Dave Cozens

Photos, art and artifacts sought for upcoming marine exhibit at Gibson Gallery

 

 

The Gibson Gallery will have an exhibit entitled “Ahoy! Amherstburg’s Marine Past” that will run from Sept. 27-Oct. 21.

Through a collection of art, artifacts and photos, the exhibit will showcase the marine history that flourished in the Port of Amherstburg since the 1800’s. A highlight of the exhibit will be the colourful history of McQueen Marine Ltd. that was based in Amherstburg for over 50 years. Come aboard to hear the stories told by crew members of McQueen’s famous tug, Atomic. See what our Detroit River shoreline and the Navy Yard Park looked like 50 years ago!

The tug “Atomic” is pictured. (Photo courtesy of the Marsh Historical Collection)

Among those putting the exhibit together are Dave Cozens, Al Jackson and Capt. Cliff Morrison.

“The three of us are putting this exhibit together,” said Cozens, as he and Jackson looked through Dave Goodchild’s collection of photos.

The Gibson Gallery is looking for photos, paintings, prints, artifacts and any other materials that depict Amherstburg’s marine past. The gallery is looking for photos of Mullen’s Coal Dock, the Boblo dock at the foot of Murray St., Duffy’s marina, the custom’s dock and the Navy Yard Park construction.

Cozens said they are hopeful to get calls and submissions from the public. He believes there are “hidden gems” out in the community “but we don’t know what they are.”

The Marsh Historical Collection is also assisting with providing materials.

The “Prudence” is photographed. (Photo courtesy of the Marsh Historical Collection)

“It’s a united effort,” said Cozens.

If there are members of the public that have anything of interest that they would be prepared to loan to the Gibson Gallery for the exhibit, please contact Cozens at 519-736-2228 or via e-mail at office@gibsonartgallery.com. The public’s support is greatly appreciated.

The public is invited to visit the “Ahoy! Amherstburg’s Marine Past” exhibit at the Gibson Gallery this fall. The gallery is located at 140 Richmond St.

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 www.gibsonartgallery.com. Their Twitter account can be found at www.twitter.com/ARTamherstburg while their Facebook account is found at www.facebook.com/GibsonGallery.

Gibson Gallery holds AGM, former president guest speaker

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The Fort Malden Guild of Arts and Crafts, the board the operates the Gibson Gallery, held its annual general meeting (AGM) last week with a former president recounting their history.

Hazen Price was the guest speaker at last Tuesday night’s meeting at the Richmond St. gallery, with the 93-year-old recalling both the guild’s history as well as the building itself.

Dave Cozens, the guild’s current president, introduced Price and pointed out Price’s background, which includes being born and raised in Detroit and getting masters degrees from the University of Michigan in botany and chemistry.

Price and wife Beryl came to Amherstburg where they had a farming operation in Malden. He became the president of the Fort Malden Guild of Arts and Crafts in 1951 and represented the guild on the town’s recreation committee from 1965-67. He was also the guest speaker’s at the guild’s AGM in 1969.

The Prices were named “Citizens of the Year” in 1991 and were recognized in 1999 when the Gibson Gallery’s current site celebrated its 30th anniversary as an art gallery.

“I didn’t expect it to be ‘This Is Your Life, Hazen Price’,” he joked when he stepped up to the lectern.

Price said the guild first started meeting at Fort Malden National Historic Site in 1950 and speculated that is where the name of the guild came from. David Botsford was the first president with Price being the second.

Fort Malden Guild of Arts and Crafts president Dave Cozens (left) presents a plaque to Hazen Price as part of the Jan. 17 annual general meeting at the Gibson Gallery. Price and his late wife Beryl were honoured for their contributions to the gallery. The plaque will be mounted on the gallery's Richmond St. property.

Fort Malden Guild of Arts and Crafts president Dave Cozens (left) presents a plaque to Hazen Price as part of the Jan. 17 annual general meeting at the Gibson Gallery. Price and his late wife Beryl were honoured for their contributions to the gallery. The plaque will be mounted on the gallery’s Richmond St. property.

They would meet on what was known as the McGregor House on the Fort’s grounds and would put on small shows.

Price dealt with the farmer’s co-operative that was behind the gallery’s current location and, as the president of the guild again, was asked if they wanted to buy it for the group.

“As president, the railroad came to me and asked if we wanted to buy this building as an office for the group,” said Price.

A $500 cheque later, the building belonged to the guild. Price said it was Florence Gibson who made the donation.

Repairs were made to windows, furnaces, the roof, floor and electrical work with the building also receiving a paint job.

Valerie Buckie said Price’s wife Beryl’s family dates back to 1796 in Amherstburg. She said the two married in 1946 and she learned to weave and perform other arts and crafts. Beryl joined the stitchery group in 1969 and kept going to the gallery until she became ill in 2014.

Buckie said Beryl wanted the arts to continue at the gallery and left a “sizable donation” after her death.

“I’m very proud to have known her,” said Buckie.

