Luminary Decorating Night to Fight Cancer

April 3, 2012 § Leave a comment

Create a Luminary, Fight Cancer

RSVP by 4pm April 9th with Julia Donnelly @ 705.286.1444

If you’re looking for a great night out with a good cause, we have the answer for you!

Join in the fun at the Team Recruitment Night, this coming Tues. April 10th, to create your own luminaries for the Relay For Life event coming up in June in Haliburton.

As artists, we are constantly exposing ourselves to different carcinogens. We use scary solvents, inhale toxic fumes, breathe dust, and experiment with unusual substances.

By supporting cancer research, we help to identify cures and treatments, as well as various causes.

Click the pdf link below for all the information you need about the upcoming Luminary night!

 luminary decorating poster

Don’t miss it!

For other ways to get involved, please go to

Artist of the Week – Mary Kroetsch

March 5, 2012 § 2 Comments

Mary Kroetsch

She’s an artist, a student, an entrepreneur, and exceptionally talented. Not only has Mary Kroetsch graduated from the Fibre Arts program at HSTA in 2004, but she has also expanded her horizons with courses from George Brown, the New Brunswick Arts & Crafts College, and the Stratford Festival of the Arts. Her work is displayed internationally.

This week, we were lucky to catch up with her as she was preparing for the Big Art Book Digital Anthology Launch Party on March 1st

Better than anyone, Mary can tell you how important story-telling is to her; it inspires her, it shapes her artwork, it pulls people closer together and weaves a grand tapestry of nostalgia. 

And so her story begins, not with “once-upon-a-time” as so many stories do, but with a sewing class. Yes, that’s right, a sewing class. At the tender age of ten years-old, Kroetsch’s mother enrolled her in a sewing class, never dreaming that it would become a life-long passion for her daughter. Her father, an amateur photographer, has also greatly influenced Mary’s work. “It is the 100 plus years of forgotten family life in the albums and shoe boxes I have in my possession, that spurs me on to reclaim forgotten memories,” Kroetsch shares. “By bringing memories out of the box and incorporating them into a contemporary art piece, I give the viewer permission to reach out and touch.”

And Please touch! No white gloves required! could be her war cry… She explains that textile art is often seen as fragile and precious; viewers are afraid to interact with the pieces. She urges viewers, however, to interact with her work. She carefully pulls us once more to the shoebox of inspiration: “Our memories are fragile and precious, too. If we don’t constantly, and lovingly, fondle memories, they soon become forgotten in an old shoebox.” She wants viewers to know that art is both friendly and accessible; it can result in an amazing experience for all involved, from artist to gallery-goer.

Over the past few years, Kroetsch has had the privilege of installing some exceptional and interactive pieces. One of them, The Fractoral Heart project, allowed people to spend time walking the emotional labyrinth she created – contemplating and remembering the emotions that made them smile and hurt. Another, titled the Take a Memory – Leave a Memory project, required that visitors be gifted with a photographic memory in exchange for a letter sharing a personal remembrance, inspired by the photograph.

She reveals that her glorious plan to “make it big” in the Art World within five years of graduating at the college, didn’t quite work out. Priorities have changed, experimental directions were taken and now she quite simply says, “I make art – full stop. I [don’t] want my work to be categorized as Fine Craft or Textile Art.” And in such a competitive industry, labels are a dime a dozen.

Her parting thoughts to us are, in fact, advice for any art student: aspiring, current, or graduated:

“Don’t waste the education you are getting with HSTA.  It is easy to be disillusioned by a teacher you don’t care for or even distracted by a topic you feel has no value to your art form.  Everything that is being shared with you has value – if not now – then later. And ask questions.  Your teachers are working Artists.  Try and coax their secrets for their success out of them.  It might save you some time if you are looking to make art your life.”


ImageTo see more about the Big Art Book, go to

For more information about the artist, please visit Mary’s website at

She can also be reached via phone at 519-265-0666, as well as by email at

Artist of the Week – Cassandra Hincks

February 22, 2012 § Leave a comment

Cassandra Hincks

Art: it inpsires, it thrills, it liberates, it shares, and of course, it makes us feel. Feeling does not always come when you’re an observer; occasionally, art does not move people at all. But most often, it moves people differently. Three people all looking at an apple see the apple in very different ways… But, when you’re looking at a painting of an apple, what do you feel then? The awe and wonder the artist has for such a delicious and beautiful fruit? Do you understand the loathing for a healthy snack, forced on the artist for years by health-conscious parents? Or perhaps, there is no feeling at all: a lifeless, wonderless piece of art?

This week’s Artist of the Week, Cassandra Hincks, offers to the viewer a true bevy of emotion. She evokes everything from whimsical fancy, to adventure, to the very stuff of a coulrophobe’s worst nightmares. The emotional journey this emerging artist can inspire is breathtaking… But how did she start?

Her journey began with horses, her first subjects, at a very young age. Their grace and majesty filled pages in her sketchbook as she was drawn into the world of art. “It then grew into a sort of therapy for me and helped me to forget about the world for a bit,” she explains. “It was something I could get lost in and just become completely focused on and I loved it.”

Needless to say, her focus was worth the effort, as her passion grew so, too, did her skill. She began to explore the minutist details of nature: water droplets on a leaf after a rainfall, a misty morning in the woods, the tufts of hair on a beloved cat. Her eye for detail became ever more attuned to the world around her. And what catches her eye serves as inspiration. It allows her the freedom to choose various subjects, to try new things and to explore the limits of what can be transferred to a canvas or a sheet of paper.

“My inspiration comes from many things, but mainly thoughts, experiences, and just random ideas that pop into my head. I’m pretty much just exploring everything that I can and trying to find myself as an artist as well as a person.”

