Getaway this summer with Steve deBruyn

deBruynSteve deBruyn’s latest exhibition “Get Away Vehicle: Part One” is now open at the White Water Gallery. Created using donated and recycled materials, deBruyn’s vibrant and playful installation will be on view through July 12. Lesley Lane, who helped to install deBruyn’s work wrote this about her experience:

Wooden structures that have been painted colourfully fill the space of the gallery. Kids and adults alike interact with the art as if it were playground equipment. The space has been transformed through art that was constructed from community donations of wood.  Steve deBruyn’s exhibition Get Away Vehicle: Part One is an art experience filled with playful colour. It celebrates the creation of new things from the old.

The construction process of deBruyn’s work is an integral part. During a short-term residency, the artist gathers materials from the community. These include used items, scrap wood, and reused parts from his previous shows. For this exhibition, The Home Depot donated over $200 worth of supplies. Local theatre companies and members of the arts community donated materials as well. With all these donations, Steve’s work becomes possible and the artistic vision is born. Through the use of countless power tools and the help of gallery staff and volunteers Steve’s visions are manifested.

During the week of Steve’s residency, I was put to work. I learned how to use a number of power tools such as a nail gun and a miter saw, as well as other neat devices like a caulking gun and a panel lifter. Everyday of Steve’s residency was filled with anticipation and hard work. I had the opportunity to be involved in the creation of each of Steve’s pieces. I watched and worked as I saw pieces come together to make a whole show. I received instruction from the artist, not knowing the end result. My continued diligence led to a show that was ultimately complete and beautiful.

As I was involved in the construction of these pieces, I couldn’t help but ponder the purpose of having others do so much work. Then I realized if I was an artist wanting to teach someone about my craft, the best way to teach them is to get them involved in the creation. This endeavor was certainly a learning experience for the sake of art. During the 5-day span, I learned practical construction skills. I was also glad for the opportunity to work hard and to take my mind off of other stresses.

This brings us back to the theme of the exhibition. The title of the show is Getaway Vehicle: Part One. Art is a vehicle that allows artists to flee from the hassles of everyday life. From the vision that goes into the idea to the actual production of the work, art provides an escape. Through art, an artist has control over a medium, as well as the ability to manipulate materials and to manifest something that only existed in their mind.

This show was a great opportunity to learn from an artist and to see the steps it takes to produce an artwork. Through this experience I was able to see first hand the fruit of an artist’s labour. 

White Water Gallery would like to thank Home Depot (North Bay), Allan Hirsh & Joan Ferneyhough, Arndt von Holtzendorff & Mandy Kerr, and Leah Symington for their generous contribution of materials.

National Youth Arts Week: May 1 – 7, 2014


National Youth Arts Week is an opportunity for youth across Canada to create and celebrate art in all of its forms. This year White Water Gallery will host a series of events led by our Gallery Coordinator, Lesley Lane, that will engage youth from our community in alternative arts dissemination practices.


Rural Randomness in Downtown North Bay
May 1, 11:00 am – 4:30 pm
Youth will be invited to participate in non-harmful /non-invasive outdoor art interventions and “bombings”. These installations will take many shapes and forms with an emphasis on finding ways for engagement beyond viewing; pieces of art that will make people think, and that will contribute to the conversation of “North Bay” as a community. The installations will be left on display for the duration of National Youth Arts Week.

White Water Gallery Screen Printing Party
May 3, 1:00pm – 3:30pm
White Water Gallery has recently gained access to some pretty nifty screen printing equipment and we want to break it in by inviting local youth to get involved in creating designs and learning about the process of print making. There will be a few pre-made designs to print onto shirts and other materials as well as opportunities to design works on-site. This event is open to public, and participants are encouraged to bring their own materials to be printed on.

Object Art Walk (Bring your camera)
May 5, 6:00 pm
Gathering miscellaneous pieces of trash and other odd objects on a walkabout in downtown North Bay, partcipants will work together to assemble found object art pieces. The pieces will then be photographed and posted on the Gallery’s facebook, instagram, and twitter pages. This activity will engage youth with our downtown core and provide fun ways for them to collaborate while exploring their creativity.

For more information, please contact the White Water Gallery.


A Northern Designer: A Personal Retrospective and View of North Bay Theatre From the Eyes of a Scenographer


Opening Reception April 25th @ 7:30pm
April 25, 2014 – May 24, 2014
The local art scene in North Bay, Ontario is a vibrant and thriving community of creation and presentation. During the past 30+ years, Arndt von Holtzendorff has worked, lived and breathed life into our local culture in many ways. As a Set Designer he has volunteered for countless theatre productions enabling hundreds of artists to realize their visions on stage. As a community supporter and activist he has towed the line for our arts community through dedication and perseverance in many, many roles. In many ways, Arndt is North Bay’s best kept secret. This exhibition of works celebrates his achievements as an artist, designer and as a key part of our local arts ecology. To celebrate North Bay’s culture and heritage is to also celebrate Arndt.

