Frances Patella and Simone Collins at Propeller Gallery

Propeller Gallery is pleased to present the solo exhibitions of Propeller member Frances Patella in the South Gallery and Simone Collins in the North Gallery

September 22 – October 10, 2021
Zoom Reception: Saturday September 25, 2 – 4 pm
Register here

Artist(s) will be in attendance on Sundays or by appointment.


Frances Patella, Salisbury Plane, 2021, Mixed media on canvas, 16 x 20 inches

Frances Patella
Plane To See

Born in Italy, Toronto based Frances Patella’s work explores transformation in the landscapes of controlled burns over time. She incorporates acrylic paint and analog photography, including double exposures. In her new series, Plane to See, Frances uses a carpenter’s plane to shave off layers of photographs and paint to reveal and construct anew.

During her childhood in Italy and during repeated visits, Frances’ interest was sparked by prescribed fires, ruins and volcanic lava flows left behind in fields after volcanic eruptions. Fire is used to clear fields, encourage native species and control invasive ones. At Stonehenge, the visitor’s centre explains how the Salisbury Plains were cleared using fire.

The City of Toronto conducts prescribed burns in High Park to regenerate the Oak Savannah, which Frances has photographed for over a decade. Numerous indigenous species have returned to High Park, including the Red Tailed hawk, which Frances has included in her new work.

Frances has exhibited her work in Canada and the U.S. and has received numerous grants for Artists In Education and Mid-Career from the Ontario and Toronto Arts Councils. She has also received Best In Show and Purchase Awards at the Vaughan Juried Exhibitions. Frances holds a BFA from York University, a University of Toronto B.ED., studied Arts at the University of Western, drawing and art history in Florence Italy through the University of Windsor. She is a Member of the OSA, and a long-time member of Propeller Art Gallery as well as former Chair. Frances taught visual arts and analog photography in the TDSB, Cyanotype workshops for the Photo Educators Forum in Toronto and the National Gallery of Photography in Ottawa. Frances was also a long-time former Member of the Board, and Chair of Jury and Judges for the Toronto Outdoor Art Fair.

Frances’ work may be seen online at:
Heard on Propeller’s Beyond the Frame Podcast – Episode #22
Instagram: @francespatella
Facebook: @frances.patella


Simone Collins, Child Perching on Leaf, 2021, Mixed media on tile, 3.75 x 7.75 inches

Simone Collins

Simone Collins lives and works in Toronto.

“While we’re still not ‘out’ of the covid pandemic, enough time has passed that the looking-back process has already begun for most people. When I look back, my impression is that life became disjointed and stagnant; an unforeseen jolt, then a prolonged static limbo. At the same time, the stay at home orders created time to create, for me at least. Most of the pieces in this show were made during the pandemic, so they function as a kind of proof that time didn’t stop; some aspects of life kept creeping along, and even progressing. Within these pieces there is evidence of strange, pervasive growth, of biological mutations and impossibilities, and consolidation of mineral and architecture. Small ecosystems left to seed, thrive in their own insistent way, and odd allegiances are formed between children and animals. It is both strange, and familiar, much like being trapped at home during a global pandemic”. S.C.

In combining ‘Nursery Rhyme’ and ‘Museum of Biology’ aesthetics, imagery of children in surreal scenarios and environments converge at a tenuous point between benignly reminiscent of home and ominously unfamiliar.

Simone is a graduate of Queen’s University Fine Arts program. She completed a residency at the Toronto School of Art, and an internship at Propeller Art Gallery.

Simone’s work has been exhibited in juried and group shows in Toronto. She is a studio assistant to artist Cybèle Young.

Simone’s work may be seen online at:


Visiting Propeller
Pandemic protocols are in place with a maximum of 8 people in the gallery including staff. Propeller is on Abell Street, located one block south of Queen Street West between Dovercourt Road and Gladstone Avenue. Abell Street is accessible from Queen Street and is one way through to Sudbury. Metered parking is available on Abell and Lisgar Streets. There is also above and underground parking (Green P) opposite the gallery off Abell or Lisgar.

Propeller’s 25 Year History: 1996 – 2021
Propeller Gallery’s mission is “artists empowering artists”. Established as a non-profit organization in 1996, Propeller is an artist-run centre in the heart of Toronto’s Queen West Gallery district, dedicated to promoting contemporary Canadian artists. Propeller Gallery has a strong foundation in its community of members and long-time supporters. Since its conception in 1996, Propeller has moved locations twice without losing its artist-run focus. Propeller is proud to have put on roughly 540 exhibitions since it’s beginning, founded by a group of students from the Ontario College of Art and Design (now OCAD University).

For more information contact:
Tom Taylor, Director

Propeller Gallery
30 Abell Street, Toronto, ON M6J 0A9
416 504-7142
Wed. – Sun. 1pm – 5:30 pm or by appointment
Facebook: @propellerartgallery
Instagram: @propellerartgallery