Serving Up Art Salad

The Link, Spring 2019
| by Joanne Culley |

An outdoor, visual smorgasbord of artwork and artisan creations can be found on the three-acre gardens of mosaic artist Anja Hertle and her husband Rick, a computer animator.

“Rick and I came up with the idea of ‘Art Salad’ as a way for people to enjoy being in a springtime garden setting while also being exposed to and enchanted by the huge variety of art available in this area,” says Hertle. “We like the term ‘Art Salad’ as it refers to all the different ingredients in a salad.” The event reflects its name by showcasing a colourful assortment of mosaics, pottery, fibre arts, painting, stained glass, body care and jewellery.

Anja and Rick live in a heritage home beside the post office, on forested grounds with a creek running through it. “We like sharing our beautiful property, which we think is a lovely setting to showcase the art and artisan creations,” Hertle continues.

“I love the works of the artists who will be coming this year,” she says. They’ll be displaying their talents under tents spread around the garden. The participants include: Melanie Horner, potter; Evelyn Haskell, fabric artist; Nancy Gagne, owner of Northumberland Soap Works; Mary-Kate Pearce, encaustic painter; Bill Fawcett, stained glass artist; Kate Morris, quilter and abstract painter; Garrett Graham, woodworker; Katie Flindall, who creates whimsical paintings; and Jenny Duda, painter and plasticine artist.

Anja Hertle’s studio will also be open for visitors to have a peek at her wonderful mosaic creations. Ranging from small birds and hanging pieces, to larger murals, such as the commissioned triptych she is creating on the occasion of the 175th anniversary of St. George’s Anglican Church in Grafton, she has been a maker of colourful things since birth. She uses found objects such as broken bits of pottery, china and typewriter keys in her mosaics.

“An outdoor, visual smorgasbord of artwork and artisan creations…”

“The triptych depicts the people and activities taking place in the church over the years,” says Hertle. “Visitors can view this mosaic and the process I use to create it, and then walk down to see the actual church on the same day, as ‘Doors Open Northumberland’ also takes place that weekend.”

“People often leave things on my studio doorstep – I never know what I’ll find there,” she laughs. “I feel that I’m an environmentally engaged artist, giving these elements a second life and keeping materials out of the landfill. I also incorporate forks, buttons, bottle caps and other household objects into my work.”

Hertle takes commissions, creating mosaic artwork that evokes a special memory: a family home, farm or cottage, special trip or moment in time. All the while she incorporates some of the family’s china or other meaningful objects. She loves interpreting homes of any size and shape and appreciates the beauty of nature. She also likes to depict urban images such as streetcars and sidewalk scenes.

“We welcome everyone to come and meander through our lush, treed garden and take in the creative expression of fabric, pottery, jewellery, mosaic, encaustic and wood artists, then rest in the shade with coffee and treat in hand from Sweet Couture Cakes,” says Hertle. Perhaps you’ll even go home with a special artisan created treasure!

Joanne Culley is an award-winning writer and documentary producer living in Peterborough. Her work has appeared in The Globe and Mail, Peterborough Examiner and Kawartha Cottage magazine. Additionally, she has published a book, Love in the Air: Second World War Letters.

‘Art Salad’ takes place on Saturday, June 1 and Sunday, June 2, 10 am to 5 pm, 10821 County Road 2 (the main road) in Grafton.

For more information, visit

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