Neither Angela Morgan nor Buddy Kennedy could possibly have foreseen how appropriate their works would be on the walls of Art Beat Gallery on St. Anne Street.
Seeing their whimsical paintings of children at play, it only takes one quick sideways glance out the window to the frosty grey winter outside to make me want to return my eyes to their previous objects of gaze.
It seems fortuitous that they have come together so appropriately at just the right time of the season. Even co-owner Eric Outram is surprised at the good fortune, despite the fact you will have to trek through the cold to get to the gallery. He says the trip will be well worth it.
“It really does make you smile,” he explained, citing the title of the exhibit. “That’s what [Angela’s] work and Buddy Kennedy’s work do — they make you smile.”
Looking into the images is like looking into a dream or a fantasy world. Kennedy has a talent for revealing the souls of children, full of innocence and wonder. There’s a rather ordinary line-up of young ballet dancers in a pose, except for one who showed up late and is still sitting on the ground, lacing up the slippers.
Another image has what looks like a group of young kids in nightgowns and caps skating along a pond like fairies. It reminds me of certain scenes from Fantasia, and some of the best memories of my own childhood.
Kennedy apparently draws from her own observations of kids near her home. “She lives in a small town, just down the street from the school. It’s the kids … the kids inspire her. They come by and she gives them milk and cookies. She watches what they do.”
Morgan, on the other hand, delves right into her imagination with her depictions of incredibly colourful kids using what Outram describes as a cross between abstract and impressionistic styles.
“I love the brush stroking style of this work,” he said, describing the chunky and rough blots. It’s hard to fathom how a distinguishable image can be created with the technique but she pulls it off.
“It’s so bold. The fact that you can dab big brushstrokes of paint on it and end up with a picture that has so much detail … it’s incredible! This is quite unusual.”
People Make You Smile
Exhibit by Angela Morgan and Buddy Kennedy<br />Art Beat Gallery<br />26 St. Anne Street<br />Call 780-459-3679 or visit www.artbeat.ab.ca or more information