No stranger to a small-town atmostphere, Hincks understood she was never meant for the “big city”. Raised in Nippissing, it was the quiet presence of nature that first drew her to the Haliburton School of the Arts: the intense dislike she feels for the fast-paced environment of city-life was not the ideal headspace for her…

While attending her program, Hincks explored the connection between fibre and painting, weaving the mediums together into intriguing compositions. “[At] school I learned so many things, it made it really hard to find a medium I absolutely love; I enjoy little things about them all so I combine them a lot  and switch back and forth. Right now, I’m exploring graphite on raw canvas and embroidery.”

And her explorations are certainly poignant: although the experience might differ for every viewer, there is no question that every viewer will certainly feel something when they experience Hinck’s works.

Cassandra can be contacted via email at .

To view more of her work, please go to .

Hello Haliburton – ed. 2 Village of Sound

January 28, 2011 § Leave a comment

Haliburton has a happening music scene. Most every weekend, and some week nights, there is great live music featuring local and touring acts! There are also 2 welcoming Open Stages a month in the Village.


Open Stage 3rd Sat. of every Month currently held at the Heritage House Cafe.

Join the Folk Society at the Heritage House, just a 4 min. jaunt from downtown, for their monthly Open Stage. There is a huge wealth of local talent in Haliburton, and it comes out to play! Everyone is welcome and many a HSTA student has rocked the stage in the past. Not just for lovers of folk music!

HCFS also hosts concerts throughout the County. Check out their website here & their Facebook group here.


Open Stage. 1st Wed. of the Month 4ish to 6ish.

Join the young folks at McKecks the first Wed. of every Month for an early evening coffee house. From 4ish to 6ish or when the music stops, the back stage features up and coming young Haliburton performers backed by local talent Carl Dixon. And now you’re thinking but, uh thats right around dinner? McKecks offers the Fleming Nachos which at $16.00 is much more than just nachos, it is a massive helping of nachos with chicken and guacamole plus all the regular fixins…it feeds 4 people (just $4.00 per person.)

McKecks also books regular local and traveling acts. Check out their upcoming events here.


Open Stage Every Friday 8:30pm

A juant down to Minden is well-worth group cab fare, for the “DAM JAM” is a well-attended rocking night. A weekly affair with covers of Modest Mouse to original fare, there is a bit of everything to appreciate! The Dominion Hotel is located on the Main St. of Minden with tons of parking in the back and on the street. Visit their website here.

Good sites to check out for up-to-date event calendars: (official site of Haliburton Tourism)

Hello Haliburton ed.1 – Art Centres

January 26, 2011 § Leave a comment

First and foremost, lets talk art centres in Haliburton!

With a huge community of artists, it is impossible to cover all the art events, talks and support available to an artist new to Haliburton right from the get-go, so let us start with some “must-visit” places…


 Located in the Heart of Haliburton Village, the Rails End is a public gallery that boasts world-class exhibitions, often featuring local artists amongst a mix of thought-provoking shows. The Rails End is also the location for the VCAD foundation student’s year-end show, an amazing coup for an emerging artist’s CV. Curator Laurie Jones is often the smiling face that greets you at the doors and admission is by donation. Every exhibition also has an opening, a great opportunity to get out to meet the artist(s) behind the show as well as members of the local arts community (plus free snacks!) Located at 23 York St (a 5 min. drive from the College.) Visit their website for a list of current exhibitions.


As an integral part of the Minden Hills Cultural Centre, the AJG is located in the river town of Minden. A bit of a jaunt from Haliburton, it is worth planning a group trip! As the other public gallery in Haliburton, the AGJ regularly hosts 9-11 exhibitions a year, once again featuring many prominent and emerging Haliburton artists/artisans. AJG is known for releasing regular calls for submissions and its curator, Laurie Carmount, often participates in year-end reviews of graduating certificate programs. In fact, in 2008  the AJG curator was so impressed by the Fibre Arts Certificate’s presentations, that the gallery launched a call for fibre arts submissions for a 2010 show, out of which a graduate of the Fibre Arts certificate was chosen as 1 of 27 artists (out of which 5 were local.)

The AJG holds the largest collection of the works of the Canadian Artist, Andre Lapine, who often painted in the Haliburton Highlands along with the Group of Seven and was renowed throughout Canada for his paintings of horses. The Agnes Jamieson Gallery has recently updated its mandate to focus on Canadian landscape, not only referencing the permanent collection and the surroundaing landscape but the growing resurgence of landscape work within the fine art community. Located at 176 Bobcaygeon St ( a 20 min. drive from the College.) Visit their website here.





Established in 2007 as the home of the Maple Lake Artisans Collective, the Art Hive is not only a gallery and cafe featuring 100% local art and crafts but a meeting place for artists. With monthly get-togethers,  such as Crafty Girls (every 3rd Thursday of the Month), workshops and events,  such as the Fashion Fallies (every September), the Art Hive represents  a fun and welcoming gathering place for artists in Haliburton County.  Many of its past and present members are HSTA alumni and it remains a strong voice for collaborative efforts as a path to financial security for artists/artisans, particularily in its support for emerging artists.  Visit the Hive, just outside of West Guilford at 10239 on Highway 118 (a 15 min. from the College.) Visit their website here.

Hello Haliburton

January 21, 2011 § Leave a comment

Why,  Hello there Haliburton…

We love Haliburton. And we know that with our intensive courses and with studio time, students don’t often have the time to become involved enough in the community to get the low-down on the ins and outs of Haliburton & appreciate everything it offers.

Hence, HSTA is ntroducing a new regular column to our blog:  Hello Haliburton – an artist’s guide.

A local artist’s guide to everything Haliburton from upcoming concerts & events to unique shops &  art openings.

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