Cozens said the Prices gave over 100 years combined to the gallery and unveiled a plaque on the property to commemorate that. He added her donation helped with the craft room, indoor and outdoor lighting and other renovations.

The Gibson Gallery currently has 112 members. Cozens outlined 2016 accomplishments as being renovations to the interior and exterior including the new lighting and a new fence. He said the 50th annual Art by the River was a success despite the thunderstorms that cut both days short.

The Gibson Gallery was TWEPI’s choice as best art gallery, awarded one scholarship to a St. Thomas of Villanova Secondary School student and hosted several community events, he said. The gallery also received a donation from Susan Whelan of a model train that used to be in her father Eugene’s Ottawa office.

Goals for 2017 include deciding what to do with the train, creating a procedural and operational manual and painting on the exterior of the building.

The Gibson Gallery is located at 140 Richmond St. Their phone number is 519-736-2826 and their website is www.gibsonartgallery.com. Their Twitter account can be found at www.twitter.com/ARTamherstburg while their Facebook account is found at www.facebook.com/GibsonGallery.

 

 

 

Art by the River celebrates 50th year

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

Organizers and vendors at Art by the River reported good crowds and positive feedback during last weekend’s event… when it was dry, that is.

Thunderstorms cut both days of the 50th annual event short but when it was sunny and hot during earlier portions of Saturday and Sunday, things still went well. The annual event is presented by the Fort Malden Guild of Arts and Crafts, the body that runs the Gibson Gallery.

Denise Busko works on a painting last Saturday during Art by the River. She was one of the 150 artists and artisans on the grounds of Fort Malden for the 50th annual event.

Denise Busko works on a painting last Saturday during Art by the River. She was one of the 150 artists and artisans on the grounds of Fort Malden for the 50th annual event.

“Yesterday was one of our busiest days that I can remember,” said Dave Cozens, president of the board of directors. “Fortunately the storm came late enough (Saturday) that people had already been here.”

Saturday afternoon’s storm saw damage to about five tents but Cozens noted that it was minor and there were no injuries that he was aware of. The decision to close early came around 3 p.m.

“It could have been a lot worse,” said Cozens.

Sunday’s round of storms once again caused the event to shut down early, as the call was made to close around 2 p.m. The gallery reported via the Art by the River page on Facebook (www.facebook.com/artbytheriveramherstburg) they were on track for a record turnout before the thunderstorms rolled in.

Overall, there were about 150 vendors that took over the grounds at Fort Malden National Historic Site of Canada. Being the 50th anniversary of Art by the River, the gallery added a raffle tent with about 80 pieces of art being donated. Cozens said that was popular.

“The raffle tent has been packed,” he said.

Vendors came from all around southern Ontario, he said, something publicity director and board member Bonnie Deslippe confirmed. She said many are from around London and Toronto with some being north of Toronto. One vendor comes from as far as Manitoba every year.

Traya and Melah Mulder  create their own pieces of art at the “Little Artists’ Workshop” during Art by the River.

Traya and Melah Mulder
create their own pieces of art at the “Little Artists’ Workshop” during Art by the River.

“The feedback I get from exhibitors is that they love the venue and they love how organized the show is,” said Deslippe. “We hear it all the time – ours is one of the better run festivals.”

While the 50th anniversary is important to the Gibson Gallery, Deslippe said the artists are the most important factor to Art by the River.

“For us, the focus is always on the art,” she said. “The focus is not about us, it is on the art and making sure everyone enjoys themselves, both the public and exhibitors.”

Deslippe pointed out the volunteers have been a vital part of the show for each of the 50 years.

“The event can’t go off without our dedicated volunteers,” she stated.

When storms hit, Deslippe added the volunteers worked hard to make sure everyone was safe and merchandise was cared for properly.

Crowds stream through Fort Malden National Historic Site during Art by the River. The event is the Gibson Gallery’s largest fundraiser of the year.

Crowds stream through Fort Malden National Historic Site during Art by the River. The event is the Gibson Gallery’s largest fundraiser of the year.

For Denise Busko, this year’s Art by the River was her first and she is trying to branch out into larger, outdoor shows to get more exposure to her paintings.

“This is what I want to do, sell my art,” she said. “I’m going to keep doing shows like this. It’s been a good experience. I’ve been getting a lot of feedback.”

Busko said she has done solo exhibitions and smaller shows but liked Art by the River.

“I think this has been the best yet just because of how many people come here,” she said.

Local author John Schlarbaum was along the shores of the Detroit River selling his books and reported Saturday afternoon things were going well.

“For me, I’ve sold a lot of books,” said Schlarbaum. “I am very happy.”

Schlarbaum called it “a nice local, cultural event” that allows him to connect with his readers.

“The Greek Chef” Oreste Papageorgiou and his delicacies were part of the show for about the sixth time. He said the people are very friendly and has never had any issues with the organizers of the show.

“A lot of the same people come here and say ‘we love you, don’t stop coming,” said Papageorgiou.

