Select Page

Fran was 23 when she met Jeff Stone, a madman in the best sense of the word, and a mentor who changed her life forever.  After meditating upon Fran’s hands for several minutes, he was the first person to tell her that she was destined to be a sculptor. Jeff’s intensity as a painter and his wisdom as a Tai Chi instructor were inspiring, and within several weeks of meeting each other he broke the news that he had enrolled Fran in a sculpture class at the Ontario College of Art.  She never looked back.

Wood is the primary medium in which Fran works.  Ever since she was a child Fran was drawn to its natural shape and earthy smell.  Traipsing through forests she was mystified by these giants – by the shapes of their branches, burls and leaves. Unlike a block of stone, wood already has a story to tell.  Fran believes that it’s up to the sculptor to discover what that story is and bring it to life.

Sculpture in wood is one of the most physically demanding art forms, so growing up on the beginnings of her parents’ apple orchard was great training.  On a farm Fran learned how to be tough, how to work with her hands, and most importantly how to be driven by sheer discipline.

In subsequent years Fran became fascinated by the subtle and often not so subtle differences in gender, especially in terms of role and behaviour.  Her interest in feminist perspectives and literature grew immensely.  It is the driving force behind so much of her work.

Artist Statement

I think it’s always been an incredible challenge for a visual artist to write an “artist’s statement”, to try and capture in a few short paragraphs what the artistic experience is and/or what the art itself represents. That being said, bear with me as I try to put into words what my art means to me and the perspective I hold that allows me to be an artist in the first place.

The idea, however cliché, that an artist cannot live without her art, holds true for me. I cannot begin to fathom my existence without the joy of creating my art, the joy of falling into the beauty of carving a collarbone, an ankle, a shoulder blade or the curl of someone’s lip. Actualizing what I have witnessed, felt or dreamed is a thrill beyond any other. It’s magic. It’s that inconceivable moment when I realize that my own two hands have created a face or figure that I’ve never seen before. I’ll never quite comprehend that transition – the terrifying and exhilarating journey I take from the time I’m faced with a new log to the actual finished sculpture. Michelangelo described it as “liberating the figure from the marble that imprisons it.” Admittedly I do not believe that I am the only one at work in my studio. I believe that something “other” is present. This “other” has been referred to as God, the collective unconscious, a Higher Being, the artistic spirit or simply one’s own muse and, I’m sure, by many other names as well.

Regardless of how one chooses to term it, I have great reverence and respect for whatever it is that works within me as an artist. Although there is this wonderful exhilaration of stepping outside of time altogether, there is also, of course, the reality of being in time, of feeling my body ache, of screaming out in frustration when things are not going well, of wondering why the heck I’ve chosen a vocation that is never predictable and which barely allows me to pay my bills. Indeed, the reality of being an artist is also riddled with anxiety and angst. Aside from physical pain and financial precariousness, there is also the momentous fear of the critic. Is the piece good enough? Is there enough social commentary? Is it comparable to my contemporaries? Is it too expensive? Or is the whole darn thing meaningless? Questions such as these can certainly plague at the even the best of times. Fortunately I’ve learned over the years to have faith – that wherever I am is exactly where I’m supposed to be for my ultimate growth. So when I ‘m having difficulty with a carving, whether I’ve miscalculated a portion of the figures anatomy or have accidentally cut out an essential piece of wood, I try to see it as a window of opportunity. It pushes me to see outside of the box, outside of my intended design. Having this perspective allows me to successfully work with pieces that normally might be considered unsalvageable. So there you have it– I sculpt because I believe in beauty and the endless potential it holds to change and inspire, for both the viewer and myself.

Education

09/90-05/98University of Toronto, Toronto, ON
Bachelor of Arts, Religious Studies
09/92-05/93Ontario College of Art, Toronto, ON
Clay Sculpture
06/93-presentSelf-trained in wood sculpture, Meaford, ON

Group Exhibits

2016 Meaford Hall Arts and Culture Center, “Different Kettle of Fish, Meaford, ON
2016The Press Room Gallery, Fabulous Figures Collingwood, ON
2013-16 Autumn Leaves Studio Tour, Georgian Triangle, ON
2012The Roxy Theatre, Seeing Red II “The Sexhibition”, Owen Sound, ON
2011Evergreen Brickworks, Toronto, ON
2011Tom Thomson Gallery, Convergence, Owen Sound, ON
2011Collingwood Public Library, Go Figure, Collingwood, ON
2010Flesherton Art Gallery, Shakti, Flesherton, ON
2010Level Gallery, Various Works Collingwood, ON
2009Meaford Hall Arts and Culture Center, Autopoiesis: Self-creation, Meaford, ON
2009Blue Mountain Foundation of the Arts “Vessels”, Collingwood, ON
2009Art for All of Canada, Toronto, ON
2009BMFA “Contemporary Portraits”, Collingwood, ON
2008Walters Falls Art Show, Walters Falls, ON
2001The Art Farm “Purple Hills”, Duntroon, ON
2000"Studio Tour 2000", Meaford,ON
2000Spin Gallery, "Go Figure" Toronto, ON

Public Collections

Cranberry Resort Golf CourseCollingwood, ON
Meaford Long Term CareMeaford, ON
My Friend's HouseCollingwood, ON
New York Audubon SocietyCold Spring, New York
Ted’s Range Road DinerMeaford, ON
Elephant thoughtsCollingwood, ON
Gold Bullion development corpMontreal, QC
Meaford arts and cultural centreMeaford, ON
The Flying ChestnutEugenia, ON

Private Collections

Alicja Wojewnik:Toronto, ON
Bob Buchan:Parry Sound, ON
Clara Hughes:Glen Sutton, QC
Daphine Walker:Sauble Beach, ON
Deborah Ise:Toronto, ON
Don Crosby:Durham, ON
Dr. Jim Patterson:Desboro, ON
Dr. Justin Aubin:Collingwood, ON
Ezra Zubrow:Toronto, ON
Frank Basa:Montreal, QC
Frits Bouwmeester:Zwartewaal, NL
Iep Bouwman:Ede, The Netherlands
Ilsa Ayers:Collingwood, ON
Jeremy Rhodes:Collingwood, ON
Joe Toole:Toronto,ON
John Jones:Thornbury, ON
Linda Sugar:Meaford, ON
Marie Frith:Collingwood, ON
Mary Babyn-Baena:Mono Mills, ON
Michelle McGuachie:Toronto, ON
Nancy Ardiel:Thornbury, ON
Ralph Cator:Meaford, ON
Renee Mc Dermott:North Carolina, US
Rhona Greenbaum:Toronto, ON
Rita Mary Cote:Thornbury, ON
Tony Talerico:Brampton, ON
Valerie Broderick:Meaford, ON
Will Overton:Meaford, ON