Craig Bakay | Aug 02, 2017
In all of its 22 years, the Bon Echo Art Exhibition has “never had bad weather,” said Betty Pearce, coordinator of the Exhibition for the Friends of Bon Echo.
Pearce said that at 40 exhibitors, this was one of the smaller shows of recent years but within their optimum range.
“We usually try for 45 but we’re generally in the 40-50 range,” she said. “We’ve found 50 or more to be a bit too crowed.”
The juried show features Canadian wildlife and/or countryside and it’s all ‘fine art,’ ie no crafts per se.
“The show itself isn’t really a fundraiser for the Friends of Bon Echo,” she said. “But the food and barbecue sales generally are.”
“It’s a cultural event,” said Katie Ohlke, who had her own work on display as well as that of some of her art students at North Addington Education Centre. “And it’s good real life experience for the students, especially if they can make a little money for materials.
“It’s one thing to make art; it’s quite another to show it to an audience.”
And, she said, it’s a good way to meet people with similar interests.
Carla Meidema has been meeting people this way for 22 years at the Exhibition. One of the original instigators, she’s only recently (five months ago) moved to Kingston but lived in Cloyne for many years. She has a BFA from Queen’s and has been an artist “all my life.”
She recalled that the Park wasn’t that keen on the original idea but when the Friends of Bon Echo got involved, it really took off.
“The exhibition has matured quite a bit from that first one,” she said. “The first year we had 23 artists and hung ropes in the trees to hang the art from.”