Bonnie Deslippe

“Student Pix” on exhibit at Gibson Gallery through June 3


The Gibson Art Gallery has hung young photographers’ work on its walls for the 13th time.

The annual Student Pix exhibit features the work of both primary and secondary school students from within the Greater Essex County District School Board.

Professional photographers and artists judge the photos and assign winners.  Winners are broken into categories according to grade level and photographic medium.

“It’s an exhibit the public looks forward to,” said Bonnie Deslippe, the gallery’s administrator.  “People like to see what these kids have created.”

Deslippe noted that this year is an interesting one, since one of the “Best in Show” awards was granted to a grade schooler.  Addison Slater, a Kingsville Public School student, won for her digitally-enhanced image.  Normally, she said, the winner comes from the senior division, which includes grades 9-12.

This year, around 250 photos were submitted.  Of them, 37 winners were announced:


PRIMARY – Black and White

Kate Winney

Sebastien Allison

Ava Soucie


PRIMARY – Colour

Kate Winney

Sebastien Allison

Ava Soucie


PRIMARY – Digitally Enhanced

Sebastien Allison

Dale Richardson explores the 13th annual Student Pix exhibit at the Gibson Art Gallery in Amherstburg. The exhibit will run through June 3. (Photo by Jonathan Martin)

JUNIOR – Black and White

Isabelle Soucie

Elliana O’Neill

Brianna Gignac


JUNIOR – Colour

Meredith Reynolds

Claire Bolton

Isabelle Soucie


JUNIOR – Digitally Enhanced

Minji Kim

Claire Stockwell

Claire Bolton


INTERMEDIATE – Black and White

Marin Van Wagner

Parker Mosey

Julia Balkwill


JUNIOR – Colour

Nefertari Powell

Mila Vasquez

Grace Rivett


JUNIOR – Digitally Enhanced

Aleksandra Milic

Morgan Churchill

Ava Claridge


SENIOR – Black and White

Ashley Injic

Julia Sanders

Dilinaer Aiyireti


SENIOR – Colour

Sydney Cremasco

Chyenne Wilson

Celina Duguay

Sommer Franz


SENIOR – Digitally Enhanced

Mariffe Boycott

Kevin Baker

Joslyn Gagnier


BEST IN SHOW – Black and White

Alyssa Ferrera



Sommer Franz


BEST IN SHOW – Digitally Enhanced

Addison Slater


The exhibit will continue hanging until June 3, when a closing reception will be held from 2-4 p.m.  The students will be formally presented with their awards at 3 p.m.

The Gibson Art Gallery is open from Thursday-Sunday 11 a.m.-5 p.m.

Gibson Gallery hosts annual AGM



By Ron Giofu


The Fort Malden Guild of Arts and Crafts, the board that operates the Gibson Gallery, looked back on another year at their annual general meeting (AGM).

The meeting, held recently at the Richmond St. gallery, recapped the year and offered a look ahead at projects the board is considering in the future. Dave Cozens, president of the board, pointed out the gallery’s signature event – Art by the River – turned out well in 2017.

“It was a great success with great weather and great crowds,” said Cozens. “It was a great return on our efforts.”

Cozens outlined the history of the gallery and the work that has been done since it was purchased by guild member Florence Gibson and donated to the Fort Malden Guild of Arts and Crafts in 1968. From purchasing the land to installing signage, the gallery’s evolution was detailed including work done in recent years that included painting of the interior and exterior, putting up black fencing along the north and east sides, installing LED pot lights and introducing a new hanging system.

Future work includes compiling a “manual” that will instruct future members and committee appointees on what to do “so you don’t have to start from scratch.” Other possibilities for 2018 include refurbishing the landscaping, refreshing the caboose and putting a digital sign at the road.

Art by the River was one of the bigger success stories for the Gibson Gallery in 2017.

The museum had about 2,200 visitors for the nine exhibits in 2017, noted board member Kathleen Cant, with roughly 300 more attending receptions. The Holiday Gift Shoppe drew in an additional 500 people.

