The Visual Arts Centre of Clarington (VAC), nestled in the heart of Clarington, Ontario, is a vibrant beacon of culture and creativity that has been serving the community for over four decades. Since its inception in 1978, the VAC has grown to become an integral part of the Durham Region’s artistic landscape, offering an accessible platform for artists and art enthusiasts alike.
Located in the historic Cream of Barley Mill, the VAC stands as a testament to Clarington rich heritage. The center’s mission is to inspire, engage, and enrich the lives of community members through visual arts. It plays a pivotal role in preserving and promoting local culture, making it a cornerstone of Bowmanville’s identity.
The VAC boasts an impressive collection of contemporary Canadian art, featuring works from emerging and established artists across various disciplines. Visitors can expect to see a diverse range of mediums, from traditional paintings and sculptures to innovative installations and digital art. Notable pieces include Michael Belmore’s evocative sculpture “Shorelines” and Lyla Rye’s thought-provoking installation “Swing Stage”.
Operating hours for the VAC are Tuesday to Friday from 10:00 am to 9:00 pm, and weekends from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm. From Toronto, the centre is a straightforward drive along Highway 401 East. Take exit 431 for Waverley Road/Durham Regional Rd 57 towards Bowmanville, then continue on King Street W. The centre will be on your right.
Bowmanville offers more than just the VAC, though. After immersing yourself in the arts, take some time to explore the town’s charming restaurants and pubs. Three-Six Kitchen & Lounge is a popular spot for gourmet cuisine, while Tilted Glass Brewing Co. offers locally brewed beers in a cozy setting. For those seeking a more relaxed atmosphere, The Toasted Walnut is a delightful café and bakery known for its homemade treats.
Nearby attractions also include the Bowmanville Zoo and the Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. The former, once the oldest privately owned zoo in North America, now operates as a conservation site for endangered species. The latter, meanwhile, offers adrenaline-pumping car races for motorsport enthusiasts. If you’re looking to enjoy a meal and drink, Three Six Kitchen & Lounge is a great option in the vicinity.
In conclusion, the Visual Arts Centre of Clarington is not just an art gallery – it’s a cultural hub, a historic landmark, and a vital part of the Bowmanville community. Whether you’re an art aficionado or a casual visitor, the VAC and its surrounding attractions offer a unique blend of art, history, and local flavor that’s sure to leave a lasting impression.