Meed Barnett — Feral Art and Fabulous Jewellery - theHumm November 2021

Meed Barnett — Feral Art and Fabulous Jewellery - theHumm November 2021

By Sally Hansen

Art… and Soul

Meed Barnett’s diminutive stature is very deceptive. This recent addition to Almonte’s art scene lives up to her favourite descriptor of herself and her art — feral. She is fierce and refuses to be domesticated in any of the conventional senses of the word. As an artist she refuses to be confined to any one style, medium or philosophy. Our interview begins with her declaration that she would just as soon be referred to as “they”, but will let me use “she” if I prefer. As a creature of long habit it is easier for me to refer to an individual with a singular pronoun, even though Meed is anything but single. She is happily married to Bob Barnett for 40 years, and they have a grown child working in high tech in Los Angeles of whom they are very proud.

Meed was born in Greenwich Village and was a “Roaring Beatnik” throughout her high school years. Her personal history is a striking example of a timeworn adage: “When the going gets tough, the tough get going.” Before my attempt to condense her convoluted story onto one page, however, I want to commend and recommend her art. Barnett loves nature and she loves to create narrative art — art that tells a story. Many of her works in watercolour or coloured pencil evoke memories of her time spent growing up in Woodstock, NY, and her love of the Catskill Mountains. The area is an early and influential hotbed of arts, crafts and music in the eastern U.S.A. Barnett was particularly drawn to the Hudson River School of art. Her paintings reflect its influence, especially in her loving renditions of time spent roaming in the area of the Kaaterskill Clove, a distinctive feature or “cleft” in the mountains attracting tourists to this day. In addition to her celebrations of nature, another favourite subject is things reverting to nature such as ruins of old structures.

I’m pretty sure that the couple’s new home in downtown Almonte contains more paintings per square metre of wall space than any other house I have visited. About one third are treasured works by other artists, many to whom she is related. In addition, Meed has two studios: one for painting, and one for creating wearable art in the form of intricately beautiful jewellery she has hand-forged from copper, brass and sterling. The two necklaces she created to celebrate her wedding to Bob are exquisite. They are not for sale, but her treasure trove of necklaces, earrings and even belts could elevate your Christmas shopping to new heights.

Barnett’s bio provides an apt condensation of the highly entertaining account she shared with me of her life’s eclectic journey thus far. In her own words with a few minor edits: “Fourth-generation artist and craftsperson, I could hold brushes before I could hold a fork. Born in Greenwich Village, New York City, I was taken to Woodstock, NY, at age four, where I grew up surrounded by the art and influence of many fine painters who were working in the area at that time. The end of family life led to my many living arrangements in the Woodstock area, including an Episcopal convent and two European homes.

“My first art instruction came from my grandfather, Rudolf Wetterau, who worked out of New York City as an advertising artist and oil painter. At age 15, I won a summer scholarship to the Woodstock branch of the Art Students League of New York City (now the Woodstock School of Art), and later won all available high school graduation awards for art. I studied art at SUNY New Paltz, and years later at the University of Hawaii. I hand-finished large portrait photography at two Rochester, NY, studios for several years. With this and other jobs, I self-financed a BA (SUNY at Buffalo), and an MA (University of Hawaii).

“I was at times: a camp counselor, a welder, an English tutor, a full-time teacher, a retail administrator, a dishwasher, a portrait studio photofinisher, a dental assistant, a refugee resettlement worker, a singer, an art teacher, and of course an artist and illustrator. While in Honolulu I illustrated teaching materials for the State of Hawaii Public School System. After moving to Philadelphia, PA, I studied with Francis McCarthy at Fleischer Art Memorial.

“Marriage brought a move to southern New Jersey. I conducted a papier-mâché puppet theatre workshop with students at Atlantic County New School in 1990, culminating in a feature-length performance, and taught other art classes at the school. Over the years I have shown in many juried exhibitions, have had many one-person shows, and have won numerous awards, including several best-of-shows. I have judged in several important regional juried shows. For five years, I was the art teacher for grades K–8 at St. Nicholas Catholic School in Egg Harbor City. For eleven years, I maintained studios at the Riverfront Renaissance Center for the Arts in Millville, NJ, and in Galloway, NJ.”

