Integrated Design Diploma

January 9, 2014 § Leave a comment

pullup The Integrated Design Diploma program, starting September 2014, is not like other design programs. Well, let’s face it…everything we do here is a little bit different. And this program is no exception. Integrated Design is our most innovative option yet!

This one-of-a-kind experience will provide students with fundamental design skills and the critical thinking needed to become successful designers in the 21st century. Integrated Design takes a hands-on approach to material culture, sustainability and fine craftsmanship.


glassThe first two semesters will be broken down into five categories:

Dream, Experiment, Collaborate, Communicate, and Apply.

Students will analyze the unconscious mind, work with metal, glass and clay, focus on sustainability, study typography and become versed in several software applications – and that’s only a portion of the material offered in this intensive program!

phpThumb_generated_thumbnailjpgThe third and final semester is a “choose your own adventure”. Students will apply their learning to a hands-on certificate specializing in Artist Blacksmith, Ceramics, Fibre Arts, Glassblowing, Jewellery Essentials, Painting & Drawing, Photo Arts, Sculpture, or Sustainable Building.

mugsThe Integrated Design Diploma program will not only give students a foundation in Design, but it will connect them with their own identity through conceptual exercises meant to tap into their dreams, desires and visions for a sustainable future. Students will experiment to find new ways of working, and to develop their own unique design processes.

Start in September and transform your future!

SirSandfordFleming_1Haliburton School of Experimental Art + Design… We’ll Get You in the Right HEAD Space

For more information:  or contact           1.866.353.6464 ext. 6708

Student Art Exhibition Fall 2013

December 16, 2013 § Leave a comment

This past Saturday, students from the Artist Blacksmithing, Fibre Arts, Visual Arts Fundamentals: Drawing and Painting, Photo Arts and Ceramics Certificates participated in the biannual Art Exhibition (formerly the Student Show & Sale.) There was so much talent and hardwork on display – congratulations to all of our students!

DIY Holiday Decorations

December 3, 2013 § Leave a comment


Birch bark makes beautiful cards, tree decorations and gift tags.  Just a few tips before you start your project:

  • Collect birch bark from fallen trees only.
  • Soaking in water and flattening the bark under a rock for a few days will get the curl out.
  • Cut birch bark into small shapes with scissors.
  • Use twine to hang your decorations, in keeping with a rustic look.
  • A wood-burning tool is great for writing your greetings and outlining your design (but a sharpie does the job, too!)
  • Paint with acrylics or colour with markers.
  • Happy Holidays!

reindeer      Santa Bear

Santa Owl      angel

Art Helps us Remember

November 11, 2013 § Leave a comment

100 years ago, Canada was on the brink of the Great War.  Raging on European battlefields from 1914 to 1918, the First World War took the lives of more than 66,000 Canadian soldiers. Out of the horror of the trenches, however, came inspiration for many artists.  The most prominent art project is the monument at Vimy Ridge in France.  Designed by Canadian sculptor and architect Walter Seymour Allward, it took eleven years to build.

woman     The towering pylons and sculptured figures contain almost 6,000 tonnes of limestone. The largest piece in the monument is a cloaked figure of a mourning woman, standing at the front.  She represents Canada—a young nation mourning her dead.




There were also artists among the soldiers who huddled in the caves of France, waiting to be called to battle.  The fragile images that they carved in the chalk walls serve as a reminder that these young Canadians, many of them still teenagers, were proud of their country.

Soldier's Cave Carving-1






Finally, artists across Canada created memorials like the bronze sculpture in downtown Haliburton.

Haliburton memorial

This Remembrance Day, think about the importance of art and the part it plays in depicting history, memorializing those who served their country, and reflecting social change.


Ode of Remembrance

They went with songs to the battle, they were young.

Straight of limb, true of eyes, steady and aglow.

They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted,

They fell with their faces to the foe.

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:

Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.

At the going down of the sun and in the morning,

We will remember them


They mingle not with their laughing comrades again;

They sit no more at familiar tables of home;

They have no lot in our labour of the day-time;

They sleep beyond England’s foam

Graduate Profile – Susan Hay

October 2, 2013 § Leave a comment


Susan Hay, HSTA graduate, is a regular exhibitor in the Haliburton Arts Community. She is inspired by the tranquil, natural wilderness found by her Portage Lake cottage, and along the shorelines of Ontario .  She is also well known in Huron County where her paintings are displayed in several spaces. If you haven’t had a chance to see her work, stop into the Ethel Curry Gallery before October 15th to see her solo show!

