previous exhibitions: 2004


Group Show: ...And a Partridge in a Pear Tree
Group Show: After the Laundry
Mai & Agnes Aru: The Art of Fashion, The Fashion of Art
Gail Read: Muskoka - Water, Moon & Sky
Audrey Jolly: A View with a Muse
Pat Fairhead: From My Travels
Muskoka Place Gallery Group Show, Official Opening


Previous Exhibitions 2005

Previous Exhibitions 2006

Exhibitions Main Page



Group Show: ...And a Partridge in a Pear Tree
November 27th - December 23rd, 2004
Opening Reception: Saturday, November 27th, 2 - 5 p.m.



Pears by D.A. Dunford (l) and Cheryl Mount (r)


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Group Show: After the Laundry
October 15th - November 18th, 2004
Opening Reception: Saturday, October 16th, 2 - 4 p.m.


After the Laundry

There is a Zen statement, "After ecstasy the laundry," which we might reverse to say "After much laundry comes a moment of ecstasy." The smaller ecstasies (arts) keep us nourished so that we have the strength to continue working on the larger art."

- Corita Kent, "Learning By Heart - Teachings to Free the Creative Spirit"

The Artists:

David Alexander
Mai Aru
Marilyn Brooks
Betty Dawson
Gayle Dempsey
Tim DuVernet
Clare McElroy
Carol McVittie
Jen Morgan
Cheryl Mount
Suzanne Rutherford
Marie St. Germain
Ashlea Smith
Pat Whittle


(l - r) Marie St. Germain, "Autumn Storm"; Jen Morgan, "Three Shirts"; Gayle Dempsey, "Laundry"


(l - r) Clare McElroy, "Adam and Steve"; Marie St. Germain, "Blowing in the Breeze"


(l - r) Marilyn Brooks, "Mermaid's Laundry Service"; Ashlea Smith, "Sunday is Laundry Day"


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Mai & Agnes Aru:
The Art of Fashion, The Fashion of Art

September 25th - October 12th, 2005
Opening Reception: Saturday, September 25th, 2 - 5 p.m.



Fashion by Mai Aru; Paintings by Agnes Aru


Fashion & illustrations by Mai Aru; Paintings by Agnes Aru


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Gail Read: Muskoka - Water, Moon & Sky
August 26th - September 22nd, 2004
Opening Reception: Saturday, August 28th, 2 - 5 p.m.




"The work in this show is all about Muskoka where I was first brought as a babe-in-arms, and where I have gratefully spent a part of every summer in a life-long love affair with the area. The work comes from the heart, and from many years spent on Keewaydin Island and in the Milford Bay area of Lake Muskoka.

While living by large bodies of water, I'm made aware of and feel the influence of the strong horizontals seen in the far shore across a lake, or from the horizon line itself. There is a feeling of release in this distance and a sense of real space, having a calming and centring effect that also seems to give a feeling of peace and well-being. I hope to reflect this contemplative mood in some of my paintings and oil pastels."


Gail Read, "Hunter's Moon"


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Audrey Jolly: A View with a Muse
July 31st - August 22nd, 2004
Opening Reception: Saturday, July 31st, 2 - 5 p.m.



Artist's Statement:

A number of visual streams converge within this body of work. Images of rural, prairie landscapes ‘crop up’ on a regular seasonal basis – complete with the circular bales of hay which have replaced the older square forms.

The people and their stories get mulled over, reinvented and expressed through paintings and mixed media formats.

The haunted house where tragedy struck, the pre and post-war years captured in photographic form (before my time) provide rich content for artistic reflection. Hope and despair are both palpable within this history.

Fluid acrylics provide the freedom and flow which capture the moods and emotional content I wish to explore - the shadow and light of life “Where Life and Death Meet” sums it up quite effectively.

Then comes the playful fiddleheads splashing out after a feast of delectable treats. Laughter and tears, joy and struggle bubbling up unannounced onto the canvas and paper.

This is my process – to step out of the way and let true self-impulses emerge and express themselves within an aesthetic form – be it painting, collage, assemblage, movement or writing. The pleasure is great.



Opening Reception: Audrey performs to the music of flautist Virginia Markson


Opening Reception: Gayle Dempsey, Audrey Jolly and Muskoka-Parry Sound M.P.P Norm Miller


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Pat Fairhead: From My Travels...
July 3rd - July 27th, 2005
Opening Reception: Saturday, July 3rd, 2 - 5 p.m.