Barnett credits her father’s father with setting her on the path to becoming an artist: “He was the biggest influence in my life.” Much of the upheaval in her past, after her mother’s disappearance from her life when Meed was only four years old, was the result of friction with the older women in her life. She was not “girly” enough to suit them, not interested in clothes and makeup, and thus “queer” in their eyes. She remains securely non-gender conforming, pleased that her father liked sewing, and comfortable that she loves cooking. She credits summers spent at a YWCA camp as her best experiences growing up. There were also three high school teachers who supported her belief in her own worth and talent. Meed was taught to play chess by Bobby Fischer, whom she remembers with deserved disaffection.

Meed Barnett is an extraordinary and extremely interesting person, an accomplished artist and jeweller, and, luckily for theHumm’s readership, happy to invite you into her home by appointment to share her story and her arts. Her coordinates appear on the back of her Artist Trading Card where I photographed her next to her collage painting of her mother.WHO Meed Barnett

Artist Trading Card


Meed Barnett — Feral Art and Fabulous Jewellery - theHumm November 2021

By Sally Hansen

Art… and Soul

Meed Barnett’s diminutive stature is very deceptive. This recent addition to Almonte’s art scene lives up to her favourite descriptor of herself and her art — feral. She is fierce and refuses to be domesticated in any of the conventional senses of the word. As an artist she refuses to be confined to any one style, medium or philosophy. Our interview begins with her declaration that she would just as soon be referred to as “they”, but will let me use “she” ......


Itty Bitty Arts and Crafts Sale - theHumm November 2021

Just as the stunning golds and reds return to the trees alongside the Mississippi River each autumn, this time each year also brings back Arts Carleton Place’s successful annual art exhibition to the Canoe Club. On November 6 and 7, the Itty Bitty Arts and Crafts Sale will open from 10:30am to 4:30pm for visitors and lovers of original creations to once again be immersed into the creativity, culture and craft that shines in our community.

The Itty Bitty Arts and Crafts Sa......


Studio Theatre Returns with Educating Rita - theHumm November 2021

Funny, intelligent and surprisingly timely, Educating Rita by Willy Russell is Studio Theatre Perth’s perfect return to live theatre. Starving theatre-lovers are invited to take their seats for this two-handed dramedy exploring freedom and connection, which opens on November 18.

“It’s one of my favourite plays. I was the one who brought the play forward for production,” explains Jane Stott, Studio Theatre Perth’s artistic director and the play’s director. “I love a two-han......


Showing the Local Love for the Holidays! - theHumm November 2021

By Kris and Rob Riendeau

Here at theHumm we’re big on local economies. The retail and service businesses in the small towns that we cover play a huge role in the cultural life of those towns. Each store, restaurant, or small enterprise attracts and serves a particular clientele — some inside the community, some from outside. Some businesses host their own special events; others join together with local festivals to make the whole experience more vibrant. Many provide support in cash or in kind to local initiatives. All of them add their own particular flavour to the delicious mix that is small-town Ottawa Valley.......


Norm Foster Fun in November
Community Theatre is LIVE Again in Smiths Falls!
- theHumm November 2021

By Smiths Falls Community Theatre

Like many other theatre groups in and around the area, The Station Theatre in Smiths Falls will be opening once again for theatre lovers who have been waiting a long time to be entertained, as well as the actors and directors who are ready to entertain the masses — safely and carefully!

We had great success putting together our virtual Norm Foster play Here on the Flightpath earlier this year — we definitely wanted the audience to know that we were thinking of them. But after a summer tria......


Rural Root Goes Fishing with Kooshog Lake - theHumm November 2021

Over at the Northwind Wireless Fibe Centre in Constance Bay, Rural Root Theatre Company is having a blast rehearsing for The Great Kooshog Lake Hollis McCauley Fishing Derby by Norm Foster, directed by Helen and Martin Weeden. Performances will take place on November 7 at 2pm, and from November 9 to 13 at 7:30pm.

The cast includes Ian Glen playing Kirk, Arya Landers as Melanie, Judy Bastable as Ronda, Melanie Matheson as Sienna, and Tyler Watt, a newcomer to Rural R......


