Dine. Shop. Explore. Art_Trees in Oro-Medonte
The ‘Art Tree Trail’, a self-guided driving route encourages locals and visitors to explore Oro-Medonte and see the new public art on display across the Township.
New Art_Trees are on display at local Oro-Medonte businesses including restaurants, boutique style shops, attractions, and public places. The Art Tree Trail is an exciting new public art project, featuring one-of-a-kind art painted metal tree sculptures. The art celebrates the natural beauty, history and local culture of the area. Each art piece matches well with the business where it is on display.
Building on the success of the Craighurst Art_Trees project that was unveiled in summer 2022, this expanded art project features a series of 18 additional tree sculptures. The new smaller versions of the Art Tree metal sculptures are installed at various locations in Oro-Medonte. The trees form a free self-driving route, an ‘Art Tree Trail’ designed to attract people to local businesses and encourage them to explore the Township.
Similar to the seven larger Art Tree metal sculptures currently on display in Craighurst, the Art Tree Trail installation celebrates the history, culture and landscapes of Oro-Medonte as told through the medium of visual art. Each Art Trees is customized by the talents of local artists, in their unique signature style, and sharing a connection to Oro-Medonte. Visitors will be treated to a diverse array of artistic styles and techniques, making it an engaging and educational experience for all ages.
An impressive new art tree rendered by visual artist Robyn Rennie is part of the new collection. Her work, titled “Spring in Oro-Medonte” was inspired by an unforgettable experience she had immersed by miles and miles of blooming trilliums in Horseshoe Valley. Robyn’s art tree is extraordinary because it features Braille, which gives viewers a tactile experience. Robyn, who has a visual impairment, explains, “I want blind/low vision viewers to know what they are exploring. Blind/low vision people are interested in art too. I will be Brailling the little story about the Art Tree too to display with the piece. Sighted people also enjoy the extra sense of being able to touch my work.” Visit Robyn’s tree on display at the Chilton Gallery (Chilton Remax) in Craighurst.
Artist Natalie Very B. has painted two Art Trees, with a fondness for the Township’s natural landscapes held closely in her heart: “I spent many beautiful years here and had the chance to fall in love with the proximity to nature. The trees that I painted are a token of my gratitude for welcoming me here and a visual celebration of the natural environment. I’m thrilled to have my trees displayed in a public place to help spread the message of love for Mother Nature.” Natalie’s trees are on display at Horseshoe Resort and Ego’s Garden Centre.
Artist Enrique Bravo is a relative newcomer to Canada from Venezuela with an impressive background in acrylic and watercolour, conceptual architecture, comics, illustrations, portraits and murals. His art tree depicts the historic Musical Barn that houses Quayle’s Brewery, which will be on display at the Brewery itself. Enrique explains, “I started to read about the musical barn, and found that it’s an iconic building in the area. I’m very happy to have been selected for this project, and even happier to have an excuse to return to Oro-Medonte where I lived a few years ago.”
Witnessing sunrises and sunsets during hiking, biking and paddling excursions in Oro-Medonte inspired artist Kelsey Nicholls’ new art tree which you will find at the entrance into the chalet at Hardwood Ski & Bike. “During a transition period in my life I was hiking in a beautiful forest in Oro-Medonte and saw a sunset that was convincing enough that I decided to move to Simcoe County,” she shares. “In being part of this project, I knew I wanted to recreate some of the magical moments I have experienced in Oro Medonte.”
Artists were selected for the exhibition through a juried process. The Orillia Museum of Art & History (OMAH) partnered with the Township of Oro-Medonte and assisted with the facilitation of the artists. OMAH Executive Director Ninette Gyorody explains the motivation behind the museum’s involvement: “One of the Orillia Museum of Art & History (OMAH) goals is to develop and foster community partnerships. The Art Trees project is a creative project that partners art with community, environmental, and geographical history and that complements OMAH’s two pillars of art and history. We have partnered with The Township of Oro-Medonte, to support this cultural initiative in one of Orillia’s surrounding townships. We are thrilled to be part of it.”
By featuring the work of local artists and promoting local businesses, this collaborative project brings businesses, artists, visitors and the community together to build on community pride. There is currently a total of 26 Art_Trees with over 15 artists involved that showcase the four seasons of Oro-Medonte, each tree has its own story shared through the artwork. Representatives from partner organizations including Orillia & Lake Country Tourism, Oro-Medonte Chamber of Commerce & Tourism, OMAH and Oro-Medonte Township, collaborated on a series of four mosaic Art Trees with artist Meg Leslie, showcasing the Barn Quilt Trail and the beautiful four seasons of Oro-Medonte.
From year-round recreation to a thriving arts and culture sector, to great locations to shop and delicious dining options, Oro-Medonte is a great destination for all to enjoy. Locals and visitors can enjoy the Art_Tree’s, the beautiful scenery and discovering new businesses and locations they may not have otherwise visited.
Get ready to plan your Art Tree trail adventure! Visit www.Oro-Medonte.ca/Art-Trees for an interactive map, participating businesses, and information about each of the artists. For more information about planning a visit to Oro-Medonte visit Orillia & Lake Country Tourism.
Check out #Art_Trees to see some of the artwork and tag and share your own photos on social media.