It was a great day for art and accessibility in Amherstburg at the Gibson Gallery Sunday, when Fort Malden Guild of Arts and Crafts board members and supporters celebrated renovations that will make accessible the historic railway station housing the community pillar that does so much to promote the arts and the Town.
Council agreed in March to use up to $25,000 plus HST from the AODA Compliance Reserve to fund improvements to the heritage building located at 140 Richmond Street.
The renovations include an accessible concrete path leading into the west side of the structure and what will be a new, automated door. As well, an accessible parking space is being realigned to the new pathway and updated signage is being added to “ensure perpetual safe and barrier free access from the vehicle unto the sidewalk, to the door and into the building,” says a Council report.
The building is a heritage-designated property in the Town and Administration worked closely with the gallery to ensure these necessary renovations did not affect the building or its heritage features. While the building is not owned by the Town, the Town owns and leases the land, which means the Town has an interest in ensuring barrier-free access to the site.
The Gibson Gallery is a community jewel that does so much to promote the arts in this Town through its exhibits, its art classes, its social media accounts and, of course, its signature fundraising event Art by the River, which takes place this year at Fort Malden on August 27 and 28. This will be the 55th edition of the popular event, which launched in 1967.
Representatives of the Amherstburg Community Foundation were also on hand for the Exhibit of Gratitude event Sunday because the ACF provided funding to help complete “vital repairs” of the heritage building.
The work of three artists was highlighted at the event Sunday and it was fascinating to hear them talk about the inspiration behind their beautiful works, which are on display at the gallery along with other arts and crafts.
The Exhibit of Gratitude opened June 7 and runs through to July 10. It features the work of Dennis K. Smith, Rico Dancel and Vivian Klinck, who paints beautiful pictures of the River Canard watershed.
The Gibson Gallery is open in June from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. from Tuesday to Sunday and open every day in July from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.