A temporary public art project that brings original works by local and regional artists to patios throughout the downtown.
With patio fencing serving as a canvas, Brightening Barriers offers an opportunity to turn the “barrier" of imposed separation into a collective artistic experience. This project supports visual artists by highlighting regional artists and original works of art. This project is organized by the Barrie Public Art Committee.
Nine restaurant patios in Barrie's downtown have temporary art installations displayed on their patio fencing. Residents and visitors can explore downtown Barrie and support local businesses while appreciating the original works. The exhibition is on display until September 30, 2023.
As part of the 2023 exhibition, there are six new works, and three works that have been in previous Brightening Barriers exhibitions (legacy works). Also new to the program is a partnership with the MacLaren Art Centre’s education team that led to the development of a youth mentorship opportunity, where ten youth were mentored by two professional artists to create a collaborative work of art for the exhibition.
Participating Downtown Patios and Featured Artworks
|Location||Artist and piece name|
125 Dunlop Street East
|Window Watching by Marne Grahlman|
49 Mary Street
|Downtown Disco by Vivian Heliotis|
50 Dunlop Street East Unit 100
|Hearts of the City by Monica Loney|
|Groovy Tuesday's Bistro |
73 Collier Street
|FREE! by MacLaren Youth|
|Flying Monkeys Craft Brewery |
107 Dunlop Street East
|Ultra Pose by Neil Smith|
82 Dunlop Street East
|Fishbowl by Michael Ciesielski|
10 Dunlop Street East
|The Land Between Rama and Barrie I & II by The Birdbath Collaboration|
(2021 legacy work)
|Kenzington Burger Bar|
40 Dunlop Street East
|It's a Dog's Life by Christina Luck|
(2021 legacy work)
|Michael & Marion’s|
89 Bayfield Street
|Garden Party by PRNT Collective|
(2022 legacy work)
Artists were compensated for their work. The project was made possible by several sponsors: Downtown Barrie BIA, Flying Monkeys Craft Brewery, Joan and Bob Gilroy, Jackson’s Toyota, Liz and Barry Peacock, Podhradsky Medicine Professional Corporation and Royal Homes.
Brightening Barriers received an International Economic Development Council (IEDC) Excellence Award in 2022 in the Neighbourhood Development category. IEDC is the largest nonprofit professional association for professional economic developers in the world. Each year, IEDC recognizes organizations for exemplary economic development marketing campaigns, projects, and programs.