5 art road-trips you should do from Toronto this Fall


By Guest Writer Alana Taylor

As you search Ontario for the perfect fall colours vista, there are a few pit stops you can weave into your weekend getaway. Five communities, all well within a few hours drive of Toronto, all with a vibrant art community.  Here’s five hot stops!

Northeast – Bancroft 

Now until Hallowe’en the Art Gallery of Bancroft (map) has a brand new exhibition featuring well-known local artist David McIntosh. For the next month check out a group of his new oils titled “Painting the Figure.” David’s art can be found in private and corporate collections in Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom.

East – Prince Edward County

There’s lots to explore in this part of the Province. And while you could just take a drive and stop whenever the mood strikes, it might be a good idea to do a bit of research. A good guide can be found at http://artstrail.ca.

Here’s a few for your consideration.

The Oeno Gallery (map) is a solid choice in Bloomfield as is the Cranston Gallery (map). Here you’ll see the works of Sharon Fox Cranston and Guy Cranston. Plus if you are spending a weekend, arrange to have a private session. Email Sharon to arrange. Sharon has painted many of her works “en plein air” in Canada, France, Italy, the UK and USA. “En plein air” is a French expression which means “in the open air” and is particularly used to describe the act of painting outdoors. You can also find Sharon’s art at the Koyman Galleries in Ottawa.

The Pond

Guy Cranston’s artistry began with wood carving and over time has switched to pastels. He has strong family influences, including brother Toller (visit Koyman Galleries for more of his works).

Dock of Many Colours
Dock of Many Colours

Also in Bloomfield, you’ll find the Andrew Csafordi Studio Gallery (map). Here you’ll see Csafordi’s encaustic art. Encaustic art, also known as hot wax painting, involves using heated beeswax to which colored pigments are added. The liquid or paste is then applied to a surface—usually prepared wood, though canvas and other materials are often used. To see more of Andrew’s terrific portfolio, please refer to this link.

No Surrender Andrew Csafordi Andrew Csafordi Studio Gallery
No Surrender – Andrew Csafordi – Andrew Csafordi Studio Gallery.

Southwest – Windsor

The Art Gallery of Windsor (AGW) (map) offers free admission, so price isn’t a barrier to seeing great art. The AGW has approximately 4,000 paintings, sculptures and works. New pieces are added to their collection every year.

Carl Ray Medicine Bear, 1977 Art Gallery of Windsor
Carl Ray – Medicine Bear, 1977 – Art Gallery of Windsor

While a stroll through will give you a sample of their collection, there are three exhibitions now on until January, including:

Professional Native Indian Artists Inc
October 3, 2015 – January 17, 2016

Raphaëlle de Groot: The Summit Meetings
October 3, 2015 – January 17, 2016

Bonnie Devine: Treaty Robe, for Tecumseh
September 26, 2015 – January 10, 2016

From Windsor, head towards Stratford and stop in Kingsville, ON. Artist Vera Graham is part of the Windsor & Essex County Plein Air Painters. Born and raised in Windsor, after a number of years in Calgary she is back in Kingsville. She exhibits regularly across Canada and in the US. Learn more about Vera at www.veragraham.com.

Sun shines on the village - Vera Graham
Sun shines on the village – Vera Graham

West – Stratford 

Famous for theatre, there’s great art on offer in Stratford.

Stop at the Gallery Stratford (map) and the Agora Gallery (map) where until October 31, you can see the art of Tom Campbell. Born in England, he and his family spent many summers in Stratford so it is a bit of a homecoming of sorts. Campbell’s art can be found in public, private and corporate collections in Canada, Italy, Denmark, England and the U.S.

Tom Campbell – “Listening to Silence” 2012 – oil on canvas

North – Muskoka

There are dozens of galleries in the communities of Muskoka; to get to all of them takes great planning. The legendary fall studio art tour just wrapped up and if you missed it, don’t despair. One of our featured galleries has a sampling available until November 4.

First we head to Port Carling. While there, visit the Muskoka Place Gallery (map). Now in its 11th year, the Muskoka Place Gallery showcases fine art by established and emerging artists. It also hosts art classes, workshops, lectures and events throughout the year. In the summer, the busiest season, the gallery showcases new artists each month. An example of the terrific art to be seen includes the work of Sault Ste. Marie based artist Taimi Poldmaa. The shores of Lake Superior provide her with inspiration…it most definitely does!

Coppermine Point – Taimi Poldmaa – Berkana Art Studio
Old Woman Bay Scarp Oil on Canvas – Taimi Poldmaa – Berkana Art Studio

On now at the gallery: 
45th Parallel Painters
Local Colours
October 9 – November 4

Coming up:
45th Parallel Painters
Christmas Show
November / December 2015

In Haliburton, make sure to visit the Ethel Curry Gallery (map). Open Friday through Monday, this gallery is host to dozens of artists from Ontario using every medium available. On its ‘Recently Arrived’ page you’ll find the newest artists represented.

Marianne Broome caught my eye. Marianne is an award-winning artist whose art can be found in several galleries across the Province. Learn more about her and her works at Natures Edge Studio.

Marianne Broome – Light on the Lake – The Ethel Curry Gallery
Marianne Broome – Light on the Lake – The Ethel Curry Gallery

Our next and final stop is just east of Huntsville, at the Deerhurst Resort where you’ll conveniently find the Eclipse Art Gallery (map).

Their focus is Canadian art that captures the beauty and ruggedness of the area. You’ll find new and established artists here. Plus they have a unique ‘art lease’ program for businesses allowing organizations to ‘enliven workplaces and inspire creativity’ with fine art. And it is tax deductible!

On now:
Autumn Reflections: September 12 – November 4, 2015

Coming up:
Wild Women: Painters of the Wilderness – November 6 – January 13, 2015

Painters of the Wilderness: Three dynamic women artists Joyce Burkholder, Kathy Haycock and Linda Sorensen share their passion of painting and preserving the Canadian wilderness.

This is a must see event! Learn more at Wild Women Artists. Get insights about the trio before you head to Deerhurst.

Their book ‘Wild Women: Painters of the Wilderness’ is now available on Amazon.ca.

Happy art travels!

About Alana

A long time communicator with a slight art addiction, Alana’s aim is to spread the word about art — in her community and yours too! Join her on the journey and if some of what you read makes you think about art differently, then that’s success!

She loves to talk with people and hear their stories and fortunately people love to share what’s on their mind. Look for conversations featuring unique ideas and insights into the business of art on her site, The Artfull Canadian. 

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2 Comments Add yours

  1. guylainespencer says:

    These are great. What gorgeous colours! I’d also suggest Hamilton as a perfect art-lovers day trip. You can visit the Art Gallery of Hamilton, or check out the smaller private art galleries on Locke St, James St North and Ottawa Street.

    1. travelmammal says:

      Thanks for your suggestion Guylaine. 🙂

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