Art Exhibition with Chris Mack and Live Music with David Chun, and Evening Concert with jazz trio! · Jun 25, 08:55 AM

What a LINE UP this weekend!

First, we held a wonderfully attended Reception for Photographer, Chris Mack. Chris exhibited 26 of her works of very unique views of cityscapes including New York City and Toronto. What is so compelling about Chris’s work is its diversity. One of the bodies of work she brought entitled Urban Urban, are unique photogram compositions of the urban landscape. Each original was done with Black and White Film in the darkroom and display the full negative placed on a photogram. This process takes very careful double exposures, blocking the negative while exposing the photogram. Intriguing to say the least!

Saturday afternoon, backdropped by Chris’s photography, we hosted a free musical event with Barrie Guitarist, David Chun … and all I can say is WOW! He not only wowed me, but the entire audience. We are thrilled to announce that we will have him back and this is a not to be missed concert! David trained in classical guitar since he was a young boy. Over 20 years ago, he started to play Brazilian and Mexican guitar, which is what he mostly played today … all very familiar music, but with a Chun twist! His movement and passion while he plays captivated the audience … surprising us with a very spontaneous approach to the music he played … strong and volumous strikes contrasting with gentle and very intricate picking. Beautiful!

Saturday evening, we held a Jazz Trio Concert … all recent graduates of the York University Jazz Program. Kyle MacDonald (from Midland), on jazz guitar, Sarah Budden, vocals, and Ben Young on Upright Bass. Performing to a sold out audience, these up and coming young musicians stunned the audience with their brilliance! Each of them sharing their passion to a captive crowd. Amazing! I have a feeling we will be seeing them again here!

To close the Exhibition weekend, Featured Photographer, Chris Mack, held a discussion about her career as a photographer, and CLAUSTRO was transformed into a darkroom to share with participants how to expose photograms in a darkroom setting. Very cool and way too much fun! Thanks so much Chris!

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  • David Chun, live at CLAUSTRO June 23, 2012
  • The sweet and intricate sounds of David Chun. Amazing!
  • David Chun autographing his CD's for the audience (left, photographer, Chris Mack).
  • Stu Leggett making introductions for the Jazz concert at CLAUSTRO.
  • Jazz Trio, Ben, Sarah, and Kyle at CLAUSTRO.
  • Jazz band talking to the audience about their music.
  • Amazing performance by Jazz Trio at CLAUSTRO.
  • A very cool jazz mood at CLAUSTRO.
  • Ben Young, walking his upright bass back to Kyle MacDonald's house at the end of the Concert.
  • Photographer Chris Mack, explaining her career for Sunday's Darkroom Demonstration.
  • Photographer, Chris Mack, during her demonstration at CLAUSTRO.
  • Participants get to try their hands at a darkroom set up at CLAUSTRO held by Chris Mack.
  • Some of the works created by the participants in the darkroom Sunday at CLAUSTRO.

— Carol Currie

Art Exhibition with Jill Price and Musical Performance by Kelly Davies · Jun 18, 12:05 PM

From London Ontario, Artist Jill Price recently moved her studio to Barrie, which ultimately brought her here to exhibit her Mixed Media works at CLAUSTRO Studios & Gallery this weekend. Jill worked prolifically since March 2012 to create this magnificent body of work! Read about Jill’s intent on this work at her website

On Saturday afternoon, backdropped by Jill’s tactile mixed media works, we held a music performance with Kelly Davies. Kelly recently moved to Midland Ontario from Barrie and plays over 250 shows a year with his band Dirty Little Swing Things. What a great addition to our community! Kelly had a standing ovation to end his performance here! TREMENDOUS Musician!

Sunday afternoon, Jill provided an in-depth discussion about her journey as an artist throughout her education and career. She discussed very clearly her intention in the body of work entitled, Process-ed, that she exhibited at CLAUSTRO. Jill then provided a hands on demonstration to 6 participants (myself included) and to several viewers, showing everyone how she manipulates and considers different medias to create an intuitive yet intentional piece of art. Very inspirational!

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  • Artist Jill Price with her works at CLAUSTRO just before opening reception.
  • Artist Jill Price at CLAUSTRO just prior to opening the exhibit.
  • Opening Reception for Jill Price at CLAUSTRO.
  • Opening Reception for Mixed Media Artist, Jill Price at CLAUSTRO.
  • Kelly Davies at CLAUSTRO!
  • Kelly Davies at CLAUSTRO June 16th.
  • Intermission during Kelly Davies performance at CLAUSTRO.
  • Musician Kelly Davies at CLAUSTRO.
  • A standing ovation for Kelly Davies at CLAUSTRO!
  • Mingling with Artist Jill Price and Musician Kelly Davies at CLAUSTRO.
  • Stu Leggett introduces Jill Price for her Artist Discussion at CLAUSTRO.
  • Artist Jill Price explains her body of work exhibiting at CLAUSTRO to the audience.
  • Jill Price leads a hands-on demonstration to 6 participants and several viewers.
  • Jill Price's demonstration was alot of fun and very inspirational for all attendees!
  • Stu Leggett sporting a handsome umbrella after Jill Price's exhibition.
  • Singing in the Rain to close Jill Price Exhibition.

— Carol Currie


Art Exhibition with Col Mitchell and Musical Performance by John Fiddes & Neil Lefaive · Jun 11, 01:22 PM

Bracebridge Contemporary Paper Artist, Col Mitchell, brought her vibrant and unique sculptural paper works to CLAUSTRO Studios & Gallery this weekend.

Col’s medium intrigued everyone who visited the exhibition, and was well reciprocated in a high number of sales. Her medium of choice is paper; not used as collage, but as sculpture. Col draws from a diverse collection of papers that will accomplish a specific impression according to the subject she is working on. She carefully manipulates and sculpts the paper(s) on canvas to create a dimensional subject in both subtle and magnified ways. What remains, is a sculpted surface to which she applies colour in order to bring further depth to her work. The subject starts to come alive when paint washes are applied to the surface, then fine acrylic ink lines are added to create more interest, depth and sometimes abstraction to the subject. The wonderful balance between abstraction and barren composition allows for interpretation, so a seemingly literal subject becomes so much more. The result is a brilliantly refined dimensional painting. Up close, the work is full of rich hues and playful lines and from a distance, the work reveals itself as a unified, serene celebration of nature. ~Carol Currie

On Saturday afternoon, backdropped by Col’s paintings, we held a music performance with guitarists, John Fiddes & Neil Lefaive, playing originals – from French lyrics written by Neil, to the very humourous “Frog Licking”, and beautiful ballad, written by John. Both talented vocalists and guitarists, as well as John, on harmonica! Beautifully done!

Sunday afternoon, Col provided a discussion describing her life as an artist and how she came to this medium. She shared her innovative medium with 15 participants and showed us how different types of paper can be manipulated with water to create a sculptural paper canvas to apply paint washes and ink mediums! It gave the audience a new appreciation for how much work goes into each of her pieces! Thank you Col and to all who attended!

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  • Col Mitchell Art Exhibition at CLAUSTRO.
  • Artist Reception for Col Mitchell at CLAUSTRO.
  • Artist Reception, Col Mitchell, Contemporary Paper Artist at CLAUSTRO.
  • Neil Lefaive & John Fiddess perform live at CLAUSTRO.
  • Neil Lefaive & John Fiddes, at CLAUSTRO June 9, 2012.
  • A wonderful performance by Neil Lefaive & John Fiddes at CLAUSTRO.
  • John Fiddes singing a beautiful love song at CLAUSTRO.
  • Col Mitchell's Artist Discussion & Demonstration at CLAUSTRO.
  • Participants manipulate paper for Col Mitchell's Demonstration.
  • Participants add acrylic washes to paper, guided by Artist Col Mitchell, at CLAUSTRO.
  • Learning alot about paper manipulation with Artist Col Mitchell Sunday June 10, 2012.
  • One of the participant's works at the Col Mitchell Demonstration at CLAUSTRO.

