Exhibitions and Events



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 and the hanging space in the Library computer lab. 

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. 

Leona Grandmond Skye Artist Reception and Talk

A National Day for Truth and Reconciliation Program presented by Grimsby Public Art Gallery in partnership with Grimsby Public Library

Saturday, September 30, 2:00-4:00pm

Saturday, September 30, 2:00-4:00pm

Grimsby Public Art Gallery, 18 Carnegie Lane, Grimsby


Please join Grimsby Public Art Gallery Saturday, September 30 for the unveiling of a custom artwork created by renowned Niagara based artist, Leona Grandmond Skye, in response to, and accompanying, the Town of Grimsby’s land acknowledgement. The Town of Grimsby’s land acknowledgement was developed in consultation with Indigenous community members and organizations including Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation, Six Nations of the Grand River Elected Council, and leaders from the Niagara Indigenous Community Executives. Skye’s  intricate piece alludes to earth, sky and spirit, and was developed in community. The work incorporates generous contributions from community members and elders, including the donation of the drum itself, actively used for hide stretching and tanning in its previous life.

Skye is also highly respected for her work and staunch advocacy on anti-human trafficking and its connection to Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls, and 2 Spirit People, who are exceptionally vulnerable to being victimized by this crime at a much higher rate. As a survivor of sexual assault and human trafficking, Skye asserts her artwork has helped her move forward with her path of recovery, “My artwork has always been my healing; it’s always been something that has remained mine. Never clouded, never manipulated or tainted, because it’s always been mine.”

Skye will speak to human trafficking and Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women in connection to the Region while dispelling misinformation and myths surrounding one of the fastest growing crimes in Canada at this event. The talk will be followed by a screening of “Sister Round Dance Song”, an honour song dedicated to Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women written and performed by Nikki Shawana.


Leona Grandmond Skye was born in 1968 and is an accomplished Indigenous visual artist and tireless social activist. Fiercely proud of her Indigenous heritage, she heralds from the Ojibwa tribe from Pic River and is a member of the Turtle Clan. Her traditional name is Biim Osay Onay Kwat Kwe (meaning ‘She Who Walks With Clouds’)

Leona is a past member of the Niagara Falls Arts & Culture Committee and her works are displayed both locally and nationally. Her six foot painting of a hand drum, representing the Indigenous peoples on the occasion of Canada’s 150th birthday, is displayed at the Regional Municipality of Niagara headquarters. She was selected to paint a piano for PlayPlayPlay Niagara Falls, an initiative put on by the Niagara Falls Culture Department. Her Indigenous influenced piano is on display at the Niagara Falls Public Library.

Amongst those who own Leona’s artwork are Justin Trudeau, Doug Ford and Eric Sherman. Pieces are displayed in museums worldwide and can be seen in Switzerland and New Zealand.

Leona is an outspoken and passionate advocate for victims of human trafficking and has designed the Anti-Trafficking logo for the Ontario Native Women’s Society. She is a Survivor Champion of Human Trafficking and Child Exploitation and has dedicated much time and effort into researching and bringing to light this grievous injustice throughout the province. Her published report, ‘Missing and Murdered Indigenous Woman and the Parallels to Human Trafficking’ is referenced as a tool in preparing guidelines to combat this exploitation. She has spoken on this topic from a personal viewpoint to the Ontario Police College, The Niagara Regional Police, the Y.W.C.A and is a sought after guest lecturer at numerous universities.

Leona believes that art brings peace and joy and is an integral component in her healing journey and that of others. She shares this belief through her art therapy programs which have been held at Rodman Hall, Brock University and the Niagara Regional Native Centre.

Her paintings are resplendent with symbolism that denotes her Indigenous roots and her personal journey. She is constantly aspiring to share her art and life journey to bring light to those who are in a dark place.


Additional Resources:

If you or someone you know may be a victim, call Canada's Human Trafficking Hotline at: 1-833-900-1010 or visit their website at: https://www.canadianhumantraffickinghotline.ca/

If you are an Indigenous person and require immediate support, please contact this national, independent toll free 24/7 support line at 1-844-413-6649 to speak to a counsellor. The service is available in English, French, Cree, Anishnaabemowin (Ojibway) and Inuktitut.


Native Women’s Association of Canada, “Systemic Inequities and Interjurisdictional Issues in Human Trafficing and MMIWG2S+: Five policy research papers on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls, Two-Spirit, Transgender and Gender Diverse People

Olson-Pitawanakwat, B., & Baskin, C. (2021). In Between the Missing and Murdered: The Need for Indigenous-Led Responses to Trafficking. Affilia36 (1), 10-26. https://doi.org/10.1177/0886109920944526

Wayzgoose Book Arts Fair

Saturday, April 27, 2024

9 a.m. - 5 p.m.

FREE Admission

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.

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

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. 

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