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Inside & Out: Exhibition Statement

Title: Inside & Out

Artist: Sarah Hawley

Date: October 24th, 2023 - January 24th, 2024

Location: The Municipal Centre, 7855 30th Sideroad Adjala in Alliston, Ontario, L9R 1V1.

The South Simcoe Arts Council's (SSAC) Art in Our Community Program presents an exhibition of work by Sarah Hawley from October 24th, 2023 - January 24th, 2024 at the Adjala Tosorontio Municipal Centre in Alliston. This body of work will be on display in the main foyer. The exhibition consists of a collection of photographs that are curated in response to the disconnect that exists between the office environment inside the building and the wide open countryside surrounding the outside of the municipal centre. The artist was struck by the jarring feeling generated by the two very different spaces inside and out. As a result, many of the photographs selected are shown as a pair, where one image relates to the office setting and the other is of the natural world. What is equally odd about this place is that the Municipal Centre is the site of this art exhibition, which is also out of place.

Anyone not from the area will likely recognize that the Municipal Centre is oddly placed. In the middle of rolling hills, farm fields and beautiful, wide-open countryside is Warden’s Park, an open green space with the Municipal Centre plunked in one corner of the park and a long winding driveway leading to the nearest road. It is strange knowing that an important town facility like the Municipal Centre is located in what is pretty much the middle of nowhere, instead of the center of town like most other municipalities.

Furthermore, when you arrive at the park, the natural environment makes you feel warm, relaxed, peaceful, and free, but as soon as you enter through the doors of the Municipal Centre you are transported to an office setting that is cold. The place seems deserted except for a few office staff seated at large reception desks behind glass windows. The space is bare, plain and feels sterile, similar to that of a hospital or medical building.

The artist felt that the difference between the inside and the outside of this building was impossible to ignore and the exhibition has been planned based solely on this disconnect. This exhibition is intended to make this separation of space and place more apparent based on the images selected and curated for this exhibit. In this case, the artist has taken a simple approach in the concept and curation of the exhibit by focusing in on this one detail. To make the viewers aware of the jarring difference between the space inside and out, the artist has chosen to exhibit imaging in pairs or small groupings that place a landscape or image of nature, next to a photograph of an item commonly found in an office setting such as a book or letters. Viewers are meant to question why these photographs are being shown together. Anyone who experiences confusion or who feels they “just don’t get it?” is definitely on the right track, whether they know it or not.

Most people viewing this selection of photographs will likely be at the municipal center as a staff member or on business with the town. They may also be there to enjoy the park and its facilities, it’s highly likely that there will be very few, if any individuals, who make the trip out to the Municipal Centre solely to see this exhibition.

This exhibition consists of 12 Photographs, most of which are sepia or black and white. Some images that do have colour, feature warmer tones with an autumn colour palette, as the selection of work will be on display in the fall of 2023 until the early winter months of 2024.

This exhibition was made possible through a program offered by the South Simcoe Arts Council (SSAC) known as Arts in Our Community (AiOC). AiOC is a program that partners with local businesses and showcases artwork by local artists. The program is free for SSAC members to participate and the SSAC takes care of any artwork sales and inquiries. They also post artwork images from the exhibition on their website to increase exposure. To learn more, please visit:

Thanks and acknowledgement goes out to the South Simcoe Arts Council and those directly involved with the Arts in our Community program. Much appreciation for all the hard work of those involved, who make this program possible. A special thank you to the Adjala Tosorontio Municipal Centre for participating in the AiOC program by allowing the SSAC to use their wall space to showcase the work of local artists. The Municipal Centre is located at 7855 30th Sideroad Adjala in Alliston, Ontario, L9R 1V1. The Centre is open Monday to Friday from 8:30 am – 4:30 pm.

For more information about SSAC, please visit their website at:

And for more about the Municipal Centre visit:

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