The Permanent Collection was established in 1985 to represent those works of art which document and represent the artistic excellence of the Muskoka Arts & Crafts and the diversity of its membership. The collection is permanently housed at the Chapel Gallery.


The Sum of Our Parts
2013 - MATT CHURCH

Matt was the 1988 recipient of Muskoka Arts & Crafts’ Student Art Award, when he graduated from Gravenhurst High School. He continued his studies at the Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design in Vancouver in order to become a more skilled craftsman and learn how to become a professional artist.  

Making art always held a fascination for Matt for he grew up watching his father in his blacksmiths studio. For Matt, art is the way he sees, interprets and solidifies his perceptions of a dynamic world. He currently works side-by-side with his father in Severn Bridge.  

The Sum of Our Parts is a painted steel sculpture that is a classic example of Matt’s skill and inquisitive vision as an artist. This sculpture can be seen as symbolically representing our organization that is made up of so many different members and is most deserving of being selected to be part of our Permanent Collection in this, our 50th year.


Thaw
acrylic on canvas, 121.92 cm x 137.16 cm
2007 - BILL URBAN

Bill Urban received his BFA in Painting with minors in Sculpture and Design from the Carnegie-Mellon University in Pittsburgh. During the 1960s, Bill was influenced by abstract expressionalism and the East Coast art movement that was flourishing in New York City at that time. Later, Bill attended Queen’s University to earn his teaching credentials and had a 28-year career as an art teacher. Working from his studio in Huntsville, Bill is an active volunteer with Muskoka Arts & Crafts and participates in the Life Drawing Open Studio at the Chapel Gallery. Having shown his work in both the United States and Canada. Last summer, Bill had a solo exhibition of his strong and dynamic paintings at the Chapel Gallery. With influences from the likes of Ellsworth Kelly and Stuart Davis, Bill approaches his canvases with honesty and directness, using clear hard lines and an extraordinary sense of composition to explore personal symbolism and the everyday world around him.


Deer & Heron
wood carving, 71.12cmx102.87cm
2004 - JIM DRURY

Jim Drury was born in Sudbury, Ontario, and has had a lifelong interest in wood-carving, nature, drawing and photography. In 1958, he married his wife, Donna, and together they raised two children. 

Jim had an 18-year career in the Royal Canadian Air Force, and during those years spent his off-duty time carving crests for offices and individuals in Canada and other countries. He left the services to teach woodcarving at the Catherine Whyte Multi-Cultural Center in Cold Lake Alberta, and in the summer of 1975, received a grant from the Alberta Government to travel overseas and research woodcarving. Jim also taught woodcarving courses at The Alberta Vocational College, as well as seminars in parks, and evening classes through Northwest Community College. When the Center closed, the Drurys moved to the Queen Charlotte Islands, where for five years Jim fished halibut, but continued his carving. In 1983, the Drurys came to Muskoka.

They were enthusiastic, active members, and participated in many shows. Jim has been awarded the Patricia Boyer award at the 1996 Spring Members’ Show, an Excellence in Woodcarving in 1992, and many honourable mentions. During his twenty years in Muskoka, Jim accepted commissions for wood-carving in homes and cottages throughout Canada and the United States. Among these were the doors and chapel furniture for St. Margaret’s Church in Midland, a large puzzle map of Canada for Glaxo Smith and Kline in Mississauga, and carvings in the round produced as award presentations for Tourism Industry Association of Canada. The creator of the well-known comic strip, "For better or For Worse," commissioned two carved doors.

Jim has always credited Donna as a full partner in his artistic endeavours. In fact, he asserts that his role – doing the drawing and carving – is by far the easy part. He maintains that Donna’s contribution – which includes not only finishing the pieces, but also preparing for the shows, keeping the accounts, providing constructive criticism – is a more than equal share. Jim and Donna now reside in Sidney, on Vancouver Island.

In 2004, Jim and Donna were made life time members.


The Good Old Boys 
oil on canvas, 50.8cm x 39.37cm
2003 - IRIS GAMMON

Iris Gammon was born in Parry Sound and has lived all of her life in Muskoka. Her love of the landscape surrounding her MacTier family home began in her earliest child-hood and has remained a life-long infatuation. A gift of oil paints on her sixteenth birthday gave Iris her first opportunity to capture what she saw on canvas. It was the beginning of an artistic relationship with a landscape that, for Iris, would never lose its allure. In the years that followed, as she raised seven children and a pursued a teaching career, Iris put her artistic leanings on the back burner. But she kept them simmering, waiting for the time when she could continue her creative journey.

