A PUBLICATION FOR THE VISUAL ARTIST
PASSIONATE HEART, POETIC SOUL
PETER VON TIESENHAUSEN
ART FEST: GUEST ARTISTS
THREE BC ARTISTS
THE CENTRE FOR
CREATIVE ARTS At the Centre
Classes for all ages and levels Monthly gallery exhibitions Gift Shop featuring local artists Birthday parties School and group bookings Drop-in studio use
Calls for Entries
CFCA Group Show: Green We are looking for Peace Country artists to create art works using the colour green in all it’s many shades. Enter up to three pieces. Pieces must be no bigger than 100cm x 100cm. Please e-mail images of your submissions to email@example.com by July 12. Show runs from August 7 - 28 . 2016 Wearable Arts Show It’s time to start thinking about the Wearable Art Show again and begin working on your wonderful wearable creations. The show will be held on October 1, in conjunction with Alberta Culture Days. Interested artists are asked to contact the Centre to add their contact info to our Wearable Arts list. Artists on this list will get regular updates and deadline reminders. Proposals must be submitted by August 12. Details for all Calls for Entries at www.creativecentre.ca/opportunities/call-for-entries
Alberta Culture Days
Alberta Culture Days will be celebrated September 30, October 1 and 2. The Centre will be holding our 7th annual Wearable Arts Show on Saturday, September 27. For more information on this and many other events please go to www.creativecentre.ca/culturedays
Upcoming Exhibitions April 1 - 29 Reception: 7pm on April 1 The Centre Gallery “Morphing” Leslie Bjur, Roberta Linfield Clark Rimmer and Alysoun Wells The Wall Gallery Artists North May 6 - 27 Reception: 7pm on May 6 The Centre Gallery CFCA Teen Show The Wall Gallery CFCA Teen Show June 3 - 24 Reception: 7pm on June 3 The Centre Gallery “ Convergence” Mary Mottishaw and Kit Fast The Wall Gallery Joselyn Dueck July 8 - 29 Reception: 7pm on July 8 The Centre Gallery “Green” CFCA Group Show The Wall Gallery Afternoon Seniors Painting Class August 5 - 26 Reception: 7pm on August 5 The Centre Gallery Chris Dehaus The Wall Gallery Candace Hook September 2 Reception: 7pm on September 2 The Centre Gallery “Birds of a Feather 2” Jim Stokes, Debbie Courvoisier, Andrea Johannson, Lynn LeCorre, Ken Lumbis, Joanna Moen, Marjorie Taylor and Tia Stanway
Like The Centre for Creative Arts on Facebook Follow #CreativeArtsGP on Twitter Artwork by K. N. Sangra
www.creativecentre.ca 9904-101 Avenue, Grande Prairie 780-814-6080 firstname.lastname@example.org
in this issue 4
4 CONTRIBUTORS 5
ART OUT THERE
A WINTER’S CONVERSATION WITH
EDITOR: Joanna Moen DESIGN & ADVERTISING: imageDESIGN 10017 100 Avenue Grande Prairie, AB T8V 0V2 Phone: 780-532-6353 Email: email@example.com PUBLISHER: Art of the Peace Visual Arts Association Box 21503, Coop Plaza Grande Prairie, AB, T8V 6W7 Phone: 780-876-4737 (Debbie Courvoisier) Email: firstname.lastname@example.org PRINTING: McCallum Printing Group COVER: Mentor by Candace Sanderson Photography by Chris Beauchamp/Beauchamp Photography
Art of the Peace Visual Arts Association acknowledges the financial assistance of:
PETER VON TIESENHAUSEN HOME AGAIN
EXCERPTS FROM A TRAVEL JOURNAL IN ENGLAND
FROM BIRD TO SCULPTURE
THE PROCESS OF CANDACE SANDERSON
ART IN REVIEW
PASSIONATE HEART, POETIC SOUL
MR. TURNER & EFFIE GRAY
25 PASSAGES 26
ART FEST: GUEST ARTISTS
©All rights reserved Art of the Peace 2016 Reproduction in whole or in part is strictly prohibited. Art of the Peace makes every effort to ensure the accuracy of the information it publishes but cannot be held responsible for any consequences arising from errors or omissions.
Erratum: Ken Lumbis’ name was misspelled in the Fall 2015 Art of the Peace Issue. We offer our sincere apologies to Ken Lumbis and wish to thank him for his graciousness in this matter —and for his wonderful artworks as well.
THREE BC ARTISTS STUDIO VISITS
EXHIBITIONS & OPPORTUNITIES
RENE GIESBRECHT art of the peace
is an artist and former art educator. Currently she works as a psychologist. She is the past president of the Centre for Creative Arts and is passionate about supporting the arts community in the Peace Region.
IN THIS ISSUE...
adores summer and reading and writing about art. She is employed as a crisis worker at Crossroads Women’s Shelter. Through painting, pottery, and practicing Tai Chi she seeks balance and endures winter.
BY JOANNA MOEN Oscar Wilde’s phrase “Life imitates art far more than art imitates life” rattled around in my brain as Art of the Peace prepared our Spring 2016 issue. The upcoming Return to the Earth Art Fest 2016 land art competition for one, mirrors for me the great concern many of us have about the future of Earth’s ecology and our safety and our future. Artists were perhaps among the first recyclers, reducers, and re-users. Think about Emily Carr using old brown paper and unused house paint when she could afford no better.
