Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content
Sign In

The First Floor Gallery

The First Floor Gallery, created to profile the incredible artwork 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 Cultural Development staff with the assistance of local visual artists.

Guiding Principles
Application Process

Each exhibition will be installed for 2 months at a time. Successful applicants will be notified in early April.

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.


Cultural Development staff 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 2020:

The Intersection of Black History Month and International Womens Month

In partnership with Making Change Across Simcoe County, this exhibit features artwork by local Black visual artists Angela Francis and Sean George, with a focus on strong women.

Angela Francis - Biography

Born in Ottawa, Angela Francis is a Canadian/Grenadian artist emerging in the wake of the 21st Century. Active in female empowerment in the arts, she creates avenues to do what she loves while teaching others. Angela studied Fine Art in Canada at Georgian College and animation at the Art Institute of Toronto, before moving on to pursue many explorations of career choices the world had to offer.

With Bachelors Degree status, she is always trying to improve her career and be business oriented. Angela studied under Eddie Bowen, Ken Critchlow, Steve Ouditt and Pat Bishop in Trinidad at the University of the West Indies where she obtained a Bachelor of Visual Arts. There she discovered under this new styling of Caribbean Art that creativity can be fluid and liberated. There, she absorbed the acute attention to form and balance associated with sculpture and photography, subsequently refining her own visual and conceptual vocabulary that emerged through her focus on the analysis of the female form.

Angela’s work can be found in myriad of public and private art collections both in the Canada and abroad, and has been seen in numerous exhibitions worldwide. She currently lives and works in Barrie, Ontario, Canada

Artist Statement: Angela Francis

My current series focuses on portraits of strong women, featured in a way that is relatable.
I am exploring the vision of women that HAVE to be strong and live their truth within themselves. I am interested in the relationship between character and the lives we are dealt, Celebrity status, motherhood, teachers, mentors, caregivers, lovers, minorities.
I attempt to capture the truth of their soul in their eyes; A vulnerability, strength, and romance that women emanate, in what represents their beauty and existence.
I paint on canvas using acrylic paints - with texture and fluidity to bring to life the portraits, while the soft smoothness secures the base creating exquisite modern portraits. The variety of painted skin tones add visual interest and diversity. Many of my pieces are reflective of light and shadow and have a rich appearance with vibrant colours.

Sean George - Biography

Sean George is an artist, art educator and cultural worker. He worked at the Vancouver Art Gallery for fifteen years in the education department.
In 2011 he moved to Ontario to further his own artistic practice; this move was inspired by a successful solo exhibition at the Grunt Gallery in Vancouver. Since coming to beautiful Barrie, he has been actively exhibiting his work, as an artist, working on several cultural projects and teaching. He has been the recipient of five Ontario Arts Council grants.
Presently he is the associate producer on an upcoming Theatre by the Bay production loosely based on the Oro African Methodist Church. In December of this year he will be part of a group exhibit at the MacLaren Art Centre.

Artist Statement: Sean George

These collages are part of a larger series that will eventually be developed into a graphic novel. The protagonist is a character named Wanda - the figure is depicted in a two piece outfit with a produce basket on her head.
Wanda embodies many of the strong, courageous and colourful women that the artist has observed throughout his life, in particular his maternal grandmother. Women who represent the African diaspora - she is iconic, timeless, defiant and graceful.
Sean George, 2020

Featured images: Serenity by Angela Francis and The Fire Next Time by Sean George
Serenity by Angela Francis.png

The Fire Next Time by Sean George.png


Looks like your screen is a bit too small

The page you are attempting to view is not currently compatible with the dimensions of your device. Please visit this page on a larger screen.