A community art project has gone missing from The Gallery in the Woods in Windermere, and locals are looking for answers.
“It is hard to imagine why someone would take it,” said Karen Lang, owner of the property at 1039 Golf Avenue. “It would have required two strong people and a truck or van to take it away.”
The ceramic mural, which features a map of Windermere with local landmarks, is a collaborative project between Windermere Village and the Muskoka Chautauqua Festival. Dozens of local residents, summer cottagers and visitors contributed to the piece, which took several months to complete.
The original drawing of the map was commissioned by Toronto artist Barbara Klunder, and Toronto artist Audrey Mah volunteered her time to transform the illustration to ceramic. An additional 40 people worked together to make the tiles.
The mural was being stored in The Gallery in the Woods, while awaiting permanent installation in the village.
The Gallery in the Woods, as it is cordially referred to, is a converted shed on Lang’s private property that serves as a summer gallery for the Muskoka Chautauqua Festival.
At festival close the art is removed, with exception to the mural, which has been stored in the shed for the past three years. Recently there was an issue with one of the shed door’s locks, that hadn’t yet been replaced.
“We think of Windermere as a relatively safe community and it is not an easy piece to take,” said Lang. “We have had no issues with this in the past.”
The mural went missing between August 13 and September 18. Anyone with information is asked to contact Lang at email@example.com.
“We would like to think it will miraculously be returned,” said Lang. “This mural belongs to the village of Windermere. It is an example of how the arts brings community together.”