We humans are meaning-making creatures. We seek to express—as does art, as does nature. We reflect and mirror life and art back to each other. It might be said that art and life are continually recycling one another. And so we communicate in this issue, our hope that you too dear Reader will take a long walk through the trees or the fields, along the riverbanks or up in the hills and mountains, and remember, “Ah yes life is good. We protect what we love. And we love this place and this life. We will work to sustain this life, this planet…and art.”
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is an active ceramicist who lives in Grande Prairie. Writing, both technical and whimsical, has been a longtime pursuit. She embraces the beauty of the Peace and the diversity of its artists.
RENE GIESBRECHT has been active in the weaving community since 1979. She began stitching, sewing, and knitting as a child. She has earned Master Spinner certification with 6 years of study and is now working on Master Weaver certification.
MARY PARSLOW enjoyed adding her
Here in the Peace Country, Candace Sanderson roves the forests looking for logs that will tell her how to shape them into the lovely organic forms that beg to be touched and stroked- and she will let you! Rene Giesbrecht takes the wool from local sheep to spin into the loveliest of weavings. She also grows cotton in her greenhouse—perhaps the most northern crop of its kind! Peter von Tiesenhausen has dedicated his art as a reflection of his life in nature—his history, philosophy, and advocacy, all revealed through art. Let us be inspired by all artists as they demonstrate their appreciation for the earth. And may life indeed imitate art with conscientious action and advocacy to preserve what has been freely given to us.
is an artist and educator who holds a BFA and MFA in visual arts. She has exhibited her art and delivered lectures and workshops in galleries, universities, schools, and community centers across Canada.
travel journal to this issue of Art of the Peace. She has discovered a love of writing in the last few years; ways to reincarnate memories, feelings, imaginings, and visions of the mystery that we all live.
ERIKA SHERK has a degree in journalism from Carleton University with a minor in political science. She has worked in the Canadian Arctic and the Middle East and freelanced from Nunavut, Spain, Oman, the United Arab Emirates, and, of course, the Peace Country.
JIM STOKES is a Grande Prairie artist who has spent 35 years trying every method and medium possible. He currently spends his time squeezing quite a bit of clay.
art out there... JAVA DOMAIN’S HALL-IN-THE-MALL During Alberta Culture Days, Java Domain owners Daniel Ducharme and Jessie Krushel, opened the L-shaped hall-in-the-mall for a local art event. The naturally-lit space accommodated the work of 20 artists and was well received, remaining open for a month. As First Nations elder Dennis Whitford remarked, “You have created a feast for the eyes.”
Peace Gallery North (Fort St. John) is hosting its first show of 2016. Entitled Dinner Talk, it features a varied menu of original prints and pottery. The exhibit showcases three BC artists: Karen Heathman, a potter from Prince George, and printmakers Mary Parslow of Dawson Creek and Alan White from Baldonnel. The show opened on February 12, 2016. Peace Gallery North curator Alan White and staff encourage all art lovers to come out and enjoy the ‘new look’ of the gallery. They are very excited about the good energy in the gallery and hope to share it with you soon.
Ortiz, Dareth Youd
DINNER TALK EXHIBIT AT PEACE GALLERY NORTH
Simultaneously, Mary Parslow’s Deep Impressions was displayed inside the café. She gave a print making demonstration during her reception October 8. Musicians Katie and Jason Leussink and their band, Midnight Lights, performed for the event.
DARETH YOUD Dareth Youd of Hines Creek enjoys all things creative; from chalk drawing on sidewalks as a child, to creating costumes.
Eileen Coristine from Fairview was the following featured artist. She too, gave a demonstration at her reception, November 5. (Music provided by Vern Ledger and Jenna Schuweiler).
Left to her own devices however, Dareth Youd prefers to draw dogs. Having spent her life living and working with canine companions, she has had a lot of practice. With dogs (or any subject), Dareth lets her process unfold slowly; allowing them to come to life, then ultimately leap off the page. Her work can be viewed online at Facebook.com/Feral1Studio.
The Peace River Art Club is currently featured at Java Domain with Silver White that Melts into Spring; a show that will be spilling out into the hallway! Check the Peace River Culture or Java Domain facebook pages for updates.
Midnight Lights, photo courtesy Java Domain
Poster courtesy Peace Gallery North
Primarily, Dareth prefers drawing using the medium of coloured pencils. She has completed many commissions— and these interest and challenge her to increase her repertoire of artistic subjects. She enjoys realism and strives to re-create nuances available only through her medium.
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IN THE MOMENT
Photo courtesy CFCA
Marilyn Gourlay’s fall 2015 show at the Centre for Creative Arts (CFCA) was entitled In the Moment. Aptly named, Gourlay’s show featured figurative drawings that had literally been created ‘in the moment’; that is, within a 20 minute time frame during Open Studio (CFCA). Each of the artist’s pieces offered unique (to the subject) interpretations of gesture, anatomy, weight of the pose, air space, and expressive design. The artist worked in charcoal, pencil, conte, and pastel on gesso primed drawing paper. The figures were described by gallery observers as ‘fresh’, ‘strong’, and ‘bold’. Marilyn Gourlay stated that “the nude has historically celebrated the body and humanity. Drawing from life is like no other experience. I would describe it as a conscious balance between action and observation that leads to spontaneous awareness.”
CFCA’S 20TH ANNIVERSARY The Centre for Creative Arts (CFCA) celebrated their 20th Anniversary with a retrospective exhibit in January. Visitors enjoyed works from past and present members of the society. Centre staff poured through old newspaper clippings and photographs to create a large time line in the gallery, highlighting changes, challenges, and accomplishments over the last 20 years.
