Art in the Barn is an exhibition and sale that happens each spring just east of Humboldt at Dixon on the Ford Family Farm. Darlene Ford, an artist and patron, hosts the weekend event in an incredible restored historic barn loft. The gorgeous original wooden structure adds the perfect rustic ambience for the varied works crafted by local and provincial artists. 

During the weekend display on June 1 and 2, we talked with Darlene Ford about the setting. 

“The barn was built in 1917, and we spent 12 years restoring it. The inside is identical. Colin (Darlene’s spouse) pressure washed everything, and we put in a new loft floor.” 

The building was rescued from collapse with some engineering and structural help from Mike Labelle of Western Restoration who is well-known in the area for his work on the Humboldt Water Tower and Marysburg’s Assumption Church. The barn was righted, rebraced and reclad on the outside, creating a rock-solid structure for the magic that happens inside.  

The finishing touch was a balcony on the north side offering a spectacular view of the lush area just south of number 5 highway.  

Familiar area artists Mel Bolen, with his renowned pottery, and Karen Holden and her exquisite paintings, had their works on display. Jeff Stewart, potter from nearby Meacham, had his work available for viewing and sale. Paula Cooley from Saskatoon also had ceramic work on display. Weaving and other art styles were also part of the mix. 

One of the youngest artisans at the event was Landon Dobrohoczki of Middle Lake, who talked about his stunning wood artistry, which included cutting, serving and charcouterie boards. The crafting skill is part of Landon’s family history. 

“I’ve been woodworking all my life. My grandpa always had a woodworking shop in his garage, and that’s where I got into it.” 

Dobrohoczki tackles each project from the root up, so to speak. He reclaims wood, sometimes fallen, and mills it himself. For other more exotic woods, he purchases rough lumber and refines them into highly honed works of art.  

“For my serving trays, I stick to food safe woods like maple, birch, walnut, cherry. I use food safe tung oil and a beeswax finish.” 

The result is a matte to gloss finish that lets the qualities of the woods shine through. 

The Art in the Barn event was held on Saturday and Sunday, June 1 and 2. Many of the items remain on display year-round for viewing and shopping by appointment at the barn about 6 km west of Humboldt on Highway 5.