The Creative Spirit Art Centre provides art education and studio space for people with disabilities. Feel free to browse our site and contact us on how you can become a member, make a donation or let us know if you're aware of an individual who could make use of our resources, also see our contact page.
Please note our hours: Open Tuesday through Friday 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Open Saturdays for scheduled events. See our announcements online (- or become a member and join our mailing list!), we're closed on all statutory holidays and the month of August.
Ellen Anderson with Thelma Wheatley, keynote speaker who opened the exhibition Breaking Out Of Huronia at Creative Spirit.
Thelma is the author of And Neither Have I Wings To Fly, Labeled And Locked Up In Canada’s Oldest Institution, see more about the exhibition below. Works on view at Creative Spirit Art Centre through July 26, 2013 (hours: Tues. - Friday, 10 a.m - 5 p.m).
The Toronto Star has published an article about the exhibition and how the artwork was recovered by Judy Richardson see here.
June 1 – July 26, 2013
Reception: Saturday, June 1, 2-4 p.m.
Creative Spirit is honoured to host artists whose works are in the exhibition and to reunite them with their art.
“Breaking out of Huronia” is a special exhibition to mark 21 years promoting art made by people on the lowest socio-economic rung whose long-term medical disabilities often leave them voiceless and without access to means for self-expression. Thelma Wheatley, author of And Neither Have I Wings To Fly, Labeled And Locked Up In Canada’s Oldest Institution will be the keynote speaker. Ontario’s oldest institution for people with developmental disabilities, The Orillia Asylum for Idiots, opened in 1876, was renamed the Huronia Regional Centre in 1974, and finally closed in 1992.
At its peak it had 2,600 residents. Former residents who were abused there are currently in a class action lawsuit against the provincial government.
Judy Richardson, a Huronia occupational therapist, believed art provided an important occupation for some residents. Albert Hall and Paul Sadgrove in particular created many works that give powerful voice to the human spirit even when confined. Creative Spirit was given these works by Judy’s surviving husband on the condition that they never be for sale.
Paul Sadgrove, who is mute and deaf, continues to make art today. His family proudly supports his work and we are grateful for their permission to show and reproduce Paul’s art.
Art is proof that our creative powers survive the harshest conditions. It testifies to our human experience, asserts our shared humanity; it is essential; it enriches us.
Please join us for the exhibition!
Reception: Saturday, April 6, 2 - 4 p.m.
Selected work by Creative Spirit studio artists, Gabe Anderson, Catharine Little and Marc Labonte, created over the past six years, has been chosen for a special exhibition travelling to Japan for two exhibitions in March 2014.
Our 2013 exhibition will show individual works by these artists, created in our studio. Over the next 10 months the public is invited to watch as these artists work with Japanese artist Yuriko Kubota and create new art on Japanese papers (provided by The Japanese Paper Place).
The Japanese Paper Place has generously sponsored the 2014 exhibition and is providing traditional hand-made Japanese papers.
Thank you to the buyers, volunteers, donors and artists and everyone who make “Straight From the Heart” event possible. We’ve successfully raised enough money to pay for our property taxes and insurance for this part of the year, $4,290!
Thank you, for your ongoing support and for attending the annual “Straight from the Heart” art auction and always being available with the generousity which comes straight from your heart!