— Carol Currie


CLAUSTRO Art Installation at the Midland Cultural Centre for the Philanthropy Awards Dinner · Jun 4, 10:12 AM

After over 4 days of careful planning and packing bags of rigging gear, and after well over 8 hours of execution, Stu beautifully installed two 4 feet x 6 feet sculpted paintings 30 feet above the floor at the new Event Centre of the Midland Cultural Centre. This display of art is the first official public viewing of art installation at the NEW Midland Cultural Centre. The dinner was for the Huronia Communities Foundation for their annual Philanthropy Awards with over 150 people in attendance. Our donation was this fine one-of-a-kind art installation to dress the hall … and what a fine display it was! First, we must thank our clients who so generously loaned us their sculpted paintings for this event!

Not many people could take such care to literally hang these fine works of art suspended 30 feet from the floor, without any worry of collapse … but Super Stu. With Stu’s expertise rigging background (having achieved 9 Guiness World Records in Rappelling – several being from the CN Tower) … this was an accomplishable task for him. Absolutely TREMENDOUS job Stu!! Wow! Absolutely amazing to see these 100 pound sculptures suspended and to appear as light as air!

Thanks to Wade Taylor for his assistance to Stu, and the many workers at the MCC for their help … and to Elinor Kirby and the Huronia Communities Foundation Committee, to Kim Masin & Peggy Breckenridge of the Midland Cultural Centre, and a special thank you to Mr. Weber, for approving Stu’s vision in the suspension of the art.

The evening was beautiful – the Midland Cultural Centre, the Banquet Hall, the Art, and the Dinner was all fantastic!

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  • Installation at MCC.
  • Closeup at Stu's rigging of the sculpted painting at MCC.
  • CLAUSTRO Sculpted Painting installation two days before opening at MCC.
  • Banquet Hall with CLAUSTRO Art installation at MCC.
  • Suspended 30 feet above the tables.
  • Just prior to people arriving.
  • Stu Leggett with owners of the sculpted painting hanging behind. Celebration at MCC.
  • Philanthropy Awards commence at MCC.
  • The art is a beautiful backdrop for the Awards dinner.
  • Having fun with our dinner guests!
  • Beautiful evening at the first event held at our new MCC in Midland.
  • With over 150 people in attendance, the evening was wonderful.
  • MC of the Philanthropy awards, Jacques Brunet, did a fantastic job!
  • Look carefully at the back of the painting on the right - you can see through the piece.
  • A view from the balcony.
  • Another perspective from the balcony.

— Carol Currie

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Photo Exhibit by D.A. HILL PHOTO and live performance with Sarah Calvert and evening classical concert with Victoria Thompson & John French · May 29, 02:48 PM

What a diverse a wonderfully attended weekend blast that was!

So many attendees to all our events starting with the Artist Reception Friday evening for local, black and white street photographer, David Hill, aka, D.A. HILL PHOTO. David’s work depicted the raw and uncropped view of the city, taken both from NYC and Toronto. Upon delivery of David’s work, his last words to us was ‘I don’t mind if you choose to install the works in a random way – rather than a mainstream gallery viewing. So after brainstorming, Stu and I chose to hang the works to create a cityscape .. placing David’s photos to depict towering skyscrapers, a suburbia cluster, and some vacant lots. Thanks David for the creative inspiration.

Saturday afternoon, the multi-talented Sarah Calvert provided a musical performance of her jazzy blues originals. Sometimes sultry, sometimes cheeky, and sometimes humourous, her performance captured the audience. Sarah performed on piano, guitar AND harmonica! She, along with percussionist, Evan Ritchie, will be returning to CLAUSTRO for a ticketed evening concert Saturday July 28. Contact us for tickets as they sell out quickly!

