At Home in Bronte: Summer 2021 invites locals to continue to get outside to walk, push and cycle to Bronte Heritage Waterfront Park and surrounding businesses to see – and use – 70 professionally painted Muskoka chairs.

The art installation is safely spaced out, free and available any time, during any weather through October 2021.

The majority of the chairs are located along the Fisherman’s Wharf and lighthouse pier near Ontario St. @ Bronte Rd; some are located along the boardwalk on Bronte Rd @ Marine Dr; and the remaining are sprinkled along Lakeshore Rd and side streets like Jones St. in front of shops. We invite you to take the time to wander the area and check out both the chairs and the locally owned and operated businesses that make Bronte so unique.

This program is organized and paid for by the Bronte BIA and its 200+ businesses. It’s part of our effort to encourage local residents to get outside, get active, and stay local – safely. 

Tip: Each art chair has a hidden lighthouse icon waiting to be discovered. Take a photo of yourself in the chairs and share @BronteEvents on Facebook and @BronteBIA on Instagram.

Note: We’re proud to partner with the Town of Oakville which maintains paved pathways and gardens in the park. The washroom at Fisherman’s Wharf is open and cleaned year-round.

Tour the Chairs

Meet the Artists

Since 2017, the At Home project has invited local residents, businesses and community groups to design and create a Muskoka chair for installation in the Bronte Heritage Waterfront Park in the summer. Due to COVID-19 gathering restrictions, we had to change up the program. This year we hired six local artists to design 50 chairs – in their separate garages and apartments – for installation from November 2020 through March 2021.

And, in partnership with ArtHouse Halton, we’ve hired an additional four artists to add new designs and beauty to the collection for Summer 2021. Watch for more profiles to come.

Dawn-Angela Seeley is a fine artist from Oakville who painted 5 chairs for the art installation. She paints in traditional styles of realism and impressionism in a purist form by mixing from 3 primary colours. Dawn-Angela loves painting plein air or outside as much as possible and teaching summer camps on location at the Oakville Harbour. Harbours are really her thing!

Shennel Thomas is an abstract artist from Brampton who painted ten chairs in the art show. Her series uses a fluid art style to illustrate aspects of Bronte that stood out to her. This Spring she chose represent the sun, trails, Lake Ontario, rainbows and Spring itself. The fluid art technique allows colours to be swirled together to create art that both complements the other chairs in the exhibit while also standing out and telling a story of their own.

Laura Marotta is a sculptor from Hamilton who painted 3 chairs for the Summer 2021 installation. Laura creates both large- and small-scale sculptures. Her practice is based in geometry and modular constructions. In her chair series, Laura specifically chose a polygon pattern as it relates back to her own practice of working with geometric shapes. She looks to reflect her love of pattern and colour in her chair designs. The colour scheme for her chairs represents spring and are sure to catch viewers’ eyes.

Myriam Suarez is a visual artist and early childhood educator initially from Mexico City and currently residing in Niagara. Myriam painted 5 chairs for the summer exhibit. In her chair series, Myriam looks to express her Mexican and South American roots. For example, her design elements are influenced by Talavera, Huichol and Loteria. She made one chair to express the inclusion and equality in Canada, pushing the idea that art makes us one. She also made a chair to symbolize Bronte and its beautiful harbour.

Leslie Phelan painted 20 chairs in her chair series “Birds and Beasts of Bronte,” which looks to celebrate the local wildlife in the area. She is a proud former Oakville resident and has done previous mural work in our very own Bronte. If you observe her chairs closely, you can see that on each arm chair has either a paw-print or something related to the animal.

Rafia Shafiq is a craft artist from Oakville who painted five chairs. Although she specializes in embroidery art, she was able to translate her experience with colorful designs to a large-scale paint project and represent aspects of Bronte in a bold way. Her chairs depict iconic parts of Bronte, making them feel right at home in the exhibit. She painted the chairs while also running her full-time craft business and taking care of her daughter.

Sarah Skrlj, a Toronto-based artist, painted ten chairs. Sarah’s chairs convey three themes: the streets of Bronte, wildlife in the area, and the land and sea that make Bronte so unique and beautiful. Sarah specializes in patterned and mural art, telling stories through patterns and use of colour. After doing art on the side her whole life, Sarah decided it was truly her calling and went full-time last year.

Patrick Hunter is a two-spirit, Ojibwe, Woodland artist from Red Lake, Ontario who painted five chairs for the winter exhibit. In his series, Patrick tries to evoke the soul and spirit of the artwork – placing less emphasis on reality and more emphasis on the spiritual realm. His intent is to create awareness of Indigenous iconography. His work is inspired by traditional Woodland artists as well as the Canadian Group of Seven.

Robert Paterson is a freelance illustrator from Toronto. He painted five chairs in his series called “Faces of Bronte,” that explores the evolution of Bronte, not only the physical landscape, but also the people growing together alongside it. His designs take inspiration from music and old movie posters, which help set the tone of his work.