June 7, 2023

The Homer Watson House & Gallery will host an outdoor art fair on Sunday, Sept 19 to showcase local artists and their talent. 

The fair, which was initially planned for last Sunday but was rescheduled due to rain, will take place from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Guests are invited to buy some of the pieces created by 20 different artists from the region, including Katherine Olenic, who currently works at the Homer Watson House & Gallery as an art instructor. She describes her art as “vibrant, based in fantasy nature, that is a lot of fun with many details.” 

At the fair, Olenic said they “will be featuring fantasy art primarily of dragons and landscapes with fantastical creatures.”

Some other pieces of art that will be featured include original paintings, handmade jewelry, pottery, ceramics, and embroidery.

“We’ve got a combination of things; we’ve got some people who have more artisan goods and then some more fine artists as well,” said Tabatha Watson, Director and Curator of the Homer Watson House & Gallery. She has no known relation to Homer Watson.

“We have an illustrator; we’ve got a textile artist,” Watson said, “and some more craft-like things.” 

Kat Hernden, a local visual artist who is also featured at the event, will show hand-sewn geometric works of art.

“Each piece is painted with acrylics on gallery-wrapped canvas and then hand-sewn with Dollfus-Mieg et Compagnie (DMC) embroidery thread,” said Hernden. Information on all of the artists and vendors attending the event can be found here.

The Homer Watson Art & Gallery, Home of the famous Canadian landscape artist Homer Watson, located in Kitchener, Ontario. Photo by Lily Sherry.

An amateur paint battle, described by Watson as a “fun competition” will also take place at the fair and is open to anyone who wants to participate.

“Six spots are available at 3 p.m. to compete for a Plantables prize pack. Inspired by the Homer Watson House and Gallery landscape,” Ralf Wall, director of the event said. “Create an acrylic painting in 20 minutes. No experience necessary. The winner will be decided by an anonymous audience vote.”

The event will feature a children’s colouring corner and self-guided walking tours of the property and the Lower Doon area. Any visitors wishing to visit the gallery will also be able to view their current exhibitions “A River Flows Through Us” and “Phoebe Watson: Renaissance Woman.”

COVID-19 has impacted how the art fair will run this year, causing the event to be reduced in scale and limiting the number of vendors and shoppers able to attend. 

“It’s definitely complicated things,” Watson said. “It’s been challenging to determine how to most safely manage it without needing tons and tons of people to run it.” 

According to Watson, the gallery had once held a Christmas craft and art fair, but this year is the first time they are holding one in the autumn season.

The art fair will be held outdoors on the Homer Watson House & Gallery grounds, located near Conestoga’s Dune Campus, at 1754 Old Mill Road in Kitchener. 

Despite the event being outdoors, all attendees are asked to wear masks and follow physical distancing guidelines. Admission is free.

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