Northern Wilds Magazine
At age 11, Eden Kaukinen was the youngest artist to participate in last year’s TBay Drive-by Art Gallery. | SUBMITTED
Along the ShoreArts

Tbay Drive-by Art Gallery: A new way of viewing art

There’s a different kind of art gallery happening this summer in Thunder Bay. Celebrating its third season is the Tbay Drive-by Art Gallery, held the last two Saturdays in August—Aug. 19 and Aug. 26—at noon (rain dates are the following Sundays).

The concept of a drive-by art gallery involves artists setting up art galleries in their own yard, whether it be their back yard or garage—wherever the artwork is best protected from wind and sun. The tour is free to the public with locations posted on social media and available by email.

Credit for bringing the idea to Thunder Bay is the gallery organizer Manuela Wedow. Wedow was inspired after seeing an Instagram post by artist Janet Skates of Tulsa, Oklahoma, who had set up her artwork in her yard in spring 2020 when the covid pandemic had closed galleries. Wedow liked the idea and started organizing a drive-by gallery for Thunder Bay. The following year in July 2021, the first Tbay Drive-by Art Gallery was launched.

There are many talented artists in Thunder Bay, but not everyone has the opportunity to hold exhibits in traditional galleries. “Having galleries set up in residential yards is an amazing deal,” said Wedow. “No overhead, no commissions, no red tape, and no hauling artwork across town.”

The public can expect to see an eclectic mix of creations from painted artwork, drawings, and stained glass to sculptures, photography, and more. | SUBMITTED

Wedow noted that it can be intimidating for many artists to show their work, so “this idea helps to take the pressure off because the artist is in the comfort of their own yard.” To ease the pressure, artists can also team up in each other’s yard.

“The entire event is very much about artists supporting artists… artists know full well what if feels like to show your work for the first time,” said Wedow. “Art is art. There will be artists of all ages, and artists who are showing for the first time. Our youngest artist last summer was 11-years-old.” The group is open to all local artists and enthusiasts everywhere—anyone can join.

The public can expect to see an eclectic mix of creations from painted artwork, drawings and stained glass to sculptures, photography and more. The event is organic, laidback and loads of fun for everyone. Each drive-by gallery will be different, charming and unique with each artist designing their own gallery. Most of the displayed art will be available for purchase.

“There are no adjudications here. We are all creators,” explains Wedow. “All that is required is your love to create. All ages and all abilities are welcome to participate. This is the third year running. If you are just starting out as an artist, this is the right place for you to begin your art showing and selling journey. We’d love to have you join us.”

A full list of locations for TBay Drive-by Art Gallery will be posted on the Facebook Group Page, “Tbay Drive by Art Gallery.” A printable pdf is available by downloading “Thunder Bay Tours” on the City of Thunder Bay Tour App, or by emailing Wedow at:

This event is a celebration of art and is free for the public to attend. “We’re painting the town,” said Wedow.

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