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Common Ground
Two Artists - Two Mediums - One Exhibition

Explore and interpret Northern Ontario's landscape through the eyes of Gillian Schultze and Jess McShane.

Works were first exhibited at Gallery 174 the week of October 2nd, 2021, but Gillian and Jess work too well together to let it be the end of Common Ground. Ideas abound and wheels are in motion for future events, so stay tuned!

In the meantime, remaining works are on display at the Sudbury Theatre Centre; an offsite venue of the Art Gallery of Sudbury.

Fine Art - Moody Waters Collection - Perspective


Jess McShane Photography - 21-06 - Chris

Gillian has a strikingly unique style in her artwork. She incorporates many different mediums to bring her imagination to life in her art. Hers is an art that speaks to the beauty of the landscape of Canada, often depicting the trees, rocks, birds, and lakes. What is most unique in her work is that she advocates for the protection of our wilderness areas in the province simply by raising awareness of the sheer beauty of those spaces.

Gillian is a full-time artist but when she isn’t creating, Gillian and her husband are experiencing nature by foot, ski, bike or paddle.

MEET Gillian

Jess McShane


A mom of three by day, a photographer by day, a...sleep by night.


A lifetime of wandering among trees, floating down rivers and diving headlong into lakes has provided Jess a keen understanding of how fortunate we are to live up here. It is this deep connection and appreciation that guides her lens toward the people, the places, the nuance and the ordinary that make Northern Ontario so extraordinary.

Jess takes the time to document the seemingly mundane, the small moments and the authentic emotions that make her clients' stories their stories.


Her slower pace and attention to detail is equally evident in her landscape imagery. While many may gaze at iconic vistas and grand scenery, Jess focuses on the minutia that might otherwise go unnoticed, offering a unique perspective on Northern Ontario in its natural state.


Artists Gillian Schultze and Jessica McShane believe there are few places that contain a more tangible personality than Northern Ontario. It is rugged and beautiful, vacillating from bright and clear, to dark and foreboding within a moment. It has provided them a common language for their varied mediums.

Common Ground is a response to the emotional pull of this unique landscape for both artists. It not only describes their aligned relationship to the subject matter, but their common interest in protecting and preserving it. Gillian and Jess both love to explore Northern Ontario in a natural way. You can see and feel their love of the land in their work; how the great lakes move with the changeability of the weather, the visual and visceral experience of this wild, ancient place. It has allowed them glimpses - small chance occurrences - to capture the beauty of the place they have chosen to live and work.

Gillian’s new work explores a process of intuition, change, transition, improvisation, embracing accidents and taking risks, to see how far she can take a painting or textile piece. Her process from landscape to canvas generates a series of experiments and discoveries.

Jess' collection developed slowly from behind the lens. During a time when uncertainties, hypocrisies, indecision and falsehoods seem to be the loudest players in the room, she lowers the volume and grounds herself by stepping outside. The land and water are always there; predictably dynamic, reliably honest. Breathe, slow down, and experience the details and minutiae that make life in Northern Ontario so…Northern.



We've moved! 
From October 13th to November 30th, find our remaining works at the Sudbury Theatre Centre, an offsite venue of the Art Gallery of Sudbury.


170 Shaughnessy St, Sudbury, ON P3E 3E7


Jess McShane Photography - 21-08 - Wedding Island - 004-45.jpg

a day in their life could be a day in yours

Congratulations to our winner, Hervé Sauvé!!! Here's what he has to look forward to:

Jess + Gillian want to share their love of the land and passion for their crafts with you in a very unique way. See the rock, feel the waves, hear the wind in the trees and experience the common ground that connects and inspires these two artists.

The day-trip will be tailored to the winner's experience, skills and comfort level. Options are endless, but one can never go wrong with a paddle on Georgian Bay or a hike in Killarney Provincial Park! All trip planning details will be organized - the winner will just have to arrive and be ready to be immersed in the great outdoors.  

Walk away from your adventure with an original piece created by Gillian to commemorate the day, and a digital collection of photographs taken by Jess to document your shared experience.

How to Enter:

- Drop a ballot in the canoe by visiting the gallery.

- One bonus entry for tagging both artists on your social feed(s).

- FIVE bonus entries for purchasing a piece between October 2nd and 9th. (In person or online)


web design by jess mcshane


We would like to acknowledge funding support from the Ontario Arts Council, an agency of the Government of Ontario.

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