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Exhibitions and Events

CURRENT EXHIBITION

si com di l’eau | we are like water

Jason Baerg
May 4 - August 10, 2024
Opening Reception: June 15, 2:00 - 5:00pm

Related Programming, June 15:

  • 3:00pm: Jason Baerg and Marjorie Beaucage in conversation, 3:00pm
  • Fiddle Performance by Tristen Durocher
  • Exhibition take-away featuring commissioned poem in response to the exhibition by Marjorie Beaucage
  • New AR artwork unveiling by Jason Baerg, Montana Baerg, and Jaxson Baerg, Ni Mamoowitoonaan / We are united

blue paintings at various heights in a white room

Jason Baerg, si com di l'eau | we are like water, installation view, Grimsby Public Art Gallery (2024) Photo: Jordyn Stewart  

A highly respected artist grounded in community and kinship, Baerg’s practice traverses intermedia and laser cut abstract painting through visual language rooted in Indigenous ways of knowing, relationalities, and futurisms. Underpinned by Plains Cree medicine thinking, Baerg’s continued exploration of the Cree medicine wheel in 2024 delves into its third blue, western quadrant - fluidly conceptualizing and honoring water, sage, the setting sun, and emotional health in addition to other seminal traditional teachings. These cyclical connections flow through the circular form and symbolism of the medicine wheel, echoed through the use of tondos in the space, evoking portals to speculative futures, while stacked compositions ground past and present, both gesturing to Sky World. Reflecting on the title, si com di l’eau, graciously bestowed on this body of work by elder Marjorie Beaucage, it translates to ‘we are like water’ in the Metis language, Michif. Through colour and symbolism, we are prompted to consider water’s relationality, balance, and presence in all things and beings; its gentle nourishing characteristics; its presence in our bodies; its power; and its embodied connection to past and future ancestors. Water has the ability to exist in multiple states of matter, echoing the currents of life, and as a brimming vessel of epigenetic memories. Through seductive surfaces, Baerg’s work fluidly blurs the lines between critical theory, Indigenous iconography, and relationality through a thrilling use of abstraction and cutting-edge technology. The works on display have a propositional capacity to collaboratively implicate Indigenous and non-Indigenous audiences to imagine and therefore manifest collective futures for both present and future generations. We are like water. We must adapt and flow. Carve new paths slowly over time, or with radical force. Be permeable and be able to permeate. Nourish future generations, and excise collective care. 

 

Jason Baerg is a Cree-Métis curator, educator, and visual artist. As a visual artist, he pushes new boundaries in digital interventions in drawing, painting and new media installation. Often through means of visual abstraction, Baerg's projects work with various themes such as language, the Anthropocene, and Indigenous connections to land and the environment. 

Dedicated to community development, Baerg founded Métis Artist Collective and has served as volunteer Chair for organizations such as the Aboriginal Curatorial Collective and the National Indigenous Media Arts Coalition. 

Baerg graduated from Concordia University with a Bachelors of Fine Arts and a Masters of Fine Arts from Rutgers University. He is currently teaching as an Assistant Professor in Indigenous Practices in Contemporary Painting and Media Art at OCAD University. Recent international solo exhibitions include the Illuminato Festival in Toronto, the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology in Australia, and the Digital Dome at the Institute of the American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico. His most recent curatorial project was a new media interactive engagement at Toronto's Nuit Blanche. Baerg has also adjudicated numerous art juries and won several awards through Canada Council for the Arts, the Ontario Arts Council, and The Toronto Arts Council.


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.

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).

Exhibition Brochure

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

stewart logos


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.

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

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.

Download Brochure


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.

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

Echoes From This Land: 
Visiting and Revisioning Truth and Reconciliation

April 25 – August 30

Artist Reception: June 15, 2:00 - 5:00pm

 

Participating Artists: 

