MAIN GALLERY 2024

landscape - human figures

Landscape Figures 

Chris Hodge

My practice since retirement started with landscape painting, which then turned to abstraction as I absorbed the rich yet understated Saskatchewan scenery. When I became interested in figure work, I found that these experiences and original influences affected my approach. 

I prefer an expressionistic style, with bright colours, layers, and diverse linework. As I became more involved with this theme, I found that the shapes began to simplify and abstract, where I began to use only parts of the complete figure.

This is essentially the working method of a landscape artist as they use only those natural elements which relate directly to their piece. Together with the expressionistic method, this has established a way of painting the figure, which I thought represented 'Landscape Figues'.

My final work can be viewed either as a figure or a type of landscape, depending on the preference of the observer. Through this method I have retained my love of both abstract painting and landscapes in this new direction and hopefully I have presented something new and interesting for patrons to view. Chris Hodge 2024.

  Fibre Art Ravens Crows

The following Artists are exhibiting work in the 2023 Gallery Members Exhibition:

                                                                                                           Rita St. Amant                              Reg Beardsworth                             Lorraine Beardsworth

                                                                                                           Pam Beaver                                  Gordon Bland                                      Sherron Burns

                                                                                                           Evelyn Campbell                         Paul Constable                                   Faye Erickson

                                                                                                           Charley Farrero                           Evelyn Gardiner                                  Brianne Hager

                                                                                                           Nell Haichert                                Heather Hochbaum                          Chris Hodge

                                                                                                           Lenora Hordos                            Cindy Hoppe                                        Grace Gerein

                                                                                                           Bonnie Gilmour                           Birgit Lessing                                      Bonny Macnab

                                                                                                           Lorraine Voegeli                          Kevin Quinlan                                    Marilyn Richardson

                                                                                                           Joanne Rivers-Wing                  Rosemarie Stadnyk                        Linda Hauk

 

Royal Rogue: POV

Grant McConnell

September 23 - November 12, 2023

Painting - Maids on the Niagara  Baroque Little Girls Mayors Painting

Rogue Royal: POV - Grant McConnell 

Art historian, Svetlana Alpers, describes the painting, Las Meninas, by Spanish Baroque painter, Diego Velazquez, as "one of the greatest representations of pictorial representation in all of Western painting". Painted in 1656, Velazquez portrait of the royal Spanish Court, Las Meninas, for centuries now has perplexed viewers and art historians alike, inviting numerous theories and interpretations of this magnificient work. Considered his utmost masterpiece, Las Meninas, with its complex and enigmatic composition, raises questions about pictorial representation and illusion. Velazquez is regarded as one of the most influential artists within Western art history. His explorations of pictorial space and his artistic approaches and principles have been acknowledged as contribution to the evolution of painting in the modern age. Following the Baroque Era, many significant artists throughout art history have paid homage to Velazquez, recognizing his impact on the canon of Western painting. Edouard Manet, whose work was profoundly influenced by Velazquez, described him as "the painter of painters". It is not surprising that this monumental painting and historically - significant artist has captured the imagination of Saskatchewan artist, Grant McConnell, and is the souce of inspiration for this body of work presented in the exhibition, Rogue Royal: POV, featuring paintings and mixed media drawings.

McConnell in his own homage, borrows and alters the players in Las Meninas, not only situating them in settings of his own devise and reimagining new narratives for these royal personages within Canadian folkloric and historical contexts, but transposes them from seventeenth century Baroque sensibilities and places them within the conventions of contemporary painting. McConnell positions Canada, in all of its crude beauty, as a new ground for these royal figures, gone rogue, with a new purpose in the colonies, while his characteristic painting support of raw, fir panel becomes the surface for the narratives to play out on. Layers of paint drip and scumble across the rough wood surfaces of his paintings, creating a woven effect of figure and ground that results in a complex tapestry of imagery, oscillating between figuration and pure abstraction. The drawings in the exhibition are fresh in the rawness, not only allowing the viewer a glimpse into the artist's creative and conceptual process but, in their varied approaches, reference the historical painting lineage that McConnell draws inspiration from, from Velazquez to Piet Mondrian, Francis Bacon, Pablo Picasso, Jasper Johns, and Agnes Martin. McConnell, too, can be described as a painter's painter.  The visceral quality of his surfaces interrups the pictorial figuration and illusion, making the materiality of his medium and support always present and part of the engagement in his work.

