Exhibitions at the Public Art Centre take place in our Gallery ONE, TWO and THREE. Tours are free of charge and can be organized in advance for school and community groups. For more information please see Education Programs.

Current Exhibitions


Capturing Our Collective Memories

Gallery One

November 12-December 22, 2022

Art is an essential tool in learning about history.  Paintings, drawings, and photographs communicate a wealth of information about historical events and periods.  Art reflects society and culture and assists in digging deeper into communicating ideas, emotions, and knowledge from past generations.  It is a source of any society's collective memory and a visual record of history that can tell a story to anyone regardless of the language they speak.  The artworks in this exhibition are on long-term loan from the Elgin County Museum to better provide storage in the Art Centre's permanent collection and to allow for increased potential for exhibiting the works to the communities of St. Thomas-Elgin.

Miniature Show and Sale

Gallery Three

November 12 to December 22, 2022

The Public Art Centre is pleased to present the third annual Miniature Show and Sale.  You will find over 200 amazing miniature works of art in many different mediums and styles.  Looking for a special gift or something for yourself, this exhibition has something for everyone.  #supportlocalartists

Upcoming Exhibitions

Kim Wilkie


January 14 to February 18, 2023

Closing Reception February 18 1-3pm

"In the past, I believed that there were separate and definitive paths for my art and spiritual practice, however the study of both areas was just the beginning of a simultaneous journey. It is the weaving and crossing of these two paths in my life that compliment and infuse a continuous search within, to viscerally express the metaphysical within my art and at the same time my response to my exterior environment. It is the search for the essence of the familiar and semblance of a time, place or thing which is not in any defined order. Further, the materials that I use in my art practice come to me as a mechanism for purpose which may have some kind of resolution, but in the end is an expression of my inner being." Kim Wilkie

Image: Kim Wilkie, Soft Picasso 2021

Recent Acquisitions

Selections from the Permanent Collection
Gallery Three
January 14 to February 18, 2023
Like many public art galleries and museums, the St. Thomas-Elgin Public Art Centre cares for a permanent collection of artworks that has been gathering and growing since our first acquisitions in 1969.  Through generous donations and thoughtful purchases, the Public Art Centre has been steadily adding artworks to our collection resulting in a collection that now numbers over 2000 artworks.  By collecting the artists and their works on display, the Public Art Centre ensures their ideas remain active in today's conversations - ready to be enjoyed in exhibitions of our permanent collection and safeguarded for the understanding of future generations.   Image: Johnnene Maddison, It Can't Be so, 2020

Rosemary Sloot

The Dresses My Daught Never Wore

February 25 to April 8, 2023

Gallery One and Two

This body of work developed over a dozen years beginning and ending with self-portraits.  Paint based images evolved into still life objects such as feathers, eggs and shorelines fragments that have been my mainstay.  Then dresses I had worn as an infant were given to me by my mother.  I failed to have children, so my daughter never wore them.  Eventually I decided to include them in the paintings as still life objects.  My earlier work was highly illusionistic but with this series the images lack specificity, as soft-focus sabotaging some of the detail making some passages almost abstract.  They are meditative paintings that draw tthe viewer in for contemplation, asking questions in one image and seeking answers in another.  Rosemary Sloot

Records of Journeys

Selections from the Permanent Collection

In Memory of Eric Atkinson (1928-2022)

February 25 to April 8, 2023

Gallery Three

Eric Atkinson was an influential Canadian abstract landscape painter and art educator.  He studied at West Hartlepool College of Art, under Harry Thubron, 1943–7, and from 1950 to 1955 studied the Royal Academy Schools, under Henry Rushbury.

After teaching at Leeds College of Art, 1964–9, he moved to Canada, settling in London, Ontario, where he was the Dean in the faculty of applied arts at Fanshawe College in London from 1972–82 then held the position of Professor until he retired in 1994 to concentrate on his artistic pursuits full-time.

Eric believed that his artworks were “records of journeys through the landscape … and explorations into the existence of possible bridges between the physical structure of man and his empathy for the environment”.

Eric Atkinson introduced generations of students, artists, culture workers, and collectors to the influences of European art and design and

we are honoured to display the collection’s holding of his artwork.  These works span over 30 years and demonstrate his passion for creating. 

Past Exhibitions

UNMASKED: Portraits from the Collection

August 15 to September 26, 2020

Gallery ONE & TWO

Drawing from a collection of over 1900 works of art, UNMASKED: Portraits from the Public Art Centre’s collection, features  portrait works that explore how artists have chosen to portray themselves and their subjects. Created in all media, from plaster sculpture to oil painting, the works in this exhibition can inspire ourselves to see others with empathy and understanding.

As we are confronted each day with  mandatory mask regulations and social distancing rules many find it  difficult to connect with others.  So, we think this is an opportune time to reassess the significance of self-portraiture and portrait art in relation to our current time in  history. 

The exhibition contains examples of self-portraits, with Dorothy Stevens’, Untitled Self Portrait, c. 1940, that is rarely seen. It also includes works by Mackie Cryderman, Clark McDougall, Bob Bozak, Marion Long, Greg Curnoe, Kathleen Daly,  Gerald Pedros, Robert Reginald Whale, Norval Morrisseau and many more.

UNMASKED is curated by Laura Woermke, curator and Sherri Howard, program director at the Public Art Centre.  The exhibition will also include  self directed educational prompts to further develop your experience and exploration into the world of portraits.