Sketchy Santa — Holiday Shorts
Humm Team Productions Presents Hilarious Sketches for Adults
- theHumm November 2021

Two years ago, Rob and Kris Riendeau (aka Humm Team Productions) presented their show Who Stole Christmas from Mississippi Mills at the Almonte Old Town Hall. That musical parody sold out all five performances and was a ton of fun for all involved. This December they are back with their new undertaking, Sketchy Santa. Rob Riendeau of theHumm caught up with head writer of Humm Team Productions, Rob Riendeau, to get the inside scoop on the new show.

theHumm: So, what’s the insi......


7th Anniversary Showat Sivarulrasa Gallery   - theHumm November 2021

From November 10 to December 30, Sivarulrasa Gallery is pleased to present their 7th Anniversary Show, as they celebrate seven years of operations in beautiful Almonte, Ontario. Gallery owner Sanjeev Sivarulrasa says, “We are thrilled to curate and install our biggest show of the year, featuring sculpture, paintings, drawings and mixed media works from artists based in Almonte as well as across the country.” The exhibition can be seen in-person during regular Gallery ......


Holiday Stocking Drive - theHumm November 2021

The Lanark County Food Bank 2021 Christmas Stocking Drive is gearing up, and organizer extraordinaire Sandy Schappert is asking the community to help make this 13th annual event merrier than ever.

Sandy is the spirit behind these Christmas Stockings filled with toiletries. Acting upon a remark her late husband Hank Schappert once made while volunteering at the Food Bank, she has sought to fill the need for toiletries for adults for more than a decade, and each year the community responds. For many a......


Carleton Place Winter Wonderland Festival - theHumm November 2021

The Town of Carleton Place is pleased to share details of the first annual Carleton Place Winter Wonderland Festival, taking place from December 10–12.

The Winter Wonderland Festival will be located at Carleton Junction, 42 Moore Street. The weekend will consist of a variety of outdoor winter activities, live entertainment, music, food vendors and more. Fabulous Canadian children’s entertainers Splash’N Boots are the festival headliners, with shows on Saturday, December 11 at 2p......


MERA Christmas!
Find a Handcrafted Treasure at the Christmas Fair
- theHumm November 2021

MERA’s annual Christmas Fair returns this year to the Schoolhouse at 974 Dalhousie Concession 9A in McDonalds Corners on Saturday, November 20 from 9am to 3pm. MERA (McDonalds Corners & Elphin Recreation & Arts) is a space in Lanark Highlands committed to connecting community members through the arts. All Covid protocols will be in place. Patrons can socialize and warm up by the outdoor bonfire with a cup of hot cider.

Nestled in the heart of McDonalds Corners, the MERA Schoolhouse is......


Stuart McLean and the Power of Story - theHumm November 2021

By Heather Phaneuf

It’s safe to say that, for those of us who live in Mississippi Mills, this storied place has many charms. If not from here, you might have noticed it yourself. One is Mill Street in Almonte, which a few years ago caught the eyes of Canadian radio icon Stuart McLean (1948-2017) of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC). Stuart, best known for the humour and affection played out in The Vinyl Café, worked the magic of stories into our lives, and fell in love with meandering Mill Street.



Think Local Lanark - theHumm November 2021

For many the month of November means the launch of one of the most exciting (and expensive) times of the year: holiday shopping season. This is the time when people begin thinking about Christmas gifts and what to buy for friends and loved ones.

This year marks the second Christmas since the Covid-19 pandemic struck in early 2020, and in some ways it’s the most important for small businesses. After a year-and-a-half of lockdowns, complete closures, loss of staff, and the vaccine passport, sma......


Experience the Magic of the Holiday Season in Perth! - theHumm November 2021

Perth Tourism invites you to explore all that the town has to offer this holiday season. Enjoy a weekend in Perth and take some time for yourself to unwind and indulge. With numerous events planned throughout November and December, the holiday spirit will be sure to surround you while you stroll the streets and explore the beautiful old-world charm of the town.

Bursting with carefully curated boutiques and shops, you’ll easily be able to find gifts for everyone on your holiday shopping list — an......


Call for Artists
Art Works! Perth 4th Annual Show
- theHumm November 2021

Art Works! Perth is cordially inviting local fine art makers and artisans of all media — potters, printmakers, photographers, painters, mixed media and all others — to apply for their fourth annual juried art tour. Dates will be June 24–26, 2022, from 11am–5pm daily. Those who wish to exhibit in their own homes, studios and galleries are especially welcome. Space in downtown Perth establishments is available but very limited.

