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Winter Exhibitions Opening at The TOM

December 9, 2023 @ 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm

We hope you will join us to celebrate three new exhibitions at the TOM!
Meet the artist and curators, enjoy some wonderful snacks from The Milk Maid, and have a cheers with wine/beer (cash bar). Free to attend, all are welcome.
J. James: Living Histories
Guest curated by Richard J. Thomas
December 9, 2023 – March 16, 2024
An exhibition of historical photographs by local photographer J. James illuminating the history of Owen Sound. The exhibition will be accompanied by a collection of personal family photographs and stories by locals related to the history of Owen Sound. As part of the exhibition, the Gallery hosted a community initiative called Living Histories Photo Sharing Project, a day connecting members of the public with local historian Richard J. Thomas to share their historic photographs of Owen Sound and related stories. Local resident Bill Morrison brought in a collection of historic photographs that surprisingly included possible images of Tom Thomson. According to Bill, and as passed down verbally in his family, his great-grandfather William Morrison was good friends with Thomson at the turn of the 19th century – family lore indicates that William and Thomson shared a mutual love of fishing, hunting, and the outdoors. As part of the exhibition, the TOM will be presenting three original photographs the family members believe were taken by William Morrison of his friend Tom Thomson and inviting the public to compare these images to the known images of Thomson and decide…Is it Tom? People will be able to cast their vote on an iPad.
Exhibition supported by McArthur Tire, Owen Sound.
Susan Dobson: parallax
December 9, 2023 – March 2, 2024
This exhibition presents large scale photographs of the Great Lakes from Susan Dobson’s Viewfinder and Focus Finder series. Cumulatively the works explore themes of photographic materiality, photographic history and its viewing devices, voyeurism, and surveillance. For the Viewfinder series, Dobson took pictures of the Great Lakes using a vintage large format camera, and superimposed scans of various ground glasses from the 1850s to 1980s overtop. In Focus Finder, her approach shifts to contemporary image-making technology by using a medium-format digital camera to capture locations around Lake Huron with the viewfinders of a variety of lens-based devices including cameras, drones, camcorders, surveillance equipment, and identification software. In layering these past and present devices with familiar subjects, Dobson creates a competing narrative of perspectives that seemingly exist in and out time while conjuring contemporary concerns of technological surveillance and control. As the artist writes, “the photographs may raise in our collective consciousness a variety of issues, from rising water levels, pollution and industry, and the plight of refugees to the mountains of plastic that threaten ecosystems and aquatic life. They aim to operate not just as transcription, but also as metaphor and poetry, framed within the anxiety of the present moment.”
Tom Thomson: enigma
December 2, 2023 – May 25, 2024
Filling in the gaps around the personal history of Thomson has been an equally fervent endeavor since his mysterious drowning in Canoe Lake later that same year. He died leaving very little insight into what he thought or felt in either written word or interview and most of our understanding of his character has been constructed through the memories of his acquaintances. In the absence of a better understanding of who he was, Thomson’s life and legacy has become like an empty vessel that we have been compelled to fill with our curiosity and conjecture. As Sherill Grace, a scholar of Canadian culture, notes in Inventing Tom Thomson, “it is easy for others to imagine the man and invent a life for him: his outline is there, full of suggestions, but it is empty, inviting others to fill in the gaps.”
This exhibition brings together a selection of Tom Thomson’s paintings and artifacts alongside works by contemporary artists Marlene Creates and Tim Whiten from the Gallery’s Collection to contemplate the allure of enigmatic narratives and our desire to understand them.


December 9, 2023
2:00 pm - 4:00 pm


Tom Thomson Art Gallery
840 1st Ave W
Owen Sound, ON N4K 4K4 Canada
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