Les Jardins de Métis | Reford Gardens Announces Temporary Summer Exhibitions


Grand-Métis (Québec) Canada, June 12, 2024 – The team from the Gardens are working with artists, curators, researchers and organizations to offer a range of exhibitions linked to the history of the gardens, the different owners of the estate, regional history, horticulture and the environment.

This year, the theme of territory links to each of the exhibitions. They deal with exploration, preservation and documenting the territory and those who call it home.

On June 16, join the artists and curators for the launch of the two new exhibitions presented at Estevan Lodge until October 6, 2024.

Anna Lois Harrington (1851-1917), watercolourist
Ewa Monika Zebrowski, photographer and poet

Anna Lois Dawson Harrington is at the heart of an exhibition of watercolours and photographs on view at Les Jardins de Métis this summer. The moment is right to discover the story and personality of this exceptional woman who painted the surrounding landscapes for more than forty years. Resident of Montreal, she lived in this magnificent region during the summer season with her parents and family who left their mark on Metis.

The photographs of Ewa Monika Zebrowski are inspired by the same places that Anna Lois frequented. They amplify the intemporal aspect of the watercolours. From this encounter emerges an affinity with the atmosphere and with nature. The light of the seashore, in the delicately coloured brushstrokes of Anna Lois, combine with the fog of the seashore captured by Ewa Monika Zebrowski. The light and the fog: two elements that pay homage to the meditative beauty of the landscapes of Metis.

This exhibition has been created by Les Jardins de Métis in collaboration with the McCord Stewart Museum.

Ewa Monika Zebrowski

Ewa Monika Zebrowski is a Montreal-based photographer and a poet. Her photographs and artist’s books touch on themes of displacement and memory, place and time, traces. She creates visual narratives often inspired by art and literature, sometimes collaborating with writers and poets, sometimes including her own poems or text.

She worked in the film industry for seventeen years before obtaining a BFA in Fine Arts and an MA in Visual Arts, having previously completed a degree in English Literature. She speaks Polish, English, French and Italian.

Zebrowski has had thirty-six solo exhibitions and produced twenty-five artist’s books. Her work can be found in many museum and institutional collections in Canada, United States, United Kingdom, Italy, Denmark and Australia including MoMA, the Getty Research Institute, the Menil Collection, the Museum of Fine Arts Houston, Columbia University, Yale University, Stanford University among others. Since 2012, the celebrated artist Cy Twombly has been a main inspiration for her work. In 2023 she published I NEVER KNEW CY TWOBLY, Bassano in Teverina with Nearest Truth Editions.

Studiolo. Vues sur les collections

From June 16 to October 6, 2024, Les Jardins de Métis/Reford Gardens will be presenting Studiolo. Looking at our Collections, a new temporary exhibition in Estevan Lodge. The exhibition highlights progress of the project to digitize its historical and horticultural collections.

This project requires us to identify, document and photograph every object and every plant. It is a unique opportunity to handle and observe the many documents and objects that have belonged to the people who made this site what it is today. Les Jardins de Métis have been engaged in this vast project for almost two years. This process, which involves identifying, documenting and photographing everything in the collections, has led to a number of discoveries: the label of a now-forgotten shopkeeper, the unusual use of a natural material in the manufacture of an object, or a comment written in the margin of a book. It is a privileged moment to be able to handle and observe on a daily basis the heritage of those who helped make this site what it is today.

Preservation and transmission are at the heart of what the staff at the Jardins de Métis do day in, day out. recognize that these objects have a role to play: that of generating questions to better understand how the present fits into the history of the site in order to build its future. The information they have about them influences the way they understand them, the way they present them and the way they want us to look at them.

As Alexander Reford, Director of Les Jardins de Métis, points out: "Our collections are remarkable in their great diversity. Witnesses of the great curiosity of Elsie Reford, her husband and other family members, the archives and artefacts are also a mirror of the times in which these people worked and played. A document or object takes on its full meaning only when we explore its history, provenance and maker as well as its pathway to the display cabinet or storage shelf where it finds itself today."

The exhibition Studiolo. Looking at our Collections will present, in the form of a cabinet of curiosities, some of the 2,500 artifacts in the collection, as well as a number of archival documents selected from the 2.75 linear meters of documents and 14,800 photos. Artist and craftsman Mathieu Penarroya complements the archivist’s view of the artifacts; he brings a more playful perspective, demonstrating that collections can also inspire creation, as long as the poetic is brought out of the historical, the eternal out of the transitory.

Mathieu Penarroya

Mathieu Penarroya is a painter, artisan and member of the Conseil des Métiers d'Arts du Québec. He graduated from the Université du Québec à Montréal in 2007. His practice combines his passions for art and heritage, combining contemporary figurative works with traditional know-how. He travels the globe with numerous sketchbooks in his pocket, transposing the sketches he makes during his travels into works of art on his return. His work features an interpolation that introduces the exoticism of the new horizons he discovers into the realism of his everyday life, and vice versa. A poetic crossbreeding that weaves together a deep desire for memory and an inspiring look to the future. A kind of artistic-historical-ethnological cultural and identity enhancement, revealing a fabulous imagination that expands and shapes his understanding of the world.

About Les Jardins de Métis / Reford Gardens

A National Historic Site of Canada and a Quebec heritage site, Les Jardins de Métis / Reford Gardens is a must-see stop for anyone visiting the Gaspé and the Lower St. Lawrence. A cultural space and tourist destination for 60 years, the gardens are an iconic landscape that offers visitors experiences for all of the senses and opportunities to connect to nature. Located at the confluence of the St. Lawrence and Mitis rivers, they were designed by the adventurous horticulturist Elsie Reford from 1926 to 1958 and are recognized as one of the top gardens of America and rank among the great gardens of the world. Close to 60,000 people visited the Gardens in 2023. Hydro-Québec has been the lead sponsor of Les Jardins de Métis / Reford Gardens since 1999.

Les Jardins de Métis / Reford Gardens is open daily from 8:30 a.m. from Saturday, June 1 until Sunday, October 6. Admission is free for children aged 13 and under. Les Jardins de Métis takes part in the Ministère de la Culture et des Communications' program of free admission to museums for Quebec residents on the first Sunday of the month.

Visit for full program details.


Marjelaine Sylvestre
Director of Museum Department
Les Jardins de Métis | Reford Gardens
418 775-2222, ext. 226

Philippe Denis Ph.D.
Museologist and Education and Mediation Coordinator
Les Jardins de Métis | Reford Gardens
418 775-2222, ext. 227


Contact information :
Les Jardins de Métis / Reford Gardens
200, route 132
Grand-Métis (Québec), G0J 1Z0