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About the Artist

Holly Archer is a Canadian artist from the shores of Georgian Bay, working primarily in acrylic, ink and charcoal. Negative space, unfinished moments, and the weight of what is not explicitly depicted play an important role in her work. In many of Archer's pieces, humour and spontaneity are wielded as tools, unearthing an optimistic tone amidst more nuanced themes, including: environmental conservation, equity, mental health, and women's rights. She is known for her dynamic mark-making, as well as her focus on life in the Canadian wild. 

In addition to her studio work, Archer is a new presence in the public art realm, bringing her unique application of form and scale to the public arena. Archer is committed to using art in public spaces to reconnect communities and strengthen our bond to our natural environment. Archer’s work offers striking scale, contrasting textures, and interactive components, designed to challenge the viewer, encouraging them to question their individual role in society. 

Archer's solo exhibition, "A Cultured Diet", launched in early 2024 at the Quest Art School and Gallery. In addition to her recent solo show, Archer was a finalist for the Clerkson Award in 2023 and was part of the exhibition at the Blue Mountain Foundation for the Arts. Archer was also awarded 2nd place for works on paper at the McMichael Canadian Art Collection and was exhibited at the gallery in the winter and spring of 2023. She was selected for the Blue Mountain Foundation of the Arts Juried Art Show in the summer of 2022, and unveiled a co-designed exhibition "For the Love of Trees". Archer was also presented with a 2021 Juror’s Award at the Newmarket International Juried Art Show, was featured in the San Diego Museum of Art’s International Juried Winter Exhibition, unveiled her first large-scale public art piece, was an artist-in-residence at the Wye Marsh Wildlife Reserve, and was selected to be a part of the 27th Annual Juried Art Exhibition at the Hopkins Center for the Arts in Minnesota, USA. 

“My favourite stories capture the unexpected and bypass the snare of heavy detail;
my favourite art does the same.”
 

- Holly Archer

Education 

  • Art and Design Certificate, 2021-, Ontario College of Art & Design (OCAD), Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

  • Master of Arts (MA), 2012, School of Public Policy and Management, University of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

  • Bachelor of Arts (BAH), 2008, English Literature, and Theatre, Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada. 


 

Professional Development and Workshops 

  • Contemporary Interiors: Breaking All the Rules with Debra Krakow, Quest Art School and Gallery, Midland, Ontario, Canada, 2023

  • Mentorship, Andrew Sookrah, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, 2022

  • Expressive Figure Drawing, Zin Lim, Seoul, South Korea, 2021

  • Strictly Portraits (1, 2 and 3), Stephanie Schrim, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, 2021

  • Illustration (Intermediate), Willow Dawson, OCAD University, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, 2021

  • Illustration, Willow Dawson, OCAD University, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, 2021

  • Figurative Drawing, Jill Price, MacLaren Art Centre, Barrie, Ontario, Canada, 2021

  • Sketching in Watercolours, John Hartman, Quest Art School and Gallery, Midland, Ontario, Canada, 2021

  • Abstracting the Landscape: Palette Knife, Andrew Sookrah, Quest Art School and Gallery, Midland, Ontario, Canada, 2021

  • Impressions, Jacintha Krish, Quest Art School and Gallery, Midland, Ontario, Canada, 2021

  • Creating Line and Form, Andrew Sookrah, Quest Art School and Gallery, Midland, Ontario, Canada, 2021

  • Floral Landscapes, John Anderson, Quest Art School and Gallery, Midland, Ontario, Canada, 2020

  • Painting, Marlene Bulas, Quest Art School and Gallery, Midland, Ontario, Canada, 2020

  • Plein Air, Ross Skoggard, Quest Art School and Gallery, Midland, Ontario, Canada, 2020

  • The Real Colours of Winter, John Anderson, Quest Art School and Gallery, Midland, Ontario, Canada, 2020

  • Still Life, John Anderson, Quest Art School and Gallery, Midland, Ontario, Canada, 2019

  • Painting Portraits, Murray VanHalem, Private Instruction, Victoria Harbour, Ontario, Canada, 2019 

  • Oil Painting, Jen Lawton, Private Instruction, Tay, Ontario, Canada, 2018 

  • Urban Landscapes, Murray Van Halem, Quest Art School and Gallery, Midland, Ontario, Canada, 2018

  • Portraiture, Ross Skoggard, Private Instruction, Midland, Ontario, Canada, 2018 

  • Sculpture, Haliburton School of Art and Design Summer Program, Haliburton, Ontario, Canada, 2018

  • Colour Clinic, Kal Honey, Quest Art School and Gallery, Midland, Ontario, Canada, 2017

