Colin Edwards Memorial Art Gallery
Located in Greystones Gift & Book Shop
Mazinaw Lake and Bon Echo Provincial Park have drawn artists to its shores for hundreds of years. Continuing the example of the aboriginal peoples, the Group of Seven and the many who still come to appreciate and create, the Friends of Bon Echo Park (the Friends) provide numerous venues for artists to showcase their work. In addition to the Annual Bon Echo Art Exhibition and Sale, the Friends provide the Colin Edwards Memorial Art Gallery in the Greystones Gift and Book Shop.
The Art Gallery was renamed in 2008 in memory of Colin Edwards, long time resident, educator, artist and active leader in the Friends. His wife, Grace Edwards, stated, “What a wonderful honour and a credit to Colin’s memory this dedication and designation of the Greystones Art Gallery is. For Colin, living and working in this community meant giving back as well. He was always involved in community organizations from the Volunteer Fire Department in the early 70’s when he first moved here, to the Mazinaw Community Fund as one of the Founding Directors. But the Friends of Bon Echo was the Organization to which he dedicated the most time and energy. He saw in Bon Echo Provincial Park and North Addington Education Center the potential of a valuable partnership that could complement and benefit from each other.
With the many challenges that Bon Echo has faced and continues to face, Colin believed that the mandate of the Friends Organization would be one of the means to Bon Echo being able to continue to offer to its visitors what those visitors before them had seen and experienced. Colin’s own canvases reflected the landscapes around his home in the Land O’Lakes area. So many landmarks were captured in his work. But Bon Echo, with such a unique ecology and a deep and long history was more than an artistic inspiration and he recognized it as a special place and landmark to be explored by the residents and visitors in this world ‘north of 7’. The natural, historical and cultural heritage of Bon Echo was a draw and a teacher, the beauty and majesty of the Park – a refuge and inspiration. ‘Preservation if appropriate, and education – key.’ ”
Significance of Art at Bon Echo
Over time art has been a major draw for visitors, both for the artist and for the art lover. Mazinaw Lake with its 100 metre cliff has attracted artists to its shores for hundreds of years. The First Peoples inscribed over 240 pictographs at water level. The Group of Seven was drawn here in the 1920-30s followed by hundreds of other artists who are inspired by the magnificent Mazinaw Rock and surrounding nature preserve.
An additional venue for artist expression is the Colin Edwards Memorial Art Gallery, located in Greystones Gift and Book Shop in the Park. From May to October the gallery features the works of ten selected artists in groups of two. The work of many other notable artists and artisans is also featured in the gift shop. Artists interested in being featured may contact the Friends for additional information.