The most popular exhibit was “White Works: Dennis and Dylan White,” as well as the other exhibits held during the summer months. The Gibson Gallery reported an excellent response from the artist community for the Canada 150 exhibit and the student shows are always well attended.

Bonnie Deslippe, office administrator and board member, reported they have approximately 127 members at the gallery, noting more are welcome to join. Those interested can join for $20 or $25 per family.

Deslippe also noted they are partnering more and more with the town of Amherstburg and working closely with the tourism department.

“All in all, I’d say (the town) is very supportive of the Gibson Gallery,” said Deslippe.

The first exhibit of the 2018 schedule is “Some Beauty I’ve Seen on my Way” by Sandra Menard. That is scheduled to run March 1-25. This year’s Art by the River is scheduled for Aug. 25-26 at Fort Malden National Historic Site.

For further information on the Gibson Gallery, call 519-736-2826 or visit their website at Their Twitter account can be found at while their Facebook account is found at

Holiday Gift Shoppe at the Gallery gives residents a chance to buy local


By Jolene Perron


The Gibson Gallery, which typically hosts are shows, has transformed into a holiday gift shoppe, showcasing the work of local artists and allowing them to sell their homemade goods for gifts for the holiday season.

The initiative was started in 2004 as a fundraiser for the gallery. Gibson Gallery office administrator Bonnie Deslippe explained the thought behind the event was the bring Art by the River, on a smaller scale, indoors.

More than 40 different vendors have their items for sale at the Gibson Art Gallery, giving shoppers a chance to support local artists this holiday season.

“Originally the vendors would rent a table in the gallery for a set fee. The down side was that we only had room for about a dozen at most and it became very crowded once the customers arrived,” said Deslippe. “In 2011, we started the format of operating the gallery as a gift shoppe, having the exhibitors drop off their items, which are then set out by the Gallery board members. This allows the exhibitors to attend other art and craft shows in the area and the cost to them is the commission on sold items.”

Deslippe said their own Nifty Needleworkers, who work out of the gallery every week, are busy all year creating the hats, scarfs and other knitted and crocheted items that are for sale. All of their sales are returned to the Gallery, and after the shoppe closes, any unsold items are distributed to the various charities that they support.

More than 40 different vendors have their items for sale at the Gibson Art Gallery, giving shoppers a chance to support local artists this holiday season.

This year, the gallery has more than 40 vendors. The planning begun right after the gates for Art by the River closed. Currently, the Gibson Gallery is filled with wreaths and decorations for sale as well as unique gift items including jewellery, pottery, artwork, fabric art, wood turnings, chocolate, Christmas cake, fur and tartan teddies, soaps and lotions, stained glass, tinware from the Park House, jams by Zone 6 Gardeners, books by local authors, John Schlarbaum, Melissa Piva, Dennis White and Linda Bertrand, pottery by River Rock, paper products by Pocket Squares, glass beads by Michelle Taylor, baskets by Martina Obersat and much more.

More than 40 different vendors have their items for sale at the Gibson Art Gallery, giving shoppers a chance to support local artists this holiday season.

“I personally feel it is very important,” said Deslippe. “It gives artists and artisans to sell their creations and gives the public a chance to purchase a unique, one of a kind gift or decoration, an alternative to shopping at the ‘big box stores.’ It is also a way for them to support the local art community and the Gibson Gallery itself. It has become another part of the River Lights Winter Festival – it is important for the various sites and events in town to work together. People should take a few minutes when they are out and about to stop in and see what we have to offer. They will be pleasantly surprised.”

Holiday Gift Shoppe at the Gallery runs through Dec. 10.

The Gibson Gallery is located at 140 Richmond St. and their current hours are Thursday-Sunday from 11 a.m.-5 p.m.

For further information, call 519-736-2826 and or visit their website at Their Twitter account can be found at while their Facebook account is found at


Gibson Gallery returns to its railroad roots


Special to the RTT

The Windsor Model Railroad Club (WMRC) is on track to return the Gibson Art Gallery to its locomotive roots.