Then Saturday evening to another SOLD OUT Concert, the mood shifted to one of the Classical kind … with an evening classical concert performed by well-known Soprano Victoria Thompson and Pianist John French. Victoria’s powerful and precise vocals brought tears to my eyes! Both Victoria and John provided the audience with some enlightening stories about the history of the pieces they performed – often quite humourous! The audience was absolutely captivated. What an beautifully intimate setting to listen to such a powerful performance, backdropped by David Hill’s photography, set by ambiant and stage lighting, and delightful h’or doeuvres and buffet all hand created and served by our gallery attendant, Genna. The performance closed with an awe-inspiring Piano Solo by John French, which brought everyone to their feet for a STANDING OVATION celebrating both John and Victoria’s performance! Thank you to Victoria, John and the wonderful audience who made this evening unforgettable.

Sunday afternoon, Photographer David Hill provided a very informative and inspirational discussion about the history of street photography. He brought along well over 10 photo books that depicted the works of many of the key photographers that influenced street photography. We were all stunned, enlightened and humoured by this great workshop provided by David. One of his key points for us to go home with, was to consider making a photo rather than simply taking a photo .. he asked us to consider our subject, its surroundings, its mood, the point of view, the cropping … so during the discussion, Stu decided to do just that and ‘make’ a few photos of his discussion from different perspectives. What fun! After the discussion and to close the exhibit, quite fittingly, we had a fun photo shoot of David being querky – shot by both his wife (and professional photographer, Chris Mack, who will be exhibiting here in June), and by Stu. What a way to end the weekend! FUN!

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  • D.A.Hill Photo Opening Reception at CLAUSTRO.
  • Artist David Hill (back left) at his Opening Reception at CLAUSTRO.
  • D.A. Hill Photo Art Reception May 25 at CLAUSTRO.
  • D.A. Hill Photo Exhibition May 25-27 at CLAUSTRO.
  • D.A. Hill Photo Exhibition, prior to Saturday Afternoon Music with Sarah Calvert.
  • Sarah Calvert Live Performance at CLAUSTRO May 26, 2012.
  • Awseome jazzy blues singer, Sarah Calvert performing her original music at CLAUSTRO.
  • Audience getting a chance to speak with Sarah Calvert during intermission.
  • Multi-talented Sarah Calvert playing both piano and harmonica during her performance at CLAUSTRO.
  • Audience gathering for the Classical Concert Saturday evening May 26th.
  • Audience arriving for the Classical Concert at CLAUSTRO.
  • Stu Leggett introducing Victoria Thompson & John French to begin the evening concert.
  • Soprano Victoria Thompson and Pianist John French starting their evening Classical Concert.
  • John French providing a beautiful introduction to the music they will be performing for the evening.
  • Soprano Victoria Thompson's voice brings tears of joy to the audience during their first piece.
  • During intermission of our classical concert, audience members have the opportunity to talk with Victoria and John, while viewing David Hill's photography.
  • Soprano Victoria Thompson talks a little about the background of their next piece.
  • Soprano Victoria Thomspon and Pianist John French at CLAUSTRO.
  • Soprano Victoria Thompson sharing a very funny story about the background of their next piece during their second set.
  • To close the evening performance, Pianist John French begins what would be an amazing solo!!
  • Pianist John French's solo brought everyone to their feet to a standing ovation and to celebrate the whole evening!
  • After the evening's performance, everyone lingered to socialize and take the time to talk with Victoria and John. Thank you to ALL for a refined and intimate evening!
  • Sunday May 27th, Photographer, David Hill provided a wonderful discussion about the history of photography!
  • During David's discussion, he discussed how to make a photo rather than simply taking a photo ... so Stu took some photos from different perspectives to do just that.
  • Stu making a photo of David Hill during his disucssion.
  • Stu making another interesting photo of David Hill to impress the words of David.
  • Some very humorous moments during David Hill's discussion.
  • Photographer David Hill providing very informative insight behind his photography on Sunday.
  • After Sunday's discussion, we all had some fun during a final photo shoot of the exhibit!
  • David's wife, Chris Mack (also a photographer exhibiting here in June), taking a photo of David being quirky!
  • The photo shoot was a great way to mark the end of the exhibit! Alot of fun! Thanks David and Chris!

— Carol Currie