Twenty years ago, Iris took up that journey in earnest, painting the craggy shores, windswept pines and weathered barns of her beloved Muskoka. Largely self-taught, Iris nonetheless learned what she could. She visited galleries, read art books and enrolled in workshops. In 1982, at one of those workshops, Iris met fellow painter, Jean Forder, who suggested they venture out-doors together to paint. Soon others joined the intrepid group that be-came known as the "Brown Baggers" – so named for the paper-bagged lunches they carried on their weekly excursions.

Over the years, Iris’s has developed her technique and honed her painting skills, but she declares she will forever be learning. Nevertheless, she is very proud of the Crystal Palette Award she earned for Best of Show at the Chapel Gallery’s Annual Brown Baggers exhibit. In the days since her childhood, Iris has traveled and seen the world, but today as always she remains enamoured with the rugged landscape in which she was born and raised.


The Herons Have Gone 
oil on board, 40.64cm x 29.21cm
2003 - JANE GORDON

Jane Gordon was born and raised in Toronto, but moved to Muskoka more than thirty years ago. As a child, she was introduced to its pine-filled vistas, rocky outcroppings and many lakes when her family built a log cabin on Skeleton Lake. In the years since, she has remained captivated not only by the rocks, pines and sunsets, but also by the quiet solitude of Muskoka’s wetlands. Where others see only rotting stumps and reed-clogged stagnant waters, Jane discovers visual treasures.

Today, she finds Muskoka as compelling as ever, asserting that it remains the place she wants to be and the subject she wants to paint. She has continued to paint it throughout a busy life that included the raising of five children. A member of the Brown Baggers for more than twenty years, Jane be-gins her paintings on site. Later, she completes them in the studio of her Bracebridge home which overlooks the Muskoka River.

Jane’s paintings are as richly textured and vibrantly opulent as the scenes she so loves to depict. Preferring to work on board with a palette knife, her expressive technique captures the rugged countenance of the Muskokan terrain. Although her work has earned her awards at the Spring Show, Jane’s true reward comes from the sheer joy of sharing her lifelong love of Muskoka.


And The Memory Lingers On
acrylic
2002 - JEAN W.A. FORDER

Born in Skipton-in-Craven, Yorkshire England, in 1918, Jean W.A. Forder’s professional career was in the field of social work with placements in Manitoba then Muskoka. Retirement for Jean meant beginning an active career by developing her artistic talent and zestfully contributing to the art community in Muskoka. She took classes in her first love – watercolour – and expanded her interest in other media as well. She won a number of ribbons at the Bracebridge Fall Fair and several awards from Muskoka Arts & Crafts for her work.

In 1985, Jean began the Brown Baggers, a group of artists dedicated to developing their talents, encouraging each other and setting artistic goals for themselves each year. Trips were taken to such locations as Algoma, Algonquin Park, as well as many local sites. In 1989, the Brown Baggers showed their paintings for the inaugural show celebrating the establishment of the Chapel Gallery.

Jean was a member of the Board of Directors for Muskoka Arts & Crafts, actively working to develop the arts side of the organization. In 1991, she received a volunteer service award for her service to Muskoka Arts & Crafts. In the spring of 2001, Jean was made an honorary life time member in the organization.

Jean’s talents were many – encouraging, networking, mentoring – and she attracted many, many friends to her with her ability to accept, encourage and find the positive in all. Jean died on May 31, 2001.


Muskoka Mammaries
welded steel sheet & rod, glass
2000 - HILARY CLARK COLE

The Brazing Hussy series is a group of artistic statements by Hilary Clark Cole, an artist, a woman, a welder. This series began quite simply as a literal interpretation of a lacy, feminine garment, created out of steel. They are ironic, and quite disarmingly charming. They are one of kind life-size female forms, which could be described as a bustier, bodice or sculpted torso. Muskoka Mammaries is one of these.

The general perception of steel is that it is a cold, masculine, industrial material. To Hilary Clark Cole it is none of those things. She loves to explore its warm, malleable, filigreed possibilities, and these particular sculptures give her that opportunity. But after creating several traditional lacy steel images in this form, Hilary took a philosophical leap. The upper torso is such an expressive part of the body, a centre of emotion. She began to create bodices out of masses of welded steel fern fronds, bunches of steel-and-brass buttercups, delicate wire feathers. They became living, growing works of art. The Hussies dance, some lush with fruit and new emerging life, some sensual and provocative, and others moody and thought provoking.

These bustiers continue to evolve into statements about being alive. There is joy and sadness in each of them as you hold them by the waist and listen to them speak. They will tell you of perceived beauty, of painful shyness, of rich memories, of wicked gossip, of temptation…. or, in this example, of her love of this part of the world, with tall White Pines of welded steel and a stained glass sun glowing in its heart.

