Lois Raw’s family started their association with the Highlands in 1938 or 39 when they purchased a cottage resort called Kushog Heights that was located, strange as it may seem, on what is now known as Lake Kashagawigamog. Other members of the family, including Lois’ grandparents, purchased property in the surrounding area. Lois took possession of her grandparents cottage and owned it until 2001.
When she retired she felt the strongest connection to the Haliburton Highlands. She realized she could not live in the cottage as it was not equipped to meet the demands of our Canadian winters. So, she searched for property and found the former school house that she now lives and works in. Interesting that a teacher should now live in this abandonned school house.
When the Haliburton School of the Arts first opened Lois began to take art classes. She states that “this community is a wonderful place to be an artist. It has a rich and deep artistic background and lots of variety and expertise from which to draw”. She notes that the curators at both the Rails End Gallery and Art Centre and the Agnes Jamieson Gallery have been very encouraging to her, giving her opportunities for exhibition of her work. She has won many awards for her pastels, including the Abstract Award from the Pastel Artists of Canada
Lois is currently working on a series of paintings of local Haliburton Highlands musicians. One of them, a picture of Albert Saxby, is featured in the MadeInHaliburton.ca exhibit that opens on April 7, 2012 at the Art Hive.
Al Van Mil grew up in an artistic family, learning the art of traditional oil painting from his father, an artist and teacher from the Netherlands. Al continued his study of art at the Ontario College of Art and Design and the University of Guelph. Al’s artistic interests and techniques are always evolving as he experiments with new and old artistic techniques. Al was a co-founder of a commercial art compnay in 1980. In 1986 this company was named one of the three top architctural model makers in the world. In 1990 he sold this company and began painting again on a full-time basis. Since this time he has gained popularity as is evidence by his artwork has been exhibited in the National Gallery of Canada, the Art Gallery of Ontario, and the Musée des beaux-arts de Montréal, in addition to many privately owned galleries. In 1998, as a member of Collaborations with artists from the Canadian Opera Company and the National Ballet of Canada he began painting on stage, in many live theaters across Toronto. Consequently he designed the sets for two Canadian opera productions: Die Fledermaus in 2009, and La Boheme in 2010. A large variety of galleries presently exhibit Al’s paintings in Ontario, Quebec, New York, and London, England.
Al’s family moved frequently after his arrival in Canada. He fortuitously spent 2 years of that time in the Haliburton Highlands and attended the Haliburton Highlands Secondary School. He and his family always remembered those 2 years with great fondness and Al had a yearning to return to the Highlands. A friend encouraged him to consider teaching at the Haliburton School of the Arts. His first experience at the Haliburton School of the Arts was about 15 years ago and he has continued to be a part of the program ever since.
Initially, he stayed in rental accommodation, purposefully selecting accommodation in different locations with the goal of finding the right place to purchase. In 2005 he and his wife, Annette, purchased their cottage and studio on Miskwabi Lake. He retains his residence in Toronto in addition to his cottage home. He states that some of his recent works reflect “the sensual heart of the highlands”.
Over the years Al has become more and more involved in the Haliburton Highlands artistic community. Al participates in the Haliburton County Studio Tour which gives people an opportunity to see his cottage studio and the surrounding area that helps to nspire his artistic vision. He has also worked with the Highlands Opera Studio to create sets for their productions.
With spring just around the corner, John Proctor at Earth Tones Studio, has been working on a new musical instrument: The “Thunder Drum”. It is made from a hard shelled gourd, goat skin and a spring. If you like the sound of thunder storms, you will like this instrument.
The sound it produces sounds like real thunder from Mother Nature herself. It can be hung outside in a tree to catch the wind or you can hold it in your hand and shake it to move the spring and hear the “rumble”. Hard shelled gourds come in all shapes and sizes, but the one in the picture is a good shape to resonate that “thunder rumble”. Take a look at some of John’s other drums.
After many hours of hard work by a committee of dedicated individuals this website, MadeInHaliburton.ca, has become a reality! Welcome to our new website and we hope you enjoy your visit. Any feedback about the website is greatly appreciated .. so, feel free to go to the contact us page and send us an email.
Why have we created an online gallery for the artists of the Haliburton Highlands? It is simple: this is a Canadian Artistic Community and the work of local artists deserves to be showcased and marketed as such. In 1968 a small group of local Haliburton Highlands citizens got together and charted a vision for the community to become an enclave for artists. It was envisioned that the Haliburton Highlands would become ”the Banff of the east”. The rugged landscape of forests and lakes was thought to be an ideal location for artists to be creative in their home-based businesses scattered around the region. Forty years later the arts have truly blossomed in this community. It is now the home of a full-time Fleming College campus that attracts over 200 full-time students, and 3,500 students for week long courses given by over 150 artist faculty members who are associated with a variety of media and methods. There are 190 artists and arts related organizations registered with the Arts Council of the Haliburton Highlands. It is known that this is only part of the total composition of the arts within the Haliburton Highlands as some individuals choose not to become members. There are several year round public galleries; five community museums; three studio tours; two dance studios; the Highlands Summer Festival (live theatre), the Highlands Opera Studio; a variety of live musical performances through the Forest Festival and Folk Society. This list is certainly not all inclusive but, will give you an idea of the depth and breadth of cultural opportunities that abound in the Haliburton Highlands. All of this has been created by a small but, vibrant community with only 15,000 permanent residents. Art “production” is one of the main economic development enterprises of this region.
The work of many of these fine artists has been a well-kept secret, shared only with those who happened upon their work at local galleries or stumbled upon their out of the way studios. The Haliburton Highlands Studio Tour does bring many visitors to see these studios during the fall cavalcade of colours. Some artists have a presence on the web but, there are few “buy now” opportunities for the public to take advantage of. We are now taking their work to the world through our online gallery and marketplace and offering people around the world the opportunity to “buy now” 365 days of the year 24 hours a day.
All artists displaying their work on this website have been reviewed by a committee of the Arts Council of the Haliburton Highlands to ensure that there is a high quality of work while not limiting the scope of work too aggressively. Here at Made-In-Haliburton.ca we believe that art is, at least in part, in the eye of the beholder. In addition to our jurying process we enable the purchaser to evaluate the quality of the artist’s work by openly and honestly providing the artists’ credentials along with high quality photographic images that allow the purchaser to examine the work in detail before making a decision to purchase. We also guarantee that if you are dissatisfied with the art when you receive it that it can be returned within the 7 day return period in accordance with the return policy.
This website is a joint project of MadeInHaliburton.ca, The Arts Council~Haliburton Highlands, Parker Pad, The Art Hive and The RightEyedDeer Press with funding from the Province of Ontario’s Ministry of Tourism and Culture’s Cultural Strategic Investment Fund (CSIF)
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