Simcoe, On – August 8, 2013 In Accord brings together instruments by local guitar-maker, Brian J. LaPlante with selected works from the Norfolk Arts Centre’s permanent collection. The juxtaposition of these two seemingly divergent objects – Brian’s hand-crafted acoustic and electric guitars and visual artworks – explore the relationship between sculptural and two-dimensional form, the art of instrument-making and the musicality of mark-making, and the audio and ocular associations that arise from their pairing.

Brian’s guitars are notable for their use of locally sourced black cherry, sugar maple and black walnut wood. These native varieties are skillfully and artfully combined with more exotic materials such as South American imbuya. This exhibition includes guitars that range from the traditional “O” size which dates back to the 1800’s to an innovative cross between a guitar and a mandolin.

Selected artworks from the permanent collection compliment the guitars on exhibition. The artworks were chosen for their musical associations either by virtue of content such as David Moore’s Dylan: Saved: Tour or for their melodic formal properties. The artworks include both local painters like Barbara Emard-Haskett and significant Canadian artists like William Ronald and Armand Vaillancourt.

This exhibition asks viewers to contemplate the connection between visual and musical form through an interactive audio twist. Brian J. LaPlante, Norfolk Arts Center staff and board members were asked to suggest songs for the selected works of art. Beside each artwork the viewer will find a label with a QR code on it. Viewers can access the chosen song by scanning the QR code with their smart phone or android device. Members of the public are encouraged to add to the dialogue by leaving their own song suggestions.

In Accord will be on exhibition at the Norfolk Arts Centre from August 16th to October 15th. To celebrate Culture Days, join us for the opening reception of In Accord on September 27th at 7:00 p.m. Owners of Brian’s guitars are invited to bring their instruments for an open jam session; this event is free and open to the public.

Brian J. LaPlante was born in Simcoe in 1958. As a young man he moved to Sault Ste. Marie where he graduated from forestry school in 1985. Brian worked for MNR in Chapleau for 3 years fighting forest fires before he moved back to Simcoe. Upon his return in 1988 he worked as a carpenter and cabinetmaker. In 1990 he built his own workshop which would eventually become the future production site for his guitars. Brian’s passion for guitar-making ignited in 1999 after he found a book on guitar building. Over the next two years he dedicated all of his spare time learning as much as he could about the craft as he built two guitars. In 2005, he decided to stop working as a carpenter and focus on his passion for guitars. Since then he has worked full time crafting guitars for musicians across the region.


For more information:

Deirdre Chisholm
Norfolk Arts Centre
21 Lynnwood Ave.
Simcoe, ON N3Y 2V7
(519) 428-0540