My blog has been in hibernation since December. The spring weather has finally arrived, people are dropping into the gallery more often and it’s time to begin talking about art and artists once again. With one exhibition in its final week, another soon to be installed for the spring gallery hop in two weeks and many of our gallery artists busy with projects here and away, there is much to talk about.
EARLY MORNING WALKS WITH CHRIS AND HIS DOG
Our current exhibition, featuring Chris Down has been very well received. Chris is a remarkable painter who is not yet well known within the province. The quality of his work assures me that this relative anonymity will dispel rather quickly.
This series of paintings is the culmination of three years work, paintings based upon early morning walks by the artist with his dog. On these walks things are noticed, sometimes photographed, sometimes simply noted mentally. These photographic images and these memories then become the raw material for painting as the artist attempts to probe the relationship between his subjective experience and the material reality within the natural world.
reeds, oil, wax & alkyd resin on canvas, 60″ x 45″
shore, watercolour& ink on paper, 19.75″ x 26.5″
These compelling paintings are the result of an artistic process that seeks to discover various layers of meaning that exist between the external world and the artist’s perception of it.
He says, “When I follow my dog along a path, guided by her extraordinary hearing and smell, I am introduced to a world that is largely unavailable to my senses. The perceptions that guide her snuffling search through dead leaves, or that compel her to dig and lick at an apparently banal patch of grass or tree trunk, has led me to understand that what I take for granted as the ‘visible world’ is an astonishingly thin layer of reality. When I follow my work along a path, I am hunting for similarly invisible and compelling tokens of ordinary life.”
web, oil & acrylic on canvas, 40″ x 30″
This exhibiiton by Chris Down will remain up until Saturday, May 16.
BRUCE PASHAK: I KNOW MY TREES
mixed media, 22″ x 11.25″
An anagram of the NYTimes is I Know My Trees. This very appropriate line appears throughout the suite of new works by Bruce Pashak, and underscores the fact that it requires 63,000 trees to provide the paper needed to produce one Sunday edition of the New York Times.
The artist has laminated full editions of the NY Times onto a board. Then, it is on the front page that he draws, constructs, embeds, stencils and paints his images. In his artistic statement Pashak recognizes the irony in using the NYT edition upon which to create his drawings, and his use of wood for the backing and framing of the works.
These works are extraordinary, very thoughtful and extremely accomplished.
Don’t miss the opening reception for this exhibition on Friday, May 22.
mixed media, 22″ x 11.25″
Also, do not forget that Friday, May 22 is the Spring Gallery Hop.
mixed media, 22″ x 11.25″
DEANNA PAINTS A DOG
Deanna Musgrave is very busy these days. She has just completed a 50′ mural that will soon have its permanent home at a prominent Saint John location (unveiling to take place in June). More recently, she and her partner, Andrew, have organized and installed a major exhibition of art in Fredericton to raise funds for the construction of a skateboard park in memory of their son, Isaac.
On Thursday evening, we found her in the pedway of Saint John’s newest cruise ship terminal tackling yet another project, as she was preparing to paint a replica of a dog. Selected as the New Brunswick artist by fido (the phone people) she was asked to paint this dog, while people stood by and watched. This performance was being repeated simultaneously on Thursday evening by other artists in each Canadian Province.
Deanna, an innovator, immediately adopted her own approach to the project. She set a 48″ x 48″ blank canvas on the floor, then placed her dog upon the canvas. As she began to release paint unto the canvas and the dog, the dog’s presence became apparent within the work, both figuratively and literally.
Those of us in attendance were privileged to witness what is normally very private, the artist in the act of creation. It was a lovely moment, the artist, seemingly oblivious to us, at one with her subject and her materials.
In June, at the gallery, we will be featuring work by Deanna Musgrave that is related to her recently commissioned public mural. I will be sending out more detailed information on this in early June.
BRIAN BURKE’S IMAGINARY ENCOUNTERS
Gallery artist, Brian Burke, has just had a solo exhibition of paintings at Galerie Müller in Luzern, Switzerland. Burke, a member of the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts, has had an illustrious career, spanning several decades. His work has been shown throughout the Atlantic region, in Toronto, Vancouver, New York and in Europe. Our gallery looks forward to exhibiting recent paintings by Brian Burke throughout the coming year.
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AN IMPORTANT GALLERY ANNOUNCEMENT COMING MAY 22
Be sure to join us on this date for the Hop, for our Bruce Pashak exhibition and for an exciting gallery announcement.