The gallery will host an exhibit put together by the club until Nov. 12. According to WMRC director Bill Poff, the display will marry the gallery’s past as the Central Michigan Railroad Station to its present as a place of artistic expression.

“At this show, we’re trying to highlight the materials we use and how we use them,” said Poff. “(We feel) that this is an opportunity to show the work and the skill that goes into the construction of the pieces – there are many disciplines involved.”

Poff said all his club’s displays are to-scale. One real-life metre is equal to 161 on the models. He said that if an onlooker were to shrink down and walk around on the display, he or she wouldn’t feel out of place.

“There’s a very real artistry involved in making the scenery believable,” he said. “Much of (the inspiration) is taken from real-life places in Windsor-Essex.”

Poff said many of WMRC’s members spend a great deal of time researching the area’s locomotive past. One area of interest, he emphasized, is the Gibson Art Gallery itself. Until the advent of the electric railway, the gallery’s site was home to the Michigan Central Railroad Station.

“What could be better than model railroads set up in a heritage railroad station?” asked Bonnie Deslippe, the gallery’s administrator. “Even better, many of these talented hobbyists will be on-site each day to talk about their craft.”

There is no entrance fee for the exhibit, which WMRC has titled, “The Hobby and Art of Model Railroading.” The show is open to the public 11 a.m.-5 p.m. from Thursday to Sunday.

For more information, visit or call 519-736-2826.

Gibson Gallery showcases eclectic assortment of art from members



By Jolene Perron


Each autumn, the Gibson Gallery devotes an entire exhibit to showing off the work of their members.

The Fort Malden Guild of Arts and Crafts, which is the legal name for the gallery, was established in the 1940s and incorporated in 1975 “to encourage and foster cultural development in the fields of fine arts and applied arts.”

Hazel Riley shows off her painting titled “Daddy Gone,” depicting the effects of war on children in other countries. This piece, along with many other member’s pieces are being showcased in the Gibson Art Gallery’s annual member’s exhibit, which will be wrapping up Sunday.

Board member Bonnie Deslippe explained they had no permanent home until they purchased the former Michigan Central Train Station in 1969 and opened the Gibson Gallery in June of that year. The annual Members exhibit allows paid-up members of the Fort Malden Guild of Arts and Crafts to showcase their work, with no hanging-fee, which is one of the benefits of being a member.

“We feel it is important to share the work of our members and to do so at no expense to them. This is the eighth year of the exhibit in the current format,” explained Deslippe. “This exhibit is unique in the sense that it is very eclectic. You have different mediums, and artists at different skill levels putting their work together to create a very interesting exhibit”

Vivian Clinck, member for over two years said when she moved here from Wickenburg, Arizona, she thought finding something to compete with the galleries she’d known out there would be tough. It turns out that she was wrong.

“Let me tell you, this Gibson Gallery is top notch,” explained Clinck. “It’s one of the best galleries I have ever been privileged to show at and Bonnie is an excellent curator. She knows what to do, she knows how to present, every single month those pictures are changed into a new show. I just love it here. It’s so quaint and nice.”

Clinck loves the Gibson Gallery so much she even brought along a friend, Hazel Riley to accompany her. Riley has recently become a member of the gallery, and is also showcasing her work in this year’s member’s exhibit.

Vivian Clinck shows off her painting of Duffy’s dock, which is showcased in the Gibson Art Gallery’s annual member’s exhibit, which will be wrapping up Sunday.

“I came to see Vivian’s work when there were studio tours and I showed her some of the work I was doing, and she said I needed to come with her. Now, we come up together,” explained Riley. “I have been away from the world of art for a while, and I’m just coming back now to it. I’m having the best time of my life now, I’m having the best days ever being able to paint and express myself in this way it’s really wonderful.”

The assortment of artwork at the gallery for the exhibit ranges from watercolor paintings, acrylic paintings, oil paintings, pastel drawing, ceramic sculptures, photography, fabric art and so much more.

The annual members exhibit is on display at the Gibson Gallery until this Sunday, with the closing reception from 2-4 p.m. on the final day.