August 22-September 11
Artist's Reception: Saturday, August 22, 2pm-4pm

For the past twenty years, Dennis Gill has been working from an interest in Christianity and Greek mythology and the accompanying manifestations that have informed much of Western thought and most certainly the arts.  

This interest culminated in the making of some dozen representations of selected deities. “The significance of this undertaking is as art making has always been for me; to serve in raising my level of consciousness and expand my vocabulary as a working sculptor,” explains Dennis.  

Elizabeth Taylor, his high school English teacher, recognized Dennis’ penchant for art. “She felt I evidenced an artistic sensibility and encouraged me to attend art college,” recalls Dennis. “And, that’s what I did.” Dennis went to the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, graduating in 1972 with a Bachelor of Fine Art. “I went to art school during the late 1960s, when major shifts were occurring within the culture and cultural institutions. I was trained to reject traditional approaches to art making in favour of a conceptual and minimal methodology,” explains Dennis. “During my undergraduate studies, I was fortunate to be part of an off campus program that took me, geographically, around the world. Upon my return, I started to make sculpture that told a story and had a point to make. I continue to work in this manner.”  

Dennis continued his studies at Western Michigan University, graduating in 1974 with a Master of Arts in sculpture.

The eight to twelve sculptures in Dennis’ solo exhibition are conceptual representations of deities from Greek mythology. Accompanying the work will be some of his poetry. “There is always a temptation to include as much work as one can. I work at not doing this. I attempt to present the best examples of what ideas I have made physically manifest,” says Dennis who has taught at Georgian College in Barrie, the Nova Scotia School of Art & Design, Mount Allison University in Sackville, New Brunswick as well as many other educational institutions.  

“Messenger is a kind of rustic furniture, self standing ladder,” describes Dennis. “Made from one maple sapling and supporting a cast-iron, red-winged black bird upon the top of a six foot high rung. The ladder is too light to carry a person.”  

Aron’s Rod, another sculpture in the exhibition is twelve feet in length and crafted from a mild steel bar. It resembles a partial snake form that is forged out at one end. “It references God’s transformation of Aron and Moses’ walking staffs being turned into serpents when Pharaoh set vipers against the two men,” elucidates Dennis.  

For Dennis, the challenge in making his sculptures is to always make real the concept in his mind. “If on occasion I make something that exceeds my expectations, then I feel a sense of joy often underscored by humility.”  

About his exhibition, Dennis states: “I am always hopeful that a percentage of the audience will find some part of themselves in my art. Something that feels familiar and accessible. The Chapel Gallery is professionally managed and art work operates to full advantage within the very accommodating space.”

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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.