crafts

Art by the River reports “best show ever” in 2017

 

By Jolene Perron

 

Since 1967, Amherstburg’s annual Art by the River has brought artists, enthusiasts and art lovers alike to the town’s beautiful waterfront.

“We attract over 150 exhibitors from across Ontario,” explained Bonnie Deslippe, office administrator for the Gibson Art Gallery. “We have added musical entertainment to add to the ambiance and encourage demos by the artists. We also have an area devoted as the “l’il artist workshop” where the children can create their own works of art. We have asked for sponsorship the last few years and have been fortunate to have RBC sponsor the music and TD sponsor the children’s workshop. The fort adds to the event with their “mini militia and historical music demos.”

Adelynn Wong, 2, looks at hand-crafted art along the Fort Malden waterfront Sunday during Art by the River.

Adelynn Wong, 2, looks at hand-crafted art along the Fort Malden waterfront Sunday during Art by the River.

Deslippe explained they have a very strong support system from the community, which brings in between 8,000 and 9,000 people over the course of the two days. She added Monday morning that “it was our best show ever” with record numbers.

It gives artists a chance to sell their creations, interact with the public, gauge buying trends and connect for commission work. It also reminds people how important art is to have in our lives, or as Deslippe puts it “to feed our souls.”

“I believe it is very important to the town,” said Deslippe. “We were the first large festival and are the original art and craft festival in the county. It is all about celebrating everything art and gives people an opportunity to purchase original art in various mediums and to meet with the artists and artisans. It is a family-friendly event that brings people from across the county, Ontario and Michigan to Amherstburg. We encourage them to enjoy our local restaurants and shopping before or after visiting Art by the River.”

Ross Stuart from Rosbilt TinCan Banjo / Ukelele plays his musical instrument, crafted out of an old can of oil, at Art by the River Sunday.

Ross Stuart from Rosbilt TinCan Banjo / Ukelele plays his musical instrument, crafted out of an old can of oil, at Art by the River Sunday.

Even before she became involved with the Gibson Art Gallery, Deslippe said she has always looked forward to Art By the River. She knew it would be a day she could spend in a beautiful setting, surrounded by art, and of course she would always find a treasure or two to purchase and take home with her.

“Last year, for our 50th anniversary, we started a ‘live art’ competition involving two person teams of local students,” said Deslippe. “We have decided to keep it as an annual event. The winning team as selected by the Gibson Gallery board will be awarded a $400 prize to share between the two of them. There are always new exhibitors. As people retire from doing festivals, it opens the door for new exhibitors to apply.”

Local author John Schlarbaum displayed his books along the Fort Malden waterfront during the Art by the River event last weekend.

Local author John Schlarbaum displayed his books along the Fort Malden waterfront during the Art by the River event last weekend.

Parks Canada 150 passes were not honoured at the event, due to the fact that Fort Malden is separate from Art by the River. Deslippe wanted to let people know the Gibson Art Gallery pays a fee to use the grounds and it’s important for the public to understand that any and all money raised goes back into the gallery as a public art gallery and charitable organization run by a volunteer board.

The gallery is always looking for more volunteers and members. For more information, visit www.gibsonartgallery.com or call 519-736-2826.

Holiday Art at the Gallery ongoing through Dec. 11

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The Gibson Gallery is ready for the Christmas holidays and wants to help the community get ready as well.

The gallery is hosting its annual “Holiday Art at the Gallery” and it runs through Dec. 11.

“It’s basically a smaller version of Art by the River,” explained Bonnie Deslippe, publicity director at the gallery. “We have it every year as a fundraiser for the gallery.”

Bev Williams, a volunteer at the Gibson Gallery, looks at some of the items available at "Holiday Art at the Gallery." The sale runs Thursday-Sunday through Dec. 11 at the gallery.

Bev Williams, a volunteer at the Gibson Gallery, looks at some of the items available at “Holiday Art at the Gallery.” The sale runs Thursday-Sunday through Dec. 11 at the gallery.

Deslippe explained they used to rent space to vendors but changed formats about five years ago to where vendors can now drop off items with a percentage going to both the gallery and the vendor if there are any sales. She added it allows more people to participate and also frees up space for people to shop.

“It freed up the vendors to go to other events,” said Deslippe.

