previous exhibitions: 2005


Group Show: A Very Special Christmas Exhibition & Sale
Beverlie & Charlie Robertson: A Very Special House Concert
Jon & Sue Gurr: The Great African Trek 2004
CSPWC: Water Power 2005
Mai & Agnes Aru: Shorelines & Hemlines
Jon Oelrichs: Field Series
Audrey Jolly: Inner Landscapes
Mary Pavey and Pat Fairhead: Friends
Susan Farquhar: Drawing on Landscape
Muskoka Place Gallery Spring Show
David Alexander: On Golden Ground


Previous Exhibitions 2006

Previous Exhibitions 2004

Exhibitions Main Page



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A Very Special "House" Concert
with Beverlie & Charlie Robertson



An evening of Blues and Folk Music
Saturday, November 19th, 2005, 8:00 p.m.

"Live at the Boathouse" CD available for signing

Coffee House cover charge: $5


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The Great African Trek 2004

A journey through 10 African countries by international award winning photographer Jon Gurr, with commentary by Susan Gurr.

photographs by Jon Gurr


Saturday, November 5th, 2005, 8:00 p.m.

Admission by donation
A fundraiser for the Muskoka Lakes Music Festival and its programs, including Kaleidoscope Arts in Education


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CSPWC: Water Power 2005
A touring exhibition of watercolours by northern members and associates of the Canadian Society of Painters in Watercolour


October 8th - 30th, 2005

Opening Reception: Saturday, October 8th, 2 - 6 p.m.



Highly anticipated "Water Power 2005" exhibit opens Oct. 8th at the
Muskoka Place Gallery


The CSPWC has a long and prestigious history in Ontario. Founded in 1925, it is committed to the importance of watercolour as a medium, and recognizes and encourages excellence within the medium.

The exhibition “Water Power 2005” is a great ambassador for this historical institution. The show has already been viewed at the Station Gallery in Parry Sound and Lampien Fine Art in Sudbury, and will continue on to several more venues in Northern Ontario after October 30th.

Pat Fairhead, a longtime member of the CSPWC, now resides on Brandy Lake near Port Carling, and some of her breathtaking watercolours are included in this show.

No matter what her subject, whether representational or abstract landscape, her paintings posses a sublime weightlessness. Taking hold of the natural grandeur and serenity of landscape, Pat searches to capture 'places where the sweep and power of nature can be most profoundly experienced.'

From October 5th – 8th, Pat will be teaching a workshop, "Developing Landscape Painting: A Fall Colours Retreat in Muskoka."

Pat is widely traveled and has lectured and taught art in many Canadian universities, colleges and community groups. She is an excellent and exciting teacher who focuses on developing each person's individual creativity. The workshop will emphasize the development of landscape painting skills while exploring natural and imaginative inspiration to abstraction, non-objective and pattern painting, stressing the use and importance of colour. The final day of the workshop includes a special invitation to the opening of "Water Power 2005" at the Muskoka Place Gallery


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Mai & Agnes Aru: Shorelines & Hemlines
An exhibition of paintings by artist Agnes Aru
and fall fashions by designer Mai Aru

September 17 - October 1, 2005

Opening Reception: Saturday, September 17th, 2 p.m. - 6 p.m.
Special Reception for Muskoka Autumn Studio Tour, September 24th and 25th



“Shorelines and Hemlines,” the Muskoka Place Gallery’s current exhibition, is an innovative coupling of fashion and art by two sisters with a mutual love for our Canadian landscape. Agnes Aru’s dreamlike pastoral and urban landscape paintings hang side by side with her sister Mai’s elegant fashion designs inspired by the colours and textures of nature.

Shorelines suggest the far-off, the unknown and mysterious. They imply the beginning and ending of a journey; a land dreamed about, a fantasy left to explore. They suggest both limit and limitlessness. Agnes Aru’s oil paintings play with this duality, portraying the artist’s own backyard as a hazy, dreamlike, mysterious place peopled by shadowy figures. With their subdued palettes and blurred outlines, the paintings hint at a secret world that is hidden within the comforting familiar that we pass by on a daily basis.

Mai Aru’s clothing, in fleece, velvet, cotton and wool, radiates coziness. Her whimsical designs in luxurious fabrics are casual yet elegant, great for layering and combining. Their classic cuts are enhanced by earthy colours, collaged textures, contrast stitching, and unique fastenings, and some pieces incorporate her own oil pastel drawings. Mai’s fashion sketches are also on display, giving the viewer some insight into the inspiration behind the finished pieces.

