Kennisis Lake artists open their homes and studios for tour
By Jenn Watt
Accessed from lake or land, more than two dozen artists on Kennisis Lake will be welcoming visitors to their properties for the sixth Art on the Dock event Aug. 8 and 9.
A diverse array of artwork will be on display and for sale around the lake including acrylic, oil and watercolour painting, pottery, woodworking, rug hooking, and clothing. Many locations feature more than one artist.
Typically, the artists are available to chat about their work, with visitors coming and going, all with the lake as the backdrop.
As with everything else this year, Art on the Dock organizers needed to take into account the coronavirus pandemic and took their time before deciding to go ahead with the popular summer tradition.
“The Kennisis Lake Cottage Owners’ Association went through our whole list of our normal events and we immediately cancelled ones that made no sense at all, like our spring meeting in May,” said organizer Janis Parker. “... I suggested I put out an ask to all the artists and see if they’re available for a weekend in August, and whether they would still like to participate, because we just didn’t think July would be OK. And we said we’d make the call on July 1 whether we were going ahead. So everybody agreed and we did go ahead.”
Besides being a summer event for art lovers, Art on the Dock is also a fundraiser for the Arts Council ~ Haliburton Highlands’ Artists in the School and Community program.
Over the course of Art on the Dock’s five-year history, Parker estimates at least $20,000 has been generated for the program. Donation boxes are situated at the various studio locations around the lake and typically the participating artists also give to the charity.
The operating costs of the event are covered by Parker Pad & Printing and Viper Marketing.
As an additional fundraiser for Artists in the School and Community, limited edition prints of Wilf McOstrich’s cartoon moose series are available for $30. “This is the fourth in a series. They’re whimsical, they’re cute,” Parker said.
To ensure the safety of all involved, this year Art on the Dock will include hand sanitizer and masks at all locations.
“We urged almost everybody who could, to have their studios open on outside decks or in their gardens or on their docks. We’re hoping people will not be inside,” she said. “The Kennisis Lake Cottage Owners’ Association has a bunch of tents we use for our regattas and we’re making those available for the artists as well.”
Art on the Dock, with its ability to foster community, support artists, and give back to local schools, is a win-win-win, Parker said.
“It’s great for the lake community, it’s great for the artists and it’s great that it gives back to Artists in the School and Community [Program].”
Art on the Dock is Saturday, Aug. 8 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday, Aug. 9 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The full program including a map of all the artist residences and studios is available at https://www.klcoa.org/.