It is almost always exhilarating to see new exhibits at the St. Thomas Elgin Public Art Centre – when they are of paintings, the walls are, for the first-time visitor, suddenly filled with works which engage through brushstroke and colour. Seeking response, David Morris’s exhibit of metal sculptures is similarly striking, exciting in this case, through dimension, form, texture, and detail.
By David J. Ferguson
Whether you can recall, remember or even existed ‘Back in ‘59’ does not really matter. Resistance is futile – you cannot ignore the music that was at the birthplace of rock n’ roll. Harmonies by the Everly Brothers, love songs with girl and boy names, tunes about relationships, love that will never be, losing your true love or even downright silly songs that lasted an average of two minutes, still are, the cornerstone of music today.
“Back in ‘59” at the Port Stanley Festival Theatre, is deliciously directed by Thom Currie as he serves up a stellar cast with a believable storyline filled with a steady diet of sing-along music. The four part cast is made up of Miranda MacDonald as Crystal, Anna Hurshman as Leanne, Clayton Labbe as Charlie and Glen Mills as Dave.
Jennifer Dorner’s exhibit “Outer Space Living is Easy” opened at the St. Thomas Elgin Public Art Centre this past Saturday. Each of the large scale works draws the viewer into limitless space, to wonder about the spectacular animal floats, to be drawn even further again into the serene idyllic little green spaces within the floats, and finally to reflect on the details to be found in each.
Jennifer was on hand for the opening, with family, including her children and husband. The works make an impressive show in the main gallery, and all seemed delighted to see them together. Jennifer noted that the concept for the work had come to her at a time when she had discovered a new passion for gardening.
In the exhibit description she says, “I became interested in extracting activities and spaces related to leisure, life, and notions of beauty from the world that surrounds me. I was also interested in the innate uncanny found in cultural traditions related to the “spectacle”. In parades, flowers and animals become icons for beauty, ornamented with sparkly flags, glittering lights and streamers. In this series, the paintings depict outer-space-parade-floats with greenhouses…What would civilization look like if it did expand outward while maintaining current social-political systems and values?”
On the way to reflecting on that question, it’s fun to let the imagination take a flight into the easy living outer space Jennifer has so skillfully depicted.
Jennifer was born in Victoria, British Columbia in 1974. She received her BFA from the University of Ottawa, and MFA from University of Western Ontario. She is based now in Montreal and pursuing a multi-disciplinary artistic career. She has taught at the University of Western Ontario, Dundas Valley School of Art and is the recipient of several grants and awards.
“Outer Space Living is Easy” continues until July 14, 2012 in the Main Gallery, STEPAC, 301 Talbot St, St. Thomas.
The Art Emporium Boathouse Gallery & Gift Boutique opened their doors in March but awaited the verge of Port Stanley’s busy season for their Official Gala Opening weekend.
A particularly fine Port Stanley evening Friday (May 4) set the tone for the opening weekend, with artists and members of the public packing the Boathouse to help celebrate the town’s newest art display space.
The expansive, bright gallery is operated by a partnership of five local artists – Robin Baratta, Sandra England, Rose Klein, June-Anne Reid and Robert Reid. They have also attracted more than 30 member artists from the region, who join them in displaying a wide range of work in diverse styles and media.
The art is nicely spaced throughout the gallery with short bio’s hung nearby. The quality and diversity of work make this a Port spot which will attract tourists and locals alike to stop in and return often.
The gallery is located at 177 Main Street in Port Stanley. Check http://www.artemporium.ca/ or call 226-658-1888 for more information and hours.
Patrick Thibert and Patrick Landsley shared insights about their careers and artistic inspirations during St. Thomas Public Arts Centre’s second Artist 2 Artist presentation on Sunday (April 15). STEPAC director, Laura Woermke, moderated the afternoon’s thought-provoking conversation.
While Thibert is a sculptor and Landsley a painter, the two men have developed a long-standing friendship and benefitted from an on-going exchange of ideas related to art. They exhibited together at STEPAC in 2006/2007 and in the show publication, David Bobier noted:
“Their professional commitments as influential teachers and distinguished practicing artists are exemplary. As teachers their ‘voices’ have contributed to the artistic careers of countless emerging arts practitioners across the country. As artists their work continues to challenge contemporary art theory and practice through a Modernist stance. Their work demands admiration for its exquisite, technical force and for providing the viewer with a combined experience of both the mythological and the real; the depiction of familiar iconicity with deep metaphorical meaning and a confident directness and simplicity of statement.”
The Art Emporium in Port Stanley is open, and although the Grand Opening isn’t until May 4th, it’s already looking quite grand – bright, expansive and filled with a wonderful selection of fine art.
Several area artists have taken on the challenge of expressing themselves in a small space, for the 16th annual edition of the Portside Gallery’s Miniature Show. Works from the forty one participants demonstrate that a mini work (less than 16 square inches) can possess all the detail, depth, whimsy or majesty that can be portrayed in a larger work. Many of the artists were on hand this past Sunday afternoon (February 5th) at the opening of the February show.
Identity Transfer opened at the St. Thomas Elgin Public this past Saturday (January 14, 2012), revealing a collage of interesting ways in which the select group of artists has chosen to portray themselves.
The works ranged from depiction of the artist’s steadfast gaze into a mirror, to works capturing distinct meaningful snapshots in time, life roles, passions or personal philosophies.