May 30 - June 20
Opening Reception: Saturday, May 30, 1pm-4pm

Tara Gilchrist believes in the journey as part of one’s life process as well as being part of one’s creative practice. Creating in Kerala brings together Tara’s journeys to India as well as her on-going creative growth.  

“I am fascinated and consumed with the process of creating,” says Tara who graduated from The Nova Scotia College of Art and Design in Halifax. “I deeply believe in the art of living – whether it is creating pottery, a drawing, a meal, a relationship, a living space and on a much larger scale, a life. My life and this journey is just as much an art piece as my works in clay.”  

Tara began her full-time commitment to clay when she opened Chetolah Pottery Studio in May of 2007. During the spring, summer and fall months, Tara lives, works and sells pottery out her studio that is housed in a restored barn in the heart of Dorset. Her work consists mostly of practical items like bowls, platters, tumblers and jugs but it also includes decorative tiles, lanterns and jewellery.  

“I’ve had a longtime desire to put down roots, create friendships, make art and live in an entirely different country for an extended period of time,” Tara remarks. She has explored many parts of the world and every time Tara tries to imagine how she could spend a couple of winter months creating art in a different country while financially sustaining her. In the winter of 2013, she spent three months touring India. When she arrived in Nilambur, Kerala, Tara knew she had found a place she felt confident she could return to, be inspired to create, purchase locally made pottery and commission clay pieces that she could sell in her Dorset studio.  

Creating in Kerala is Tara’s heartfelt expression of one of her most recently inspired adventures. This exhibition is a visual journal of her two and a half month solo journey to fulfill a life-long dream to live and work in two different countries, put down roots, create friendships and make art.  

Creating in Kerala goes beyond Tara’s personal story and the making of her art – it is about an approach to living. To tell the story, Tara is including a collection of photographs of the people – village potters, jewellery makers, brick and tile makers, factory workers and contemporary clay artists – whose work in clay crossed her path along with small stories of her interactions with them. Work Tara made in collaboration with local potters, drawings, and more complete her story.  

Tara’s exhibition at the Chapel Gallery not only gives her a venue to share her worldview, but also to show the work of her Indian colleagues. “In my experience, pottery and crafting is not a highly respected profession in India,” tells Tara. “It is mostly the work of poor villagers. As a working professional artist, I think my interest in their work gives them a sense of pride. I hope they will feel a larger sense of pride knowing their work will be displayed for foreigners to see. I hope this will encourage them to continue to create their beautiful work.”  

About this exhibition, Tara states, “I hope this show inspires others to follow their passion, to get out of their own comfort zone and to push their creative boundaries. I also hope it will encourage people to put more focus on their enjoyment of the process in life, art and relationships instead of the outcome. If you are able to find a way to focus on the process and have fun with it, the end result will always be better than you could have imagined.”

        If you would like to receive e-mail notices of our upcoming exhibitions and shows, 
please send an e-mail with your request including your full name and e-mail address.

Located at 15 King Street in Bracebridge, the gallery is open year-round, Tuesday to Saturday from 10am to 1pm and 2pm to 5pm. It is closed during the last week of September and the second week of October as well as between Christmas and New Year’s Days. Please check the Calendar of Events for the actual dates. For a map, please follow this link.

Exhibitions are booked one year in advance.  To learn how to apply for a show, please follow this link: Exhibition Application.

The Chapel Gallery was opened in September, 1989. Housed in a reconstruction of the first Presbyterian Church in Bracebridge, the Chapel Gallery hosts exhibitions of art and craft by our members and other local and provincial artists. Exhibitions are selected by the Gallery Committee and change every three to four weeks.

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Muskoka Arts & Crafts Inc. is located in the District Municipality of  Muskoka, Ontario, Canada.