Simcoe, ON – March 14, 2017 – “A disappointing sadness led to a small sketch entitled, “A passenger pigeon once paused to eat a berry on Christmas Day.” A simple drawing of a living bird. And so I began the paintings with stories of the rare, endangered and extinct.” Elizabeth (Liz) Barrett-Milner’s new series of oil paintings reflect on the stories, people and places that have been lovingly cast in the lyrical images in rare, on exhibition at the Norfolk Arts Centre until May 27.

In her 2017 exhibition, rare, Liz Barrett-Milner opens our eyes to a global predicament felt uniquely at a local level, of disappearing and endangered species. The twenty-seven oil paintings on view testify to Elizabeth Barrett-Milner’s active involvement in observing and celebrating the natural history of her beloved Norfolk County; and further to the increasing number of endangered species of birds, mammals, reptiles, flora and fauna ultimately facing the threat of extinction. In her colourful folkloric paintings, the artist shares stories, myths and legends which capture her imagination and serve as subtle environmental warnings.

Guest curator and folklore antiquities specialist, Phil Ross describes Liz’s paintings as the “total work of art – one that exists in its own reality.” He describes the movement and design in her paintings as akin to music that is full of pauses and rhythm. But he is quick to point out that the disparity of the subject, now relegated to stories and songs are part of the lament of the environment. Sadly, Frankenstein is the last creature to see the Marburg Mastodon and Wyandotte Turkey in Port Dover.

Liz Barrett-Milner has exhibited widely in Norfolk County and throughout the region. Among her favourite projects, was the Canadian Neo-Dada exhibition at the Art Gallery of Windsor (1995), her presentation of One Room School S.S. #12 Shands paintings at the Burlington Art Centre and the Glenhyrst Art Gallery (Brantford) and the exhibition of Top of the Town, On Round the Lake, Port to Port and New Works at Light House Festival Theatre. Throughout the years Elizabeth has illustrated nature lore publications, newspaper columns and the book, Nature of Norfolk by her father, the late Harry B. Barrett, who has been her greatest teacher.

The Norfolk Arts Centre would like to thank Patterson Creek Press for its publication support.

Artist, Liz Barrett-Milner and guest curator, Phil Ross will be jointly hosting a talk about the exhibition on Saturday, May 13 from 1:30 – 3:00 pm; admission to this event is free.


For further information contact:

Deirdre Chisholm


Norfolk Arts Centre

21 Lynnwood Ave.

Simcoe, ON N3Y 2V7

(519) 428-0540