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The First Floor Gallery

The First Floor Gallery, created to profile the incredible work of local artists, opened in January 2015. The space is located at City Hall, between the Service Barrie and Court and Legislative Services counters, and is curated by Department of Culture staff with the assistance of local visual artists.

Guiding Principles
Application Process

A call to artists will be advertised annually to encourage local artists to apply to have their work considered for exhibition. The call notes that each exhibition will be installed for 2 months at a time.

The submission deadline for 2017 was Friday, November 25th. Successful applicants have been notified and exhibits will begin in January 2017. 2018 exhibit submissions will begin in the fall of 2017.

Applicants are asked to submit:

  • a letter of interest,
  • a CV or resume and
  • a series of 10–12 images of their work on a dvd or usb key.
  • A list of works should be attached that includes title, year of completion, medium and the dimensions.
  • the name of the exhibit and a brief artist statement (2–3 paragraphs) that can be used in promotional materials.

Please note in your submission any special requirements for your exhibit. For the purposes of exhibition, any works on paper will need to be framed. Works on canvas or panels must be wired to enable hanging. We encourage artists working in a variety of mediums to submit to the process and we will work with them to accommodate exhibiting their works (e.g. fibre arts, mixed media, sculpture). 

Submissions will be reviewed by a committee of local arts individuals: artists or have experience in or are employed in the field of visual arts. The committee will be comprised of 3–5 individuals with arts expertise, plus the City's Culture Officer responsible for Development and Public Art. These (3–5) individuals will be appointed by the Department of Culture and will act as a jury panel to determine the successful candidates. The jury panel will create a schedule for the artists, in conjunction with the Culture Officer, in order to present a variety of work from different arts mediums.

Exhibit Length

Each exhibit will be on display for a period of two months. Artists will be asked to install their work on the first business day of the month and remove on the last business day of the relevant month. The installation date will be open to negotiations depending upon when the previous exhibit is being taken down. Every effort will be made to ensure continuity in the exhibit space. Please note that City Hall is not open on Sundays and the gallery is may be inaccessible on Saturdays due to the Barrie Farmers' Market.

Artists will be asked to leave their exhibit in place for the entire two months. Artists will be asked to sign a basic agreement/contract that will demonstrate the artist’s commitment and confirm the exhibition dates.

Sale of Art

City by-laws prohibit the sale of artworks in City Hall (with the exception of the Barrie Farmers' Market) so artists cannot display prices on their work. They can however put their name and contact information on or near their work, or include it in their artist statements. Should an artist sell a work in the exhibit, they are required to leave it in place until the end of the exhibit.

Group Exhibits

Multiple artists are welcome to apply to exhibit together. If this is the case, it is important that the application includes all names of artists, title of their works, dates and dimensions.


The Department of Culture will be pleased to promote the exhibitions in the First Floor Gallery on this webpage and through social media where possible. The department will also be happy to promote openings of exhibits dependent upon budget approval.

Current Exhibit 

Mixed Media Collage from Abstract to Surreal
by Leonora Husveti-Frenette

This exhibit is on display in the First Floor Gallery at City Hall throughout January and February. Please drop in anytime between the hours of 8:30am and 4:30pm.

Leonora Husveti-Frenette emigrated from Hungary and taught Dance at University of Toronto while completing her B.A. in Psychology. Leonora has had many careers and was published as a poet as well as being applauded for her role with illusionist husband at Hollywood's Magic Castle and on luxury cruise ships. 

In 2013 Leonora burst onto the visual art scene and won 2nd prize from the South Simcoe Arts Council. Numerous juried exhibitions followed (some national) in Orillia's Museum of Art and History, Midland’s Quest Gallery, Barrie’s MacLaren Art Centre, Collingwood’s Blue Mountain Foundation for the Arts, and Toronto’s Joseph D. Carrier Gallery and others. To date, Leonora has participated in over 50 juried exhibitions, as well as being featured in several publications. In 2014 she received the Alice Forestell Award for the most promising emerging artist. In 2015, Leonora was short-listed for a Barrie Arts Awards and a finalist for the Murray Clerkson Award. In November 2016, Leonora's work won the award in Mixed Media at a provincial juried show presented by Spinal Cord Injury Ontario.

 From the artist:

 "I am happy to return to The First Floor Gallery with my second solo show. Paul Gauguin stated:  'Art is either plagiarism, or revolution.' Allow me to add with a bit of humor:  The art of collage can be plagiarism and revolution.

 I am fascinated with combining parts of pre-existing images or objects to form a composition where the new work is more powerful than the sum of its parts. It feels intensely exciting and revolutionary to de-construct images and strip them down to components that may be re-purposed like building blocks to form something entirely new. This art exhibit explores different materials and styles ranging from paper collage to collaged paintings to geometric abstracts with plexiglass and found objects from my husband's workshop.  The newest plexiglass series combines masculine and feminine shapes and objects from metal hardware to delicate sequins creating a unique signature look that is at once playful, edgy, simple, and sophisticated.

 Between either/or, I choose and. I expose myself in public, bleeding or laughing over a canvas until it is in stitches. Some call me versatextile. A small, mixed medium with paper cuts and grand visions. An abstract minded exhibitionist. Framed again! I am a convex mirror reflecting a concave image."

Leonora’s work can be found at

 Aegean Frolic by LHF

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