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Originally Published On:

August 1, 2017

Originally Published By:

Haliburton Echo


Written By:

Angus Sullivan

Work created by Jake Mol in 2004.

As a local resident, it is easy to forget about the number of interesting places there are to explore in Haliburton County. When you enter Glebe Park, from the parking lot of the Haliburton School of Art + Design, you quickly realize that this is one of those places. On any day of the summer you will see people bustling in and out of the College with tools, art supplies and work in progress; there will be families gathered at the information kiosk looking at the maps of the park and Sculpture Forest. As you walk into the park you will see dog-walkers, joggers, and multi-generational groups exploring the Haliburton Highlands Museum’s 1870’s era farmstead and heading on the path toward the entrance of the Haliburton Sculpture Forest.

The first sculpture you will see is “The Homesteaders.” A whimsical portrayal of a family (mother, father, son, and dog) created out of old telephone poles and an eclectic mix of tools, hardware and farm equipment. The mother and father are “holding” paintings of the farmstead. You have to wonder what this family is doing there. For that, you have to look into the mind of the sculptor, Jake Mol.

Jake Mol, a long-time member of the Canadian Society of Painters in Watercolour, has his art in many collections around the world such as his charcoal portrait of Chief Joseph at the Crazy Horse Museum of South Dakota. For many years, Jake Mol was an instructor at the College and took his en plein air (outdoor painting) students to paint the historic farmstead. As the Sculpture Forest began to grow, Jake wanted to do something to connect it to the farmstead. This led to the creation of “The Homesteaders”. The family, representing the people who might have lived in the farmstead, are made out of materials they would have used to make a life for themselves in the tough Haliburton landscape. They proudly hold up portraits (painted by Jake) of their home. It makes one pause to think about what objects would be used to portray today’s residents of Haliburton.

The Haliburton Sculpture Forest is located in Glebe Park on 297 College Drive. This unique collection of 36 sculptures by Canadian and international artists is open to the public, dawn to dusk, for your own discovery. Free guided tours occur on Tuesdays (10:00-11:00) and Wednesdays (12:10-12:50) in July and August. You can use the sculpture forest app (download PocketSights and search for Haliburton) or visit the website to learn more about the sculptures.

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