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Apples and Art, a sensory experience not to be missed

Apples and Art in Kimberley Ontario



Taking into account that the southern Georgian Bay region is one of Ontario’s major apple-producing areas and given that the beauty of the Niagara Escarpment has attracted and inspired a large number of talented artists and artisans, the annual Apples and Art Show in Kimberley had all the markings of a no-brainer event.

Fall too - with all of its colours and sensory experience set against the backdrop of escarpment cliff views on one side and the slowly meandering Beaver River on the other - demanded a co-starring role. And so, Apples and Art was born.

The idea for the exhibition morphed quickly into reality back in 2014 as the Kimberley Community Association (KCA) hastily gathered local artists to show their works in the municipally-owned Kimberley Hall. Among the many challenges to overcome in that first year was a restriction that no art was allowed to hang on the walls of the facility. But it was the creative use of scaffolding, generously lent to the organizers by local contractor Kimbergill Construction, that saved the day and allowed the event to proceed.

Determined to eliminate that restriction in year two, the KCA facilitated the instalment of a wall hanging system made possible by a Municipality of Grey Highlands Financial Assistance Program grant. This easy-to-use system allowed the show to expand with more artwork on display and a less cluttered appearance overall.

Improvements continued and the addition of better lighting and portable interior walls made the exhibition space even more accommodating to participating artists in year three.

Fast forward to this year and the event is shaping up to be the best it has ever been. On the weekend of September 22-24, the KCA will welcome visitors to view the works of local and area artists and artisans. Most, if not all of the artists, will be on hand to meet the public Friday evening and their works will be for sale.

Ray Macdonald is coordinating and curating the Apples & Art show for the fourth year in a row. "This year we have added three new artists and with those returning to exhibit this year we will have 16 artists participating, many of whom will also be part of the Autumn Leaves studio tour the following week," said MacDonald.

Subject to LCBO licensing approval for the event, apple themed appetizers and wine will be served on Friday evening from 7-9 pm. Several members of Grey Highlands Council as well as the Mayor will be on hand for the Friday opening.

On Saturday, fresh pressed apple juice will be available outside and the exhibit is scheduled from 10am to 5pm in the hall but will remain open while the concert, organized by local music promoters Chris Scerri and Jonathan Robinson, sets up. The outdoor concert featuring local musicians will begin at 7pm on Saturday.

A beer and cider tent and barbecue will be open in the evening with proceeds going to the KCA Accessibility Fund as well as show expenses. The art show continues Sunday from 10am to 5pm with artists on hand Saturday and Sunday on a rotating schedule.

Just a few of the returning artists included in this year's event are David Marshak, Ofra Svorai, Kate Esplen, Tanya Zaryski, Frances Beatty, Colette Dionne, Paul Corfield, Roisin Cadieux, David Robinson, Leslie LaCombe and Ray Macdonald, with several new artists being added this year. MacDonald explained, "[as] interest continues... we hope to add more artists next year."

The show has been made possible through the collaborative efforts of Grey Highlands Council, the KCA and the talented local artist community with its continually expanding boundaries. Admission is free with donations accepted in support of KCA's efforts to install an elevator in the Hall for accessibility.

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