Throught his painting practice, McConnell has engaged in investigations of subject matter that relates to history, addressing Canadian historical narratives and Western art history in his depictions of still lives, urban and rural landscapes, animal life, and portraiture, as a means of examining memory, representation and notions of nationalism and collective identity. Here McConnell references the great works of Velazquez within new contexts to place contenporary painting in dialogue with its past, while examining representations of Canadian identity and history through fictitious narratives.  Former curator of the Mendel Art Gallery, Dan Ring, has suggested that an underlying concern in McConnell's work is to "collapse orders of representation that we use to construct discourses about ourselves, nature and history", in order to create a space where we might examine and questions of triumphal or established narratives. It seems fitting, then for McConnell to feel nautral inclinations towards the 'rogue-ness' of Velazquez, who himself sought to upset established hierarchies of representation in the Baroque Era.

 Samskara 

Diana Chabros

August 12th  - September 17th, 2023

Oil Painting Heron Diana Chabros Samskara

 Samskara - Diana Chabros

"The land is made up of the bones of my ancestors..."1

Bones mean a lot to me: my own and those of the land. I broke my spine as a child, so both literally and metaphorically speaking, I know the body is one's first home and I understand what it measn to lose it. This knowledge forms the skeleton of my artistic path, and compels me toward ideas which connect me to the land. The land is also our home and ultimately the receptacle for our remails. I have come to the realization that I will only remain true to my practice by staying true to the land.

I remain fascinated with the visual ele,ents of southwest Saskatchewan and explore energy in its physica, psychic and spiritual forms as a means to understand my interdependent relationship with the land.

Known to biologists, artists, photographers, tourism operators, ranchers and other  locals as 'grasslands', and to First Peoples as 'maka tatanka' or 'buffalo-land', the southwest and its natural inhabitants are celebrated for their beauty and resiliency to survive under extremeely harsh weather conditions. Compromised, however, by accelerated human intervention, the lives of these inhabitants, (many of them considered species at risk are compromised to the point that even the soil has become a 'species at risk'.

In my painting practice I use realism to portray actual landmarks along with their non-human inhabitants combined with fictionalized visual narrative. I walk the land with camera, conducting traditional protocol as I go. My artistic process is informed by reviews of historical documents, poetic literature, oral history, my own meditation and dream work, and a specialized dialogue process borrowed from intuitive process painting which allows me to build a working relationships with each painting. Through this process I witness, honour, learn from and care for the land and its resident beings. Through this method of research I discover the transformational currency of these various forms of energy.

The term 'transformational currency' refers to the archetypal cycles of life and death, and the stories that arise. My ongoing studies with First Nation knowledge keepers, including my life partner, as well as the practices of Yoga and Tibetan Buddhist philosophy move me beyond my colonial understanding of the natural world, and is refelcted in my work. For me, these processes, worldviews and my experience of the land transform my subject matter from simple 'landscape' to an exploratory fusion of land, self, and other. My artistic practice is evolving into one of reciprocity and humility.

Inspired by contemporary visual artist Marsha Kennedy, photographers Edward Burtynsky and James Page, and Metis interdisciplinary artists Madonna Hamel, Joseph Naytowhow, and Moe Clark, the act of painting for me yields a visual health record or 'temperature gauge' of the land and its inhabitants. Painting is how I stay in touch with my subject matter while I am away from 'the field'.

Passages 

Paula Cooley and Louisa Ferguson

July 7th - August 6th, 2023

Glass and Metal   Glass and Clay

Nocturne                                                                     Ember and Ash

Clay and Glass by Paula Cooley and Louisa Ferguson

Passages - Paula Cooley and Louisa Ferguson "

Our mixed media exhibition, Passages, grew out of a CARFAC Mentorship we did together in 2015-16. As part of our mentorship, we combined our respective mediums of clay and glass to create several collaborative pieces. The resulting ceramic and glass sculptures whetted our desire to continue to create and exhibit together, providing the impetus of the new work exhibited here with Passages.