Application forms can be downloaded from the Art Works! Perth website . Questions can be......


Pop Up Art Sale atThe Hub’s Rebound Store - theHumm November 2021

Artists and volunteers will be collaborating on a one-day “pop up” Holiday Art Sale of reimagined vintage textiles and prints on Sunday, November 21 from 10am to 5pm at the Hub’s Rebound store, located at 79 Bridge Street in Almonte. 100% of the proceeds from this sale will go to support local charities.

The Rebound receives donations of hundreds of frames, many of which would end up in landfill. A creative team of artists and volunteers artfully stacked multiple frames to create unique hous......


Young Artist at MERA - theHumm November 2021

On Sunday, November 7, a vernissage will be held from 2–4pm for MERA’s November exhibiting artist. This show features the work of young local artist Fiona Szabo.

Fiona began to paint at age 5. Now, at 11 years, Fiona has entered and won art competitions in Canada and the US. Her work is primarily acrylic on canvas and meticulously executed drawings. She draws her inspiration from her family, the natural and manmade world around her, and anything that piques her curiosity.

Fiona’s majo......


Harvest Market Time - theHumm November 2021

If you’re missing your weekly jaunt to the Almonte Farmers’ Market, you certainly won’t want to miss their indoor Harvest Market on Saturday, November 13. From 9am to 1pm they will be filling the upper hall at the Almonte Arena with fresh veggies, baking, preserves, organic pork, grassfed beef, honey, maple syrup, wine, herbal remedies and body products. In addition, you’ll find all sorts of gift ideas for early holiday shopping!

Masks will be mandatory and people will have to sign in for contact tracing, but proof of vaccination will not required as they are an essential service.



Got a Climate Crisis? Get an Action Plan! - theHumm November 2021

By Chandler Swain

Since September of 2020, Climate Network Lanark (CNL) has written monthly in this column about their ongoing work to find local solutions and promote action on Climate Change. Now this work is being focused toward advising Lanark County Council on making an effective Climate Action Plan. CNL has come up with recommendations that are do-able, are relevant to our way of life, and will improve things for our kids’ futures.

The good news is that it’s well proven that greening the economy can make/keep our lives prosperous, provide lots of interesting, sustainable work, and keep things bea......


New in Perth –Spark Books & Curios - theHumm November 2021

There’s an exciting development in the downtown Perth retail sector. The Bookworm, Perth’s beloved used bookstore, is undergoing some significant changes as new proprietors Peter Dixon, Heidi Stepanek and Skye Dixon Stepanek take on the challenge of respecting this thirty-year Perth landmark, while also infusing it with some fresh energy and new ideas.

Since taking ownership, Heidi, Peter and Skye have been busy doing some reorganizing of the store, restocking the previously-read bookshe......


Guatemala Stove Project Fundraiser - theHumm November 2021

From November 5–15, you can help support the work of the Guatemala Stove Project by participating in an online auction of amazing items. Choose from Guatemalan handicrafts, pottery, gift baskets, paintings and jewellery, restaurant and business vouchers, and much more by visiting . Proceeds will support the building of chimney-vented cooking stoves for Maya families. These stoves not only reduce the ......


Online Auction for REAL Environmental Group - theHumm November 2021

For ten years, the Rideau Environmental Action League (REAL) held a popular local foods dinner in Smiths Falls that included a silent auction component. While the fall feast is not feasible in these Covid times, REAL is hoping to recoup some of the monies usually raised with an online option. Last year’s online auction raised over $2,100 and attracted sponsorships from many of REAL’s loyal supporters, adding $1,000 to the total.

Currently over 80 items are posted, including collectibles, art, yard and garden, housewares, appliances and a few Christmas items. Many are gently used ......


Community Builders Craft Fair at Union Hall - theHumm November 2021

By Linda Camponi

On Saturday, November 6, Union Hall will be hosting a “Community Builders” craft fair. In addition to raising funds for the Hall’s ongoing renovations, we have invited other charities and non-profits to join us at the event to raise awareness and much-needed cash for their enterprises.

