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Artists About Town

Father Douglas is well known for his whimsical sense of art. He carries on that fun legacy with some fresh inspiration for his new exhibit with a particularly lively title.
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Joanne Guthrie’s welded red bike was put on display at Cranky’s Bike Shop during the Farmers’ Market on Saturday.
Joanne Guthrie’s welded red bike was put on display at Cranky’s Bike Shop during the Farmers’ Market on Saturday.

Father Douglas is well known for his whimsical sense of art. He carries on that fun legacy with some fresh inspiration for his new exhibit with a particularly lively title.

Exubérance is a new collection of still life paintings that feature some innately non-still creatures in them. Butterflies, to be exact.

“Different things inspire me,” he chuckled. “I started just doing the still lifes with fruit inside glass bowls … transparent glass reflected on silver.”

The butterflies in flight were added in because they were much beloved by his aunt who recently passed away. He used to call her ‘the butterfly aunt’ for a good reason.

Butterflies do not a still life make, but that was part of the point, he continued, suggesting that they symbolize the fragility and beauty of life.

He also left the SKU code stickers on the fruit, something that is decidedly non-traditional for such works.

“To me, that’s part of our life now when you compare them to still lifes from 100, 200 years ago. This is still life in 2015.”

ExubĂ©rance opens at the Centre d’arts visuels de l’Alberta with a reception on Friday evening from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Also in the show are Barbara Kowalewski, Jo-Anne Farley, Madeleine Bellmond, and Jody Swanson. The artists will be in attendance.

It runs until Sept. 8. The gallery is located at 9103 95 Ave. in Edmonton. Call 780-461-3427 or visit www.savacava.com for more information.

Laura Watmough and several of her artist friends and students held court with a special guest last week.

Imago Mundi curator Jennifer Karch was in town to pick up a selection of 10-cm by 12-cm paintings from Edmonton area artists for a special international art show commissioned by Luciano Benetton, the owner of the Benetton Colors chain of department stores.

The exhibit will feature hundreds upon hundreds of individual artists. Watmough noted that there would be more than 200 artists from Western Canada alone. There will be 10,000 pieces and 71 countries represented in total for a project called the New Frontiers of Art.

“She’s been to Calgary, Banff, Regina. She’s going to the Northwest Territories, Comox … she’s been all over.”

She was invited to join the exhibit through her connection with the Lloydminster Art Association.

The date of the exhibition has not yet been announced but will likely be held in Venice, Italy. A catalogue of the exhibit will soon be produced and the small paintings then become part of Benetton’s worldwide collection.

“It’s very exciting! Everywhere he’s travelled, he’s collected art. He found that he wanted to have the voice of art at this moment in time to be presented to the world and travel the world.”

Joining Watmough are her fellow painters Pearl Der, Bernie Neumann, Michele Sawatzky, Betty Dupuis, Sylvie Fergusson, Cathy Friesen, Wendy Pfeifer, Sandy Dewar, Linda Aleksa, Bev Bunker and Sam Chapalsk.

The paintings will eventually also be posted at www.imagomundiart.com.

Professional welder Joanne Guthrie whipped up a little rolling sculpture in her free time and the finished product got a free display on Saturday.

“I’m actually a contractor welder so I go and weld a lot of pressure pipes or go out to refineries and do work there but my passion, of course, is the art,” she said. “I made a bike all from scratch. It’s a huge accomplishment for me.”

True enough, it is a bike with moveable wheels although the handlebars are fixed in place and there’s no chain. The cherry red decorative piece was unveiled at Cranky’s Bike Shop during the farmers’ market last weekend, complete with a welded written ‘Crankys’ nameplate on it for good measure. Yes, she made the sign too.

“I wanted it to stand out,” she said, referring to the colour. “I went to buy some pedals [at the bike shop] and the kids there just loved it.”

She said that she was “completely honoured” that Cranky’s offered the unique exhibit space during a very public event.


Scott Hayes

About the Author: Scott Hayes

Scott Hayes joined the St. Albert Gazette in 2008. Scott writes about the arts, entertainment, movies, culture, community groups, and charities. He also writes general news, features, columns and profiles on people.
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