Tell us about life after graduating from Haliburton School of The Arts! What did you learn from the Drawing and Painting Certificate program that has stayed with you during your current practice?

Since graduating, I have continued to paint mostly landscapes, implementing what I learned in the course.  The most important lesson I took away from the HSTA VAF course was a three word message that Rod Prouse wrote on my easel support:  “make it dynamic”.  I have been emphasizing and simplifying shapes, exaggerating colours, modifying textures and building my own canvases.


When I got home after the VAF course, I summarized what I had learned on paper after looking through my sketchbooks and my notes and then wrote this in point form on my blackboard in my studio.  I look at it from time to time to remind myself of various opportunities that I might have overlooked when creating a piece.  I have worked steadily over the past couple of years to produce a large body of work from which I could choose the best pieces for my shows at the Blyth Centre for the Arts in August and also the Ethel Curry Gallery this fall.  I have also been on the Tour de Forest for three years.  I have applied for Ontario Arts Council Exhibition Assistance Grants and have gratefully received grants for each of my shows.  I have been building my resume, keeping my website updated and looking for ways to “get my work out there”.


How do you choose the settings for your Haliburton landscape paintings? Do you have any favourite spots in the county?

I have a large file of photos that I have taken over the past 15 years in Haliburton while paddling a canoe with my husband or walking along cottage roads in the fall or visiting Ritchie Falls or the Wildwater Reserve in Minden.

halliburton-lake-roadYou currently have a very successful show on at the Ethel Curry Gallery in town. Is there any advice that you’d like to give other artists/artisans about pursuing a career in Haliburton County?

I’d say  work hard in your medium until you’ve got a significant body of work and then work hard on marketing and promotion.  “Make hay while the sun shines!”


If you’d like to see more of Susan’s work, check out her website at, or consider purchasing a painting at !

Interactive Art History

September 20, 2013 § Leave a comment

If you get a chance to take a stroll through the sculpture forest this week, see if you can spot the Land Art installations constructed by our VCAD students. The project is a part of their Art History class. It looks like the days of lecture-style lessons are over!

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Faculty Profile- Rob Stimpson

September 10, 2013 § Leave a comment


Rob Stimpson is certainly one of the most adventurous faculty members here at HSTA. He has been a full time photographer for over 15 years, best known for capturing stunning images of Canadian wilderness. Paddling Arctic Rivers, guiding expeditions, doing stills for a film on climate change, and travelling the world with his camera are just a few of the journeys this wilderness-obsessed instructor has embarked on.

Rob’s photography has come to represent Ontario through his work for Ontario Tourism, Ontario Parks, and Ontario-based magazines, calendars and national ads.

This photo was taken during Rob's Gales of November Workshop on Lake Superior

This photo was taken during Rob’s Gales of November Workshop on Lake Superior

 Here’s a look at his connection to our school, and to the Haliburton Highlands:

Q: You’ve been a valued faculty member at HSTA for many years. What
brought you to the school initially?
A: About 10 years ago I met Shelley Schell at a Arts in the Wild marketing initiative with Ontario Tourism and from there she invited me to run a one day workshop with Kevin Callan – that started my long relationship with HSTA.

Q: You’ve practiced photography while adventuring across the country
and around the world. What keeps you coming back to Ontario, and more
specifically Haliburton?
A: Originally from Montreal, my travels have taken to many amazing places but Ontario is now home and has been for many years. I live in the Huntsville area – about 25 kms from Algonquin Park. But as for the reason keeping me coming back to Haliburton, I love teaching photography and sharing my knowledge of the medium with others – HSTA is a great venue, provides many with so many creative pursuits. I love being imersed with so many like minded people.
Q. As an artist-educator, do you have some advice to pass onto others
who feel drawn to the path of educating in the arts?
A: I get this and similar questions about how does one make a living in the arts – whether you are an educator, artist or both – following your heart is one thing but learn business, networking and stay on top of what your medium is doing and where it is going. Our world changes constantly – re-invent yourself to stay with it.

In closing – I have been a freelance photographer for 15 years. It is as I call it – an unconvential job in a convential world. If you like stability, then this is probably not for everyone but the rewards in my business are many. It is not all roses but what job is. I have been to many places on the planet – my work has been published  internationally, my fine art images hang in places throughout the world – and I shoot for tourism agencies in Ontario – it is a good life.


For a more in-depth look into the wild world of Rob Stimpson, check out his website:, and think about signing up for his Fall Equinox Photo Workshop!

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