We’re pleased to report that our membership is growing — we’re approaching our highest level ever, at nearly 130, including 99 artists and artisans. Our first Vernissage and Grand Opening of the Stone School Shop on June 3 was a huge success. The second show, featuring Maria Connell and Suzette Kelly, has just closed, with an unusual number of visits and sales. Those Gallery visitors are also attracted to the Shop. Almost everyone comments on the variety of original arts and crafts on display. With a bit more time, the Stone School Shop will be known as the the place in the Pontiac to find unique gifts for friends and family.

We’d like to note that due to our increase in membership and the generosity of our Sponsors, we have been able to avoid charging any commission sales in the Shop, a plus for the 38 artists whose work is on display.

artPontiac on the Road

On July 16, we took work by nine of our artists in the Shop ‘on the road’, to the Renfrew Art Fair, our first event with our new tent and banner. We had a great day, meeting many new friends and several past Members, as well as some who had attended the Stone School as students. Having a booth at events like these is helping to raise awareness of the Gallery and the Shop, and Portage as a key focus for tourists to visit. We’re looking forward to several more events this summer, concluding with participation at the Shawville Fair in September. There will be a $30 fee for artists to participate but if you work one 6 hour shift, the fee will be waived. If you are interested in having work in the booth, or helping, contact us at

Call of the Turtle 2022


The third and largest Exhibition for artPontiac this year, the Call of the Turtle 2022 is a mixed media show featuring 28 artists whose work includes printmaking, painting, photography, stained glass and sculpture. We have a lot planned, around this initiative, our first promoting wildlife conservation in the region.

Come early – at 5:00 p.m. for Turtle Talk, a presentation from two conservation groups about their work with turtles in the Pontiac. We’re also hosting a Silent Auction to raise funds for turtle research and protection. Bidding will start at the Vernissage and continue throughout Exhibition.

On August 6, we are hosting a free family workshop, Turtlemania, which is now full but also includes a presentation by Ray’s Reptiles (9-10) which will take place outside, with our tent, and is open to all.

Arts and Culture Map of the Pontiac and upper Ottawa Valley

This is to announce the launch of our third and final project for 2022. Working with with the MRC, we want to create a new map which will attract more visitors to local art studios and businesses that support art in the Pontiac on both sides of the Ottawa River. There is a lot to be done in a short period of time and we are seeking artists and businesses who may want to be featured, to help us get it done!

The Project

We are inviting up to 20 artists with studios within a corridor along highways 417/17 and 148, to help us design a map that will invite visitors to experience a day in the area, with the Stone School Gallery and Shop in Portage-du-Fort as a key feature. The idea is to attract people to visit us, but also design a self-guided tour consisting of visiting Member studios a wide range of studios and local business, attending workshops by appointment at member Studios, as well as lunch and dinners at restaurants within the catchment area. We see our target audience, for workshops, studio visits, gallery and shop, as Gatineau, Ottawa, Almonte, Arnprior and perhaps as far as Perth and Merrickville, both centers for arts and crafts. One of our biggest supporters in the evolution of this project has been Patrick Mills, from the Art Factory in Renfrew,

What you need to know

MRC has established some initial conditions and guidance for development of the project that will help you to decide if this is of interest to you. The exact shape of the catchment area is yet to be defined and will depend, in part, on response, but – for starters, will include all communities in the Pontiac, plus Deep River (access to northern part of the Pontiac) as the furthest end, Pembroke, Renfrew, Burnstown and possibly Arnprior. In addition:

  • all participating artists must become Members of the Pontiac Artist’s Association ($25) and be willing to committing to open their studios, by appointment, for one year (Sept 2022-23)
  • all participating artists (up to 20 in number) will receive an ‘artist fee’ of $100 from the MRC to cover the administrative costs associated with provision of information and graphics for the the map
  • MRC will provide $1500 to the winning application for design of the artwork for the map
  • the winning application will be chosen by a Selection Committee to be established by the PAA which will promote/manage the process;
    all participating businesses must be basic Sponsors of the PAA (Bronze level, $60) and must feature art on their walls and/or crafts for sale in their facilities
  • the PAA will invite artists to provide images of proposed work for participating businesses to display but the decision regarding what work will be accepted will rest with each business
  • the MRC will provide assistance in creating the map and will assume all costs for its printing (10,000 copies proposed as initial printing)
  • the MRC will also make the map available online and will assist studios in publishing information on other sites in Quebec about specific events (open houses, courses)
  • the MRC will provide roadside signage (to be designed by a working group of participants) for artist studios and window decals for businesses, as appropriate, to identify their location along the designated route as part of the Tour

We anticipate a map with studios and businesses identified on one side, possibly with blown up areas of some communities on the borders, and details on the back about each artist/studio and business (short text, photo, website/contact info and GPS location). The amount of information will depend on the number of participants on the self-guided Tour/map. We’ll create a working group to finalize details and make sure we move the project ahead to ensure the map is available for distribution for the long weekend in September.

We have identified a core group of potential participants but are looking for more. Let us know if you can help us to identify more artists and businesses that should be invited to participate. There will be a Zoom call on Sunday July 31 to discuss the project. It will only go ahead if we have sufficient interest! Contact us at if you would like to be included.