About ZimArt

Fran FearnleyFran Fearnley
Fran Fearnley is the owner of ZimArt and the Rice Lake Gallery, which first opened in 2000. An avid art collector and former journalist, Fran spent two years volunteering in South Africa, and was first introduced to Shona sculpture in 1998 when representing the University of Kwa-Zulu Natal at the Zimbabwe International Book Fair in Harare.

Following her return from South Africa, Fran founded ZimArt and opened the Rice Lake Gallery on her five-acre property overlooking Rice Lake. The Gallery was originally only open for the annual Rice Lake exhibition. Over the years it has evolved into a seasonal art destination which has attracted thousands of visitors from far and near.

Fran travels to Zimbabwe to buy the work directly from the artists. She promotes the artists ZimArt represents, sells their work and curates exhibitions of Zimbabwean stone sculpture in public and private spaces.

Since 2003 ZimArt has helped raise funds to support vulnerable children in Zimbabwe. In 2013 these efforts were formalized through the registration of ZimKids Community Support, an Ontario registered not-for-profit.

In 2007 Fran was awarded a Fellowship in Applied Education by the Board of Governors of Sir Sandford Fleming College, “for significant achievement and contribution to the community though practical application of knowledge and talents.” In 2010 the Peterborough chapter of Rotary Club awarded her a Paul Harris Fellowship. In 2013 the Rice Lake Gallery received a Leadership in Culture and the Arts Award from the County of Peterborough.

ZimArt contracts the services of a number of very talented individuals:
Fine art photographer, Paul Hodgkinson, has been capturing the beauty of Zimbabwean sculpture in his great images since 2006. Paul also provides sculpture restoration services to ZimArt.
Anne Hoover Design and Communications  (  has been providing dynamic graphic design and visual communication services to ZimArt since 2003.

ZimArt’s website is created by Isabel Stukator ( who wears a number of hats, including teaching in the Visual and Creative Arts and the Craft and Design programs at Sheridan College.

Each year an artist from Zimbabwe travels to Canada for the summer season as the artist-in-residence, leading sculpting workshops at the gallery and acting as a cultural ambassador.

Reflections by Ishmael Chitayo