Opening Reception: Gayle Dempsey and Pat Fairhead


A guest at the opening reception


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Muskoka Place Gallery Group Show

June 12th - July 1st, 2004
As part of the Muskoka Lakes Spring Art Tour, June 12th & 13th

Official Opening: Saturday, June 21st, 1 - 5 p.m.


Artists showing in this exhibition:

Pat Fairhead • Gayle Dempsey • Tim DuVernet • Michelle Basic Hendry • Carolyn Crozier
Margaret Johnston • Clare McElroy • Donna McLaren • Jen Morgan • Dean Perry
Deanne Rainville • Suzanne Rutherford • Marie St. Germain • Pat Whittle


The Rev. Margaret Johnston reads her blessing

Muskoka Place Gallery Blessing by Margaret Johnston

Divine Creator

Your world delights us with sight, scent and sound and fills us with your energy.

We ask your blessing be placed on this Muskoka Place Gallery, and on those who brought it into being and will continue to manage it. May all who enter and work here be inspired and feel sensations of delight and joy.

We ask your blessing on those whose creativity gives a reflection of your handiwork in the universe. May they bring an extra dimension into the hearts and minds of those who view their art with pleasure.

Great Artist Spirit bless the painters, sculptors and composers whose creative gifts are a source of blessing for others.



Gallery owner Gayle Dempsey gives her opening remarks

Gayle Dempsey's Opening Remarks:

"I am particularly grateful to Pat Fairhead and our "learning community of painters/artists" - my friends - for the encouragement to dream the dream and the support to see it through. I met Pat several years ago at a Royal Canadian Academy of Arts exhibition in Toronto. My partner Gary Froude and I, Ernest Annau and others had been dreaming a dream about a centre for arts and education in Muskoka. When Pat moved to Muskoka we reconnected and the dream was rekindled. Through her guidance and friendship we have built a "learning community" - a community of friendship and and support and a safe place to explore our creativity. Through the kindness of my friends and Wayne Dempsey and crew, the Gallery part of the dream has manifested. I am so thrilled to be part of this learning community and our first exhibition in this awesome space."


Pat Fairhead (centre) gives her opening remarks

Pat Fairhead's Opening Remarks

"Gayle has spoken to you of her dream and now I want to tell you about the Gallery so far, as we are in the initial development.

First, this gallery is here because of Gayle Dempsey, and under her golden eye, ever expanding heart, continuous patience and love of the arts, it will flourish. Now, ideas so far; some formulated, some in transition, and we are open to ideas and suggestions that come from this community. The energy is here and we will gladly accept help.

So, here is what we want to do:

  • Establish a fine art gallery here in Port Carling
  • Show work both two and three dimensional from the artists and artisans of this community, and the work of established people
  • To be known for fresh new work at reasonable prices, and the work of established artists that you will obviously have to pay for!

We have brought together an Advisory Board, headed by Gayle and including Per Jensen, Gary Miron, Jen Morgan and myself. We will invite artists to show here as well as accept applications from others, generally oversee the exhibitions, and do the best we can with this beautiful place.

A few words about our first show:
Mainly, this is the work of the group who have been meeting at the Port Carling Memorial Community Centre for the past two years. They are the most challenging group I have ever worked with. When you get the lid off an unfulfilled desire, the energy pours out. I am so pleased and grateful to be part of this process.

How has this happened? I am teaching the basic and traditional skills of drawing and painting, colour and composition. Each person is encouraged and supported to use these skills to pursue their own personal expression of ideas. The resulting work is highly individual, all different and producing a personal adn recognizable style.

I invite you to look carefully and enjoy this work. Please give them your support. You may be able to say, "ho - I bought that painting years ago when prices were so reasonable!" This group is going to keep on moving, and remember - you saw it first at Muskoka Place Gallery!


John Oldham (third from right) reads his "Ode to Muskoka Place Gallery"

Ode to Muskoka Place Gallery
John Wesley Oldham

Creative energy
Divine force
Sacred wow
Holy expression
Creativa unleashed
Artistic adventure.
Dreams expressing
Yearnings on paper,
Longings on canvas
Journals of soul
Sketchings of spirit.
Muskoka Place,
Where symbols connect
Where artforms unite
Where images enrich
Hammocked in harmony
Chaired in compassion
Cacophony of colours
Kaleidoscope of shapes
Reverence and resonance
Awe and Wonder
Vision arising.
Vistas transforming.
Vigour inspiring,
Vitality enthusing.

Muskoka Place Gallery


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