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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. This exhibition space is located at City Hall, between the Service Barrie and Court and Legislative Services counters, and is curated by Culture Branch staff with the assistance of local visual artists.

Guiding Principles
Application Process

The submission deadline for 2019 was Friday, November 30, 2018 at 4:30 pm. Each exhibition will be installed for 2 months at a time. Successful applicants were notified in December and exhibits will begin in January 2019.

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 individuals 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 Creative Economy Department 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 

On display and available for viewing from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm Monday through Friday for March and April:

Pictures of Us – Steven Henderson

Steven has been working/interested in photography for about six years. He started, like many in his generation, using the camera on his mobile phone, which led to a greater appreciation of compositional techniques and camera settings. Five years ago he purchased his first DSLR and learned how to use it at the Toronto Film School. Since then he has made the move to film photography, which has reignited his passion for this art form. He has been published in The Northern Appeal and Acta Victoriana and has worked with the band House Art aiding in forming the visual style of the group.

Quote from the Artist:

“I like to think that my work represents the point of view of a quiet witness of events. I mostly observe rather than take a huge part in whatever social activities are going on. I've always been more perceptive of things, which has allowed me to notice and showcase smaller details that can be easily missed. It's a cliché thing to say, but photography allows me to capture the moments I witness. Not only for me to remember, but for all of those involved. I shoot primarily with film because it feels more like I am creating something. I like to say that I make photos rather than taking them because I view the process as creation. There is a lot to take into account when trying to get the right exposure, particularly with film, as you're only really given one opportunity get the shot." 

To view more of the artist’s work find him on Instagram at @st_v_nh

Featured image: “Little Lake" (2018)

Little Lake small.tif

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