Makers of all kinds have long been inspired by Niagara’s majestic scenery. Much more than just the home of one of the world’s most impressive waterfalls, the Niagara Peninsula offers up a wealth of beautiful and pastoral landscapes interspersed with everything from lovingly tended vineyards, orchards, and farmlands to old-growth Carolinian forests. Even for artists who create along more abstract and conceptual lines, it’s an inspiring place to wonder and work.
Regardless of whether you love fine art or down-home craft making, Niagara has something for you. With so many fabulous studios and galleries scattered across the region, you could spend all your time here just trekking from one to another. While this list is incomplete, it’s a great place to start your hunt for Niagara-made treasures. Here are a handful of can’t-miss spots for the arts and crafts for your visit to Niagara.
Rodman Hall Art Centre
Located at Brock University in St. Catharines, Rodman Hall Art Centre hosts some of the region’s most contemporary and exciting exhibitions. Home to a permanent collection that boasts over 1,000 drawings, sculptures, paintings, and prints, the Centre also offers tours, lectures, workshops, and classes that the public is welcome to attend. Another highlight are the estate gardens surrounding the centre. Sculpture dots the collection of exotic plants and trees set amidst the micro-climate of Carolinian forest making it an ideal spot to connect with and contemplate the world around you.
Angie Strauss Gallery
Set in Niagara-on-the-Lake’s Old Town, the Angie Strauss Gallery is located in award-winning artist Angie Strauss’ 1860’s Victorian home. A lush English country garden surrounds the space, and flowering plants and trees, a pond, waterfall, and massive weeping beech all add to the allure of the place. You’ll gain intimate access to the artist’s studio and gallery, including many oil paintings and giclee prints. For anyone who loves to meet the artist behind the work, this gallery is should not be missed.
Glass Arts and Crafts
This small Jordan shop offers a wide range of glass-based pieces including the very practical and necessary: doors, windows, cupboards, and lamp shades, as well as the unnecessary but beautiful: suncatchers, flowers, and jewelry. A wonderful place to peruse if you’re looking for something to take home with you, if you work in glass yourself, they also offer a stock of supplies. You can make custom orders, take a class, and gain access to free patterns for stained glass and other ventures.
Another studio and gallery located in Niagara-on-the-Lake, East West Pottery is the only Raku studio in the entire area, and it features Susan Winthrop’s work, as well as the work of a Canadian sculptor by the name of Dean LevsQue. Raku is a traditional Japanese method of pottery-making, and Winthrop has incorporated it into her own designs and creations with stunning success. Whether you just want to stop by to see her at work and purchase some Canadian Raku pottery, or you’d like to take a class or workshop while you’re in the area, East West Pottery is a great place to spend an afternoon.
In Niagara, the hills and dells are alive with making. Head to these can’t-miss studios, galleries, and shops while you’re here to get a taste of some of the region’s best arts and crafts.
Categories: Falls Avenue Resort