We used the iconic boat form as a starting point for both our collaborative and individual works in Passages. The boat form allowed us to explore various interests, be it the formal qualities of light, shadow and negative space or metaphorical journeys through life and time. In some of our pieces the boat is easily recognized while in others the form has been abstracted and evolved into a new and different vessel.

Our process as artists is complementary. We both view the creative practice as dialogue between the artist and the emerging work. We work intuitively, reacting to ideas and forms and then modifying our work accordingly. For Passages, ideas and forms evolved as we handed off segments of sculptures to each other to respond to and build upon. The collaborative process can be difficult. There is always the push and pull of individual purpose, personal artistic vision and subjective meaning, but we both found that there was always an invigorating energy propelling us forward to see what work would ultimately emerge. As and experience, the creation of Passages was a constructive interchange between two artists exploring form, a symbol, and narrative.

The sculptures incorporate a variety of media such as glass, ceramic, metal, and wood. Approximately a third of the sculptures are collaborative, a thrid are works by Cooley, and a third are works by Ferguson 

SYMBIOSIS

Ted Uchacz - Oriol Dancer - Ray Keighley - Ellery Russell 

Windows Gallery 

June 10th - August 16th 2023

Sculpture Natural Paintings

"Symbiosis: any relationship or interaction between two dissimilar organisms." National Geographic Society 

Symbiosis is a collaborative art project between four like-minded artists who saw a cohesion between each other's spirit, art practice, and intention to honour the natural world. This 2023 Exhibition is the fiirst result of their work together and is the kick start to a a larger project and body of work called "Portal of Understanding".

This exhibition is the first exercise in their collaboration, which is an important aspect of their exploration. Miraculously, in the 11th hour, the world aligned, and their first collaborative sculpture came together, and it fit like a perfect piece of the puzzle, and the "Tree of Life" was manifested into the cornerstone of their project. "Tree of Life" is grounded by the turtle wood carving by Ray Keighley, supported by the tree trunk made of paper/natural fibre by Oriol Dancer, and crowned by the square, yet globe-like metal sculpture made by Ted Uchacz, and Ellery Russell's needle-felted mushrooms and lichen capped off the sculptural work. Diverse beings and creatures surround the sculpture and subsist on this "Tree of Life" that reminds us of how small we really are in this world and the narrow balance that we teeter on. We shall see more of this work in 2025, with a culmination of the work to showcase at The Chapel Gallery in the Main Salon in 2025. 

Allegories - Meditations on Religion and Society 

Gordon Frederick Bland

May 20 - June 25, 2023

Symbolism Geometric Shapes

 A Meditation Allegory: A Story, poem, picture, etc in which the meaning or message is represented symbolically. (The Concise Oxford Dictionalry, 1995)

Artist's Statement

In this series of acrylic paintings, I explore the allegorical potential or geometric forms, using intense colour and varied texture, playing with balance and imbalance to suggest meaning.

The ancient Greek phiolsopher Plato argued that the world that we experience is illusory and impermanent, yet reflects eternal and unchanging Truths, which he called "Forms" or IDeas ( eidos). For Plato, the world we perceive "participates" in these Truths, even though their expression may be vaired or even hidden.

Religion and myth, science and philosophy, literature and art have all sought to tell stories of our past, present and future. What we accept as Truth about ourselves relies on our interpretations of such stories. To what extent would the "Truths" portraying in an abstract, or highly symbolic, painting be interpreted similarly by different viewers? Would viewere accept such abstractions as a recognizable allegorical reference? How would the viewere's own beliefs inform an interpretation of the painting? These are thequestions that the series "Allegories" seeks to pose and, perhaps answer.

For want of a better term, I am referring to the illustrative style I have used in this series of paintings as narrative abstraction.

An essential aspect of the series is the interpretaion that the viewer brings. I want to explore the by having response sheets available to viewer where their thoughts and/or emotional reaction can be recorded and submitted to the gallery and artist, so that the dialogue is not entirely one way (artist to viewer), but two-way. Ultimatelty, these response will be included as part of the show.

