We are housed in the 133 year old Craighurst schoolhouse located in the Horseshoe Valley area between Barrie and Orillia. This is the working studio of potter Hartley Woodside and a fine craft gallery featuring his works, other work from area artisans, pieces from across the country and some work from Uganda supporting the charity Thrive Uganda.. The Gallery also hosts periodic fine art exhibitions of regional artists.
A Little Local History
This is the third schoolhouse in Craighurst, built in 1878, when the village served as a layover between Barrie and Midland and there were three inns and several lumber mills in the area. This two room, school serving as many as 70 students, was closed in 1963 when the property was purchased by Emmanual Hahn and Elizabeth Wyn Wood; two of Canada’s best known sculptors of the period. They had hoped to work here after he retired from teaching at the Ontario College of Art but unfortunately both passed away before fulfilling that ambition. Through the for sight and generosity of their daughter the building was first leased to Leo Kamen who ran an art gallery (the first Gallery Craighurst) and studio here for several years before ultimately moving to Toronto and then to myself. I took over the building in 1980 to establish my pottery studio and showroom and after later purchasing the building I have expanded the gallery as the rediscovered Gallery Craighurst. It continues to be a beautiful space in which to learn and to work.