Fri. Feb 23rd, 2024
Inspired by the land of the Sleeping Giant

Iconic. Inspiring. Idyllic.

Sleeping Giant Provincial Park near Thunder Bay is undoubtedly a natural wonder of Ontario. When viewed across the landscape, this natural relief resembles that of a giant sleeping on his back.

Its beauty and charm have captivated artists for generations.

The Sleeping Giant and many landscapes spread across Ontario have been a great source of inspiration for renowned artists. Exemplary historic and modern works of art give expression to Ontario’s vast, wild and spectacular places.

To celebrate the 125th anniversary of Ontario parks, parks across the province are hosting Go Wild for Art programs.

Nature and art: a perfect combination

On Friday, July 20, Sleeping Giant Provincial Park hosted a Go Wild for Art program in celebration of the Healthy Parks anniversary and Healthy People Day.

Little girl holding her cookie with lake in background

Healthy Parks Healthy People is a global movement to promote the positive health benefits of spending time in nature. Both spending time outdoors and creating artwork can help reduce stress levels.

Behind a girl painting a cookie.

Chart outdoor (outdoors) can be a great way to lift your mood and channel your creativity. One program participant at Sleeping Giant noted that the experience allowed them to activate their senses and slow down.

Two people painting on the shore.

Participants received an overview of the art history of Sleeping Giant Provincial Park (and the surrounding region) and then were inspired by the painting on the lakeshore in front of the Giant.

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Painting nature on nature

Participants received a tree “cookie” as a natural canvas. As one participant enthused: “It’s like we’re painting nature on nature!”

Tree cookies are a cross section of the trunk or branch of a tree. A tree’s annual growth rings reveal the history of natural conditions and events that occurred throughout a tree’s life.

Like tree rings, art can be a way to record stories and memories through the eyes of the artist. The artists took their pieces home as souvenirs of their visit to the park.

Two people on a beach working on their art.

Foster connections between people and nature.

Families, friends and people of all ages came out to participate in the Go Wild for Art program that Friday afternoon.

It was evident that people were connecting with each other while connecting with nature. One participant mentioned: “It’s a great way to meet new people. It was a very relaxing, calm and pleasant afternoon.”

Another participant said, “I think it’s a great opportunity for people to come here and be able to put what they see on the tree cookie canvas.”

They were all very close to each other, however, no work of art was the same. Nature and landscapes can inspire us in different ways, including when sharing collective feelings about a place.

Capture your connection

Look out for more Go Wild for Art programs this summer at Ontario Parks and capture your special connection with nature!

Share your masterpieces on social media using #GoWildforArt!