  • Painting Thick and Thin, Kim Lee Kho, Quest Art School and Gallery, Midland, Ontario, Canada, 2017

  • Mixed Media, Sharon McKinnon, Quest Art School and Gallery, Penetanguishene, Ontario, Canada,  2016

  • Figure Drawing, Haliburton School of Art and Design Summer Program, Haliburton, Ontario, Canada, 2012 


 

Awards and Distinctions    

  • Published Feature Artist, “Artist, Mother, Proud & Serious | VOL I”, book written by Mona Lerch, published by Women United ART MOVEMENT https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B0CPJJ8ZLC , International (2023) 

  • Clerkson Award Finalist, Blue Mountain Foundation for the Arts, Collingwood, Ontario, Canada (2023)

  • 2nd Place Winner, McMichael Plein Air Competition, Works on Paper, McMichael Canadian Art Collection, Klienburg, Ontario, Canada (2023)                    

  • Feature Artist, Create Your Own Show feature, Create Magazine, International (2022)

  • Winning artist team for the Midland Public Art Project, Midland, Ontario, Canada (2021)

  • Award, Newmarket International Juried Art Exhibition, Newmarket, Ontario, Canada (2020)

  • Feature Artist, San Diego Museum of Art International Juried Art Show, San Diego, CA, USA (2020)

  • Art Slam Finalist, Quest Art School and Gallery, Midland, Ontario, Canada (2019)

  • Ambassador, 1 of 40 selected in North America for the North American International Leadership Program, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada (2011)

  • Jury Award for Best in Sculpture, Exposure Art Festival, Kingston, Ontario, Canada (2008)


 

Exhibitions

  • “A Cultured Diet” (solo show), Quest Art School and Gallery, Midland, Ontario, Canada (2024)

  • “Art Slam”, Quest Art, Midland, Ontario, Canada (2023)

  • "Abstracts", John B. Aird Gallery, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

  • “Clerkson Award Finalists Exhibition”, Blue Mountain Foundation for the Arts, Collingwood, Ontario, Canada (2023)

  • “2022 McMichael Plein Air Competition Exhibition”, McMichael Canadian Art Collection, Klienburg, Ontario, Canada (2022-23)

  • "Quest Art at Home", Quest Art School and Gallery, Midland, Ontario, Canada (2022)

  •  "For the Love of Trees" (Duo Exhibition), Penetanguishene, Ontario, Canada (2022)

  • “International Winter Exhibition (Juried)”, San Diego Museum of Art, San Diego, CA, USA (2021)

  • “TD Thor Wealth Management Juried Exhibition: Quest for the Environment” Quest Art School and Gallery, Midland, Ontario, Canada (2020)

  • “2020 Newmarket International Juried Art Show”, Newmarket, Ontario, Canada (Award Winner) (2020)

  • “Pop-Up Art Show”, Independent Outdoor Exhibition (3 Feature Female Artists), Midland, Ontario, Canada (2020)

  • “Artists in the time of Coronavirus: A Virtual Exhibition” The Art Blog, International (2020)

  • “We’ve Got the Silver”, Quest Art - Midland, Ontario, Canada (2020)

  • “Art Slam”, Quest Art - Midland, Ontario, Canada (Finalist) (2019)

  • “Tangled Up in Blue”, Quest Art School and Gallery, Midland, Ontario, Canada (2019)

  • “Quest Art at Home”, Quest Art School and Gallery, Midland, Ontario, Canada (2019)

  • “Art Slam”, Quest Art School and Gallery, Midland, Ontario, Canada (2018)

  • “Plates and Palettes” Private Exhibition and Mental Health Fundraiser, Midland, Ontario, Canada (2018)

  • “Quest Art at Home”, Quest Art School and Gallery, Midland, Ontario, Canada (2018)

  • “Coast to Coast”, Quest Art School and Gallery, Midland, Ontario, Canada (2018)

  • “Art Slam”, Quest Art School and Gallery, Midland, Ontario, Canada (2017)

  • “Simcoe Sightings”, Quest Art School and Gallery, Midland, Ontario, Canada (2017)

  • “Quest Art at Home”, Quest Art School and Gallery, Midland, Ontario, Canada (2017)

  • “New Year, New Work”, Quest Art School and Gallery, Midland, Ontario, Canada (2017)

  • “Road to Home”, Quest Art School and Gallery, Midland, Ontario, Canada (2016)    

  • “Quest Art at Home”, Quest Art School and Gallery, Midland, Ontario, Canada (2016)

  • “Piece of Mind”, Quest Art School and Gallery, Midland, Ontario, Canada (2016)

  • “Art Slam”, Quest Art School and Gallery, Midland, Ontario, Canada (2016)

  • “Places and Spaces”, Quest Art School and Gallery, Midland, Ontario, Canada (2016)

  • “Tiny Treasures”, Quest Art School and Gallery, Midland, Ontario, Canada (2015)

  • “Exposure Art Festival”, Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada (2009)

  • “Exposure Art Festival”, Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada (2008)

 

Public Art

  • Alleyway Rejuvenation Project, 2 aluminum panel installations on scaffolding, Town of Midland, Midland, Ontario, Canada (2022)

  • "Sown", King Street Rejuvenation Project, Public Art Piece, Town of Midland, Midland, Ontario, Canada (2021)

  • Community Art Project, Aluminum panels, Town of Midland, Midland, Ontario, Canada (2020)

  • Collective Art Project, Mural, University of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada (2013)

  • Outdoor Art, Public Art Installation, Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada (2008)

 

Teaching and Instruction

  • Expressive Drawing, Quest Art School and Gallery, Midland, Ontario, Canada (2024)

  • Communications, Canadore College, Parry Sound, Ontario, Canada (2023)

  • How to Teach Art Workshops Online, Quest Art School and Gallery, Midland, Ontario, Canada (2023)

  • The Art of Colour, Quest Art School and Gallery, Midland, Ontario, Canada (2023)

  • Drawing with Charcoal, Private Instruction, Midland, Ontario, Canada (2022) 

  • The Versatility of Acrylic Paint, Quest Art School and Gallery, Midland, Ontario, Canada (2022)

  • Exploring Acrylics: A Study of Light, Colour and Edges, Quest Art School and Gallery, Midland, Ontario, Canada (2021)

  • Intro to Painting, Quest Art School and Gallery, Midland, Ontario, Canada (2021)

  • Humour in Art, Quest Art School and Gallery, Midland, Ontario, Canada (2021)

  • Abstracting Landscapes, Private Workshop, Midland, Ontario, Canada (2020)

  • Intermediate Painting, Private Workshop, Midland, Ontario, Canada (2020)

  • Big Marks, Private Workshop, Midland, Ontario, Canada (2020)

  • Child and Youth Workshops (varied topics), Minds Alive, Midland, Ontario, Canada (2000-2006)


 

Collections 

  • House Artist, Dillon’s, Midland, Ontario, Canada (2017-Present)

  • Private Collections: Madrid, Spain 

  • Private Collections: Montreal, Quebec, Canada

  • Private Collections: Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada

  • House Artist, Tiny Art Shack, Elmvale, Ontario, Canada (2019-2021)

  • Private Collections: New Jersey, USA

  • Private Collections: Nelson, British Columbia, Canada

  • Private Collections: San Diego, CA, USA

  • Private Collections: Berlin, Germany

  • Private Collections: Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada 

  • Private Collections: Rossland, British Columbia, Canada 

  • Private Collections: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada 

  • Private Collections: Guelph, Ontario, Canada 

  • Private Collections: Tiny, Ontario, Canada 

  • Private Collection: San Francisco, California, USA

  • Private Collections: Penetanguishene, Ontario, Canada 

  • Private Collections: Toronto, Ontario, Canada 

  • Private Collection: Austin, Texas, USA

  • Private Collections: Midland, Ontario, Canada

CV

How it started...

 

I remember standing in my grandparent’s house, staring up at one of my grandfather's oil paintings; it was a log cabin in Labrador City, Newfoundland. Looking at the texture of the paint, I thought, "When I grow up I will paint as much as I want. I will paint all the time."

 

I grew up and I paint all the time.

 

Painting started it all. One of my first jobs was at a toy store that offered art classes in the back. It was magic. I apprenticed with the owner when I was 13 and then instructed the courses well into university. I have continued to teach art to adults and kids since this time.

 

Art education is a priority, always. I teach and I take dozens of courses and workshops a year, learning from as many artists as I can. I attribute much of the success in my own career to the invaluable lessons of the artists who have shared their knowledge, starting with my Grandfather and my Dad.

 

Thanks to this early introduction to painting, and art more broadly, I enjoy a life of creating art. Drawing, painting, printmaking, sculpting, and creating art in public spaces are ongoing components of my life as an artist.

 

I have been fortunate to exhibit internationally, create large-scale public artworks, be featured in publications, and teach other artists. However, the greatest joy has been to create and to share a lifelong love of art with my family.

 

Looking forward, it is my intention to keep painting all the time.

- Holly Archer

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