Happening In 2019

Exhibition: Canadian Earth Portraits

Homer Watson Gallery, ON
September 8th to October 20th, 2019

The Canadian Earth Portraits of this exhibition are paintings that demonstrate how the lands where we live inform our life. Using unique earth colours from across Canada, each of these minimalist artworks invites us to meditate on our community's local connection to the earth.

As a nation, we continue to make extensive use of the earth in our farming and mining industries. As a result, a deep sense of the land is needful in our Canadian culture. These Earth Portraits present local colours from across our country, inviting us to address our misuses of the land from the past and prioritize positive practices in the future.


Dynamic Earth, Sudbury, ON—"Sudbury Earth", 2018.

Wellington County Museum, Fergus, ON—"Under the Earth", 2018.

Nuit Blanche, Toronto, ON—"Revealing the Nighttime Local Colours of Ontario", Toronto, 2017.

The Craig Gallery, Halifax, NS—“Pilgrimage: Finding Canada’s Local Colours”, 2015.

Leder’s Farm, Edmonton, AB—“What Remains”, 2015.

The People’s Gallery, Waterloo, ON—2013.

Arnica, Kamloops, BC—”Connecting the Dots”, 2012.

Open Art Venue, Berlin—“Unterwegs”, 2011.

Fergus Grand Theatre, Fergus, ON—”Seeing Local Colour”, 2011.

Minarovich Gallery, Elora, ON—”A Local Colour Project”, 2010.

Sideshow Gallery, New York—”Winter residency”, 2010.

Cambridge Centre for the Arts, Cambridge, ON—”The 100 mile ART Project”, 2008.

St. Michael’s College, Toronto, ON—”Till we have faces”, 2008.

St. John’s Anglican Church, Elora, ON—”Communion of the Saints Evensong”, 2007.

Contemporary Art Forum Kitchener & Area, Kitchener, ON—”The Craftsman’s Studio”, 2007.

Wycliffe College, Toronto, ON—”Refresh!”, group exhibition, 2007.

University of Toronto’s Art Centre, Toronto, ON—”Iconographer’s Workshop”, 2006.

Residences & Grants

Klondike Institute of Art & Culture—Artist in Residence, 2016.

Pukaskwa National Park, Ontario—Artist in Residence, 2014.

Interdisciplinary Centre for Culture and Creativity—Visiting Scholar, 2014.

White Rabbit, Red Clay, Nova Scotia—Artist in Residence, 2013.

Interdisciplinary Centre for Culture and Creativity—Fellowship for Community-based Intellectuals/Activists/Artists, 2012.

Cambridge Centre for the Arts, Cambridge, Ontario—Artist in Residence, 2008.

Homer Watson House & Gallery, Kitchener, Ontario—Artist in Residence, 2006-07.


Transart Institute, Donau Universität Krems, Krems, Austria—Masters of Fine Arts, 2011.

Talks & Lectures

Laurentian University, Sudbury, Ontario. "Soil and Pigment", 2018.

McEwen School of Architecture, Sudbury, Ontario. "Local Colour: Pigment and Place (Architecture Program)", 2017.

Conrad Grebel University College, Waterloo, Ontario—“Making an Icon”, 2017.

Soil Science Society of America Symposium, Minneapolis—”Beauty of Soils: The Nexus of Soil Science and the Arts”, 2015.

Ronning Centre, Alberta, Edmonton—“Soil and Spirit”, 2015.

Soil Science Society of America Annual Meeting. Tampa, Florida—”The Atlas of Canada’s Local Colours”, 2013.

CTABC Teachers’ Convention , Langley, British Columbia—”Art as Worldview”, 2013.

Brantford Lapidary and Mineral Society, Brantford, Ontario—”Local Colours: Pigment and Art”, 2013.

Kitchener-Waterloo Gem and Mineral Club, Waterloo, Ontario—”Local Colours: Pigment and Art”, 2013.

Science Explorers Club, La Jolla, San Diego—”Hand-prints”, 2013.

The Kitchener-Waterloo Society of Artists, Kitchener, Ontario—”Pigments: Places, Processes, and Paint”, 2012.

Old Kamloops Cultural Centre, Kamloops, British Columbia—”Crayons And Ice Cream Children’s Workshop”, 2012.

