Written by GAC Staff

In case you missed it, there is a relatively new art gallery in Guelph. Artworks Gallery Guelph, located at 404 York Road alongside Ed Video and Lost Aviator Coffee, opened last fall. Artworks Gallery Guelph is an artist collective of local professional artists and regularly invites featured artists to exhibit their work alongside the members’.

The gallery is currently hosting “The Heart of Our Community” exhibition until October 22nd. I decided to pay a visit to this charming gallery and share my experience with you.

Don’t let the ongoing construction on York Road discourage you from visiting. The gallery is easily accessible, with parking shared with Lost Aviator. Conveniently, Lost Aviator and Artworks Gallery Guelph have the same operating hours, open daily from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm. So, I decided to start my visit by grabbing a latte at Lost Aviator before immersing myself in the art.

The gallery is quaint but offers enough wall space to showcase a variety of works in different sizes. As I stepped inside, I was greeted by bright colors and warm lighting, making it cozier than a typical commercial gallery. I instantly felt at home in the space, which felt quite fitting considering the exhibition’s name.

Upon closer examination, I recognized some of the places depicted in the paintings as iconic Guelph locations, particularly the Ward. For those unfamiliar, the Ward is a historic area of Guelph with some of the oldest homes in the city and is also home to a vibrant arts community. Often referred to as the heart of Guelph, it holds a wealth of history and stories from both past and present residents.

Sharyn Seibert’s print of her original painting “Bradburn’s Garage, Ontario St.” immediately caught my attention. It depicted the old yellow garage I used to pass by on my way to a friend’s house before Lalani Jennings Contemporary Art Gallery, Standing Room Only Bar, and Double Rainbow Cafe moved into the space. Seeing it in Sharyn’s work warmed my heart, as it allowed me to reminisce about the changes in the space and the connections it has forged within the Ward community.

Nan Hog’s work featured similar scenes of Guelph, with clean and crisp colors. The contrast between the styles of these two artists made me feel like I was witnessing their unique memories of these places through their eyes. While these paintings portrayed specific and recognizable parts of Guelph, Jan Zimmerman’s whimsical paintings, featuring rolling hills, houses, and small figures engaged in activities like walking dogs, felt less like memories of specific places and more like memories of a home and community.

The individual styles of all the artists complemented and contrasted each other, providing a comprehensive representation of the diversity of the Guelph community and the places they hold dear in their hearts.

I strongly encourage both new and longtime members of the Guelph community to take some time out of your day to visit this heartwarming exhibition and perhaps explore the surrounding area. I’m certain that, just like me, you’ll be able to spot some of the places depicted in the artwork and feel a deeper connection to the vibrant Guelph community.

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