Oro-Medonte Artists Inspired by Local Nature & Culture

Oro-Medonte Artists Inspired by Local Nature & Culture

A talented and diverse group of multimedia artists live and work in Oro-Medonte, creating high-quality works including sculptures, paintings, pottery, photography and glass art. Many of these artists take inspiration from Oro-Medonte’s landscapes, wildlife, culture and scenery, bringing a unique local flair to their award-winning work. Across the Township, a collection of inspirational and creative art pieces are available for shopping and locally-sourced gift giving.

Recently the talents of some local artists were unveiled in the new Art_Trees Trail. A series of seven-foot sculptures are publicly displayed outdoors in Craighurst, plus an additional 15 smaller trees on display at local businesses. Each painted by a local artist with strong connections to Oro-Medonte. The metal trees depict scenes that reflect and tell the story of Oro-Medonte, showcasing the natural beauty and culture of the Township.

The popular Images Studio tour is held each fall, featuring exhibits from over thirty outstanding local artists and crafts people. This year, the tour celebrates its 40th anniversary showcasing talented artists and welcoming visitors to the region.

All year round, a variety of high-quality art pieces are available online, at art shows and markets, and at home-based studios by appointment. Though there are many more artists living and working in Oro-Medonte, here is a small selection of local artists to check out:

Dan Kangas – Sculpture

Dan Kangas creates magnificent wall-mounted sculptures of Canadian wildlife using driftwood and vintage artifacts. There are several hundred pieces of driftwood in each stunning sculpture, which is custom fitted using a variety of colours and types of wood. Sculptures range in size from 36” wide/high to 60” wide/high. Many works depict the wild animals that call Oro-Medonte home, such as foxes and owls, as well as bears and moose. Dan lives in the woods and finds inspiration from the wildlife in his own backyard. He also incorporates vintage artifacts that originate from local farmers, local auctions and antique shops. His work can be viewed on Instagram @great_lakes_driftwood_art and on his website at dankangas.com.

Derek Wicks – Painting

Derek Wicks is a nature and wildlife artist that paints high-realism original art. His work often features wild animals like wolves, loons, grizzlies and elks, as well as waterfalls, barns and rural life. “In my backyard in Oro-Medonte I have foxes, coyotes and black bears,” he says. “Oro-Medonte is an amazing spot to interact with nature and wildlife.” Derek feels the region has  some of the most stunning scenic landscapes in southern Ontario. As Derek comments, “I need only to venture out my front door to get inspired for a painting.” Browse his works at his studio/gallery by appointment and online at www.derekwicks.com.

Margaret Ferraro – Painting

This award-winning oil and pastel painter creates impressive landscape scenes, as well as exceptional drawings and paintings of the human figure and more. Margaret Ferraro is a self-proclaimed nature lover who feels most at home in the woods. She has done many paintings in Copeland Forest and other spots closer to Shanty Bay. She’s even been known to paint out of the back of her car, on the side of country roads. View her website to view her artwork and get more information on her magnificent work.

Jan Novak – Photography & Art on Stone

Capturing winter scenes and wildlife in Oro-Medonte is this pro photographer’s specialty. In fact, the reason Jan Novak chose to live in Horsehoe Valley area is because its nature and scenery continually inspires him. Jan’s photography business JDN Photography sells captivating images taken in Oro-Medonte and Georgian Bay, as well as scenes from Old World destinations like Tuscany and France.

His other business Art on Stone sells handcrafted stone photo coasters, trivets, and wall art. People can choose from his collection or print their own custom images on stone. Art on Stone products are now sold on-site at Ego’s Nursery on Horsehoe Valley Road. View Jan’s photography online at JDN Photography Canada website and visit his Art on Stone website for more information.

Deb Brown – Glass Art

Artist Deb Brown is known for her sculptural glass art, glass and metal sculptures, fused glass and stained glass panels, platters and unique jewelry. Deb’s works often feature the beauty of trees, water, the moon, and constellations. Her home studio Spiral Dreamworks is surrounded by trees, and according to her, her artwork “honours nature in a variety of ways.” Deb’s Water Is Life jewelry collection helps to raise funds for the All Nations Water Protector project. Spiral Dreamworks studio is open year-round by appointment only. Visit her Facebook page to view her works and contact her by email debbiebrown_2@sympatico.ca or by phone (705) 835-6285 to arrange a studio visit.

Gary Brierley – Pottery

Professional potter Gary Brierley has been creating functional and decorative stoneware for 30 years. Visitors to his welcoming studio in Oro Station can browse high-quality hand-crafted vases, mugs, serving bowls and much more. All works at Brierley Pottery are 100% handcrafted. Gary also gives pottery wheel demonstrations at his studio.  Visit the Brierley Pottery website for more information and opening hours.

Danielle Skentzos – Pottery

Danielle Skentzos is the local potter behind Shiralee Pottery. Her website offers a range of engaging features including lessons, elegant pots and information on upcoming events, sales and shows. Small group pottery lessons are offered offering hands-on learning experiences where participants can explore their creativity.  Additionally, Danielle specializes in crafting bespoke pots that reflect a subtle and soft style inspired by her rural surroundings. Some work can be purchased online, and appointments are welcomed to visit in person.

Shiralee Pottery aims to create a welcoming space where pottery enthusiasts can grow their skills, acquire exceptional pieces, and immerse themselves in the artistic journey. Visit the Shiralee Pottery website for more information.

Dine, Shop and Explore the Arts

Explore the arts and rolling landscapes found year-round in beautiful Oro-Medonte. Plan a road trip to see the delightful Art_Trees installations and visit welcoming local businesses for unique shopping and delicious dining. Stop at local galleries and studios to browse stunning art pieces, some with special local significance. It is recommended to plan ahead. Before heading out, be sure to get in touch with the artist to confirm studio opening and availability.

There’s so much more to be discovered in Oro-Medonte, get out and explore with our interactive map of Oro-Medonte to uncover more of the region’s deep-rooted arts and culture scene.

Are you an artist and resident of Oro-Medonte? Send us an email to be featured.