Turning Local Art Into A Fashion Statement

February 5, 2021
By Kevin Lajoie

Cornwall Ontario – A new grassroots community initiative is helping to showcase local art in a whole new way – and generate some much-needed revenue for artists at the same time.

Cornwall Art T-Shirts

The Cornwall Gallery in Motion project grew out of a desire to bring awareness and support to local artists who have been severely impacted by Covid-19.

“For these artists, their art is their prime means of income and they have been hit hard by Covid,” said Jane McLaren, the community leader and art enthusiast who is the driving force behind the project.

Through the project, five local artists – Tracy Davies, Pierre Giroux, Yafa Goawily, Louise Mignault and Laura Stevens – each created an original artwork celebrating different aspects of the community. The creations are being featured on t-shirts by Mike’s Printing & Apparel and being sold for $25 each, with all of the proceeds going back to the artists.

“Our hope is that people will buy the shirts, wear them proudly and create a living ‘gallery in motion’ of original art featuring the work of local artists,” McLaren added.

The shirts feature a variety of themes related to Cornwall ranging from landmarks like The Port Theatre to fishing, cycling, wildlife and placemaking.

Tracy Davies, for example, paid tribute to one of the lifelines of the community – the St. Lawrence River – with da zentangle-themed design of a walleye.

“Fishing is a big draw to the city and it’s also enjoyed by many in the community,” said Ms. Davies, the owner of Cailuan Gallery in Downtown Cornwall. “I’m thrilled to be taking part in this initiative. It’s a fun way to raise awareness of the arts and the important contribution they make to the quality of life of a community.”

Where to buy

The t-shirts are now available online through Mike’s Printing & Apparel ( for $25 each. A limited number of long sleeve t-shirts are also available for $30 (please check with Mike’s Printing on sizes and available colours). Details on the designs, sizing and colours can all be found through the website.

Showcasing the work

Come March, the original pieces of artwork behind the t-shirts will be on display at the new home of Mike’s Printing & Apparel in Downtown Cornwall on Pitt Street. The original artworks will, at that time, be available to purchase. Further details will be announced in the near future.

In the meantime, everyone who purchases a shirt between now and the opening of the store will be entered into a draw for a $50 gift certificate that can be used at Mike’s Printing.

The importance on art

Cornwall is home to a vibrant arts community, and that community has been hard hit by Covid-19, with venues, performances and live events mostly shuttered for the past year and no certainty on when things will return to normal. That was the driving force behind the initiative.

“It is the arts that carries the message of the heart of community to the people who call it home. Through this initiative, we hope to share our pride, our hearts, and our hope for the future of this community we call home,” McLaren said. “We hope that this is the first of a series of activities celebrating community through art.”

The project has been supported by Cornwall Economic Development and the Downtown Cornwall Business Improvement Area (BIA).

Additional information

For additional information on the project, please visit:


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