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Gibson Gallery holds AGM, looks to members for future goals

Gibson Gallery AGM

The Fort Malden Guild of Arts and Crafts, the board that operates the Gibson Gallery, is looking to the future all the while happy with the year that just concluded.

The gallery held its annual general meeting last Tuesday night where board members and the gallery’s membership heard about what was accomplished in 2023 and what could be ahead for this year.

“It was a good year,” said Syl Gagnon, the guild’s 2023 president. “I’m pleased.”

Gagnon said they accomplished many of its goals from the end of 2022.

“The board should be very proud of that,” said Gagnon. “This year, we stayed on point and accomplished a lot.”

A long-awaited LED sign is coming in 2024 and will be located along Richmond St., on the other side of the entrance of where the current sign is.

“We’ve been talking about a new sign for 15 years,” said Gagnon.

The Gibson Gallery has done a better job of getting its name out there with Gagnon stating they have had talks in the River Bookshop’s “Hole in the Wall” event space, been part of Amherstburg Chamber of Commerce events and the Art Crawl as well as Open Air Weekends.

Board members and volunteers worked hard over 2023 and Gagnon said he is proud of the efforts they put forth. They plan to have continued promotion of the gallery in 2024, including unique exhibits, classes and workshops.

There are five guilds operating out the Gibson Gallery.

Among the ideas floated by the membership for 2024 include possible Family Day programming, tie-ins with other local historical sites, having Indigenous programming, considering the art of food making, beer and wine making, tattoo art, digital art, teaming with the Amherstburg Fort Malden Horticultural Society on programming, updating the caboose exhibit, holding historical-themed events, and even hosting ghost tours.

Trudy Dempsey, a member of the board’s exhibit committee, said they held 11 exhibits from March-November 2023.

“This was an exciting year for the Gibson Gallery with not only our in-house exhibits but one off location exhibit and a major outdoor event,” she said.

Exhibits included those with students, as Dempsey said the Gibson Gallery “is a proud supporter of our talented youth by hosting two special exhibits annually.” The gallery hosts North Star High School’s “Emerging Artists” and “Student Pix,” the latter in conjunction with the Greater Essex County District School Board.

“The Fibre Optix show was a judged event showcasing outstanding fibre art,” she added. “Because the pieces were all stunning, the Judges had a difficult time deciding the first, second, third and honourable mention winners.”

Dempsey added they have a number of exhibits planned for this year including a call to artists to enter in a judged exhibit called “Blossoms, Blooms and Buds.”

Board member Dave Cozens outlined what the grounds and maintenance committee did, with work involving summer student Noah Floor, with whom the committee was pleased.

Work at the gallery including repairing cracks in interior walls, painting, calking interior trim at all doors and windows, inspecting and tightening structural floor jacks in the crawl space in conjunction with Paul’s Waterproofing, adjust lighting and replace bulbs, repairing downspouts and clean eavestroughs, garden and landscape repairs and upgrades, removing excess scrub vegetation and upgrade parking lot signage among other work.

The Gibson Gallery is located at 140 Richmond St. in Amherstburg. Their website is or people can call 519-736-2826 for more information.

By Ron Giofu

Gibson Gallery holds AGM

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