Have a Fab Day

The Fab Tray Project

Located in the alleyway next to 50 Dunlop Street East

Designed and handcrafted in Barrie in the 1960s and 70s, Fab Trays were made by Hardy Glenwood Products, using designer fabrics sealed in a clear polyester composition and were carried in major department stores throughout Canada and the United States. At the height of their popularity 1,000 trays were made each day.

Though production of the trays ended in the 70’s they remain popular for their fun and funky patterns and have become a sought-after item by vintage and thrift collectors. To honor this fabulous part of Barrie’s history, the Downtown Barrie BIA commissioned 16 local artists to paint aluminum circles using inspiration from the original trays.

Global News Barrie Today

Sarah Benoit

Sarah Benoit

Foliage Fads - acrylic on aluminum, 2023

“Fads are popular for a short time, sweeping people into a short-lived enthusiasm. Fab Trays followed this pattern and were wildly popular for a few years before fading to become a niche collectible. This trend occurred before my time, so I decided to relate the Fab Tray to a more current fad.

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During the pandemic the popularity and prices of tropical houseplants soared. I brought some of the popular plants during this time to my disc; Monstera, Calathea, Begonia Maculata, and Philodendron Glorisoum.”

Robin Luoma

PopFab - acrylic with silkscreen on aluminum, with epoxy topcoat, 2023

Robin Luoma is a geometric abstract silkscreen artist. She’s a world traveller, based in Barrie.

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Meaghan Oldershaw

Meaghan Oldershaw

Tribute - acrylic on aluminum, 2023

“In this contribution I adapted a vintage cross stitch pattern as a tribute to my Grandmothers who were both avid gardeners and lovers of flowers and nature. The rose is for my Gramma Leona who lived Downtown for decades and tended to the gardens at Collier United Church for many more. The thistles are for my Gramma Peggy who was also an artist and had talents beyond compare.

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Painting this piece provided me with an opportunity to reflect on the positive influence that they both had in my life. It makes me happy that this tribute will lend some colour and personality to our Community just as they did.”

Jenn Guerin

Untitled - Photo transfer, acrylic paint, 2023

“It was interesting to take a concept that is so different from my own art ideas and have it translate into a style that I’m interested in but also meets the criteria of the public art call. I edited a photo of the original fab tray playing homage to the material. Deconstructing it into layers helped me understand the nostalgia behind these trays and the narrative they created in people’s memories.

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Not being familiar with them myself, I needed to do this in order to relate to the context. I photo transferred each square to create the whole image. Then I used a dremel to create lines reminiscent of printing plates into the metal. The lines became the
response to the image.”

Jenn Guerin works as an instructor for the Down Syndrome Association of Simcoe County. Jenn has always had a passion for the arts, particularly what the arts can do for a community. She graduated with her BFA and from there continued to work in Barrie as a practicing artist, an art instructor for the MacLaren Art Centre and in a variety of art collectives that created site-specific public art installations. She was a co-founder of Art in House where she won awards for her contribution to the Barrie arts community. As co-founder she had the opportunity to work with a number of emerging artists, facilitate community workshops and curate exhibitions. Currently, Jenn is focusing on her art practice, where she uses photography for the catalyst of mixed media work, printmaking and video art.

Petra Victoria

Mother of Creativity - acrylic on aluminum, 2023

“My design is inspired by the energy that I have felt living here in Barrie these past few years. I am amazed by the effort that goes into supporting people’s dreams and small businesses, whether it’s art, food, clothes, dogs!

All of these dreamers are creatives. So I aimed to depict the creativity that’s growing here as a woman on my fab tray, full of light and hope that is using the water from Lake Simcoe to water the flowering businesses that are at the heart of contributing to this city’s creative spirit.

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I just want it to make people feel hopeful and like their dreams matter and are achievable and they’re not alone. I used acrylic paints to achieve this vibrant effect and tried to incorporate colours and shapes that were present in popular ’60s and ’70s art pieces, while also staying true to my own personal style.”

Petra is a local acrylic painter and illustrator who specializes in creating vibrant, surreal scenes that represent our giant, messy, beautiful human emotions. Her goal is to reconnect her viewers with their innate feelings of kindness, hope and creativity through her brightly coloured worlds.

This project was brought to you by the Downtown Barrie BIA and generously supported by Pratt Homes through their Art Builds Communities partnership.

The Downtown Barrie BIA acknowledges that the Business Improvement Area is located on the traditional land of the Anishnaabeg people. The Anishnaabeg include the Odawa, Ojbwe and Pottawatomi nations, collectively known as the Three Fires Confederacy. The Downtown Barrie BIA is dedicated to honoring Indigenous history and culture and committed to moving forward in the spirit of reconciliation and respect with all First Nations, Métis and Inuit people.