DysART 150 Trail takes users on interactive tour
By Jenn Watt
Published Aug. 1, 2017
A new art tour highlighting Dysart’s natural beauty and history was launched in July by the Haliburton Highlands Arts Council.
Works by local artists are on display at 13 locations in the municipality, which can be found by visiting sites listed on special DysART 150 Trail cards found around town or by downloading the PocketSights app for iPhone or Android smartphone devices.
The free app includes interactive maps with optional voice navigation to various sites, the option of visiting the works as a tour or one at a time, images of the works, text describing the pieces and will have videos featuring the artwork created by Sticks and Stones Productions.
“Not only does it promote the work of the artist, it’s also promoting the community as well. We have 13 locations on here. Everything from the library to Canoe FM to Fleming College to Pinestone and Bonnie View,” said Chris Lynd, a director on the arts council and organizer for the art trail.
Lynd’s first thought for the trail was to focus on Terry Wright’s work. Wright often uses local history as the basis of her art, which seemed ideal for marking the municipality’s sesquicentennial year. Wright’s painting, Civic Duty, hangs in the Dysart et al municipal building, which is appropriate since it features council members from 1912.
Recruiting artists wasn’t hard; Lynd said those approached were eager to take part.
“In asking the artists for a piece, we also asked them to submit a narrative – not so much a biography of who they are, but a story about their piece and their feelings about it. That morphed into why are you here, why are you creating in Haliburton, why is this a place for you? What about this particular piece connects to Haliburton or Dysart to you,” Lynd said.
Initially, she thought the trail would need to have an app created for it, but Sticks and Stones’ Tammy Rea did some research and found PocketSights, which made the process much easier.
Which isn’t to say it was a walk in the park.
They worked on the project for three months, but Lynd said they could have used a year. Especially with all of the video work, which required Rea to travel to several sites around the county.
Rea met Wright for her video at Lucas House at 7 a.m. to avoid early morning traffic in the video. She had to scout a new site for artist Janet Bradley’s video because her painting of erratics was done on private property. Michael Bainbridge was brought in to find a new location and to talk about erratics.
Rossana Dewey’s painting was of the West Guilford Auto Centre, so they went out to that village and talked to people about their stories of the place. (It can be viewed at the Dysart library branch.)
Videos have been uploaded to the app over the course of the last week with more to come.
Funding for the project came mostly from Haliburton County Development Corporation as well as from Haliburton County’s tourism department.
The works will remain in location until Oct. 10 and the tour is one of the hikes in Hike Haliburton in September.
Additionally, the arts council was able to use some extra funds to put the Sculpture Forest both on the DysART 150 Trail as well as to create its own separate tour on PocketSights.
To check out the tour, find one of the rack cards around Dysart et al or download the app – it’s free.