The MacLaren Art Centre Reopens with Fall 2021 Exhibitions


The MacLaren Art Centre is reopening to the public on Thursday, September 16, 2021. Gallery hours are Thursday to Sunday, 11:00 am to 4:00 pm. We are excited to welcome the public back into the Gallery with an engaging fall season of exhibitions, events and programs.

The MacLaren is committed to building a vibrant, healthy and creative community. As we reopen to the public, health and safety guidelines have been established to prevent the spread of COVID-19 for our community members, staff and volunteers. For more information on our current and upcoming exhibitions, events and programs, and to review our COVID-19 health and safety guidelines, please visit


Kelly Jazvac: Polyempath Polyethylene
to October 31, 2021
Janice Laking Gallery
Guest Curator: Katie Lawson

In Polyempath Polyethylene, Montréal-based Kelly Jazvac presents an installation of new artworks, continuing to engage with the prevalence of synthetic materials in contemporary life. Polyethylene is the most common and versatile plastic polymer, and is present in the artist’s practice through a commitment to working with recycled post-consumer materials. Featuring sculptures five years in the making, Jazvac has worked at a pace that is more sustainable and responsive to the process of material salvaging involved in her environmentally-conscious practice. These works are paired against the uncanny meeting of bodies and landscapes, using sewing techniques to alter waste from commercial advertising and drawing on its visual vocabulary. How do we understand the true scale of plastic pollution and the climate crisis, and how does it feel in our bodies? Polyempath Polyethylene is complemented by a critical text by guest curator Katie Lawson.

Kelly Jazvac (b. Hamilton, Ontario 1980) has exhibited nationally and internationally, including recent exhibitions at MoMA (New York); Ujazdowski Castle (Warsaw); the Eli and Edyth Broad Museum (University of Michigan) and the Musée d’Art Contemporain (Montréal). She is represented by FIERMAN Gallery, New York.

Katie Lawson (b. Eugene, Oregon) is a Toronto-based curator and writer. She is currently Curator for the Toronto Biennial of Art.

Michael Farnan: Canoe Fight: From Reverence to Redress
to October 24, 2021
Gallery 3
Curator: Emily McKibbon

This exhibition highlights Victoria Harbour-based artist Michael Farnan’s recent work, which challenges the colonial legacies and representational practices that continue to privilege and empower settler history in this region. By featuring the canoe—an Indigenous technology that was deployed by white settlers to expand the colonial state into the Canadian interior—Farnan demonstrates how beloved Canadian cultural symbols actively inscribe Canadian settler culture as the natural inheritor of both land and power in this area and beyond.

Canoe Fight was filmed over several locations in the fall of 2018, including Algonquin Park, Wye Marsh Wildlife Centre and Sainte-Marie Among the Hurons. These sites celebrate the settlement and stewardship of the Georgian Bay area, and the ill-fated Jesuit settlement of the mid-17th century. Utilizing camp humour and simulated violence, the video satirizes the weighty pretensions of canonical Canadian history. Humour, here, is used as a pointing device: at a moment when communities demand action and intervention on important cultural and environmental issues, true reconciliation is required between settler and Indigenous nations. By satirizing our nostalgic attachments to the narratives that normalize the settlement of this region, Farnan seeks to decolonize our understandings of place and space in service of a more equitable and sustainable future. This exhibition is complemented by a text by Leah Decter.

Michael Farnan’s work has been exhibited throughout Canada, with presentations at Museum London; PAVED Arts, Saskatoon; Doris McCarthy Gallery, Scarborough; and Art Gallery of Southwestern Manitoba, Brandon. The artist acknowledges the assistance of the Canada Council for the Arts and the Ontario Arts Council.

chum mcleod: small world
to October 24, 2021
Carnegie Room
Curator: Emily McKibbon

For the past two years, artist chum mcleod has been creating intricate dioramas featuring hardscrabble bunny characters in a closed and strange universe—a “small world.” Battling floods, visiting a travelling circus, solving arcane domestic mysteries or ice fishing alongside their Skidoos, the bunnies are completely engaged in the dramas in which they find themselves. Tying the works together are recurring images—red-freckled black rocks, black and white striped uniforms, and the upended architecture of a small world gone awry.

chum mcleod lives and works in Barrie, Ontario. For small world, mcleod would like to acknowledge the assistance of Carsten Booth, who assisted with the frame design, and Mike Coughlin and James Booth for the construction of the diorama bases.

Images: The MacLaren building in downtown Barrie. Photo: Volker Seding; Exhibitions image: Kelly Jazvac, Polyempath Polyethelyne. Photo: Laura Findlay; Michael Farnan, Canoe Fight: From Reverence to Redress. Photo: Andre Beneteau. chum mcleod, small world. Photo: Andre Beneteau.


About the MacLaren Art Centre
The MacLaren is located on the traditional territory of the Anishinaabek, which includes the Odawa, Ojibwe and Pottawatomi Nations, collectively known as the Three Fires Confederacy. The local bands consist of the Chippewa Tri-Council, who are made up of Beausoleil First Nation, Georgina Island First Nation and Rama First Nation. We would also like to acknowledge the Wendat Nation (Huron) who occupied these lands prior to the middle of the 17th century.

The MacLaren Art Centre is the major public art gallery in central Ontario serving the residents of Barrie, the County of Simcoe and the surrounding area. The Gallery presents a year-round programme of innovative world-class exhibitions, education activities and special events. The MacLaren is wheelchair accessible.

The MacLaren Art Centre gratefully acknowledges the ongoing support of its Members, Patrons, Donors, Sponsors, Partners, the City of Barrie, the Ontario Trillium Foundation, the Ontario Arts Council, the Government of Ontario and the Canada Council for the Arts, and Canadian Heritage.

Gallery Location
37 Mulcaster Street
Barrie, Ontario
L4M 3M2


Gallery Admission
Suggested admission $5

Gallery Hours
Thursday to Sunday, 11 am to 4 pm
Monday to Friday, by appointment only

Café Hours
Tuesday to Friday, 8 am to noon