Born in Victoria, British Columbia, Hilary Clark Cole graduated from the Ontario College of Art, Toronto, Ontario, 1969. She has lived and worked in Muskoka since 1971. Public installations and commissions are numerous and include: Cadillac-Fairview Corporation (Toronto, Ontario), Tilley Endurables World Headquarters (Toronto, Ontario), Stelco Head Offices (Toronto, Ontario), South Muskoka Memorial Hospital (Bracebridge, Ontario), and the Bethune Memorial House (People’s Republic of China). In 2008, Hilary was made an honorary life time member in the organization.


The Orchard 
duochrome photograph from a paper negative, 7.8cm x 11.5cm
1999 - GERRY ALLABY

Gerry Allaby's black and white images concentrate on architectural studies and musings about the symbolic landscape, yet, he also creates small, evocative images emerging from experimentation in a variety of alternative printing techniques. Gerry graduated from Acadia University, Wolfville, Nova Scotia in 1965 with a BA in history and an MA from the University of New Brunswick in 1972. Gerry joined Georgian College (Barrie, Ontario) in 1971 as a professor of art history, photography, and communications.


Smoke Lake - Algonquin Park 
oil, 29.5cm x 49cm
1999 - JOHN BRDAR

John Brdar painted for close to thirty years. Self-taught, John's teachers were the impressionistic painters. His aim was to achieve a spontaneous and uncomplicated interpretation of the landscapes and streetscapes of Central and Eastern Ontario. John preferred to paint outdoors in order to capture the elusive quality of light and colour. John was born in Kast, Croatia in 1931 and came to Canada as a child of five years. He spent his childhood in Val D'Or, Quebec, later moving to Toronto. In the late 1980s, John moved to Muskoka to pursue his love for landscape painting. John died  on November 10, 1999, in his 68th year.


Orchid Vase 
stoneware

1998 - LINDA HRYNYK

Linda Hrynyk studied pottery at Georgian College (Barrie, Ontario). She makes a variety of functional dinnerware as well as whimsical birdhouses, sculptural birdbaths, and fountains. Orchid Vase was built using the technique of slab contraction and has a wax resist design. Linda was the 1999 recipient of the Ontario Crafts Council's Design Award, given at Muskoka Arts & Crafts' Spring Members' Show.


Roman Bird 
hand blown glass, 20cm x 7cm
1997 - JAMIE SHERMAN

Jamie Sherman is known for his modern art glass. Intrigued by old blown glass forms and processes, he has developed reproductions for the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto. this bird is a replica of a Roman, hand blown glass cosmetic container from the first century AD. Originally transparent in colour, time and environmental exposure changed their appearance, visually approximated in this replica with metallic lusters including gold and silver.


Bracelet 
sterling silver, 27cm
1997 - PENNY VARNEY

Penny Varney's work is an eclectic mix of styles, materials, and techniques. Simplicity in design, however, is Penny's common theme. In 1991, she graduated from the Jewellery Department at Georgian College (Barrie, Ontario) after experimenting with ceramics and painting. Penny enjoys exploring different materials and techniques in her quest to develop an undiscovered methodology.


Garden Patchwork
watercolour, 25cm x 35.5cm
1996 - ROMA KASSIAN (HOPKINS)

Roma Kassian sees potential paintings in the stuff of everyday living. Of particular interest, is the beauty of the fleeting quality of light. The detailed paintings are the result of years spent honing the powers of observation. Trained in print making at the Ontario College of Art, Roma switched to watercolours in the 1980s when searching for a more direct approach to working with colour.


Eastern Chipmunk
pastel, 15cm x 11cm
1995 - NANCY GRAY OGLE

Nancy Gray Ogle was introduced to pastels over twenty years ago. Specializing in wildlife, her paintings have won numerous awards. Her art depicts more than an accurate rendering of the animal. Through the eyes, the emotion and personality of each animal is successfully captured. She currently exhibits her work along with other top Canadian wildlife artists, in the annual exhibition, Art in the Park, held in Algonquin Park.


Vest
viscose chenille, novelty rayon, cotton, silk & braiding
44cm x 59cm
1994 - LYETTE BEAULAC

Lyette Beaulac has been weaving for over twenty years. Self-taught, Lyette's weaving is a labour of love. This vest was a departure from her customary palette of colours and encouraged her to explore new ways of using colour. Her woven clothing has won many awards and Lyette has shared her extensive knowledge by teaching workshops. In 2000, Lyette was made an honorary life time member in the organization. That same year, Lyette, along with her husband, moved to Nova Scotia to pursue their dream of living and traveling on their sail boat.