The exhibit was followed by an open house where visitors were able to try out some of the programs currently offered at the Centre for Creative arts, including painting, drawing, pottery, and soapstone carving.
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Composed, Marilyn Gourlay
Candace Hook, Executive Director remarked: “the best part of the anniversary for me was realizing how many of the artists that we work with today have been involved with the Centre [CFCA] for decades. We have artists working now that took their first art classes here as children.”
A NEW GALLERY OPENS The renaissance of downtown Grande Prairie continues with the opening of the Grant Berg Gallery. Five years in the making, the gallery promotes art primarily from Western Canada. While a new exhibition is featured each month, there are also zones that display regularly-rotated paintings of eight artists. Sculpture, ceramics, and jewellery are represented by approximately 25 artists. Grant Berg, a successful Alberta sculptor, demonstrates his process of refining and finishing his stone sculptures in the on-site polishing area. These works are then available to the public. The 2600 sq.ft. space is inviting, with its fireplace and ‘gallery specific’ lighting. Custom framing services are offered on the premises. The Grant Berg Gallery opens May, 2016. For more information, access GrantBergGallery.com
MATTSON OPENING AGGP
The Expedition features the art of Emilie, Dean, and Karl Mattson, three BC artists from Rolla, BC. The Linen Memorial, artist Lycia Trouton. A public artwork of sewn linen with the names of those who died in the sectarian troubles in Northern Ireland. Residuals for a One in Five, artist Richard Boulet, a retrospective. Entomology, artist Shelley Ouellet. A large bug-shaped installation, made of small plastic toy bugs hanging from wires and suspended from a hanging structure.
Burning Bridges, Kane Gray
Burning Bridges, artist Kane Gray. Mural painting.
Emilie, Karl and Dean Mattson’s exhibition deals with ‘three visual journeys-one bloodline’. These artists have very different ways of expressing themselves; yet there is a connection in their work. Whether it is Dean’s symbolic paintings, or the glass and metal sculptures of Emilie, or Karl’s steel constructions, The Expedition reveals how each artist interprets environmental sensitivities and family bonds in their collective journey through life.
BIRDS OF A FEATHER 2
Birds of a Feather 2, a group show, will take place September 7, 2016 at the Centre for Creative Arts main gallery. Recalling the success of the previous show in 2014, the original artists plus three guests will offer their unique interpretations of the familiar theme of birds. Deb Courvoisier, Andrea Johannson, Lynne LeCorre, Ken Lumbis, Joanna Moen, Tia Stanway, Jim Stokes, and Marj Taylor will be showcasing their paintings, ceramics, and sculpture. While the subject of the exhibit is selfevident, the title of the show has a more subtle meaning. Birds of a Feather references this particular collective of Peace Region artists who have known or known about each other for many years; who work in solitude but come together on this evening, with little pretext, to share a passion with their audience and each other. Meet the artists at the opening (Friday, 7 pm–9 pm) for an evening of provocative and enchanting art. The show runs for the month of September.
The Expedition is at the Art Gallery of Grande Prairie until May 22, 2016.
Lost, Karl Mattson. Photo by Maj Photography
Five new exhibitions opened on March 4, 2016 at the AGGP and will run until May 22, 2016.
Photo courtesy CFCA
ART GALLERY OF GRANDE PRAIRIE EXHIBITIONS
A convivial crowd of gallery-goers gathered around the colossal metal sculpture that dominated the west entrance of the Art Gallery of Grande Prairie on March 4, 2016. At 8:30 pm, a spectacular inferno burst from the head of Lost, Karl Mattson’s creation of welded steel and found objects. This performance celebrated the opening of The Expedition, the Mattson family show.
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A WINTER’S CONVERSATION WITH
Peter von Tiesenhausen WRITTEN BY JOANNA MOEN & JIM STOKES A warm November chinook blew gently as Peter guided us through the sculpture garden and around his studio compound on his northern wilderness land. With evident pride, Peter showed us the charming timber frame straw bale cabin he and his two sons had hand built a few years earlier. We saw stacks of timber, weathered logs and wood which he described as the beginnings of future pieces. Next, a tour of his studio—a workspace cornucopia of tools, sundry and eclectic natural materials, wood and works-in-progress. Here we saw sculptures of negative-space, roughhewn from blocks of wood, where subtlety met with raw edges. Themes of natural and found materials weathering and aging abounded. We noted how an essential part of Peter’s works were forged from a variety of artistic interventions including the wielding of ax, torch, and hand cutting tools. Later we viewed the eroded vestiges of The Ship, originally a 100 foot vessel made of woven willow trees and rocks from his property. Now the ship—weathered by sun, wind and the passage of time—has a ghost ship feel to it. The Ship continues to whisper of winds and rains, tempests and sun-drenched summer days—and the endless cycle of birth and death.
each year. It documents and reflects the chronology of his life to date. With each year’s new addition to Lifeline, the earlier, aging sections have weathered and begun to decay and fade back into the earth—bent and eroded by the passage of time. Peter spoke reflectively on the metaphor of the fence. Like his fence, he pensively spoke of how he—and indeed all of us— are aging, fading, and moving towards decay. As we surveyed the expanse of his wilderness property, we were reminded of one of his boldest artist gestures. Several years ago, when oil and gas companies were attempting to use his land as a conduit for a pipeline, Peter resisted in various ways, including charging a high hourly artist fee for negotiations. Ultimately, he had his land legally copyrighted as a land art artwork as a preemptive protection against any further oil and gas exploration. This approach gained new traction, as it was widely shared on Facebook this past fall. We moved indoors in front of the wood fire, where his life partner Teresa served us lemon walnut muffins and tea. In their cozy home, Peter and Teresa described recent developments in their lives and art.
