Seeds to Sow

The City of Barrie, with support from the Barrie Public Art Committee (BPAC), is embarking on a temporary exhibition of public art that will be hosted from September 27 to November 8, 2024. 

Barrie’s exhibition, Seeds to Sow, will feature six installations of site-specific artwork that will change Barrie's landscape. These displays will complement the already rich public art scene featured throughout the downtown core and within other neighbourhoods.

The act of planting a seed is a powerful symbol of hope and potential. It connects us to ongoing cycles of seasonality, an inheritance from our past and an intention for the future. In the Fall of 2024, artists will create work that responds to sites around the city, drawing on local ecologies, history, and stories.

The goal of this exhibition is to provide new opportunities for artists to create unique works of art that will revitalize Barrie’s public spaces, spark meaningful conversations within the community and promote cultural awareness.  

Sites & Artists Selection

An expansive outdoor exhibition of temporary art requires many hands to bring it to life. Barrie’s Public Art Coordinator, Carol-Ann Ryan, will serve as Artistic Director and will collaborate with independent curator, Katie Lawson, to identify six sites for exhibition and six artists or artist teams. 

Selected sites will include locations throughout Barrie with a focus on downtown Barrie. The selected artists will include two from the Barrie area and four from locations across Canada. Artists will be selected based on strength of experience creating temporary outdoor art in the public realm, diversity both in terms of art media and representation and inclusion, as well as artistic themes that suit the project aims.

There will be an open call for regional artists later in 2023.

Seeking Sponsor Support

The City is seeking sponsors to help bring the Seeds to Sow exhibition to life. Interested organizations are encouraged to contact Carol-Ann Ryan at
or 705-739-4220 x5293 to discuss opportunities.

The Seeds to Sow exhibition will be a moment of inclusion, of kinships new and old, and of deep reflection for our city. It will be a bold and thoughtful exhibition that explores pressing issues and seeks to present new visions for our future from a diversity of voices. Contemporary public art at this scale will elevate Barrie’s role as an arts and culture destination, enhance the experience of Barrie’s outdoor spaces, and drive interest and positive engagement from citizens and visitors to Barrie. It will help put Barrie on the map, contributing to talent attraction and retention and economic buoyancy, and cultivate a strong community in support of the arts.

Let’s create a free invitation to experience art together.

Community Partners

•    Downtown Barrie BIA
•    MacLaren Art Centre
•    Tourism Barrie

About Katie Lawson, Project Curator

Katie Lawson
Katie Lawson

Katie Lawson is a curator and writer based in Toronto. She was a curator for the Toronto Biennial of Art, working with Candice Hopkins and Tairone Bastien on the inaugural 2019 and 2022 editions. She has also curated exhibitions at Kitchener-Waterloo Art Gallery (2024); Images Festival, Toronto (2023); MacLaren Art Centre, Barrie (2021); the Art Museum at the University of Toronto (2018); the Art Gallery of Ontario (2018); Y+ Contemporary, Scarborough (2017), and RYMD, Reykjavik (2017).

Katie is a graduate of the Master of Visual Studies Curatorial program at the University of Toronto, where she previously completed her Master of Arts in Art History. She is currently working towards a PhD in Art and Visual Culture at Western University, with an interest in contemporary art and climate change. Lawson was awarded the Hnatyshyn Foundation Fogo Island Arts Young Curator Residency in 2023.

Visit Katie's website,, to learn more.