillows, Annie Edson Taylor became the first person to successfully plunge over the brink of the Horseshoe Falls and survive.

But what was her overall intention? In search of financial stability, Annie resorted to the most challenging entrepreneurial endeavor; challenging nature. In the shadow of her male counterparts - even with the Falls on her side - success was destined to be unattainable.

To play a daredevil’s advocate pays tribute to Annie and her performance, while asking the viewer to consider their individual relationships with this natural wonder. At what point has the Falls been positioned as a trophy or celebrity you need to photograph yourself next to? Or beat in a match? Where does this inherent desire to challenge the Falls come from? At some point in time this perspective stuck - do we have the need to feel superior to the Falls or recognize our inability to.

Primarily video-based, Jordyn’s exhibition highlights Annie’s feat while also questioning the daredevil’s desire to challenge the Falls through stunts. The exhibition includes paintings and prints from the collections of Grimsby Public Art Gallery, Niagara Falls Art Gallery and Riverbrink Art Museum. Sharing unique representations of the falls evoking Annie’s tumultuous feat, these artworks also highlight the feminist undercurrents of the exhibition including Stewart’s own practice and advocacy for/as a female artist, juxtaposed to the institutional narrative of museological practices historically focussed on collecting male artists. 

Take a virtual tour of the exhibition To play a daredevil's advocate! Click the link, or the image below, and start exploring.

Jordyn Stewart (she/her) is an artist, educator and arts administrator. She received her MFA from the University of Waterloo and her BA from the University of Toronto, joint program with Sheridan College in Art & Art History.  Her work has been programmed in spaces such as Art Museum, Hamilton Artists Inc., Trinity Square Video, Idea Exchange, and Gallery Stratford. In 2022, her work screened at the Small File Media Festival in Burnaby, BC and OORtreders Festival in Pelt, BE. Jordyn is currently teaching in the Department of Visual Studies at The University of Toronto Mississauga.

She is a settler artist currently residing on the traditional territories of the Hatiwendaronk, Haudenosaunee, and Anishinaabe, including the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation and the Six Nations of the Grand River (otherwise known as Niagara, Ontario).

Grimsby Public Art Gallery and the Artist would like to acknowledge the generous support of:

stewart logos


Cross Pollination

Clear Eyes Collective

Sept 23, 2023 - Summer 2025



True community is inclusive and nurtures everyone, providing a safe space for all.

Cross Pollination is a commissioned mural by Clear Eyes Collective for the exterior outdoor exhibition platform of the Grimsby Public Art Gallery and Library. Over the course of the summer, the collective collaborated with the community by asking them to generate key words to inspire the artistic development and content of the mural. Some words were reflective of the physical characteristics of the Town of Grimsby; its connection with agriculture, proximity to Lake Ontario, and the Niagara escarpment. Others looked to honor less tangible connections like culture, multiculturalism, and LGBTQ2S+ allyship. After reviewing each prompt, and drawing from their own connection to the area, the collective refined their final design, culminating in Cross Polination, which was live painted onsite during the second annual Grimsby Arts Walk, September 23, 2023.  

In the collective’s own words, “Every story begins with a word. Every painting with a brush stroke. Every forest, with a seed. And once portrayed, an idea can travel far beyond its origin, inspiring and nourishing other people and places. The one thing these creative forces have in common is that they all tell a story. Storytelling is important; it conveys the very hearts of those who wrote them. Farmers sew the story of the land, the land plants the seed of creativity in the artist, and the artist creates the image that inspires the people. Who may then become the storytellers? Art and life are often a delicate balance. On the right we have depicted a reader surrounded by elements of nature and community that are found in Grimsby. True community is inclusive and nurtures everyone, providing a safe space for all. We’ve included various pride elements in our colour palette, namely in the right and left sides of the design to illustrate how integral and important these voices are. As you move through the design, the elements cascade into homes and nearby cityscapes, and then back into nature – Portraying how far the influence of these ideas can reach, but also how connected they are to their roots. We invite the viewer to be the reader of this piece and interpret their own story from its images, ultimately planting the seed for future generations to discover.”

CLEAR EYES COLLECTIVE is a mural crew based out of Hamilton, Ontario made up of members Darian Poisson, Adam Bates and Josh Kellett. Their mission is to integrate the mysterious power of art into the plain cityscape, transforming ordinary spaces into an immersive gallery. Their approach to public art has always been rooted in creating vibrant visual environments that connect and uplift the community at large.

