Where can you go to visit galleries filled with works of art from renowned Canadian artists, chat with an artist and be inspired?
Lanark County is region that has been inspiring artist’s great work for hundreds of years, home to a vibrant artist community and galleries and studios where you can meet the artist and learn more about what inspires them in their craft. This fall take the time to feed your inner artist and tour art, artists, and inspiring places in the Maple Syrup Capital of Ontario, one of the most beautiful autumn destinations in the province.
Here are five ways you can be inspired in Lanark County.
Go Virtual on a Studio Tour
You don’t need to leave the house to dive deep into the art world in Lanark County. Our region hosts fall studio tours that lead visitors through winding roads flanked by the brilliant fall colours. This year, these tours have transitioned to a virtual experience, which makes it accessible for everyone, no matter where you live.
Wander virtually through the hamlets and communities of Mississippi Mills on the Crown & Pumpkin Studio Tour to meet local artists or all kinds. On the other side of Lanark County, the Perth Autumn Studio Tour will take you virtually inside the studios to meet the artists who create beautiful works of art from clay, paint, charcoal, wood, leather, and felt. Take the virtual tours for both these destinations and make the drive to Lanark County to see first-hand the source of their inspiration.
Tour an Art Gallery
If ever there was a region made for art and artists, it’s Lanark County. Here, the art scene has been blooming for decades, and artists flock here to live and work to be part of a vibrant artistic community amid the picturesque scenery. A gallery tour here is an invitation to immerse yourself in the world of art.
Explore a sense of movement, energy, and colours through the work of Jean Morrow, a Canadian artist whose work focuses on abstract paintings and jewellery. Morrow’s words explain the philosophy behind her painting: “Painting is my passion in life. I live for that moment when the painting takes on a life of its own and flows through me onto the canvas.” Tours of the gallery are available by appointment only.
Sivarulrasa Gallery will introduce you to the works of both emerging and established artists and the bright, open space is more reminiscent of one of the galleries in Montreal, Toronto, or Ottawa than what you would find in a smaller urban centre. Explore everything from paintings to stonework, sculpture and photographic works. This Almonte gallery is open daily; please visit the website for details.
Living and working in the scenic small town of Almonte, it makes sense that Strachan Johnston focuses on creating beautiful landscapes that are rich with bold, vibrant colouring and textures. A tour of this gallery will complement a drive through the vivid fall colours. Visits available by appointment.
Explore how local artist, Anthony Hollenstein, abstracts realism with his vivid paintings. These thought- provoking works will have you pausing to reflect on the structured meshing of colours and shapes. Located in the heart of Carleton Place, Hollenstein’s gallery operates by appointment only.
This spot offers an urban-styled industrial gallery setting that brings together colourful works that feel larger than life. Sarah Moffat’s work is simultaneously ethereal and grounding, exploring the most delicate nature and strength of flowers, trees, and other subjects. This gallery, located in Carleton Place, is open by appointment only.
Tour the works of an array of talented local and regional artists in this high-end gallery. Explore drawings, paintings, glass, stone, and wood sculpture in this eclectic collection. If you are looking for something special to adorn your walls or wanting some inspiration from a varied artistic representation, this gallery will deliver on both counts. In Perth, the gallery is open regular daily hours; please visit the website for an updated schedule.
Where else can you pick up some fresh local produce and farm products while also touring local art? Drop by the rustic farm store at Bowness Family Farm and wander through the works of artistic renderings of rural life in Lanark County. Check the website for hours of operation.
Take a break from touring galleries and artist studios with a visit to an inspiring place that will refresh and rejuvenate you. Bring a sketchpad, paint, palette or camera with you to observe the beauty of Goodwood Marsh and the rugged trail that traverses a swamp and mixed woodlands. Capture the beauty of a hardwood forest in autumn.
If you don’t mind breaking a sweat to bask in the beauty of fall you can hike to the top of Blueberry Mountain and gaze for miles at the forest in all its fiery glory. Bring some art supplies with you and see if you can recreate the brilliant colours and scenery.
While touring galleries in Perth, make a detour to the Perth Wildlife Reserve, only a five minute drive from downtown Perth. Follow the 2.5-kilometre loop and take a break midway at the Tay Marsh lookout. Bring a sketchpad and stop at the butterfly habitat and see if you can spot any unusual species.
Meet the Artists
Plan a visit to Lynda Hynes’ studio to meet the artist herself and see how beautiful pottery can be when created by a talented artist. Whether it’s ornate containers, or beautifully hand painted plates, bowls, or other tableware, Lynda’s art is a true expression of creativity. Studio tours by appointment only. Note: Lynda’s studio is one of the stops on the Merrickville (MAG) Virtual Studio Tour.
In Smiths Falls you can browse unique businesses aligned in an Arts Hub where makers create and display their work for purchase or inspiration. Discover Northwood Studio, Smiths Falls Music, and The Shop to see what local creativity looks like.
A little farther north, you can chat with Lanark Highlands’ artist, John Schweighardt, at his studio, Living Stones, and learn how he creates beautiful sculptures and bowls out of stone. Studio tours available by appointment only.