The Union Hall Community Centre, a registered charity, was erected in 1857 and continues to be the hub of the community which bears its name. Funded mainly through rentals, donations and fundraising, with financia......


Perth Farmers’ Christmas Market - theHumm November 2021

The Perth Farmers’ Market returns for a Christmas-oriented edition on Sunday, November 21 from 10am to 3pm at the Crystal Palace in downtown Perth. This market brings a diversity of vendors and items including returning market vendors as well as new local artisans and crafters just for this event.

This market is unique in that it combines so many different items in one place. There will be growers with some of their home grown produce, food vendors with edible treats, artisa......


Playing for Keeps in Pakenham - theHumm November 2021

By John Pigeau

When Emily Prospero opened her eco-conscious coffee shop in Pakenham in late September, her focus was razor-sharp: to create a sustainable approach to the coffee shop model, providing unmatched goods and service while maintaining as low a carbon footprint as possible. 

Refreshingly, enthusiastically, she is doing just that. 

But Keepers Coffee Bar is much more than your average coffee shop. “Our name represents my philosophy in life, and so in business,” Prosp......


The Gifts of Christmas Cheer - theHumm November 2021

By Sarah Kerr

I don’t know what’s wrong with me this year — whether it’s the anxious whispers of inflation or supply shortages or just the general scarcity mentality that has permeated the pandemic — but I’m catching myself worrying about having enough for Christmas. Something in my gut wants to buy stuff, as if having enough toys and gifts will fill me up with joy and love and wonder and peace. But even the Grinch has taught me that “Christmas doesn’t come from a store... Christmas means a little bit more”. ......


Affordable Housing is for the Birds - theHumm November 2021

By Glenda Jones and Barbara Carroll

Back by popular demand, we are starting to organize the second online birdhouse auction!

Remember the Birdhouse Blowout online auction this past April — the stunning birdhouse creations, the fun of following the auction online through the tail-end of winter, the thrill of owning your own birdhouse? At the time, we believed it was a one-off event to get us all through Covid. Post-auction we were inundated by birdhouse makers, auction participants, and those who just rode al......


The Blakeney Project: A First Year Report - theHumm November 2021

By David Hinks

Many in our community became aware of The Blakeney Project of the Lanark County Food Bank (branded as The Hunger Stop) by walking, cycling or driving past our two-acre field that fronts on Blakeney Road on the east side of Blakeney. The field is now mainly brown as fall clean-up is largely complete; however, through the growing season there were large areas of verdant squash, 34 rows of potatoes lined up in military precision, a central circle with corn and flowers reaching to the sky, large a......


Still Curious — and Kind! - theHumm November 2021

By Kris Riendeau

Danielle K Grégoire is a person on a mission. And although their “Curious and Kind” dream may have been altered by the recent pandemic, they remain undaunted and are rising, phoenix-like, from the restrictions with plans for a new physical location and regular showcases at the Almonte Old Town Hall.

Curious and Kind (C&K) made a brief but memorable début in Almonte a few months before Covid kicked the butts of local performers and venues. Part performance space and part social ent......


Virtual “At Home” Gala for AGH FVM - theHumm November 2021

You are invited to an evening gala… at home! The past two years have presented many challenges, so the Almonte General Hospital Fairview Manor (AGH FVM) Foundation has turned them into exciting opportunities that will continue to support patient and resident care at the hospital and manor.

The Board and staff of the Foundation are excited to present their second Evening at Home Gala — a fundraiser that features sumptuous food prepared by Almonte’s Bouffage Kitchen, on Saturday, November 20 beginni......


Remembrance Display at Levi’s
- theHumm November 2021

Tom and Michelle Levi, along with their staff, invite everyone to come to Levi Home Hardware in Almonte to see their annual Remembrance Day Display. For the past twelve years, Bill and Stella Law......


Kanata Civic Art Gallery Reopens!
- theHumm November 2021

The Kanata Civic Art Gallery is very pleased to announce that they are re-opening! On Thursday, November 4 the Gallery re-opens to the public, with Covid protocols in place. Artists are anxious t......


Helping Locally at the Holidays
- theHumm November 2021

Looking to help out locals in need at this giving time of year? St. James Anglican Church in Franktown is providing two ways for you to donate. From November 7 to December 1 they a......