Clear Eyes Collective have been painting large-scale murals as a team for 10 years, and in that time they have had the opportunity to partner with local businesses, festivals, corporations and different municipalities and cities. They take tremendous care to make sure their designs are tailored to each project, while always maintaining a vibrant and bold style that naturally comes out of collaboration.

PAST EXHIBITIONS

two degrees of separation 

December 2 - 30, 2023

 installation view

 

Featuring artworks from the permanent collection of Grimsby Public Art Gallery by Julie Aubin and Darlene Benner, Nicole Bauberger, Carl Beam, Alice Crawley, John Davies, Peter Legris, Rita Letendre, Denis Lukas, Elizabeth McGillivray Knowles, Ciaran Murray, Kim Ondaatje, André Pérusse, Jacques Schyrgens, Mary Sutherland Buxton, Chinkok Tan, Akira Yoshikawa, Gerald Zeldin

 

The exhibition two degrees of separation weaves together works that comment on 2 degrees of global warming, which would put the whole planet in crisis. As NASA states, “a 2-degree rise in global temperatures is considered a critical threshold above which dangerous and cascading effects of human-generation climate change will occur.”1  While some works on display relate directly to this environmental shift, others may not overtly address it but help weave together a narrative that highlights the human implications of this post-industrial crisis as well as possible futures.

 

1 https://climate.nasa.gov/news/3278/nasa-study-reveals-compounding-climate-risks-at-two-degrees-of-warming/#:~:text=A%202%2Ddegree%20rise%20in,generated%20climate%20change%20will%20occur.

 

Rewilding

Michèle Karch-Ackerman and Tanya Zaryski

August 26 – November 18, 2023

Artist Reception and Participatory Performance: Saturday, September 23, 2:00-4:00pm

 Installation view of watercolour grid of dresses flanked by paintings on either side

 

Michèle Karch-Ackerman and Tanya Zaryski, Rewilding Installation view (2023). Photo: Jordyn Stewart

Rewilding is a compilation of works weaved together by Michèle Karch-Ackerman and Tanya Zaryski. The exhibition is comprised of The Library of Dresses, a year-long exploration that involved stitching a wardrobe of dresses to honour deceased female authoresses that inspired Karch-Ackerman, and the bountiful and lush paintings of Zaryski’s isolation fueled longing for connection with friends, explorations of fairy tale lore, imaginative play, and the ‘rewilding’ of her childhood and self. Both are women and mothers, committed to an art practice that tugs at the heartstrings and explores love, nature, memory and narrative. This body of work is the culmination of a year’s worth of work and playful discovery; and many long conversations about creative process, motherhood, love, loneliness, fairy tales, and the idea of rewilding. Zaryski’s Rewilding series plays with animal companions and guides, embedded with quests and magical narratives that at first glance appear attractive and charming, but upon further inspection are not entirely safe. Intertwined with Karch-Ackerman’s Library of Dresses paying homage to authors such as Jane Austen, Mary Shelley and Emily Dickinson, the works dovetail, transporting audiences to speculative worlds of fiction, possibility and healing.

For over thirty years Michèle Karch-Ackerman’s artistic practice has involved the devotional act of sewing clothing for ghosts; the dead, the forgotten, the hurting. A nationally recognized conceptual installation artist, she has toured her ‘domestic acts of love’ in a series of solo exhibitions in public galleries across the country inspiring viewers with her thoughtful subject matter and aesthetics. From the Yukon Arts Centre and Grande Prairie Art Gallery to the McMichael Gallery, Tom Thomson Gallery and the Campbell House Museum to The Rooms Provincial Gallery in St. John’s Newfoundland (among many others), Michèle has stitched and knitted her ‘kits for lost souls’ to help heal some of Canada’s deepest tragedies.

A graduate of the Ontario College of Art and Design, Michèle is the recipient of numerous awards from the Ontario Arts Council and Canada Council for the Arts, residencies across Canada, and has received national media coverage. Her work is the subject of a series of award winning publications documenting her artistic process and exhibitions.

 

As a painter, glassblower, and mixed media sculptor who creates functional and decorative sculptural works, Tanya Zaryski has a foot firmly planted in both the fine craft and art worlds. Fundamentally, when one sets aside the fluidity of materials and processes, Tanya is at the core, a storyteller.

Tanya studied Art and Art History at the University of Toronto, and later attended Sheridan College to specialize in glassblowing. Upon graduation, she worked in the public access glass studio at Toronto’s Harbourfront Centre for three years before moving north towards Georgian Bay.

