Gallery Stratford is one of Ontario’s longest operating public art galleries, and is a significant contributor to the cultural heart of South-western Ontario. It’s a wonderful art gallery located a short five minute drive from both downtown and the Mornington Rose, and a five minute walk from Stratford’s Festival Theatre and the Avon River. Housed in the city’s original pump house, this beautiful heritage Victorian building surrounded by gardens and greenery, has been home to the art gallery since 1967. The gallery has three exhibition spaces and a community studio.
Outside, there is an amazing outdoor public gallery that you can visit anytime. Wander around the grounds along connecting pathways to find beautifully painted walls, bridges (don’t miss “The Bridge to No Where”), as well as sculptures and art pieces made from recycled materials.
The gallery focuses on contemporary visual art, especially regional and Canadian art with works from local, national, and international visual artists. The Gallery strives to engage the public, create conversation, and offer special opportunities for education, exploration, and interactive learning. The displays change every three months, so there is always something new and interesting to see.
Gallery Stratford is open 7 days a week with onsite free parking and admission (donations are welcome! ) and is a ‘must see’ for visiting art lovers.
Gallery Indigena is located in downtown Stratford, right on Ontario Street, and is surely not to be missed. Long before European settlement, many Indigenous groups called this land home: the Anishinaabe, Attiwonderonk,and Haudenosaunee Peoples. This gallery and gift shop is a wonderful way to celebrate and learn about the descendents of these people and their culture. While the owner, Erla Boyer, is not Indigenous herself, she works to uplift Indigenous artisans and ensures the products and artists she works with are indeed Indigenous. Step inside to the gift shop to peruse wonderful silver jewellery, table and giftware, and beautiful clothing with indigenous motifs Then, head into the second room into the Gallery, where you’ll find gorgeous works from First Nations, Inuit and Métis artists. I am always so impressed by the beautiful paintings, and incredible wood and soapstone sculptures that are displayed there!
Koolen Fine Arts is also located downtown, and specializes in historic Canadian and European art and original works by the famous Canadian Artists, the Group of Seven. They cater to individual collectors as well as corporate clients in building and managing their fine art collections. Appointments to see their gallery is preferred but not necessary.
Agora Gallery is Stratford’s fine art gallery specializing in work by accomplished local artists in a range of media, including painting, drawing, sculpture, glass, and limited edition prints and photographs. It has become a wonderful community hub and meeting place for the exploration of contemporary visual art, through carefully curated exhibitions, artist’s talks, classes and other events. Agora Gallery is now located at The Bruce Hotel in Stratford, Ontario.
The Art of Ideas is a new gallery just a 20 minute drive away in St. Marys. Artist Eugen-Florin Zamfirescu and human rights activist Elena Dumitru have transformed their historic St. Marys home into an art gallery that will be open to the public on weekends. Come and see stunning art, stories of beginnings, and dreams for the future. Book a guided tour, learn about the history of this stunning heritage home and get a glimpse into the mind of an artist.