Beyond The Ship stood Peter’s Lifeline Fence. The fence is an ongoing piece, to which von Tiesenhausen adds a new section
During the past few years Peter has come back strong with three striking shows at Alberta galleries; following intensive
The Ship, Peter von Tiesenhausen
Lifeline Fence, Peter von Tiesenhausen
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involvement with building the sustainable and community-based Demmitt Hall. Most recently, Peter’s show at the Peter Robertson Gallery in Edmonton, featured new processes including solar bronze casting. Created in a foundry in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, solar bronzing involves focusing the sun’s rays with mirrors, in order to melt the bronze in the creation of cast sculptures. The result has the quality of molten gold that has landed upon and exists within an underlying structure. Of late, video media is increasingly important in von Tiesenhausen’s work. In the Peter Robertson show, a video installation documenting his recent residency in Iceland runs continuously. It documents a figure rendering a chunk of glacial iceberg into a boat; in a context of the low howl of a bitter continuous Artic wind. As von Tiesenhausen described to Art of the Peace, the three metre block of glacial ice had washed ashore in Iceland. As Teresa filmed him in silhouette against the churning waves, the wind was so strong and loud, that he was unsure of what the ultimate result would be. But it was profoundly affecting. In this elegy of wind, light and glacial ice reflections, the viewer becomes one with the figure. This writer actually shivered and felt the wrath and desolation of the frozen Arctic wind. In another video installation in the Peter Robertson Gallery show, the use of a drone camera eerily surveys a patch of earth—as the perspective evolves and then devolves again in a slow, continuous cycle of movement. Von Tiesenhausen was asked if he thought video installation pieces with their ongoing movement of images, would ever become a part of what individuals hang on their walls as art. He stated that he thought video art had the potential to create a meditative sense that may be unmatched in any other medium, as it can culminate in a transcendent visual experience.
Screen of video presentation of Island, Peter von Tiesenhausen
Another striking piece in this recent show is Journey, a large whitewashed painting on a sheet of weathered found board, which describes his travels with the 5 Watchers. The Watchers were individual human-like sculptures, hewn and burnt into ethereal forms. Some years ago, with the Watchers secured in the box of his aging Ford pick-up, Peter travelled across Canada and up to northern East Coast regions. There, they were loaded onto the uppermost deck of an icebreaker, and sailed through the Northwest Passage. In Journey, hammered holes mark the route of the Watchers. Journey places the viewer in mind of 1940’s black and white travel movies; reminding one of stylized maps featuring turbo propeller airplanes travelling to exotic destinations. At the same time it evokes a sense of newly fallen snow on a quiet and expansive landscape. As we chatted, we found Peter in a peaceful place of gratitude and humility. His work has always been a poignant reflection on his own life journey. His life has continuously been revealed through his work. Art and stories are one. As our conversation drew to a close, Peter reflected upon how his art is the ‘residue’ of an awe-filled life. In every aspect, the power and tenderness of nature has moved him to render these sensibilities into art. And on this day, and in this conversation, Peter found himself rooted in the present moment as he reflected upon the beauty and potential in his surroundings. Returning from this brief visit with the von Tiesenhausen’s, Art of the Peace members reflected upon the richness of conversation and deep poetic well this artist continues to mine. Our immersion in the von Tiesenhausen world left us feeling peaceful and inspired. And wondering what might come next from the world of Peter von Tiesenhausen.
5 Watchers, Peter von Tiesenhausen
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Home Again EXCERPTS FROM A TRAVEL JOURNAL IN ENGLAND
London Skyline, monotype print, Mary Parslow
WRITTEN BY MARY PARSLOW
FLYING INTO LONDON My first sight through the clouds: sunny green parks, puffy clouds, and the River Thames spread out beneath me. I recognize Tower Bridge, the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben and Hounslow, where we once lived, with its row upon row of semi-detached homes. “Long time no see,” London seems to say; although we do get to visit England, our first home, about every two or three years.
vehicle. It’s market day in town and we saunter along, taking in the conversation, clatter and the culture change. Everything appears tiny, crowded and antique. The market stalls overflow with fruit and vegetables, pots and pans, handbags, and everything imaginable to delight the senses. We return home, our bags filled with various English cheeses, chutney, bread, and bacon.
It is September—bright and busy. Excited and tired after our journey, London hurries us on our way towards my sister’s village in green and arable Hertfordshire. We are greeted with a quiet medieval ambiance. Birds sing and the ubiquitous doves coo from nearby trees. Fresh autumn air laden with the scent of falling leaves and newly cut fields lets me know I am home; especially when my sister and her husband hurry out to welcome us.
SEPTEMBER 23: LONDON
First things first—a cup of tea in my sister’s friendly, country kitchen where we chit chat, nap, and later walk to a pub in the next village for a pint. We stroll along a quiet country lane edged with fields and hedgerows laden with Nature’s treasures. Once there, we find the locals with their dogs, sharing a yarn or playing darts with their pint of best bitter.
