Art at St. Anne's

St. Anne's Anglican Church celebrates art and music as distinctive human expressions that are a meeting place for divine-human encounter. The stories and theology of our church see humanity as created in the image of God and thus imitating the creative action of the divine Creator. Art in the DNA of St. Anne's.

The St. Anne's community welcomes and includes artists and encourages opportunities for the wider community to encounter the arts and music as holy ground. The church is a work of art in its own right; it is a sacred space that readily enters into dialogue when juxtaposed with visiting works of art and music. 

Artworks are installed in the worship space where their presence impacts worshipers and viewers alike. This juxtaposition with the space creates a lasting impression.

Murals by the Group of Seven

The ceiling murals were created under the direction of J.E.H. MacDonald, who commissioned members of his class at the Ontario College of Art to paint large scale versions of his cartoon sized drawings for the life of Christ. 

The Group of Seven: Frederick Varley and Franklin Carmichael were, along with MacDonald, members of the Group of Seven. Relatively unknown at the time, the Group of Seven became the iconic landscape painters who continue to represent the wilderness in Canadian art. They were joined by sculptors Frances Loring and Florence Wylie and other artists of the period to create an Arts & Crafts sensibility in a Byzantine Revival setting.

Click here to enjoy some short virtual tours of the art at St. Anne's on our YouTube Channel!

Art Exhibits

St. Anne's presents occasional festivals of art and music, and we gratefully acknowledge with gratitude the support and partnership of the Anglican Foundation of Canada's Snell Trust

Past Exhibits 

Ouroboros, September 22 - October 14, 2018: Known as the oldest allegorical symbol in alchemy, the ouroboros represented the concept of eternity and endless return. The symbol of the snake eating its own tail in a closed circle has been found in varied contexts and geographies. The artists pose an inquiry into the cyclical themes of connectedness and continuity through each artwork. Ouroboros, an immersive group exhibit features works by Ellen Bleiwas, Emily DiCarlo, Gunilla Josephson, Adrienne Trent, and Marian Wihak. The exhibition was open to the public for specific viewing times including Nuit Blanche, September 29, 2018. It also included an opening reception, an evening of "Meet the Artists", and a musical concert featuring two Toronto-based singing groups, Darbazi and Turkwas.

Paddling Together, May 13-28, 2017: An exhibition of contemporary works by Indigenous artists curated by Mike Ormsby, with a series of related events focusing on the theme of reconciliation. Our response to the 150th anniversary of Canada's Confederation, and its many related celebrations, is to focus on these events and our discussion of the next 150 years. Where do we want to be by then, with regard to the relationship between First Nations and the rest of us later arrivals. This event we are in it together. We are all treaty people and if we are not working together, we are getting nowhere. 

Artists included in this exhibition: Sage Paul, Merlin Homer, Kevin Lamure, and the Birch Bark Canoe loaned by the Canoe Museum, Peterborough, Ontario.

The canoe, in all its uses, practical and metaphorical, is a key image for this exhibition and the related events. The canoe continues to teach us. It offers us an opportunity to understand and celebrate the accomplishments and contributions of First Nations peoples. We need to re-float or right the canoe that is Canada. 

Dwell, September 7-28, 2014: In partnership with loop Gallery, St. Anne's presented a special exhibition of works by nine artists to celebrate St. Anne, the mother of Mary, and grandmother of Jesus. She is the patroness of grandmothers, cabinet makers, and lost objects, (to name only a few); and  her emblem is a door, a symbol of the places we inhabit. Artists included David Holt, Kim Stanford, Elizabeth D'Agostino, Adrienne Trent, J. Lynn Campbell, Jenn Law, Sandra Gregson, Rochelle Rubenstein, Yael Brotman.

Remnants & I Wish I Knew, November 24 - December 22, 2013: Mark Adair and Marie Da Sousa presented works that were a result of their struggles with dying and death. Remnants speaks to us about death as social absence: a rampant and maniacal narcissism, a lack of empathy, an absence of concern for the earth. Remnants is also about deeply felt personal loss and our struggles to cope.

David Blatherwick's I Wish I Knew features bird songs sung by members of the choir and video recorded to be replayed on multiple monitors throughout the church. About bird songs, David Blatherwick: "I have no notion what it is they are saying to each other. However, their singing seems urgent and they wrap it in a form that they probably don't even know is so beautiful. Of course, I want to be like them... If we desire to be like them it is driven by what we sense is a poetic liberty as well as absorption of this potential into their daily lives. We can only try to imitate that."

Mirabilia, October 14-20, 2012:  St. Anne’s held a 9-day arts festival to mark the 150th anniversary of its founding. St. Anne’s invited neighbourhood organizations and friends into partnership to present Mirabilia – A Miracle on Gladstone Avenue. The festival's name, Mirabilia, meaning "Things that cause us to wonder," was intriguing to our partners, including Workman Arts, Pax Christi Chorale, NetherMind Artists Collective, and MacGregor Park Art Club. 

The festival included worship, concerts, lectures, art installations and a film screening. Mirabilia received extensive newspaper, radio and web coverage. The multidisciplinary nature of the festival encouraged repeat visits. Over the course of the week 2500 people participated in Mirabilia. 

Celebrating our St. Anne's Artists

St. Anne’s encourages our own artists. Paintings by our artists have joined major exhibits and are featured on the walls of St. Anne's reception, meeting, and office spaces. 

Contact us for more information on collaboration between St. Anne's and the Arts.