| Jul 24, 2019

For those unfamiliar with the Fantasy In The Forest Art Show, it takes place every year in a mythical forest Kingdom somewhere down Draper Lake Road, allegedly in the Township of South Frontenac.

But for two days every summer (this was the 24th annual), this part of the Township magically teleports to another realm, one presided over by sculptor and King Jamie Brick.

“We have 86 artists this year (in 75 booths),” he said. “We had 60 last year.

“The bigger it gets, the harder it is to manage (but) I guess we’ll have to do something for next year (the 25th edition).”

One thing they did manage to vastly improve this year was the parking situation. For this year, they secured a location just where Draper Lake Road meets Norway Road and operated a shuttle bus every 15 minutes to take guests back and forth to the main location. Big improvement.

The limited parking around the actual site was reserved for exhibitors and food vendors.

One person who didn’t really know how much the parking situation had improved was The Tape Man, Jeff White. This was White’s first ever show/sale.

“Well, I did do a couple of Christmas craft shows at the school,” he said. “But nothing’s like this.”

White, a storyboard artist by trade (he worked on the Canada-France co-production remake of Belle and Sebastian among others), creates fantasy characters by first constructing a wire frame and then building it up with masking tape. He then applies an acrylic gel as a preservative.

“I like dragons and wizards,” he said.

He met Brick at the Originals Fair in Ottawa last December.

“I was just there looking for someone I could relate to,” White said. “I saw Jamie and we started talking.

“Next thing you know, I’m spending the last six months getting ready for this show.

“But even if I don’t sell anything, at least I’ve got my Christmas shopping done.”

(For those who might be interested, White is related to Plevna musician Bill White. Jeff’s dad, Don, is a member of the band Grateful We’re Not Dead and is Bill’s Cousin.)

On the other end of the spectrum, Ron Tremback and Patti Robertson of Solar Woodcuts have been coming to Brick’s world almost since the very beginning.

“It’s been at least 15 years,” Tremback said. “We go back to when there were only 12 booths down by the lake.

“The artists were billeted at cottages around the lake and we were billeted on an island. You couldn’t do that now.”

Tremback said he’s been doing this full time for 28 years now and has raised four kids in the process.

Fantasy in the Forest is one of his favorite shows and he has every intention of returning.

“You never drop a good show for something else,” he said. “The grass is not always greener.”

He said he enjoys seeing the same people every year.

“When we stop doing shows, we lose a lot of friends — and we don’t even know who they are,” he said. “Your booth attracts people of similar consciousness and that gives me hope for humanity.”

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