Painting of historic council to hang at Dysart building
A painting depicting the members of Dysart council from 1912 will hang in the Dysart et al municipal office for the next few months as part of the DysART 150 Trail.
The art exhibition is being put on by the Arts Council Haliburton Highlands in celebration of Dysart’s sesquicentennial anniversary.
“We’re here to request your participation . . . as a host location in our art exhibition that we’re doing,” arts council member Chris Lynd told Dysart et al councillors during their June 26 meeting. “It’s literally a trail of art throughout the community.”
As Lynd explained, among the locations are 11 businesses and public sites and in order to become a location, the host must agree to house a piece of art for the during of the exhibit, which runs until Oct. 10, as well as a wall sign that will contain an artist’s statement.
“Each artist was asked to submit a piece of work that would reflect the beauty of Dysart, its natural environment and/or its past history,” she said.
The piece the arts council had selected for the Dysart et al office was a painting by Terry Wright of the Dysart council of 1912, which contained such notable local historical figures as William Laking and John Lucas.
“By just looking at it, you know why we want it to be there,” Lynd said, adding she had a place in mind in the building’s front foyer that would also be visible when the building is closed.
When a letter regarding the project first came before councillors in April, some members of council had concerns that having art hanging in the municipal office, especially in council chambers, might be distracting and that having people in the building to look at artwork may be disruptive.
Council had requested more information on the exhibit from the arts council.
“I must say, this is a much better presentation than the first one we had,” said Reeve Murray Fearrey. “I think the negativity was, we didn’t want . . . people don’t come into this council chamber, so it wasn’t visible at all.”
Deputy-reeve Andrea Roberts said all of the details weren’t clear at the time of the letter.
“Some of the details weren’t vetted out,” said Roberts, who’d voiced her support for the initiative at the April meeting.
Councillor Susan Norcross said the painting was a perfect fit for the building.
“Fabulous,” she said. “It’s perfect.”
Some of the pieces in the exhibit are for sale, but Wright’s council painting has already been sold.
The arts council has also developed a mobile application to guide visitors through the community-wide exhibit.
“We’ve commissioned the creation of an app, a map app, that will direct visitors to all the stops on the Dysart trail,” arts council member Daniel Manley told councillors. “And the app opens up a video that will showcase all the different pieces.”
In addition to the works hanging in public spaces and businesses, the app also features the Haliburton Sculpture Forest, the paintings on the A.J LaRue Arena and other locations.