Untitled
print
1993 - CRAIG PORTER

Craig Porter is a multi-media artist. He received his BFA from York University and an AOCA from the Ontario College of Art. Objects ground and comfort Craig and, in his art, are symbolic manifestations of his interaction and enterprise in the world. His installation works and sculptures are intended to invoke a sense of allegory and to bring the vastness of personal experience down to an intimate scale.


Funo Basket
cherry,13cm x 25.5cm
1993 - PETER TAYLOR

Peter Taylor began bending wood to make Shaker baskets and boxes. His appreciation of the simplicity and perfection of these designs led him to experiment with his own. His bentwood baskets and sculptural forms are crafted from local hardwoods and hand rubbed to a sensuous finish. This basket was inspired by a raku vessel given to him by potter Mas Funo.


Vessel 
maple, 27cm x 14cm
1992 - DOUG GATCKE

Doug Gatcke has been carving since the late 1970s. This bowl marked a dramatic departure from Doug's carving style in that the exterior was carved to highlight the unusual lightning burnt interior. A past-president and long-time member, Doug was given an honorary life time member in 1996. The Members' Choice Award for the Spring Members' Show was renamed in Doug's honour in 1997.


Vase
11cm x 26cm
1991 - ELEANOR BISSET

Eleanor Bisset discovered china painting in 1971. In 1975, she was accepted into the International Porcelain Artists & Teachers Incorporated (Dallas, Texas). For Eleanor, china painting represented a never-ending challenge and a constant learning experience. Eleanor freely shared her knowledge with others by teaching workshops. After twenty years of experience, Eleanor believed that she had just started to explore the possibilities of china painting. Eleanor died on September 7, 2001 at the age of 91.


Stoneware Casserole
32cm x 18cm
1989 - Mieke Martin-Soontiens

Mieke Martin-Soontiens believes in developing an infallible technique, then allowing inspiration to complete the process of creation. After two decades, the Dutch-born artist still sees herself as a student. Inspiration comes from her world-wide treks. Mieke adds texture and patterns to her work using sgraffito, a method by which designs are incised through the clay's surface. In 1997, Mieke was made an honorary life time member in the organization. She moved from Gravenhurst to Nova Scotia in 1998.


Hand Bound Leather Guest Book
22.5 x 29cm
1988 - TED WILLIAMS

Ted Williams moved from Toronto to Bracebridge in 1978. Ted, along with his wife, Dorothy (Dodie), regularly exhibited their art at the the Summer Show. His first love was photography and later hand bound books. When Ted passed away, Dodie established the Ted Williams Memorial Award to encourage new and innovative work. The award ceased after the death of Dodie in 2007.


Pottery Painting #1
45cm x 67cm
1987 - JON PARTRIDGE

Jon Partridge trained at Georgian College then taught at Mohawk College in Hamilton, Ontario, before moving to Muskoka in 1974. Jon finds endless personal fulfillment in exploring new designs, making and finishing one-of-a-kind sculptural vessels, decorative stoneware tableware, and clay paintings entirely by his hand. After working with clay for thirty years, Jon has the same enthusiasm for the medium as when he threw his first mug. In 1995, Jon was made an honorary life time member in the organization.


Jam Spoon 
sterling silver
27cm
1986 - BETTY REYNOLDS

Betty Reynolds learned the fundamentals of her craft by attending numerous workshops. An accomplished silversmith, Betty has also taught courses.  Betty shared her craft with Walter, her husband. Together, the Reynolds were inventive as Walter constructed their own silversmith equipment as well as cutting, tumbling, and grinding tools. Betty was born in 1922 in Bracebridge where she and Walter continue to live. In 1993, Betty and Walter were  made honorary life time member in the organization.


Bufflehead Drake 
basswood
13cm x 25.5cm

1986 - JOE FAWN

Joe Fawn was born in 1911 in Toronto, Ontario. He followed in the footsteps of his father and grandfather when he started a five year apprenticeship as a stone cutter but then worked as a tool and die maker. When Joe moved to Muskoka in 1971, he became interested in woodcarving and his work has won many awards. Joe died in 2004.


Sweetgrass Basket
21cm x 28cm

1986 - FRANK & PHOEBE ROADS

Frank and Phoebe Roads were born and raised on the Gibson Reserve, just outside of Bala, Ontario. Frank was born in 1909 and Phoebe in 1917, they married in 1933. For as long as they can remember, Frank and Phoebe have been involved with native crafts. Their craft work included items made from birch bark and deerskin, but they are best know for their traditional baskets made from sweetgrass.

1985 - JEAN BISHOP

 

 

1985 - ETTA ORTWEIN

 

 

1985 - JOY MILBURN

 

 


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