SEPTEMBER 21: HITCHIN Hitchin, the town of my birth—with its history from 700 AD. Here, the old market square boasts 500 year-old half-timbered framed buildings. The area radiates out along narrow cobbled streets from the square, barely wide enough for one
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As family members go to the Harry Potter exhibition, we head for Intaglio, a famous old printmaking supply shop near St. Paul’s Cathedral. Housed in an ancient basement cellar, we clamber down wooden stairs to a printmakers feast. The walls are lined with shelves of tools, papers, inks, and books. Patiently, my partner indulges my need to browse. Our next stop is the Tate Britain Gallery, where we take in the prints. Looking at William Blake’s etchings is cathartic. We amble along the Thames, following Queen’s Walk and past Shakespeare’s Old Globe Theatre. We meet our family at the London Eye, the infamous Ferris wheel, where our family has booked a champagne tour in celebration of our wedding anniversary. What an amazing feeling to be very slowly lifted up in the air, and to see London in new way. We joyously snap photos, then meander around Covent Garden market. Later at Kings Cross Station, we enjoy a great pub meal. A wonder-filled day for all of us; we rest in my sister’s village home.
SEPTEMBER 30: CAMBRIDGE By train to a favourite place—the old university town of Cambridge. Enroute, we ride through the Hertfordshire countryside of fields and gentle hills, not unlike the Peace Country. Cambridge is a bustling ancient (Roman) town with narrow cobbled streets, bicycles, crowds of people and buildings from a bygone era. We have arranged for a punt ride down the ‘backs’ of the college. A punt is a flat bottomed boat propelled by a skillful boatman standing on the back of the boat with a long pole. Later, we visit a large print show on Trumpington Street. There are three—yes three!— print studios in and close to Cambridge and they are having a group show. We are blown away by the variety and number of hand pulled prints of every type and style. Many of the artists are Royal Academy members, so the standard of print making is the highest. The artists are present to answer questions, of which I have many; to talk about processes, papers and methods of making their prints. They are gracious and helpful and it is all very amazing and encouraging for one lonely print maker from northern BC. I make inquiries about taking a course at one of the centres and begrudgingly leave the print show after
a lengthy visit. Final highlight of the evening: eating Cornish pasties on the station platform before the journey home. So many memories—like the robin who sang to us from the hedgerow on a walk around my sister’s village. He followed us along the bridle path—but wouldn’t let us take his picture… oak trees we found on the edges of fields, so strong, so old, and home to generations of owls and blackbirds…The chalk hills at Pegsdon where we walked through a tunnel of oaks and beeches on a trek at the beginning of the Chiltern Hills and along the old Icknield way… Imagining Robin Hood riding by with his Merry Men… the ivy encrusted church yard with small oak doors…the leaded glass windows and the thick walls of the cottages all give us pause for thought…
FRESH AUTUMN AIR LADEN WITH THE SCENT OF FALLING LEAVES AND NEWLY CUT FIELDS LETS ME KNOW I AM HOME; ESPECIALLY WHEN MY SISTER AND HER HUSBAND HURRY OUT TO WELCOME US.
Hitchin Square, monotype print, Mary Parslow
And the food: my brother-in-law’s English breakfasts with sausages, bacon, and black pudding, my sister’s loving hospitality, and cream teas in the local cafes. I guess I’ll have to write more journals. And now, on towards my Great Britaininspired art making!
Punting in Cambridge, contact monoprint, Mary Parslow
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SCULPTURE / PAINTINGS / POTTERY / JEWELLERY / CUSTOM FRAMING
#3 9907 100 AVE GRANDE PRAIRIE
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Candace with sculptures: The Game, Pilgrimage, Reflection, Aria, Mentor
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Candace Sanderson PASSIONATE HEART, POETIC SOUL
WRITTEN BY ERIKA SHERK ARTWORK BY CANDACE SANDERSON PHOTOGRAPHY BY CHRIS BEAUCHAMP/BEAUCHAMP PHOTOGRAPHY
A poetic soul, a fire-haired Rapunzel in Carhartts and work boots, Candace Sanderson wields aggressive power tools to create elegant, expressive wood sculpture. It’s unlikely you’ve ever met anyone like her. Her eyes flash with verve and delight when she speaks of her work. That alone is rare. Who likes their day job that much? After years toiling at paythe-bills office jobs, Sanderson jumped the chasm from cubicle to studio in 2012, launching as a fulltime artist, a daily sculptor of wood. Now she spends her days in her garage-studio with power tools, chisels and stash of Western Red Cedar and beetle-killed Lodgepole Pine. The space is simple, the pièce de résistance a beautiful second-hand work bench. “It was a real find,” Candace says, running a hand gently along it. “You need a good solid workbench. It does become your best friend.” She loves that her bench had a life before it came to her. “It was already scarred up and nicked. It just encourages you. It doesn’t matter if you make a mess.”
