Art gallery celebrates two decades in Haliburton
|By Mark Arike - Staff Writer | September 2, 2015
The Ethel Curry Gallery has been showcasing and selling the work of artists from Haliburton County and beyond for the past 20 years.
Gallery owner Wayne Hooks celebrated the recent milestone with his staff and a few visitors on Aug. 22.
"We just thought that 20 years is pretty good for a private gallery," Hooks told The Highlander.
Gallery curator Tiffany Howe added that it was also an opportunity to thank the artists and customers who have shown their support over the years.
Hooks said that the work of over 200 artists has been featured at the gallery over the years.
Within the gallery space, located at 94 Maple Avenue, visitors will find Canadian art in various mediums.
Initially, only local artists could display and sell their work at the gallery. However, that changed when instructors from the Haliburton School of the Arts expressed their interest to join.
"We just grew and grew. Now, we've been 'full' for 15 years," said Hooks, adding that he receives 30-40 new applications each year.
The gallery is named after the late Ethel Curry, an artist from Haliburton who painted with The Group of Seven.
"She really liked to help young artists, so that's one of our mission statements," he said. "Another thing we want to do is to raise Ethel's profile in the art world to where it belongs."
When Hooks and Jody Curry got the gallery up and running, they weren't sure if it was going to take off. Up until 2008, when the recession hit, "it grew very encouragingly," he said.
That's the year Curry retired and Hooks took sole ownership of the business.
The anniversary party included live entertainment from flute player Taya Rosenberg, cake, snacks and refreshments. Draws were also held for art donated by Hooks, Tom Green, AJ VanDrie, Caryl Marcellus and Greg Pichnej.
MARK ARIKE is a reporter for The Highlander.