L.P., Sylvia Martin, Sean Ross, Geneva Cooper, Carmel Whittle, Marg Boyle, Tara Cooper, Julia MacRae, Morgan Wedderspoon, Nicole Banton, Alysha Aran, Ivan Rocky Toulouse, Shawnee Danielle, Camryn Hardaker-Schabauer, Eli Nolet, Gina Ortiz, Suzanne Valois, Rebecca Han, Sidney Paul, Linda Jules & Ellijah Jules, Clara Laratta, Monique Martin, Bryce Morison, Awbri Savannah Paul, Yifan Wang, Angie Nehle, Robert Truszkowski, Stacey Fayant, Andrea Vela Alarcón, David Garneau, Nicole Favron, Marie Price, Susan Miller, Becky Katz, Cameron Roberts, Lisa Shalfoun, Robin Paul, Jessica A. Rodriguez, Theodora Oyinloye, Karli Kessup, Angela Snieder, Emily Hinds, Molly Cooper, Shipek Mikunis / Caroyln Lalone, Audrey Ewen, Joviel Buenavente, Carol Howard Donati, Sandra Lamouche, Amber Forno, Mackenzy Vida, Max Paradis, Cher Obediah, Veronika Marks, Johanna Griffith, Jessie Stueck, Rozhin Tayaraniyousefabadi, Ardyn Gibbs, Ana Maria Cruz-Valderrama, Cody Storms, Stephanie Florence, Eric Euler, Mara Bureau, Charlie Saltzman, Bail Lamarche, Elizabeth Sigalet, Lyn LaFortune, Emma Eichenberg, Patsea Griffin, Michelle Purchase, Sarah Martin, Elizabeth Elich

 

 

print depicting two row wampum with a natural scene including a loon representing the first row and pipeline and decaying landscape on the second line
Becky Katz, Call to action #92, 2024

Echoes from this Land aims to visually represent the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) of Canada’s 94 Recommended Calls to Action by engaging Indigenous and non-Indigenous, artist/creators from educational institutions and communities across Canada. Participants of this project express their own positionality by visually contextualizing one of the calls to action through the media of print, from research, and/or lived experiences. All participants created a limited edition of 16 prints and received 9 plus their own in exchange. The remaining 6 editioned prints from each participants contain all 94 calls to action. These editioned portfolios will be exhibited throughout Canada to continue the critical dialogue and action of reconciliation through a visual lens of knowledge sharing.

 

Artist statements and Calls to Action

 


Gateways

Emily Andrews, Nicole Beno, Charlotte Moffatt and Anja Steensma
January 17 – March 9

two images (left) depicts what looks like colourful pressed flowers on a black background (right) a wall tapestry with lots of greens and tuffs depicting the niagara escarpment

(left) Nicole Beno, Suspended Flora 2 (2022). Collage on archival paper. Image courtesy the artist. (right) Charlotte Moffatt, Up the Hill (2023).Mixed media. Image courtesy the artist.

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

Tugging directly at the roots and landscape of Niagara Region, works by Emily Andrews, Nicole Beno, Charlotte Moffatt and Anja Steensma intertwine to create gateways to an area many call home, and even more come to visit. From the geology, flora and fauna of the landscape, to the industries that connect the Region globally and the surreal grandeur of the tourism industry – the works on display embrace the uniqueness of the Region and its complexities through intimate and personal gestures by each artist.

Emily Andrews is a multi-media artist, actress, and musician from Niagara Falls, Ontario. She works in a variety of media, including oil painting, collage, installation art, and sculpture. Her work has been shown in many group and solo exhibitions and can be found in both private and public collections. Her most recent series, Strange Happenings & Rare Findings, features surrealistic oil paintings that explore bizarre and unexplained scenarios in a mid-century setting. Emily has a BA in Visual Arts from Brock University and has taught at Niagara College and Brock University.

Nicole Beno is a Slovak-Canadian-based artist and designer, fascinated with technology and its relationship to the natural world. Known for her inventive use of materials ranging from orchid petals, jello, office supplies to moldy strawberries, she employs them in ways that emphasize their aesthetic qualities. Through the process of digital manipulation, she distorts, cuts, collages them into something new. Her photographs and image-making style result in a blend of digital and analog, a remix between the computer and the hand. 

Charlotte Moffatt’s creations give the viewer an opportunity to venture into her “wonderland” and the way she sees the world. Inspired by flora, fauna, and the imaginations of the children she works with as a Montessori teacher, Charlotte’s work has no shortage of whimsy. Since studying Costume Design in Toronto Charlotte has travelled the world collecting ideas for her creations. Charlotte grew up in Grimsby and now resides in Hamilton. For commissions and more of Charlotte’s artistic endeavours follow her on Instagram @madebycharlottemoffatt.

Anja Steensma's working career as a Contract Interior Designer in Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia supports a strong appreciation for value, balance, colour and other elements of design. She looks for the contrast of urban linear forms against freeform natural elements. She has shown and sold her paintings at the Pumphouse Gallery, Niagara on the Lake and twice at Visa Gallery, Brock University, St Catharines. She paints with the Niagara Plein Air Artists in the summer. 


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:

 

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. 

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.

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

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