Messes are a key theme on this artist’s journey, a contrast to the clean, smooth loveliness of her finished sculptures. “I initially started out with a set of chisels and a mallet from Lee Valley,” she says, leaning against her work bench. “I would clamp down two two-by-fours in the kitchen and make one heck of a mess.” Candace Sanderson was once Candace Wunsch, a determined, bright-haired kiddo. ‘Kitchen-as-art studio’ isn’t new for her. When little, she happily worked for hours at the family table. Her brother and sisters would be running around on the farm, she says, “and I’d be inside at the kitchen table, building something out of mason jars and tinfoil and Plaster of Paris.” “My sister still makes fun of me,” she adds. When admonished by her sister, “Yeah, I remember that stupid bunny you made out of tinfoil and mason jars.” she calmly replies, “I remember that rabbit, there was nothing wrong with that!’” art of the peace
The farm girl had the benefit of artistic relatives. Art was in her blood and luckily, a passion familiar to her mom. “My mom was extremely supportive,” Candace says. “And I can’t imagine I wasn’t a messy kid.” A devoted artist-child, she built and created constantly. There was always an adult around to encourage. “I never felt silly for anything I made— whether it was good or not good,” she says, “whether I made it out of cardboard or not.” “Every part of my life has always been about making something. Is it because I wanted to or because I had to? I don’t know…maybe I just didn’t see any other way of doing things.” Moving into adulthood, Candace studied Visual Arts at Grande Prairie Regional College (GPRC.) An instructor, Merv Bielish, introduced her to wood sculpture. “I swear, the moment I started working with wood, I fell in love with it,” she says.
Art was always there, after work, on weekends. Her husband Charles always said that one day Candace would be making her art full-time. He said, “I have complete faith in your ability to be successful at it.’” Meeting Charles, one thinks ‘oh, now I see.’ Candace is an unusually vibrant human being. It’s hard to imagine someone burning so bright without a partner reflecting light back in return. Her husband, an electrical/instrumentation instructor at GPRC, radiates energy. When Candace’s full-time GPRC job was cut, she and Charles talked it over and concluded: she wouldn’t look for another one. Did he hesitate? “I thought it was the best decision,” he says. As he speaks, one of Candace’s sculptures, The Promise, peeks out above him on a shelf. “We had worked years to make sure we had everything. You get to a certain point where you have achieved those goals.”
I NEVER FELT SILLY FOR ANYTHING I MADE— WHETHER IT WAS GOOD OR NOT GOOD, WHETHER I MADE IT OUT OF CARDBOARD OR NOT.
It’s the sound the chisel makes when it’s pushed through wood, she says, the tap-tap-tap of the mallet. “It’s very meditative. It allows the crazy part of my brain—the part that just won’t shut up—time to be silent.”
Soon she was walking to the college before sunrise. Other college students were sleeping off hangovers but Candace was in the studio at 6 a.m. “It was all I wanted to do,” she says. She and her husband Charles started dating. “He’d bring me supper, we’d eat together, then he’d go and I’d walk home later.” Take note of Charles; he is a crucial element in this story. Her future—as she walked away from the college’s curving walls—was uncertain. “I knew [art] was what I wanted to do,” she says. “I didn’t know how to get there. How can you be a full-time artist when you’re trying to pay the rent?” It was impossible then, she says. “For 20 years, life
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took me down a completely different path. You work for someone else, you do the 40–60 hours a week, always wanting something else; always knowing there was something else.”
“We realized that we could survive, without needing to have two people making money. You just say, ‘hey, let’s take on a roommate, let’s not have a brandnew car every two years, let’s downsize, be frugal.’” There was no negative impact, he says. It was the opposite. “My life couldn’t get any better than it is right now.” It’s a joy for him, he says, seeing his partner living her truth. Sometimes Candace will get a little bit stressed, he says. “I say, ‘let’s not make this a 9 to 5. This is about doing what you love.’” Indeed, it is exactly that for this artist. “I know it sounds clichéd,” Candace says, “but every day, when I walk into the studio, even if things are going badly or I’m frustrated, I still walk in and say, ‘I love my life. I love that I get to do this.”
What Lies In Between
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Candace asked Carmen Haakstad, a celebrated artist and former gallerist, to make a studio visit in 2012, to critique her work. “I was honoured,” Haakstad says. He made the tour. “I felt she had a talent, and that the skill was there. I didn’t feel she had found her own voice,” he says. “It’s hard to get there, when you’re not doing it full time.” Serendipitously, that was exactly the path Candace had chosen. Three years later, she and Haakstad had concurrent solo shows at the Centre for Creative Arts. The difference in her work was remarkable, he says. “I noticed she’s definitely gone to another level of finding her own expression, putting her own signature on it. Her work is just beautiful.” It makes a great difference when an artist can create full-time. “I wish I could be as brave,” says Haakstad. Cormorant, a smooth, bright Candace sculpture holds a place-of-pride beside him in his office. “It’s a bold move and it shows the commitment to her craft and to her art.” “For artists, it’s the dream,” says Kiren Niki Sangra. Sangra, an artist herself, is also Creative Operations Coordinator at the Centre for Creative Arts, which hosted Candace’s show, Life Markers, in October. Many of the Life Markers pieces were big—six feet of smoothly sculpted wood imbued with avian features. “It was so great,” says Sangra. “People would walk in the door, they’d turn the corner and their faces would light up. You could hear them say, ‘wow.’” “It’s rare to see wood sculpture created locally,” Sangra says. “When you told people they could touch the pieces, everyone went ‘ohh.’ It’s always, ‘don’t touch the art!’ The wood is so smooth and beautifully finished. It adds another layer to the experience.” Jim Stokes, a well-established local painter, attended the show. “I’ve never seen a show just so wholeheartedly enjoyed and praised by the public,” he says. “As a full body of work, it was very striking.” Stokes has been part of the art scene in Grande Prairie for 35 years. That scene took note of Life Markers. “When we see a new artist who’s really working at a very high standard and producing top-quality work, it’s just a joy to see,” Stokes says. The Game
‘It’s spontaneity in wood, it’s spiritual,” says local painter and
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muralist Tim Heimdal. “I’m reminded of the totemic art of the West Coast that inspired Emily Carr or the spirit paintings of Alex Janvier. Lovely.” Gordon Mackey, a pencil artist and former president of Artists North, also attended the show. “At first glance, you might just see a sculpture,” he says, “but the more you look at it you see there are subtle design features, hidden meanings in it that you didn’t notice at first.” As Heimdal noted, the West Coast certainly influences her work. Candace is closely connected with the creatures of Gabriola Island, BC, where she and Charles own a piece of land and a cottage. Every piece the artist makes is inspired by connections made with animals; often birds. Indeed, every artistic move she makes is deliberate: the western red cedar represents her heart and mind on the West Coast and the lodgepole pine, her roots in the Peace Country prairies. Every piece represents feeling, emotion, and intimate connection, closely connected to Candace’s experiences. It is personal stuff—and a conscious decision. “As artists, do we make what people seem to like and what people seem to buy? Or do we make what is nearest to ourselves and risk nobody else liking it or worse, making a fool of ourselves?” Candace says. She decided that for her, the only option was the latter. Risks be damned. “I don’t do art as a political or environmental protest,” she says. “My purpose is self-discovery and to understand where I fit.”
