MacLaren celebrates Ontario 150 support for outdoor sculpture garden

October 2, 2017 - 11:49 am
On Friday afternoon, September 29, the MacLaren Art Centre in Barrie launched its revitalized sculpture garden, an Ontario150 legacy project, celebrating the anniversary of confederation and the centennial of its 1917 Carnegie Library, which forms the heart of the MacLaren’s award-winning building. The MacLaren also honoured the 30th anniversary of the installation of the Spirit Catcher by Ron Baird at Barrie’s waterfront and the generous bequest from the Estate of Charles McCrea Peacock for its long-term care.
Local MPP Ann Hoggarth and Arthur Field, an Ontario Trillium Foundation volunteer, were also in attendance to officially congratulate the MacLaren on the work they did on the sculpture garden, thanks to receiving a $26,500 Ontario150 Community Capital Program grant earlier this year.
“The MacLaren Art Centre has consistently enriched the Barrie community. The Centre’s mission of engagement with the local and broader community through art has greatly benefitted the citizens of our region. I congratulate the MacLaren on earning this grant, and look forward to many more years of quality exhibits.” – Ann Hoggarth, MPP for Barrie
The MacLaren is conserving and installing two sculptures on its exterior grounds from its Permanent Collection, one by Sorel Etrog (1933-2014) and one by Kosso Eloul (1920-1995), two individuals who immigrated to Canada, made their homes in Ontario and became world-renowned artists. Etrog’s Dream Chamber (1976) is a bronze cast of an interlocked head, its imagery and title suggesting the power to unlock our inner potential. Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau had this work installed at the Prime Minister’s residence at 24 Sussex Drive in 1982, with the MacLaren taking over the administration of the long-term loan after the artist donated Dream Chamber to the Gallery in 1999. It remained there until this summer. Kosso Eloul’s Shlosha (1974) is comprised of three delicately balanced rectangular stainless steel forms representing truth, justice and peace in Jewish law. Eloul was an internationally recognized artist, with exhibitions throughout Canada, the United States and Europe. Some of his best-known works remain on view in North America and Israel.
“As a public art gallery, we are committed to presenting a wide range of artwork by contemporary Canadian artists for our audiences, indoors and outdoors,” said Carolyn Bell Farrell, Executive Director of the MacLaren Art Centre. “We are delighted to bring these artworks home to share with the Barrie public at the busy intersection of Mulcaster and Collier. We hope this initiative—coupled with essential repairs to the Spirit Catcher on the shores of Kempenfelt Bay—will ensure a profound and lasting legacy of inspiration, community and inclusivity.” 
The MacLaren Art Centre gratefully acknowledges the generous support of the Government of Ontario, Barrie Public Art Committee, the Sarjeant Company and the Estate of Charles McCrea Peacock for making this revitalization project possible. 
Administered by the Ontario Trillium Foundation, an agency of the Government of Ontario, Ontario150 Community Capital Program grants are enabling non-profit organizations, municipalities and Indigenous communities renovate, repair and retrofit existing community and cultural infrastructure. The one-time, Ontario150 grant has been designed to help honour Ontario’s past, showcase the present and inspire future generations.
For details on these public artworks, please visit the MacLaren’s website:
About the MacLaren Art Centre
The MacLaren Art Centre is the major public art gallery in central Ontario serving the residents of Barrie, the County of Simcoe and the surrounding area. The Gallery has a Permanent Collection of over 27,400 works of art and presents a year-round programme of innovative world-class exhibitions, education activities and special events. 
The MacLaren Art Centre gratefully acknowledges the support of its Members, Patrons, Donors, Sponsors, Partners, the City of Barrie, the Ontario Arts Council, the Ontario Trillium Foundation, the Government of Ontario, the Canada Council for the Arts and Canadian Heritage. 
Photo: (from left): MacLaren Board member Mike MacMillan, Ontario Trillium Foundation volunteer Arthur Field, Barrie MPP Ann Hoggarth, collector and donor Beverley Zerafa, member of the Barrie Public Art Committee Carol-Ann Ryan, MacLaren Board President Dane Pilon,  MacLaren Executive Director Carolyn Bell Farrell, City of Barrie Director of Creative Economy Karen Dubeau, MacLaren Curator and Collections Manager Emily McKibbon.