Gordon Bland

  Woolgathering

Marjory Fisher

March 18 - April 23, 2023

Main Gallery

                                                             Bowl of lemons and limes, orchid, table setting bright colours                Vase with tea cups plant table setting                                                                

 Silk Scarves - goauche on paper - Marjory Fisher                                                Summer Table - goauche on paper - Marjory Fisher

The voices of my teachers and aprents still echo in my head, "Marjory, stop daydreaming." I never did stop, and I don't believe I could if I wanted to. My installation of work is entitled "woolgathering"" which is a medieval word that describes indulging in aimless thought - daydreaming. It originally described the state of mind of a child or resourceful person that collects tufts of wool on fences and hedges left by passing sheep who is lost in reverie.

Visiting the muse, getting in the flow, or simply daydreaming. That is where the ideas are and one of my best sources of fun. Which is why most of this collection of work was painted at 3:00AM when I am undistracted by the world.

This collection of works is a peek into my imagination revealing what amuses me and captures my attention. My love of sculptural animals, with big personalitites is obvious as is my tendency and weakness to romanticize Viking Sheep. This exhibition is off on a tangent from a more serious focus series of painting that I have been working on. So, 'woolgathering' is a sequence of fanciful subjects that supports lighthearted energy that gets us ready for spring and into the party mood.

Yeas ago, I remember a prominent artist quoting his artist friend by saying, "showing your art is like showing people your underwear drawer." I think there is an element of truth to that. As an artist who paints in an insular environment, only showing a few people some of my work to then display it all at once, takes a surge of courage.

I choose gouache as a favored medium. Goauche is bright and bolder color, but the edges can be softened with traditional watercolor. The biggest difference with goauche and watercolor is with watercolor you plan the white of the page before start the painting but with goauche you can paint light colors over dark. Most of my paintings are done in goauche and/or mixed with watercolor. Goauche is also watercolor, and ancient opaque watercolor.

Since there are no new colors in the world, we can only get excited about new collections of color. Holbein goauche has recently put together collections of "The Color of Japan". Something to make any artist excited.

Marjory Fisher, 2023

 WATERWORKS

Chris Hodge - Joanne Rivers Wing

April 1 - May 28th, 2023

Windows Gallery

fall sunset watercolour           water colour landscape blue copper

                                                       Fall Sunset - Watercolour on Yupo - Joanne Rivers Wing                                                                                                                                   Untitled - Watercolour on Yupo - Chris Hodge

Chris Hodge, painter and sculptor and Joanne Rivers Wing, painter and ceramic artist both have a passion for and are inspired by the local landscapes and locations outside this part of the country. Chris enjoys painting plein air, weather permitting, while Joanne paits in a space overlooking a lake. We both work in a loose style using water-based media. Our paintings range in size depending on personal preference and situation and are considered abstract while they retain a link to the land and nature. Colour and form play a primate roled in our pieces with detail being secondary consideration.

We are both members of ARC Creative Studios in North Battleford.

COMMON GROUND

Cindy Hoppe and Diane Larouche Ellard

January 28th - March 12,  2023 

  Prairie Flowers Landscapes Fibre Artist        Wild Flowers Ditch Prairie Landscape Acrylic Painting

                                                                                                                 "Golden Rod and Clover" - Fibre Art - Cindy Hoppe                                                            "Evening Walk" - Acrylic on Canvas - Cindy Larouche Ellard

Cindy Hoppe, Fibre Artist, and Diane Larouche Ellard, Painter and Mixed Media Artis have shared their love for the prairie landscape south of the Battleford for many years. They regularly take photo trips in the area to build up reference material. Each artist then returns the reference material to their studio and transforms it using their media of choice. At times they use the same photo and produce work that maintains a connection to the reference material while their chosen media and mark-making takes them on different paths.

The exhibition "Common Ground" explores the artist' shared love of place and commonalities, including a fascination with texture, line, and light. The friendship between the artists creates a unique dynamic allowing each to place their individual findgerprint on the pieces ceated. Their expressions of similar subject matter are transformed by the tools and technique they use ot create something wholly new but connected.

 Immigrant Woman in Kitchen New Canadian