Art on Kent closes its doors in Lindsay
May 31, 2017

Art on Kent closes its doors in Lindsay in the Kawartha Lakes This Week by Catherine Whitnall (May 18 2017)

Kawartha Arts Network makes difficult decision in light of insufficient member involvement.

Despite having enjoyed many years of successful exhibitions, Art on Kent is closing its doors on July 8.

“We’ve grown tremendously in the past 10 years,” said the artist co-operative’s director and co-founder, Lesley Drummond. “Art on Kent has been wonderful for the artists. . . it’s been phenomenal to have a space for artists to show their work 12 months out of the year. “

Drummond added Jim and Lynn Garbutt – who lease the space on the second floor of their Buy & Sell Shop to the group – have been wonderfully supportive of both the arts and the Kawartha Arts Network “helping us see through to our vision.”

However, while the group has had enough of a commitment from members to cover the hours the gallery is open, that has dwindled in recent years.

To address this, Drummond said the organization had to change its membership requirements to include a commitment to sitting on the steering committee, helping out with installations and manning the gallery. It was hoped this would result in everyone sharing responsibilities, giving all members an opportunity to be part of guiding the co-operative and the gallery.

“That hasn’t materialized. We didn’t get the response we wanted,” said Drummond, noting the same handful of members are bearing the lion’s share of the duties. “Participation in exhibits has fallen too.”

Drummond clarified only the gallery is closing; the organization will continue to operate.

In fact, they have two events planned for this summer.

Judy Jackett has been busy connecting with downtown businesses to host window displays showcasing local artists and celebrating Canada’s 150th birthday. The work will be on display from June 26 to July 8.

 Network members will also take part in a downtown cultural event slated for Aug. 12.

Plans are also in the works for pop up exhibits, artists socials, sharing nights and plein air events.

In the meantime, everyone is invited to stop by the gallery to view the annual Members’ Show, running until June 3, as well as What’s Your Canada – an exhibition of work celebrating what Canada means to the artists – running June 8 to July 8, with a Meet the Artists opening on June 10 from 1 to 3 p.m.

The gallery is open Thursday to Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.