Inside an art gallery, you’ll usually see people appreciating the art in a quiet, pensive, almost melancholy way (unless one artist is enthusiastically speaking to another about their passion). But a peek inside the mind of an art aficionado presents a different picture. Art sets in motion the parts of the brain that fire creativity and inspiration. Whether you’re an artist or not, science has shown that appreciating art is good for you and will improve your quality of life. Thankfully, Oakville and Burlington are both home to thriving artistic communities, and there are several art galleries – large and small, independent and publicly funded.
Two of Halton’s largest publicly funded art galleries are the Art Gallery of Burlington and the Oakville Galleries.
Art Gallery of Burlington
Since 1978, the Art Gallery of Burlington (AGB, previously known as the Burlington Art Centre) has been the city’s interactive and creative space for the community. The AGB is an award winning public gallery in downtown Burlington. The more than 44,000 square foot facility is home to seven fine craft guilds (photography, hand-weaving, spinning, sculpture/ woodcarving, fine arts, pottery and hooking craft), five studios, four galleries and a spectacular gift shop, a peaceful exhibition courtyard and a year-round conservatory.
If you’ve ever thought about dabbling in the arts, the AGB offers classes in photography, weaving, pottery, jewelry making and more, for adults and for children. Not ready to pay for lessons? There are other ways to explore your artistic side. Visit the Creative Hub, the AGB’s drop-in art studio for free hands-on art-making activities. The Hub runs throughout the year with different themes. If you like your art mixed with cocktails, the Splash Night (for 19 and over) is an evening of socializing and creativity, which runs every Thursday from now until November 20. Tickets are $35 per person. The Maker’s Series is for the DIY enthusiast and is a one-day workshop dedicated to the art of crafting by hand. Workshops remaining in 2014 will run November 8 and December 13.
One of the gallery’s longest running art-based and community fundraising events is the annual Soup Bowl, which runs from November 13 – 16. Choose a fabulous handcrafted bowl, fill your bowl with locally made gourmet soup and enjoy a masterpiece of a meal. Oh, and the bowl is yours to keep.
The Oakville Galleries is a not-for-profit contemporary art museum, with two locations in Oakville: Gairloch Gardens on Lakeshore Road, and Centennial Square, on Navy Street downtown. The Gairloch Gardens facility was once the main house of Lt. Col. W.G. MacKendrick, built in 1922, then renamed “Gairloch” (Gaelic for “short lake”) in 1960. Like a creative vault of sorts, the OG’s permanent collection has more than 1,100 works of art, valued at over $1.7 million.
The Oakville Galleries also offers ongoing art classes, workshops and presentations for the community. To keep young hands and minds busy and engaged, OG offers art classes in both English and French led by professional artists and art educators for children ages six – 14. Whether it’s summertime, a PD day, after school, weekends or March Break, there is a one-of-a-kind art making experience children can enjoy. The OG also hosts birthday parties!
So why not visit a nearby art gallery on a cool November day this year? It is sure to fire the imagination, inspire you, and stimulate your creativity!
Art Gallery of Burlington
Oakville Arts Council
Art in Action (studio tour, November 1 – 2)
Burlington Fine Arts Association
By Becky Dumais