Among the items available at this year’s Holiday Art at the Gallery are jewellery, woodworking, stuffed animals, books, Christmas decorations, knitting and crocheting and other forms of artwork. There was a bake sale last weekend with a raffle also available for those in attendance.

Pictured is just a sample of what is available at Holiday Art at the Gallery. The last show of the 2016 season for the Gibson Gallery runs through Dec. 11.

Pictured is just a sample of what is available at Holiday Art at the Gallery. The last show of the 2016 season for the Gibson Gallery runs through Dec. 11.

Acknowledging “it’s not on the scale of Art by the River,” Deslippe said it is a smaller version which allows the Gibson Gallery to raise funds to support itself. It is the final show on the gallery’s 2016 calendar before closing for the winter.

“It’s a way you can support local artists and crafters and get some really great gifts,” said Deslippe.

Deslippe estimated there are over 40 vendors that are participating in this year’s Holiday Art at the Gallery.

“We always get a lot of positive feedback,” she said.

The Gibson Gallery’s current hours are Thursday-Sunday from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Their phone number is 519-736-2826, the website is www.gibsonartgallery.com and they are on Facebook and Twitter as well.

Art by the River celebrates 49th year

 

Sixteen-month-old Ayenna Mulder tries her hand at painting at Art by the River over the weekend. Assisting Mulder is her grandmother Tamara Walls-Muise.

Sixteen-month-old Ayenna Mulder tries her hand at painting at Art by the River over the weekend. Assisting Mulder is her grandmother Tamara Walls-Muise.

By Ron Giofu

For the 49th consecutive year, arts and crafts lovers came to Amherstburg for the show that benefits the Gibson Gallery.

Art by the River was held last Saturday and Sunday at Fort Malden National Historic Site with a full house of artists, crafters, musicians and vendors on hand. Some exhibitors experienced their first show while others have been there for a number of years but all seemed to enjoy the show.

Maria Jose, a 16-year-old Windsor student, was an exhibitor for the first time in Art by the River and noted it was one of several regional shows she has participated in this year.

“I’ve been drawing since I was seven-years-old and painting since I was ten,” explained Jose.

Jose said she is getting her name and work out into the public eye by going to shows like Art by the River.
“I’m getting exposure, meeting people and sharing my work with others,” she said.

Calling the crowds at Art by the River “a great audience,” she said she received a lot of feedback on her work as well.

“It’s just a wonderful experience,” said Jose.
Art is something Jose said she hopes to pursue as she gets older, adding she would like to find work in the arts.

“My parents tell me it’s a gift from God and to nurture it,” she stated.

Joy Purdy and Tim O'Brien of Faerhaven display some of the hand lotion they had on display at the Aug. 29-30 Art by the River.

Joy Purdy and Tim O’Brien of Faerhaven display some of the hand lotion they had on display at the Aug. 29-30 Art by the River.

Joy Purdy and Tim O’Brien brought their business, Faerhaven, to the show complete with the soaps, lotions and similar goods they produce. They have been coming to Art by the River for about six years.

“It’s a nice atmosphere,” said O’Brien. “The people are pleasant, it’s enjoyable. The organizers have done a great job.”

“It’s very well attended and very popular,” added Purdy.

Martin Henly of Henly’s Leather Shop came to Amherstburg again this year. He said it was nice to come to a show where it was clear that other exhibitors took the same care and pride in their work like he does in his.

“It’s one of the better run shows,” Henly stated. “The quality is there. I do very good work and I want to sit next to people who also do good work.”

Elaine Douglas of LaSalle and her husband Russ returned to Art by the River this year and reported it went well. Douglas creates “Grannie Memory Bears,” teddy bears created from clothing of loved ones who passed away. The idea came to Douglas after their daughter Wendy died Dec. 14, 2003.

“A lot of people bring loved ones clothing and I make them teddy bears,” she said.
Her own experiences doing that brought her closer to her daughter, she said.

Douglas said she enjoys Art by the River and noted the efforts organizers make in promoting and staging the twp-day event.

“They do a lot of work on this show,” said Douglas.

(NOTE: The original version posted Sept. 1, as well as the version in the print edition, states the event was in its 48th year. To clarify, this was the 49th annual Art by the River.)

Lynda Tilt and Betty McCready of Transformed Treasures were among the exhibitors at Art by the River.

Lynda Tilt and Betty McCready of Transformed Treasures were among the exhibitors at Art by the River.