The work of Agnes and Mai Aru connects with the beauty of the simple pleasures that are found close to us. In a hyper-driven culture, where speed is marketed as a survival trait, these two artists and their exhibit seem to exclaim, “Slow down, breathe in the autumn air, look more closely, take a second glance and relax a while!” Life is about experience, experiencing your senses, and finding joy in the simplest of things.

Mai Aru, located in Toronto, has been a designer since 1982. She became known for her award-winning children’s clothing line, Kid Aroo, before venturing into her current line of clothing for adults. Agnes Aru studied at the Ontario College of Art, Sheridan College and the University of Toronto. She has worked with publishers and advertisers, including Canadian Living, Chatelaine, Harlequin Books, the LCBO, and IBM, to create images for publication. Her paintings are sought after by collectors, and her work has been commissioned by the Barbara Frum Library and the Toronto Grace Hospital.

By chance, the exhibition coincides with the visit of Canada World Youth participants from Africa. 18 young people from Kenya, Tanzania and Canada are living and working in Bracebridge, Gravenhurst, Milford Bay and Port Carling. Wairimu and Zakati are two young women working at the Muskoka Place Gallery, and coincidently are both involved in fashion design in Kenya and Tanzania respectively. The participants will be here for three months working for non-profit and community organizations.

“Shorelines and Hemlines” will continue at Muskoka Place Gallery, 1182 Foreman Road, Port Carling, until October 1. A special reception will be held on Saturday, September 24th.

Press release by Jeff Alten & Jen Morgan


Some examples of Mai's clothing:







Zakati (from Tanzania) & Wairimu (from Kenya) are working at the Gallery as part of the Canada World Youth program.

Wairimu & Zakati
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Jon Oelrichs: Field Series
August 27th - September 12th, 2005
Opening Reception: August 27th, 2 - 6 p.m.

Artist's Statement:

This work deals with fields as literal objects of the landscape, that is to say, as fields of sensory perception, while also allowing for an exploration of fields of memory and of imagination. They are about a search for liminal space, thresholds which offer potential openings.

The first work in the series arrived as an imaginal piece. It clearly, to me, reflected the landscape of my childhood, the open moorland of the Peak District in the Pennines of the English North Midlands, and it also carried traces of other landscapes, and other experiences. It led to an interest in exploring fields on a continuum of abstraction, ranging from non objective colour field paintings at one end, to quite mimetic landscape-based works at the other. In this exploration I became increasingly interested in points of liminality, threshold places that were neither clearly literal nor clearly imaginal. These in between spaces contain memory traces, and familiar echoes of the known and the sensed but also open up to other possibilities, the unfamiliar, and the unexpected.

"Fields #15," "Fields #7" and "Fields #12"

Gayle and Jon at the opening reception with "Fields #10" in the background


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Audrey Jolly: Inner Landscapes

August 13th - August 24th, 2005
Opening Reception: August 13th, 2 - 5 p.m.


Artist's Statement

Art brings feeling into form. If there is no feeling, it doesn't appeal to me either as a maker or viewer. It could be technically brilliant and while I marvel at the detail and determination, I'm not moved by it. I search for life's drama in the skies, desertion in the abandoned houses and the stories (the "storage") in the sheds... ultimately, the energy and excitement of life as lived and expressed through art. A Buddhist teaching tells us "creativity is at its core, energy and when we no longer need that energy to protect or defend ourselves then something from our true selves can come bubbling up." I passionately cultivate the "bubbling" and the cauldron. "Bubbling bubbling toil and trouble..." Shakespeare sets the scene for a magnificent drama!

In John Crow Ransom's "The Worlds' Body" (1938), he spoke of a "primordial freshness" in image vs. idea, stating "an idea is a derivative and tamed, whereas the image is in the natural state and it has to be discovered there, not put there, obeying its own law and none of ours. We think we can lay hold of the image and take it captive but the docile captive is not the real image but only an idea which is an image with its character beaten out of it."

The material for image making lay in the body within our physical, emotional "spirit impulses." These impulses, sensations of the body (the "bubbles"), are the key to a deeper, richer wisdom resulting in the character, a character (with feeling), and the drama (the story) which brings life to action and art to life.


