Outdoor Pathways Project
‘The Paths that Connect Us’ outdoor art pathway project at the Elora Centre for the Arts
NOW OPEN TO THE PUBLIC! ‘The Paths That Connect Us’ project has revitalized the outdoor yard space at the Elora Centre for the Arts, making it more inviting and engaging for the community to connect to each other, with creativity and with nature. ‘The Paths that Connect Us’ project includes an accessible walking pathway around the perimeter of our 2 acre property, with engaging outdoor art and sculpture installations centred around the theme of “connection”, picnic tables, benches and bicycle parking. Artist-made maps guide visitors beyond the property to other paths that connect us to neighbourhoods, cycling & walking trails and points beyond the Centre.
* artist renderings created by student artist Alura Sutherland
We all need connection! There are so many ways to find it – with people, through art, in nature and with our past. This Pathways project has been designed to offer engaging outdoor opportunities linking you from the backyard space at the Elora Centre for the Arts to points beyond. You are welcome to enjoy our pathways, the art that celebrates “connection”, the picnic tables and green space. We hope you are inspired to walk, roll, bike, hike or paddle your way to enjoying the best of the network of paths and trails all around us! It is the awareness and use of these interconnected pathways that gives us a sense of belonging – to help us feel part of something bigger than ourselves, enrich our community and help root us to the healing beauty of nature and art in our community.
This project has been made possible thanks to the support of The Government of Canada’s Healthy Communities Initiative who’s goal was to fund projects or programs that help communities create safe & vibrant public spaces, improve mobility options to allow people to connect and access public spaces safely.
Read the article about this funding in the Wellington Advertiser.
Meet the Artists of the Pathways Project
We are so fortunate to live in an artist community! Our Pathways Project artists were selected from dozens of submissions, and have created the custom pieces you see installed throughout the pathway in the yard. Click on the artist photo to view behind-the-scenes photos of the “making of” their sculptures and find out more about each one!
Erin Perry, sculpture artist
‘Before Knowing’ is a sculpture about the desire and fear of being known by another. Two tentative and curious creatures, vastly different, discover a friend. These objects serve as a reminder of what was, what is and what could be. ‘Before Knowing’ explores emotions and feelings (which come and go). While being made of robust materials, they speak of impermanence.
Sculpture artist Erin Perry received her BFA from the Emily Carr University of Art + Design and an MFA from the Rhode Island School of Design. Perry has exhibited internationally since 2003. She lives and works in Elora.
Mike Hintermeister, sculpture artist
‘On Again. Off Again.’ is about connecting through communicating in a digital age. The back bone of modern electronics is the transistor, basically a “switch” that controls electrical signals. This sculpture explores how we tend to take our connections for granted and how easy our communications can go haywire when our signals get crossed. Mike works and lives in Elora and is known for creating realistic wildlife sculptures that are appreciated both locally and internationally.
Julie Denneny, map artist
Julie designed the ‘Paths that Connect Us’ welcome map for our Pathways Project. Her whimsical style and engaging sketches “draw you in” and remind us that we are all connected! “Nature is good for the soul. Through my work, I aim to connect the outside to your inside” she says. Julie is an artist and entrepreneur living and working in Elora.
Design and creation of the map was made possible through a grant from RT04/Tourism Elora Destination Animation Project.
Jefferson Campbell-Cooper, sculpture artist
‘Round & Around’ is a made of salvaged bicycle rims and steel. The sculpture rises up over the path and back into the ground giving a Moongate experience. Pedestrians and cyclists begin their pathway journey by passing through the loop of bicycle rims. This dramatic installation provides a great photo location backdrop, and reminds us of the importance of cycling, upcycling and getting out in nature for our mental health. Jefferson is an accomplished artist, and has had several solo and group exhibitions around the world, and participated in artist talks, residencies and panels.
The artists of the Supportive Arts section of the Pathways Project
Introducing our Supportive Arts crew! This gang participates in our weekly programs at the Elora Centre for the Arts, celebrating all abilities, inclusion and creativity and providing engagement opportunities for adults with (dis)abilities. This delighfully whimsical section of the Pathways project was created by Supportive Arts participants, and has been made possible by the generous support of the Ontario Trillium Foundation.
Alura Sutherland, student artist
Alura was a summer student here at the Elora Centre for the Arts, as well as an important part of our Student Support program for students during Covid lockdown. Alura is a talented young artist, and helped bring the initial ideas and vision of the Pathways project to life with her artist renderings (shown at the top of this page). She also designed and created the directional arrows that will be installed on a recycled phone pole salvaged from the Elora Lawn Bowling Club.
Seniors & Youth Artist Project: “Together in the Gallery”
This wonderful intergenerational arts group for local children and seniors ran at the Elora Centre for the Arts in 2018. Throughout the weekly sessions, the senior participants shared their life stories with the children who documented them in altered books and collaborated to paint an expansive garden mural together.The purpose of the project was to connect generations for community relationship building, mutual enrichment and sense of belonging as they explored new skills with different art mediums together. The process sparked conversation, story sharing and offered a safe creative space to reduce isolation and barriers between generations.
This project was generously supported by The Guelph Community Foundation.
Pathways in Progress!
Construction of the ‘Paths that Connect Us’ project began this Spring! Special thanks to Ben, Neil and Ron Cousins from Cousins & Johnsons Inc. who dug the pathways around the perimeter of the property, using a material made from recycled asphalt to keep the weeds out of the pathway and also allow for a hard packed surface for strollers, bikes and pushed wheelchairs. They also dug & installed the posts for the artwork and plaques, installed bike racks and made it all look beautiful! They also found the limestone boulders you see throughout the pathways.