Art and Culture Itinerary from St. John’s to Bonavista

Backharbour Stages by Reilly Fitzgerald (Cropped)
Hit the road, with this 7-stop art tour daytrip, complete with a suggested pit stop for good grub.

It’s not hard to find art and culture in Newfoundland and Labrador, the shores are bustling with artists inspired by the province’s beautiful landscape. If you’re looking to spend a trip taking in art, music, and flawless scenery, this itinerary will take you from St. John’s to the cultural hub of Bonavista, with five art-packed spots along the way. 

Reilly Fitzgerald’s Work in Clarenville

First, drive on the Trans-Canada Highway west for around two hours, turning into the town of Clarenville. The Eastlink Events Centre boasts a display of Reilly Fitzgerald‘s paintings that are bright, colourful, and full of whimsy.

Once you’ve soaked up enough of his vibrant canvases, grab yourself a coffee and continue through Clarenville onto Route 230, otherwise known as the Bonavista Highway.

Art Vista Studio in Lethbridge

Located on the shores of Goose Bay in Lethbridge is the Art Vista Studio, home of artist and yoga instructor Anastasia Tiller. Her work has been exhibited locally and internationally, and she is inspired by the textures of Newfoundland and Labrador, the “waves and wood and fog, old boats and clotheslines.”

You may also have the chance to take one of her classes, she teaches both art and yoga in her inspirational studio with an ocean view.

Allan Thomas Loder in Lethbridge

"Today's Catch" by Allan Thomas Loder
“Today’s Catch” by Allan Thomas Loder

Just down the road is the studio of Allan Thomas Loder, a watercolourist who’s beautifully realistic scenes will make you think you’re looking at a historical archive of Newfoundland photography instead of intricately rendered paintings.

Two Whales Cafe in Port Rexton

Once you’re ready to continue on down the Bonavista Highway, a perfect spot for a lunch break is the Two Whales Café in Port Rexton. It is a charming family run vegetarian café known for its locally sourced menu and view of Robin Hood Bay.

It also is a great spot for art lovers because it features a monthly art exhibit. July saw “On the Rock: An exhibition of photographs from nature by Tori Butt,” August features “John Hofstetter and Karen Fletcher: Back to Back Again,” and September will present “Margaret Ryall: Compositions in Time.” Two Whales Café is the perfect place to recharge without having to sacrifice any time spent viewing art.

English Harbour Arts Centre in Trinity

Once all bellies are full, the English Harbour Arts Centre is a must see venue. The non-profit centre runs out of a beautiful restored church overlooking Trinity Bay. Their long list of features includes a current art exhibit featuring the fantastic work of Andy Jones and Deb Wickwire, a talented artist in residence Sue Miller, a gift shop of art and crafts by artists like Cynthia Kemerer, Anne Lucas, and Judy Taylor, and a season jam-packed with musical events that continues into September, including the Fortunate Ones on September 9th. This centre, with its spectacular ocean views, has something to offer every visitor.

2 Rooms Contemporary Art Projects in Duntara

The next need-to-see site is the 2 Rooms Contemporary Art Projects in Duntara, a small historical saltbox house packing a large artistic punch. Their current exhibition, “Architec Tonic” features the work of Susan Campbell, Stan Dragland, Mike Gough, Mike Patterson, Margaret Ryall, and Stephen Zeifman and runs until August 28th.

Bonavista Social Club in Upper Amherst Cove

If a pit stop before Bonavista is needed, Upper Amherst’s Cove’s highly popular Bonavista Social Club fits the bill perfectly with its wood-fired bread oven and incredible ocean view deck. Fresh, local ingredients on the menu like moose, rhubarb, and partridgeberry offer its customers a striking Newfoundland experience.

Aleksandrs Gallery of Fine Art in Bonavista

The final destination is the Aleksandrs Gallery of Fine Art in Bonavista. Located above The Elephant Shop, it is Bonavista’s first international art gallery and features work from New York, Toronto, Vancouver, Newfoundland, and Labrador. Bonavista has several new businesses, as well as their tried and true cafés, shops, and breathtaking historic sites to keep you busy for the rest of your journey.

This itinerary is a sure-fire way to experience a taste of the art and culture Newfoundland has to offer, and is only a small sample of all the incredible venues and galleries along this route that will be sure to enrich your summer and are ready to be explored.

Article by intern Emily Pittman

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1 Comment

  • You left out The New Curtain Theatre COmpany and The Curtain Call Cafe in Milton-George’s Brook at the old UC Church – now the Community Culutral House. 149 Trinity Drive.

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