Papageorgiou said they loved the fact they were helping the Gibson Gallery celebrate the 50th annual show.

“We love to celebrate with them. That’s quite a milestone,” he said. “It seems to be getting better all the time.”

Dan Greenwood and his Erie Treasures Chainsaw Art came in from Wheatley for the second straight year and he called it a nice venue he enjoys coming to. He said he is learning what pieces to bring to which shows and has learned that the Amherstburg show has resulted in a lot of bird creations being sold.

“Last year, we sold everything that looked like an owl,” he said.

Greenwood said coming to Art by the River “has worked out very well” and “we love it here. We’ll come back again next year.” He added he can remember coming to Art by the River when he was 11 or 12-years-old.

Kaitlynn Lessard and Sallma Majthoab create a large piece of art as part of a competition for students during Art by the River.

Kaitlynn Lessard and Sallma Majthoab create a large piece of art as part of a competition for students during Art by the River.

Lanre Peacock was at Art by the River for the first time. Having just moved from Toronto to Windsor, he wanted to try a local show as he generates a good portion of his income through art sales.

“I love what I do,” he said.

Much of Peacock’s work is sold online but he wants to get to various art shows in the region as well and tried Art by the River. He said the exposure and feedback was strong.

“That goes a long way when you are hearing people talk about what you are doing,” said Peacock.

The Gibson Gallery is located at 140 Richmond St. and their phone number is 519-736-2826. Their website is www.gibsonartgallery.com, their Facebook page can be found at www.facebook.com/GibsonGallery and their Twitter account is @ARTamherstburg.

Gibson Gallery gearing up for milestone with “Celebrating Fifty Years of Art by the River” exhibit

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

Art by the River is celebrating a milestone Aug. 27-28 with the Gibson Gallery’s latest exhibit celebrating that achievement.

The local arts and crafts show will be held for the 50th time this year and the anniversary is being observed in the current “Fifty Years of Art by the River” now on exhibit through Aug. 28.

“We’re very proud of the success and longevity of Art by the River,” said Dave Cozens, president of the Fort Malden Guild of Arts and Crafts, the board that operates the museum.

The show began small in 1967 and has grown substantially over the years with Cozens stating the founders of the show would be happy to see what their creation has turned into.

“I’m sure the gallery members involved in 1967 would be proud to see how Art by the River has grown,” said Cozens.

The Fort Malden Guild of Arts and Crafts believes their event may be the longest running festival in Amherstburg and Cozens added it is likely the longest running art show in Essex County. It is also the largest fundraiser the Fort Malden Guild of Arts and Crafts hosts annually, with proceeds going back into the Gibson Gallery and the maintenance of the historic building.

Planned upgrades this year include a black, iron fence around the perimeter of the property, replacing a wooden fence which currently exists.

Art by the River attracts roughly 9,000 visitors per year, with Cozens stating “this is a positive spin-off for many local businesses.” He added the volunteers and sponsors have been crucial to the success of Art by the River.

A raffle tent is new this year, he added.

“Many of the artists and artisans have donated a piece of work for the raffle,” stated Cozens.

Joan Jones cuts the cake during the reception. Jones’ mother Florence Woof was an original co-founder of the show.

Joan Jones cuts the cake during the reception. Jones’ mother Florence Woof was an original co-founder of the show.

Parks Canada and Fort Malden National Historic Site of Canada were also thanked, with Cozens stating it has been a “very rewarding partnership” for both sides. The town was also thanked for its support as well, as were the artists who return year after year to make the show what it has become.

Corrine Ross, team leader at Fort Malden, was joined by interpretive officer Alex Dale and they expressed greetings on behalf of the Fort.

“We’re very pleased to have (Art by the River) at Fort Malden each year,” said Ross.

Ross said they are looking forward to the arts and crafts show again this year.

Mayor Aldo DiCarlo joked he can remember that the show started in 1967 as that was the year he was born.

“Fifty years – that is really something,” he said of the show’s longevity.

DiCarlo pointed out that he is co-chair of the Windsor-Essex Harvest Festival that is happening Sept. 9-11 and that he is learning how much work goes into planning an event in Amherstburg.

“I’m just doing this for one year but Art by the River has been doing this for 50 years,” he said.

oshua and Lauren Vitella perform at a reception for the “Celebrating 50 Years of Art by the River” held Sunday afternoon.

oshua and Lauren Vitella perform at a reception for the “Celebrating 50 Years of Art by the River” held Sunday afternoon.

Organizers put on Art by the River with the only compensation being they are doing something for their community and DiCarlo added he congratulated them and thanked them for “giving us Art by the River for 50 years” and hoped for 50 more.”

Bonnie Deslippe, a member of the gallery’s board, noted the exhibit at the gallery features artists from previous Art by the Rivers. She said they had to research some artists from the early years and ended up finding either original pieces from the first Art by the River or artists from the show’s infancy.

“If you look around the room, you will see some of Essex County’s most prominent artists,” said Deslippe during a Sunday afternoon reception.