Quiet Moments at Wellington County Museum and Archives

ELORA – Discover the wonder of the Elora Gorge in Quiet Moments, a new exhibit at Wellington County Museum and Archives. 

From Jan. 12 until Mar. 12, the exhibit features the work of two renowned Elora residents: watercolourist and oil painter Barry McCarthy, and the late photographer John Robert Connon (1862-1931). 

“Connon lived at a time when the art of photography was rapidly evolving,” said curator Hailey Johnston. 

“Advances in technology allowed him to explore the gorge with his equipment in tow, capturing incredible images of soaring cliffs, icicle-hung caves, and the powerful Grand River. He even set up a portable dark room at the bottom of the gorge to offer portraits to tourists.” 

Exploring the same landscape a century later, McCarthy has created a volume of luminous watercolours and oils that stand in stark contrast to Connon’s black and white photographs. 

Born and raised in northern Ontario, McCarthy grew up experiencing the vast shores of Lake Superior and the dense woods of the north. He is renowned for his southern Ontario landscapes and Maritime seascapes but finds himself repeatedly drawn back to the gorge. 

“The Elora Gorge is a tour de force, with one side always bathed in light and the other in shadow, yin and yang, a perfect combination,” says McCarthy. 

Visitors to the show will see rare photographs and artifacts from the museum and archives collection and paintings on loan from private collections in Wellington County and the surrounding area. 

“I have always been grateful for the support of my home community,” says McCarthy. “Having my work owned locally and then loaned back for the public to enjoy for a short time is truly remarkable.” 

The exhibit’s opening reception is Jan. 12 from 7 to 9pm, at the museum. There will be light refreshments and a cash bar.  Admission is by donation.