Button Factory, Waterloo, Ontario—”Artspeak”, 2012.

Cambridge Centre for the Arts, Cambridge, Ontario—”Local-colour”, 2011.

Canadian Science Writers’ Association, Ottawa, Ontario—”the 100-mile Pigment Project”, 2010.

Conrad Grebel College, Waterloo, Ontario—”An Introduction to Icons”, 2010.

Tyndale University College & Seminary, Toronto, Ontario—”Icons: Art and Religion”, 2009.

Waterloo Button Factory, Waterloo, Ontario—”Introduction to Paint”, 2008.

CIS Visual Conference, Toronto, Ontario—”Creating Paint: Recreating History”, 2008.

The Colour Jar, Durham, Ontario—”Creating Local Colour”, 2008.

Cambridge Centre for the Arts, Cambridge, Ontario—”Paint & Pigment”, 2008.

Varley Art Gallery, Toronto, Ontario—”The Sacred Image of the Icon: A World of Belief Symposium”, 2008.

Fresh Expressions, Waterloo, Ontario—”Creating an Icon”, 2007.

Redeemer University College, Ancaster, Ontario—”The Making of an Icon (History Class)”, 2006.

Redeemer University College, Ancaster, Ontario—”The Challenge of Icons (Senior Art Class)”, 2006.

University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario—”The Challenge of Icons”, 2006.

University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario—”Iconography: Venerating the Divine through Matter”, 2006.

Workshops & Courses

The Rock School, Gainesville, Florida. "Finding Colour in a Place", 2018.

Society of Christian Schools in BC, Princeton, British Columbia—"Empowering Inquiry in Learning", 2017.

La Sanio People, La Jolla Reservation, San Diego—”Making Pigment”, 2015.

Canadian Society of Soil Science, Montreal, Quebec—“Painting with Soil Pigments”, 2015.

University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon—”Creating Paint From Soil (ART 398/898.3)”, 2014.

Edifide Educators Convention, Ancaster, Ontario—”Making Local Colour”, 2013.

Science Explorers Club, La Jolla, San Diego—”Hand-prints”, 2013.

Emma Lake Kenderdine Campus, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon—”Creating Paint From Soil: Applications And Observations In Boreal Ecosystems” (ART 398/898.3), 2012.

Old Kamloops Cultural Centre, Kamloops, British Columbia—”Crayons And Ice Cream Children’s Workshop”, 2012.

Open Art Venue, Mitte, Berlin—”Making Paint from your local environment”, 2011.

In the News

Global News, “Artist Symeon van Donkelaar”, September 1 2015 (TV).

The Chronicle-Journal, “Soil has role in art”, July 10,2014 (print).

Agknowledge, “Dirt and Paint”, December 2012 (print).

The Star Phoenix, “Grad students use natural, local pigments to create art”, June 11th, 2012 (print).

Arts Connection, “Visual Artist Symeon van Donkelaar”, October 6, 2011 (radio).

YES! Mag, “Panning for Pigments”, Elizabeth Howell, May/June 2009 (print).

Nurturing Faith, “Encouraging faith through beauty”, Dan Beerens, April 20, 2009 (web).

Cambridge Centre for the Arts Presents, “Symeon van Donkelaar”, 2009 (print).

Canadian Geographic, “Local Colour”, Alison Garwood-Jones, April 2009 (print).

CBC News, “Scientific research: What’s wrong with this picture?”, Stephen Strauss, December 1, 2008 (web).

RCI – Radio Canada International, “Arte en 100 millas a la Redonda”, Ginella Díaz, December 2008 (radio).

The Cambridge Times, “Artist in Residence delivers a 100-mile artistic diet”, October, 2008 (print).

Faith Journal, “The 100 mile ART Project”, July 15, 2008 (radio).

The KW Record, “100 mile ART Pallet”, Amy Fuller, June 21, 2008 (print).

Grand River Living, “Artist: Symeon van Donkelaar”, 2007 (print).

The KW Record, “Holy Art”, Saturday, May 27, 2006, pg. 8 (print).

Images, “Artist Steeped in History and Faith”, Spring, 2006, pg. 25 (print).