Much of Tanya’s work stems from early childhood experiences growing up on a farm in rural Ontario. As a child, Tanya was interested in the smallest details of the natural world, and how the lives of the creatures were dictated by the environment. For the past twenty years, Tanya has lived in the Beaver Valley area. Her current home and studio reside in Clarksburg, where Tanya lives with her son, cats, and unruly chickens.


 Take a virtual tour of the exhibition Rewilding!  Click the image below and start exploring.

A preview image of the 3D virtual tour for the "Rewilding" exhibition

 

Embodying Femininity: Power, Radiance, Care
Sharl G. Smith
May 31 to August 5, 2023

 

Sharl G Smith, Shelter II, (2023). Installation View. Photo: Jordyn Stewart

 

Inspired by her personal struggles around her own femininity and its value, Sharl G. Smith’s recent work explores the history of women’s work and domestic care under the lens of an abuse of natural feminine tenderness, care, and love. The invisible labour of women, especially in domestic work, creates nourishing environments for growth, stability, and care. Placing an emphasis on the intrinsic value of femininity, a universal principle that is present in all humans regardless of gender identity, Smith’s work aims to underscore the contributions of women, including the domestic space, as equally essential to the contributions of men.

Embodying Femininity: Power, Radiance, Care embodies these thoughts in a site-specific installation that celebrates women’s work and the long history of women artists whose craft was excluded from conversations in fine art. Constructed using bead-stitching, the life-sized sculpture celebrates weaving and textiles, mediums that have traditionally been categorized as domestic and feminine, and brings to the forefront the idea that such traditionally categorized mediums have served as particularly potent tools to engage with feminist issues in modern and contemporary art. Fortified with a special capacity to express women’s diverse perspectives and stories through their historical associations with femininity, Smith’s sculptural beadwork, Shelter II, is the perfect example of dismantling stereotypes while tapping into different and nuanced experiences of womanhood.

Originally from Jamaica, Sharl G. Smith is a Waterloo based artist who works primarily in hand-stitched bead sculpture. Smith is self-taught, using her background in architecture to inform and shape her practice. Inspired by her experience working in Zen Buddhist architectural design, Smith has a deep appreciation for the concept of “process as practice.”

Grimsby Public Art Gallery gratefully acknowledges the generous support of the Town of Grimsby and Ontario Arts Council.

Take a virtual tour of Embodying Femininity! Click the image below to start exploring.



Portraits of Home
Soheila Esfahani, Travis Shilling, Jordyn Stewart, Diana Thorneycroft
February 21 to April 22, 2023

Exploring ideas of Canadiana and what it means to be Canadian through depictions of place, identity, and culture Portraits of Home presents the works of artists Soheila Esfahani, Travis Shilling, Jordyn Stewart, and Diana Thorneycroft. Comprised of photography, sculpture, painting, mixed media, and video these works, both together and individually, challenge viewers to engage with preconceptions around what defines being Canadian. From the pastiche landscapes of Diana Thorneycroft to the delicate installation of Soheila Esfahani’s porcelain birds, each artist speaks to aspects of identity, representation, culture, and landscape.

Soheila Esfahani’s installation features 215 porcelain birds, a combination of collected souvenir-like objects alongside handmade birds painted with culturally specific designs. Together, the birds evoke a representation of the movement of culture from place to place by immigrants and tourists, challenging viewers to consider the dissemination of culture and their inherent complexities.

Influenced by the Group of Seven and Norval Morrisseau, Travis Shilling’s work not only captures the Canadian landscape in a visceral way, but also engages with the ever-changing vistas, drawing connections to the charged political climate, most notably around housing and the development of pipelines.

Jordyn Stewart’s work explores place and personal identity, questioning personal and collective assumptions about landscape and the correlation between nature and national identity. The video work, Landscape Study IV uses the physical intervention of the image to explore the artificiality of scenic tourism's depiction of the Canadian landscape. As the video continues, the dripping liquid becomes reminiscent of maple syrup—a common and distinctly Canadian condiment.

Diana Thorneycroft’s tongue-in-cheek, large-scale chromogenic photographs illustrate facets of Canadian identity—deep wooded landscapes, hockey teams, and plaid. Paired against the backdrops of paintings by the Group of Seven and Tom Thomson the foreground of each work presents stereotypical, iconic representations that unfold and explore concepts of national pride and cultural ideologies.

Image: Installation view of Portraits of Home.