Each bit of former tree has a journey to undertake before coming to Candace’s chisels. It must first cure for several years, to dry, to balance its humidity and to get any ‘checking’, that is, cracking, out of its system. Even after a sculpture is fully finished, it may shift as years pass. “That’s the beauty of working with wood,” says Candace. “It’s going to continue to change over time. There’s nothing I can do to stop that. I don’t want to. Just like you and me, we change as we age. We respond to our environment.” Fittingly, her next show is called Life Markers, Milestone 2. Inspired by the original milestones—rocks placed at every mile on the road, to show progress—it will build on her previous work. “It’s still Life Markers, still my journey but it’s my next milestone,” she says. “I don’t want to keep doing what I’ve been doing. I want what I did to influence where I’m going, but I still want to be going forward.” There’s no doubt she’s moving. With her artistic drive, her passionate heart, it’s hard to imagine Candace Sanderson doing anything else. “I think in the years to come I’m going to be saying, ‘Hey, I used to know her,” says Mackey. Candace Sanderson has, at present time, two shows scheduled in 2016. Life Markers, Milestone 2 is scheduled to run at the Beaverlodge Area Cultural Centre, July 24–August 25. A partner show with Gordon Mackey, theme: Portraits, is scheduled for November 16 at the Centre for Creative Arts.
Candace spends five to nine hours in her creation space every day. It’s not easy work. As Jim Stokes says, “All this beauty and subtle elegance comes at a tremendous amount of grinding and sawing and chipping and sanding and polishing and dust and grit and sweat.” In the past few years, Candace has graduated from chisels to an arsenal of power tools. “I’m starting to understand the wood,” she says, “what the wood is capable of and then in turn what my skills can do with it.” Her fellow artist, Gordon Mackey, attests to it. “I’m a retired shop teacher so I’m quite knowledgeable about wood,” he says, “but she’s just as knowledgeable as I am. It’s very impressive.” The sculptor is always quick to give the credit to her artistic partner. “What I do is not much more than half the work,” she says. “The wood provides most of the beauty.”
Sculpture: New Beginnings, Painting: Study of the Group of Seven
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Sculptures: Migration (foreground), The View (top left), What Lies In Between (top right)
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from bird to sculpture THE PROCESS OF CANDACE SANDERSON
WRITTEN BY ERIKA SHERK ARTWORK BY CANDACE SANDERSON PHOTOGRAPHY BY CHRIS BEAUCHAMP/BEAUCHAMP PHOTOGRAPHY
When Candace Sanderson sculpts, the very first step is answering the question: what creature? “It’s always an animal that I’m going to sculpt and it typically seems to be birds,” she says. So first, deep thought. What animals has she seen lately, what are they teaching her? When she has an idea, online image research begins. The creature’s features are considered, skeletal structures observed. Sometimes she’ll read related folklore. Once convinced the right bird has been chosen, the sculptor begins to sketch. Candace starts by drawing the skeleton, to learn the bird inside-out. She’ll also sketch using organic fluid lines, expressing the emotion the bird inspires. “All I’ll do all day, sitting on the floor, is sketch after sketch after sketch with a big sketchbook and either a mechanical pencil or a basic 2B and a nice rubber eraser,” she says. When she has a satisfying work in hand, Candace uses her window, “nature’s light box,” to trace it onto big sheets of translucent paper. These she can turn it around and consider from the back—crucial for a 3D project. The next step is one final sketch and presenting it for consideration—to her husband Charles. “I’ll say, ‘what do you think?’ And he’ll look at it—‘I like this part, I don’t like this, what are you trying to do here?’ et cetera.” Lately she has started creating clay maquette (small-scale versions of the finished product.) “I don’t always do that,” she
says, “but I’ve discovered that with the last two sculptures I’m pushing further with the wood than I have in the past.” Sketches are no longer adequate. “The maquette tells me how much I’m going to be asking of myself and the wood this time.” Candace also photographs a straight-line drawing of her sketch. A data projector beams it onto the wood she has chosen. Once the images are on the wood, she begins ‘hogging out’— removing the big, unnecessary chunks—using power tools and hand saws. The wood is then clamped in for hand tool work, her favourite part. “It’s the best part of wood working— the sound, the feel, the smell.” “It’s the part where it gets really sort of spiritual,” she says. “I’ve worked as far as I can and then the wood gets to be more primarily involved in the process. It doesn’t hold a chisel, obviously, but it gets to have more influence on how the form takes shape.” Once the sculpture is finished, sanded, and polished (after one to two months of full-time work) she coats it with tung oil. “The colour changes instantly so you end up with huge contrasts between dark and light,” Candace says. “It changes so dramatically when you oil it.” Before completion, the sculpture needs a strong base. Candace builds a mortise and tenon and slots the sculpture to its base, cedar to pine. It is finished. Artist, wood and bird-inspiration have come together; the sculpture’s new life begins. art of the peace