Audrey's performance at the opening reception


Audrey at the opening reception with "Ghost House #1"


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Mary Pavey & Pat Fairhead: Friends

July 23rd - August 10th, 2005
Opening Reception: Saturday, July 23rd, 2 - 5 p.m.
Part of 'The Big Art Thing' Studio Tour


Pat Fairhead's work: "Muskoka Hemlock" and "Sunrise #2"


Mary Pavey's work: "The Red Vase" and "Yellow Shawl"


Opening Reception


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Susan Farquhar: Drawing on Landscape
July 1st - July 18th, 2005
Opening Reception: Saturday, July 2nd, 2 - 5 p.m.



Artist's Statement

Many different images are seen in just standing still and orienting oneself to your surroundings. We collect all this visual experience, I believe, therefore our experience of landscape or the environment is very rich and complicated. Recalling what we have seen from a day hiking or paddling a boat somewhere will bring a variety of images to mind and over time, different ones in other sequences, continually changing. This is why single viewpoint pictures of landscapes do not appeal to me. The rectangular format that we all use is also a problem. Both practices limit what we have seen instead of expressing the multi-layered, various visual experience we all have.

My experience and I believe our experience is 180 degrees if not 360. From a sweeping vista to the tiny details of a pebble, it is all at once and a variety of groupings of things seen. The experience changes over time. This is the process of memory. This is what I am drawing.


Susan's work: "Drawing on Landscape #5" and "Drawing on Landscape #4", oil pastel on panel


Opening reception (l - r: Clare McElroy, Donna McLaren, Robert Game and Gayle Dempsey)


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Muskoka Place Gallery Spring Group Show

June 11th - 26th, 2005
Opening Reception: June 11th & 12th
Part of the Muskoka Lakes Spring Art Tour

Last weekend Muskoka Place Gallery was delighted to take part in the Muskoka Lakes Spring Art Tour, with over 200 visitors throughout the weekend making it a huge success. The exhibition showcased 17 artists, and while painting was the medium of choice, the show also included pastel, pen & ink, photography and stained glass.

Entering the gallery one was over taken by the multitude of colours and the wide range of interests, giving the space salon style atmosphere and encouraging the exploration and singular experience of each work.

Highlights included a still life entitled “Peaches” by Jen Morgan which playfully used perspective to position the viewer in admiration of the freshly picked juicy treats. Jennifer Murphy’s subtle use of colour on an almost entirely green toned canvas entitled “Shore Garden” tunnelled our vision to the melange of brush and growth encroaching on the waters edge.

Gerry Wright’s work also stood out with three paintings depicting classic Muskokan lake scenes with warm skylines filled with pinks and oranges, and islandscapes reminiscent of the wilderness and beauty displayed by the Group of Seven. A work by Nola McConnan, “Dispro Field Trip,” used painstakingly detailed pen & ink work to depict a shoreline unmistakably Muskokan with its wooden boat and distant loons. The only photographic works were by Bruce Littlejohn. His “Muskoka River Trilogy” explored the concealing and malleable relationship between the mass of the river’s bed and the water which covers it. Last, but certainly not least, was a painting by Gayle Dempsey of an airy islandscape; the islands and distant shoreline seem weightless on top of the water, drawing the viewers’ attention to the weighty mass of their submerged foundations.

Other artists included in the exhibition were Cheryl Mount, Sharon McKinnon, John Oliver Peel, Krysia Bower, Louise Garin, Evangeline Leach, Evelyn Wolff and Michael Benton.

Release by Jeff Alten


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David Alexander: On Golden Ground

May 21st - June 4th, 2005
Opening Reception: Saturday, May 1st, 2 - 5 p.m.


David Alexander, "Hayfield on Adolphus Reach"



David Alexander, "Brant County Autumn"


On Golden Ground

The ages of man have changed, as they must
From gold, through silver and bronze they spanned
To this iron age of decaying rust
When conflicts rage on exhausted land.

But Heaven keeps shining through the veneer
Of the world's distracting cabaret.
Heaven's an infant's soft breath from here
A skin of varnished paint away.

There is a time called paradise
A space where angels and saints abound
Between our heartbeats and before glazed eyes
On golden ground, on golden ground.

- David Alexander


David Alexander, "Whistle Stop," mixed media on canvas


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