Take a virtual tour of Portraits of Home! Click the image below and start exploring.

The Long View
Carolyn Dover
October 18 - December 1, 2022

Grounded in form and colour, Carolyn Dover’s laboriously crafted works challenge us to take pause and explore materiality, shape, and rhythm—all speaking to our understanding of the language of the lands in this region. Comprised of en plein air work, The Long View is a survey exhibition that gathers together works spanning as early as 2010, tracing the evolution of Dover’s painting practice. From small-scale to the monumental these works explore the perceptions of realism, seen through the lens of Dover. Purposefully distilled, the works are void of any traces to architecture and highways—a pointed effort to underscore the realities of the continued changes happening to the lands.

Culminating as the final presentation of her landscape vineyard series, The Long View not only calls on the depth of these compositions and their vantage points, it likewise references the perspectives of time and the development of Dover’s career. Bringing together this series in one space, the works engage with the intangible nature of the changing landscape, eliciting visual tensions and encouraging visitors to move slowly through the exhibition, to take pause, reflect, and get lost in the landscape. 

 

Image: Carolyn Dover, The Hill, 2022, oil on canvas. Image courtesy of the artist.


Take a virtual tour of The Long View! Click the image below and start exploring

 



Community Exhibition Space

GPAG presents the community exhibition space as an opportunity to showcase regional talent and local community art exhibitions to the public in the main lobby. 

Blessed Trinity Catholic Secondary School Student Exhibition

April 5 - 20, 2024

Students from Blessed Trinity Catholic Secondary School showcase their emerging talent with student artworks from across the school on display in our GPAG Community Exhibition Space.


Virtual Exhibitions

The Grimsby Public Art Gallery has a number of virtual exhibition experiences for you to enjoy in the comfort of your own home!  Please enjoy these virtual exhibitions by clicking on each image:

A Town Called Grimsby, Part II

 

The second iteration of A Town Called Grimsby launches at the heels of centennial celebrations across the Town and offers a unique look at the creative impacts artists have had over the past 100 years—all from the perspective of the lands, both natural and built.

As we saw in A Town Called Grimsby I, curator Rhona Wenger presented works from GPAG’s permanent collection that traced the impact of artists who lived and created art in Grimsby. From historic portraits of some of the Town’s founding families to images of more recent residents who have left an impression on the community, the exhibition meaningfully connected to the pulse of Grimsby’s community.    

From the permanent collections of Grimsby Public Art Gallery and the Grimsby Museum, A Town Called Grimsby, Part II expands on the foundations of Part I and presents thoughtfully developed works that explore the Town’s distinct heritage, treasured natural setting, and architecture. The artists represented in the exhibition, including Dennis Lukas, John Davies, and Diane Ptolemy, all have distinct connections to Grimsby and reveal some of the remarkable elements that share the story of the Town. Together the works in the exhibition engage with one another, weaving new connections and perspectives around the beauty and power that the lands can show us.

Both A Town Called Grimsby, parts I and II bookmark the series of signature celebrations that have taken place highlighting Grimsby’s centennial year and underscore the remarkable contributions of artists over the last 100 years. 

Take a virtual tour of A Town Called Grimsby II

Special Events

Special events held at the Gallery allow visitors to experience art in many ways and often provide the opportunity to interact directly with artists and creators. Community art-making projects encourage direct participation. Lectures, discussion groups and workshops are both educational and enjoyable. 

Wayzgoose Book Arts Fair

Saturday, April 27, 2024

9 a.m. - 5 p.m.

FREE Admission

a typography poster in shades of pink, yellow and dark blue with the words 46th Annual Wayzgoose Bookarts Fair

Always held on the last Saturday in April, the GPAG's Wayzgoose Book Arts Fair is an annual gathering of private press printers, bookbinders, print makers, paper marblers and other artisans celebrating the art of the hand-made book.

The 2023 Wayzgoose Anthology is currently available to purchase for $80 (includes HST) plus shipping, as well as many back issues of the anthology.  If you are interested in purchasing this unique work of art, please contact gpag@grimsby.ca or 905-945-3246.  

For more information about Wayzgoose, or how to become an exhibitor, please visit our Wayzgoose Book Arts Fair page. 

 

Both the 2020 and 2021 Wayzgoose events were held virtually, due to COVID-19 restrictions.  Please visit the following links to enjoy the virtual content: 

2020 - 42nd Annual Wayzgoose - Virtual Presentation

2021 - 43rd Annual Wayzgoose - Virtual Presentation

Contact Us