Bruce County Museum presents This Must be the Place – an explosion of colour

Walk into the latest exhibit at the Bruce County Museum & Cultural Centre (BCM&CC) and you are immediately bombarded with an incredible explosion of colour.

The vibrant art pieces are the creation of artist Heather Lynne Travis and are a prefect scale for the Museum’s large Gallery.

Titled ‘This Must Be the Place’, Travis uses bold colours, big scale and creative storytelling to “… invite new conversations around childless heroes – including pop culture icons like Dolly Parton, Ina Garten, Missy Elliott, and others – and facilitate positive discourse on a sometimes taboo topic”.

                     Hanging cookware inspired by Julia Child

Her work reframes patriarchal definitions of ‘family’ by celebrating the diverse stories of women without children and infertility, while creating a happy place for positive new narratives to thrive. 

Museum Executive Director, Cathy McGirr, explained that the Bruce County’s collection of art is significant with almost 100 pieces by local artists.  “The County continues to support Bruce County artists through commissioned works and by hosting shows such as the Heather Lynne Travis show,” said McGirr.

(L) Museum Exec. Dir. Cathy McGirr presented flowers to artist Heather Lynne Travis

“I was at a restaurant in Paisley (ON) and was immediately drawn to a piece of art on the wall,” said McGirr.  “The bold beautiful colours made me smile and I had not seen work like this before in the County, and had to find out more about the artist.  I reached out to the artist and, like her work, her colourful, bold and beautiful energetic personality led to a purchase for the County’s collection. Through that conversation and getting to know Heather better, I was excited and the result is the beautiful show that is here.”

McGirr said that Travis will also be part of the PA day for local young students on Friday,  September 22nd and she will also be part of the upcoming Cultural Day, and a virtual exhibit has been created for those who cannot attend in-person.  “It’s also a way to make her work visible to those outside the County in support of her art.”

The same but different – a self-portrait

A lifelong artist selling mainly to family and friends, Heather has only been exhibiting professionally since 2018 and, in that short time, has gathered a community of fans and collectors.  Her paintings now live in homes all over North America (and even one in the UK!) and she also creates large scale murals for businesses and private homes. 

Travis’ work has been featured at the TOM Thomson Art Gallery, LOFT Gallery, and others. Her creative energy is channelled not only into her paintings, but also her popular weekly Instagram Reel called #shARTwithHeather: Shitty Art Class for Adults, hosted every Saturday since January 2021, where she inspires others to throw some colour around and connect with their inner child through art.

                                            Artist Heather Travis (C) with her shARTies

“My vision,” said Travis emotionally, “was to create a collection that would celebrate heroes impacted by infertility and also challenge our definition of family … and I think I’ve done that.  There are 32 works of art covering 35 canvasses and with more colour than a rainbow. When I came into this space last year, I knew immediately that the collection had to overwhelm with colour and it had to fill you with so much joy … and I think I’ve done that too.  Thanks so much to Cathy McGirr for this opportunity and to Dolly Parton, Missy Elliot, Julia Child and all the others who inspired me.”

                         Heather Travis was joined by life-long school friends

Travis was joined by life-long high school friends who travelled from Toronto, London, Oakville and Kimberly for her opening exhibition.  “We remember Heather in school … she was always colouring on her binders!”

The art exhibition runs through to December 31, 2023.

On October 5th, from 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m., let your imagination run wild by participating in a special community canvas we’ll be working on throughout the evening, where you can create your own unique art piece, inspired by the artistry of Heather Lynne Travis and enjoy the opportunity to meet and talk to the artist.

Discover the inspirations, techniques, and emotions that fuel her artistic style and the personal stories behind this captivating collection.  Refreshments and a cash bar will be available. 

Although FREE to attend, Preregistration is required.

Find Heather online on her website and @heathertravis on Instagram. 

For this exhibition, the Museum gratefully acknowledges the support of the Canada Council for the Arts.