Benson’s picnic tables get a new finish thanks to Dept. of Illumination

Picton artist Nella Casson applies paint to a picnic table at Benson Park Monday. Casson is one eight local artists involved in a Picton BIA supported initiative to enhance the park’s picnic tables. (Jason Parks/Gazette Staff)



The Department of Illumination is bringing colour to Picton’s Benson Park with their latest creative project.

Members of the not-for-profit arts organization have been meeting regularly in the park throughout the pandemic for their weekly Art Kitchen meet-up and noticed the picnic tables weren’t looking their best. They proposed to Picton BIA and County staff a project to commission local artists to paint the tables. Their proposal was approved, and the Picton Picnic Club was born. After a call for submissions, the group selected eight artists to create original designs to brighten up the picnic tables. The artists selected are: Nella Casson, Richard Gaudreau (Endstart), Constance Intounas (Browz), Andreas Krätschmer, Angela Lavender, Tara Michaluk, Rachel Morris and Rhonda Nolan.

“We’re really excited to dress up the picnic tables,” Department head Krista Dalby told the Gazette Monday. “This beautiful park in the middle of downtown is important to so many visitors and locals. To be able to exhibit art into this beautiful green space is an awesome opportunity for these artists.”

Designs range from abstract to representational, and, as a collection, are sure to add some vibrancy to Benson Park.

“Before the painting even started, we received a lot of enthusiastic feedback from the community,” added Dalby. “Most of our work takes place in public space, but this project is something a little more permanent than what we usually do. We’re grateful for the support of the BIA which has allowed us to employ eight local artists.”

The initiative culminates in the Picton Picnic Club Picnic that will take place on Saturday Aug. 21 from 12 to 2 p.m. featuring music by Benni Vander. All are welcome! Bring your own picnic blankets and lunch, take a tour of the tables and meet the artists, all while maintaining safe physical distancing practices.