Escape to Craighurst, in beautiful Oro-Medonte this fall.
Dine. Shop. Explore Art_Trees.
Explore the Art_Trees of Craighurst on a self guided tour, each sculpture has been painted by talented local artists with ties to Oro-Medonte. The trees tell the story of Oro-Medonte by depicting scenes that reflect the natural beauty and rich history of the Township. The sculptures were created as part of an initiative to enhance public spaces through the My Main Street Program.
The Art_Trees public art project was inspired from the thriving local forests that Oro-Medonte is well known for, celebrating the canopied trails available year round for locals and visitors to enjoy. The Simcoe County Forest is celebrating 100 years in 2022, Oro-Medonte is home to several of the Simcoe County forest tracts as well as the Copeland Forest.
The artists were selected through a juried process, the successful submissions included the following local artists that completed one or two sides of the trees; Tanya Cunnington, MJ Pollak, Marlene Bulas, Margaret Ferraro, Kathryn Kaiser, Angela Aujla and Paul Baxter. Meg Leslie, a mosaic tile artist and the selected project coordinator, also put her talents to work on a smaller sculpture that is the travelling tree and moves around to different locations. Several of the artists chose to render scenes of the beautiful landscapes, the forests and natural creatures in their artwork. While others chose to represent the history and culture of the rural Township. Many of the artists have a personal tie to Oro-Medonte and memories of growing up here or family that lived in the Township.
The vibrant metal tree sculptures are on display outdoors year-round within walking distance of the four corners of Horseshoe Valley Road & Penetanguishene road. Plan a visit to include the following local businesses:
- Craighurst Guardian Pharmacy – giftware and snacks
- Corner Gas – locally made products and treats
- Chelsea Chocolates – hand crafted chocolates and gifts
- Dwellings – home décor, gifts and locally made products
- Foodland – local produced products, LCBO and seasonal flowers
- Loobies Restaurant – small family diner
- HQ Restaurant & Tap House – community hub serving lunch & dinner
Oro-Medonte is a mecca for four seasons of outdoor activities. Plan a visit to view the art trees installation and explore the area to trace the local places and scenes that inspired the artists. The Copeland Forest protects 4,400 acres of woodlands that are wonderful for hiking, cycling, horseback riding, snowshoeing, mountain biking, birdwatching and more. Hardwood Ski & Bike and Horseshoe Resort offer bike and ski rentals for use on local forest trails, and the resort has overnight accommodation and mouth-watering dining options.
To indulge your senses in more local art, visit the Images Studio Tour which takes place in Oro-Medonte on Thanksgiving weekend with many artists open throughout the year. This year, over thirty outstanding artists, including Art_Trees artists Margaret Ferraro and Marlene Bulas, will exhibit their work over the four days at over a dozen different studio locations. Visitors can browse and shop for original art, pottery, sculpture, jewelry and many other locally made fine arts. Plan a visit and enjoy the scenic and rolling hills of Oro-Medonte, keep your eyes open for the Barn Quilts on several local barns and agriculture buildings.
Self-guided driving tours, motorcycle rides, cycling and walks are all excellent methods of exploring the region. Fall is a wonderful time to visit as the tree canopies glisten with enchanting shades of red, orange and yellow, check out local fall tour ideas. Many local businesses are open all year and visitors are welcome to explore the region’s culinary, shopping and outdoor activities.
We welcome you, visit Oro-Medonte anytime of year, the Art_Trees will be on display until the fall of 2023. Bring your family and friends and share your photos – tag #Art_Trees.
Photo Credit: Deb Halbot Photography provided several of the Art_Tree photos.
Craighurst Public Art Project was selected for the My Main Street Community Activator program as part of a $3.5-million investment by the Government of Canada through the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario).