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Encaustic painter Ann Shier of Toronto and acrylic painter Sue Tupy of Thornbury find endless inspiration in Ontario’s remote wilderness. “The Back 40” showcases paintings inspired by the wetlands, forests, lakes and rocky Canadian Shield they have encountered off the beaten path.

The opening reception is Saturday, July 27, 1-4pm. Both artists will be here to talk about their inspiration and process.

The term The Back 40” refers to the historical allocation of farmland and the back part of a farm. In the U.S. Homestead Acts (1860s–), farmers were granted a quarter section; a section was 640 acres, a quarter section was 160 acres, and the quarter section was itself subdivided into four quarter-quarter sections of 40 acres each: two front forty and two back forty.

The short-lived Canadian Homestead Act (1872-1918) had a similar 40-acre unit allocation and was modelled after the U.S. Homestead Act. It hoped to encourage settlement in Canada’s prairie provinces. You can read more here.

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