The majestic and mysterious owl will be in the spotlight Sept. 30 & Oct. 1, when the Purple Hills Arts and Heritage Society hosts The Owl Show at Station on the Green in Creemore, Ont., part of the community’s Autumn Arts Weekend.
Wildlife sculptor Jim Harkness, who heads the society’s arts division, was inspired to create the show by “the great number of snowy owls that appear on my farm concession in winter— and by the number of people who drove here to see the owls perched on telephone poles and at the top of English oaks, or sitting in the level fields.”
Harkness, who has sculpted countless species of birds over his long career, said he has loved owls since he was a boy and hopes that people will “look and learn something” about these amazing birds of prey. “People often come to appreciate nature after seeing it in art.”
The show will feature owl sculptures in various media, photographs of owls by wildlife photographer Ann Brokelman and other local photographers, and various other artistic owl exhibits.
Harkness has carved 12 owls of Ontario for the exhibit, from an oversized Great Grey owl to a petite Northern Saw-whet owl. Some are from repurposed white pine barn beams and others from basswood, all painted with oil stains in his signature, slightly abstract style. The Ontario owls won’t be for sale at the show as Harkness plans to exhibit them elsewhere in future. He’s also carved 42 folk-style owls from repurposed butternut and basswood planks, which have been decorated by other local artists for the show.
The Owl Show will also include presentations by Brokelman and a representative of The Owl Foundation, which helps wild owls that are injured or orphaned.
The Owl Show takes place 10 a.m.-4 p.m. both days. If you’re heading to Creemore, you can also find Harkness’s work at the Mad & Noisy Gallery.