Kingston Arts News

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Monday, June 14, 2010

New Gallery in Bath - Academy Gallery, now open!

BATH, ON – June 7, 2010 - One of the city of Bath’s newest attractions is also one of the region’s “must see” destinations for contemporary art.  The Academy Gallery, a former schoolhouse steeped in rich history that includes a role in the war of 1812, specializes in large scale artworks by Canadian artists.  After five years of restoration, the building and gallery are now open to the public.

 The Gallery is currently exhibiting the work of Canadian artists several of which are from the Kingston area and surrounding region. They include, among others, Sharon Thompson, Susan Friesan, Tim DeRose and Janice Teare.

 Sharon Thompson is the current featured artist and her work occupies the main gallery. Sharon is a Kingston resident whose striking abstracts have been shown in venues from New York and California to Calgary and Quebec City. She works with oil paint on canvas stretchers made by her husband Malcolm. She accents her seamless blending techniques with bold highlights and creates a place for viewers to wander.

 “I hope to contribute another chapter to the illustrious history of this building” said Janice Teare, Curator and Resident Artist. “I strived to restore the architectural features from the past and create a showcase for the artisans of today.”

Originally constructed in 1811, the building was conscripted by the British Militia during the war of 1812.  Formerly known as the Bath Academy, the red brick schoolhouse was the area’s earliest public school founded by means of local subscriptions. Barnabus Bidwell, a radical political reformer and supporter of William Lyon Mackenzie, was the school's first teacher. His son, Marshall Spring Bidwell, who held similar views and became a leading member of the Legislative Assembly from 1825 to 1833, was a student. The Bath Academy was supported by local settlers for many years and then merged into the common school system under The Public School Act of 1850.

More recently, the building was used as a local township office and then sat vacant, until acquired in 2005 by artist and engineer Janice Teare who was seeking a space to both live and work.  Ms. Teare undertook a painstaking restoration of the heritage features of the building while creating the ample spaces required to produce and exhibit large scale paintings.

 The building includes many interesting architectural elements such as 14-foot high tin ceilings that where the primary decorative feature of school houses, and reclaimed maple floors that show rows of markings from the scars of student’s cast iron desks.

 Teare’s own art is “corporate-scale” and has been widely utilized in the business world in boardrooms, foyers and elsewhere.  Her work has been featured in many places, including the Hummingbird Centre in Toronto.

 Built on limestone, steeped in history and filled with fine art, The Academy Gallery is a destination not to be missed. The Gallery is now open on weekends from noon to 5:00 pm, or by appointment on weekdays. The Gallery is located at 352 Academy St. in Bath, near Kingston. For further information, please call 613 352 5532 or visit the website at

 For more information:

 Janice Teare

Curator & Resident Artist

613 352-5582 or 613 449 5755 (cell)

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