Biography: Born in Winnendan, Germany while his mother was visiting relatives in her home town, Arndt landed on Canadian soil and came to his home in North Bay, Ontario. He was creative from an early age.  He began with what he called his “books.” Empty space on top for drawing, lines below for text, he wrote several.  He recalls inventing his own super hero, Supercat, and wrote a “book” about the war between the cat planet and the dog planet. He would go on to design and draw plans for Amphibio, his submarine/aircraft/ground vehicle. It was this early experience with plans that made it so easy for him to learn drafting in his university design classes.

Adolescence. It began with spacecraft and science fiction, and progressed further and further away from it as he determined to become an actor. Around the age of fifteen he had begun getting involved in theatre. He had no idea it would become such a large part of his life. He just knew he loved acting. But somehow he began to design. He saw a sketch of a set and added a few touches that would make it more evocative.  He began to design and design more.  His love for acting was still strong, but it was for his designing, in this case The Farm Show (a Canadian collective creation) for which he would win the award at the 1981 Sears provincial high school drama festival. He went on to York University for acting but it was in a Second Year design course that he was recognized as having potential as a designer.  Phillip Silver encouraged him to try out for the design program at the National Theatre School of Canada (NTS).  He did and was accepted.

Around the same time Arndt and some like-minded friends started Unicorn Theatre in North Bay. It was a student summer theatre troupe that would run for five successful seasons.  With NTS during the school year and Unicorn Theatre in the summer, his early twenties were intense and very busy.  Upon graduation from NTS, he made his professional debut in Toronto designing Joe Orton’s What The Butler Saw for Derek Goldby, an internationally renowned director he had worked with in his final year at NTS. He went on to do three more shows in Toronto, all to good reviews, but it had been too much for him and he suffered a breakdown and had to return to North Bay to recover. It turned out the breakdown was schizophrenia and a professional career now seemed impossible.

But there was a very lively amateur theatre scene in North Bay with such groups as the Gateway Theatre Guild, Dreamcoat Fantasy Theatre, TOROS, and the Sunset Players. He has done many shows with them. And, to his pleasure, he has ended up having many professional designing opportunities in North Bay, notably with the Nipissing Stage Company (1999 to 2005), Rep 21, and various Ontario Arts Council projects.

In 1994 Arndt won the Best Director Award at the QUONTA Drama Festival for The Importance of Being Earnest. In 1999 he won Best Design at the same festival.  In 2010 he designed a Group of Seven influenced production of Waiting For Godot that won best production at the Theatre Ontario Festival. The bleakness of the terrain suited Godot well. He remains passionate about design and currently has a show on the boards, The Drawer Boy, for the Gateway Theatre Guild.

The Future of Art in Public Spaces

The Future of Art in Public Spaces
May 7, 2014 7:00 pm – 9:30 pm
Part of the Pressure Cooker Artist Talk / Lecture Series

Both within publicly funded arts spaces and the outdoor realm of installation exist challenges and constraints when dealing with the professional presentation of art. Weather, funding, permits, availability and support are all factors when planning projects in public spaces but they are not the real challenge facing artists as we move forward. As resources towards publicly funded art space continue to diminish, we watch as artists struggle or innovate to continue to pursue their craft. Will there be a return to publicly funded arts spaces or will the future be artists relying on their own ability to create spaces for themselves?

This panel discussion will delve into the concept of working within public spaces and discuss the issues surrounding the future availability of space. Panelists will present on their own artistic practice or organizational backgrounds followed by a conversation on where public space is headed. Presenters include Kristian Clarke, Fynn Leitch and Ann Marie Hadcock with White Water Gallery’s Director of Programming, Clayton Windatt moderating.

Kristian Clarke is an Art History graduate with an additional Certificate in Cultural Management from Humber College, Kristian has worked at Canadian Artists Representation/le front des artistes canadiens (CARFAC Ontario)  for more than 13 years. Kristian sees himself as a Creative Visionary with particular interests in artist-run advocacy, proposal development, dispute resolution and policy development at municipal, provincial and federal levels. Kristian also serves on the Board for the Canadian Arts Resources Foundation of Ontario [(CARFO) recently rebranded as CANVAS] and Work In Culture, which supports the people who work in the cultural sector through life-long career development and business skills training. In his spare time, Kristian can be found engaging in performance-based art projects with his 8 year-old daughter named Phoibe at his cabin on Georgian Bay or listening to his wife, Krisztina Szabo, perform one of her many operatic roles.

Fynn Leitch has an MA in Visual Culture from Queen’s University (2006) where her work focused at the intersection of craft and protest. Since 2011 she has led the direction of ARTSPACE, including the development of an onsite Media Lab, and has renewed the centre’s commitment to critical writing and publishing. Curator, writer, and artist, her work has appeared in catalogues, magazines, and galleries across the country. She also works as an advocate for the arts regionally and provincially.

Ann Marie Hadcock was born in Hamilton, Ontario in 1979. She lives in Wiarton, Ontario. Ann has a Fine Art Diploma from Fanshawe College, Honours Visual Arts Degree from the University of Western Ontario and an MFA from the University of Windsor Ontario. She is a visual artist working with installation and sculpture creating anomalous material forms that inhabit places mirroring naturally occurring things. By inhabiting unexpected locations her creations enhance the visual language of public art extending beyond the confines of traditional public spaces.