Skip to content

Young artists in the spotlight at Starry Night

Annual downtown Orillia studio and gallery tour happening Aug. 25

This year’s Starry Night Studio and Gallery Tour will have a youthful element.

Kids who have been taking part in the Otter Art Club out of Studio in downtown Orillia will have their work on display during the Aug. 25 event, when artists at 36 venues will open their doors for an evening celebration.

“A lot of these kids have never been to Starry Night. Now they get to be a part of it,” said Naomi Woodman, a photographer who runs Otter Art Club with her partner, artist Travis Shilling. “It’s really exciting for us to get to share that with other people.”

The kids’ art program started in the spring. Participants created paintings, sculptures and dioramas.

“There’s always a lesson Travis will do, and then the kids get to use it like it’s their studio,” Woodman said. “They’re in charge of what they want to work on.”

During Starry Night, their work will be part of its own exhibition, called Bear Builds a Beaver Dam.

"Bear Builds a Beaver Dam is a show about creating out of your element,” Shilling explained. “As artists, we should always challenge ourselves, and a way of doing that is to sometimes use a medium we are not particularly comfortable with or have not yet found a way to communicate through. And by doing that, we are learning, exploring and teaching at the same time."

Woodman said she and Shilling were “blown away” by the artwork the kids created.

“We are so inspired by them. They make us see things in different ways,” she said.

This Sunday, two illustrators from the CBC will be at the studio to provide a workshop for the young participants.

Registration is required for the the Otter Art Club, which offers sessions Sundays from 1:30 to 3 p.m. and Tuesdays and Thursdays from 7 to 8 p.m. For more information, call 705-345-6874 or email [email protected].

Starry Night is now in its 14th year. It helps shine a light on the many artists in town.

“Selling art is not the easiest thing in the world. It depends on individual taste,” said Linda Tiffin, chair of the Starry Night committee. “To sell enough to pay the bills can be a real challenge, and an event like this helps.”

It also provides an opportunity for the public to get to know the artists.

“They get a connection with the artists and it’s more meaningful for them,” Tiffin said.

Art will also be on the move during Starry Night. Models with the Somniatis wearable art project will be strolling along downtown streets, showing off the clothing creations.

The OC Emporium will shake things up a bit, too, with an “artistic light show” on the back wall of its Mississaga Street location, Tiffin noted.

The “win your art” promotion will again be part of the event. Those who buy a piece of original art for at least $50 during Starry Night will get a ballot. If their ballot is drawn, they will get their money back — up to $500.

Starry Night will run from 7 to 11 p.m. Find out more here.


Verified reader

If you would like to apply to become a verified commenter, please fill out this form.

Nathan Taylor

About the Author: Nathan Taylor

Nathan Taylor is the desk editor for Village Media's central Ontario news desk in Simcoe County and Newmarket.
Read more