February 2018 hours
Thursdays – Saturdays 11am – 5pm
Sundays 11am – 4pm
We’ll be back to a six-day week in March! (closed Mondays)
63 Mill St., Almonte Ontario (map on CONTACT page)
phone: 613-461-3463 email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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General Fine Craft is a commercial gallery exhibiting the work of highly skilled, innovative artists mainly from Ontario and Quebec. The bright, open space is designed to showcase functional and non-functional fine craft and art. Our makers are at mid and mature stages in their creative lives, all demonstrating a profound and professional devotion to their art practices.
Our mission is to illuminate the art in Fine Craft and the craft in Fine Art by selecting work that is challenging on many levels: technical, aesthetic, conceptual - and in terms of its ability to simply delight the human soul. We curate special features on particular artists’ work and pairings of artists. Exhibition vernissages are popular and lively events, growing Almonte’s reputation for being a hub of creativity in Eastern Ontario.
Chandler Swain and Richard Skrobecki opened General Fine Craft in April 2013. They both live in the Almonte area and, when the perfect storefront in the centre of town became available, they created a vision for this dynamic new space for art and fine craft. Each are recognized studio potters with many years of experience making and promoting their own distinctive styles of work. Their first collaboration was in 2005 with the creation of the popular 260 Fingers annual ceramic exhibition in Ottawa.
As of January 1, 2016 Chandler left the business to pursue her studio practice – but you may still see her behind the desk several Sundays per month!
Richard continues to run the gallery with the same spirit of exploration and emphasis on quality craftsmanship by Canadian makers.
Watch our EXHIBITIONS page for announcements of feature shows that are sure to intrigue!
General Fine Craft is pleased to be distributor for Louis Helbig’s influencial book BEAUTIFUL DESTRUCTION.
Editions are available for $75 + gst and shipping.
To purchase, come into the gallery or order on line: Louis@helbig.ca
To see pictures of the gallery, go to Gallery photos
Explore GALLERY ARTISTS to see individual artist’s pages, learn about their work and inspiration.
See the EXHIBITIONS page for current, past and future exhibitions, photos and essays on particular shows and individual artists’ work.
If you’re a Collector, visit COLLECTING
If you’re an artist interested in submitting work to the gallery, visit HOURS/CONTACT/BUY/SUBMIT
Peter Simpson’s article on ‘Frost-bitten Mosquito-slapping Trolly-tippers’ in the Ottawa Citizen: http://ottawacitizen.com/entertainment/local-reviews/saucy-horses-and-downtown-polar-bears-new-manitoba-art-in-almonte
La Press: Almonte – le plus beau fleuron http://plus.lapresse.ca/screens/4ccc-afac-5331d496-9f87-5878ac1c6068%7C_0.html
See CTV’s Leanne Cusack November 18 interview with Chandler and Richard in the gallery: http://ottawa.ctvnews.ca/video?clipId=1047702
Tripadvisor.com : Almonte visitors’ comments
The General has been listed as one of the top 10 retail art galleries to visit in Ontario by Days Out Ontario.
Thanks to The Ruralist for their recent postings about General Fine Craft, Art & Design and other great Almonte features.
See CTV’s Regional Contact interview with Chandler Swain: http://ottawa.ctvnews.ca/video?clipId=933938
Why ‘GENERAL’ Fine Craft?
The name General Fine Craft came to us in part from Almonte’s interesting history.
Founded in 1821, the town was originally named Shipman’s Mills. Three sets of waterfalls along the Mississippi River (not the big U.S. Mississippi, but the smaller Lanark County one) made it ideal for the construction of water-powered mills. Within a few decades, it became one of the busiest textile-producing milltowns in Canada. Trains transported raw wool to the mills for processing and weaving into fine fabrics that were exported around the world.
The town went through several name changes before settling on Almonte, after General Juan Almonte . Born in 1804 to a Mexican priest (later a rebel patriot) and an aboriginal woman, he was educated in New Orleans where he became fluent in Spanish, French and English. He returned to serve in the Mexican army from 1822-40, rising to the rank of Brigadier General. Almonte served as Mexican Secretary of War until 1856 when he became the Ambassador to Washington, followed by England and then France. From 1863-65 he served as President of the failed Mexican Junta, later returning to France where he died peacefully in 1869.
Internationally respected, General Juan Almonte had always maintained a stance against U.S. incursions into Mexican territories. His anti-American sympathies were known here in Canada where Loyalists had real concerns about U.S. expansionism north into Upper Canada. Though he had no direct association with the area, locals were so taken with Almonte’s integrity that they officially named the town after him in 1856.
Today his portrait hangs above the town’s main street, but references are otherwise only found in the pages of history books. Among the curious-minded, intrigue still surrounds him – making him a bit of an enigma. That’s exactly what we like about him and why we honour The General.
With a population of approximately 6,500 people, Almonte Ontario is located 40 minutes west of Canada’s capital city Ottawa. It bustles with creative energy long after the demise of a once-booming woolen industry. Amalgamated with the towns of Pakenham, Blakeney, Ramsay and Appleton in 1998, the municipality is now known as Mississippi Mills.
From its restorated 19th century downtown core to popular street festivals, museums, music series and a lively shopping area with niche businesses and restaurants, Almonte has become a real destination point for travellers and day-trippers.
It’s also known as ‘the friendly town’ where people are welcoming and helpful.
Some popular online listings that recommend visiting Almonte:
Days Out Ontario top ten quaint villages to visit in Ontario
Ottawa Life feature on Almonte: