Canadian Folk Art Outdoors

We have decorated our outdoor spaces with handmade artistic creations since the beginning of time. From early cave entrance paintings, to Viking era weather-vanes, to the humorous whirligigs in Canadian gardens, folk art has been a regular and widespread presence. The great flowering of garden folk art in Canada took place between approximately 1960 and 1990, and this exhibition contains pieces primarily from that period.

Unlike other forms of folk art, these outdoor pieces tend to be hearty, sometimes rough and certainly weathered. This is a burly, broad-shouldered art, whether it tells the direction of the wind or draws the wild birds out of the sky. It is also an unselfconscious art, intended and used for display outside the home, and often embodying a wink and a smile from its creator. The contemporary "faux" folk art of the 1990s maintains this humorous approach.

Cat - Photo: H. Foster Cat
Collins Eisenhauer
Union Square, Nova Scotia
CCFCS 77-387

Born in 1898, Collins Eisenhauer (Union Square, Nova Scotia) was one of Nova Scotia's most prolific - and wittiest - carvers. This garden cat gives no inkling of her intentions as she observes the birds at the pond.


This Other Eden
Canadian Folk Art Outdoors


The Front Lawn | The Barnyard | The Porch | Rooftops | Woods | The Pond | The Venus Corner | Fantasy | O Canada | Fence Posts | The Private Backyard Garden | Contemporary "Faux" Folk Art