Join us as we celebrate over 130 years of art at Homer Watson House & Gallery. This year’s annual exhibition will feature the work of current instructors and their proteges as well as historical works of the Doon School of FIne Arts and of course the works of Homer Watson himself. Good art instructors can have a profound impact on up and coming artists as this showcase will demonstrate. Homer Watson House & Gallery has had the privilege of having many well known artists teach at the Gallery, including Fred Varley of the Group of Seven (pictured above).
Homer Watson House & Gallery has always been a place for artists to come and seek artistic refuge from the outside world. A place where artists of all ages and all stages of their careers are welcome to come to learn and develop, gaining inspiration from one another. Once immersed here, they become inspired by the same landscapes that captivated Homer Watson so long ago. For many, the arrival to this place marked the beginning of their careers as artists. When it’s time for these artists to leave, they carry what they learned here with them for the rest of their lives.
Homer Watson House and Gallery began its life as a home for the arts when Homer Watson moved into this house in 1882, for the rest of his life this place served as Watson’s home, studio and gallery. This tradition was continued after his death in 1936 by his sister and fellow artist Phoebe Watson, and after her own death in 1947, by Ross and Beth Hamilton who opened The Doon School of Fine Arts (1948-62). The University of Waterloo came to the rescue when the school was having financial difficulties and was in jeopardy of closing (1963-1966), leading to the birth to the University’s Fine Arts Program. Artist Tom Cayley and his wife Ruth Cayley (1969-1980) reopened the Doon School of Fine Arts in 1969, later renaming it The Homer Watson House & Gallery, when it once again became a place of artistic learning.
Today the staff at Homer Watson House & Gallery proudly continue this legacy of ensuring that Homer Watson’s belief that “Art is for the people, not a select few” lives on. The upcoming Winter Art Exhibition at Homer Watson House & Gallery Doon School – Past and Present celebrates all of the incredible artists who came and went from this house. Featuring works by: Homer Watson, Phoebe Watson, Frederick Horsman Varley, Carl Schaefer, Nicholas Hornyansky, Jack Bechtal, Tom Cayley, Scott McNichol, Ralf Wall and many more! Come celebrate artists past and present found only at Homer Watson House & Gallery.
October 27, 2019
January 5, 2020
Doon School of Fine Arts
The Doon School of Fine Arts was operational for 19 years due to the high caliber of instruction the students received that resulted in approximately 200 students on an annual basis. The first year that the Doon School of Fine Arts was opened, students from all over the surrounding area were drawn to the modest hamlet of Doon to take summer classes. When some of the alumni of the school have been asked what drew them to take classes, the response most frequently given was the desire to learn from some of the great artistic names of the late fifties and early sixties. For example, Frederick Varley, most widely known for his status as one of the original Group of Seven, was an instructor at the school for the first two summers following its opening.