780 518 8711
780 518 3899
Sandy Troudt PAINTER/PRINTMAKER
ACRYLIC WORKSHOPS AVAILABLE
Marj Taylor phone. 780-532-0355 email. email@example.com
McNaught Homestead Heritage � Art Retreats � Hiking Trails � Historical Art Studio/Schoolhouse � Newly Restored Barn
2016 Special Events Saturday, April 23th, 2016
Annual Gala Fundraiser Sunday, July 24th, 2016
Annual McNaught Festival + IODE Strawberry Tea: Live music, art demos, exhibits & children’s activities
Saturday, October 22th, 2016
Ghost Walk: Halloween fun for families
www.mcnaught-homestead-heritage.com 22 art of the peace
address. 9506 77 Avenue Grande Prairie, AB T8V 4T3
Original Art from the Peace Region Available at the Beaverlodge Cultural Centre 780-933-6030 | firstname.lastname@example.org
JULY & AUGUST, 2016
Peace River Museum, Archives & Mackenzie Centre in partnership with the Sagitawa Friendship Society
An art installation of cedar frames holding over 800 objects connected to Residential School experiences from across Canada 10302 99 Street, Peace River, Alberta T8S 1K1 | 780.624.4261 email@example.com | peaceriver.ca/visitors/museum
Drawing on Wellness Holistic and Artistic Self Care
Red Deer College | Alberta July 4 – 29, 2016
Lynn LeCorre-Dallaire B.Ed, C.H.H.C. Artist • Art Educator • Health Coach email. lynnldallaire.gmail.com www.LynnLeCorre.com
SUMMER ARTS SCHOOL
painting | drawing | jewelry | printmaking | ceramics | sculpture woodworking | glass art | mixed media | fibre | and more… www.rdc.ab.ca/series | 403.357.3663
The Alberta Foundation for the Arts Travelling Exhibition Program The Alberta Foundation for the Arts (AFA) has supported a provincial travelling exhibition program since 1981. The mandate of the AFA Travelling Exhibition Program is to provide every Albertan with the opportunity to enjoy visual art exhibitions in their community. Three regional galleries and one arts organization coordinate the program for the AFA: Northwest Alberta: Art Gallery of Grande Prairie Northeast and North Central Alberta: Art Gallery of Alberta Southwest Alberta: The Alberta Society of Artists Southeast Alberta: Esplanade Arts & Heritage Centre
For the 2016/2017 Travelling Season the Art Gallery of Grande Prairie Presents Three New Exhibitions: White Nurse
Blair Brennan (From the AFA Collection)
Habit Forming, Ink and Branded Text on Paper, Blair Brennan
something now as different than before Larissa Tiggelers
Untitled Pink, Acrylic Paint on Paper, Larissa Tiggelers
Kleskun Hills: Views and Viewpoints Helena Mulligan, Teresa Durand, and Naomi Deutecom
Awesome View, Pastels on Paper, Helena Mulligan
For a complete list of exhibitions visit aggp.ca
9839 103 Avenue, Grande Prairie, AB T8V 6M7 Located in the Montrose Cultural Centre P: 780-532-8111 | F: 780-539-9522 | E: firstname.lastname@example.org
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MR. TURNER (2014)
A DRAMA ABOUT THE LAST 25 YEARS OF THE LIFE AND CAREER OF PAINTER J.M.W. TUNER Mr. Turner is Mike Leigh’s biopic that follows the last 25 years (1826–1851) of J.M.W. Turner’s life, when London was celebrating ‘modern’ painters and England was on the cusp of a New Age. The film is full of evanescent light, and references Turner’s more mature paintings. Attention to historical accuracy is noteworthy (but for a harsh interpretation of John Ruskin) and the scenes from Turner’s studio, travels, and everyday pursuits reveal ‘the mess of creative life.’ This film is a sombre study of contrasts. Turner is portrayed as a grunting boor with a genius ability to interpret atmospheric colour in his work. He lumbers through different strata of society and seems comfortable only when he is solitary and outdoors. Vulgar in personal relationships, he is fascinated by science, yet paints with a spiritual reverence for light and a God-given understanding of the sublime truths of nature. Through this film, we are able to appreciate J.M.W. Turner’s simple yet profound death bed utterance, “The sun is God.” Understanding this virtuoso and villain is a more challenging enterprise.
art in review WRITTEN BY ANDREA JOHANNSON
EFFIE GRAY (2014)
A LOOK AT THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN ART CRITIC JOHN RUSKIN AND HIS BRIDE EFFIE GRAY Opening scenes of Effie Gray evolve like a Victorian fairy tale (referencing John Ruskin’s The King of the Golden River). Each set is designed like a Pre-Raphaelite painting with dramatic lighting, rich colours, and obsessive attention to detail. Effie Gray herself is represented as an innocent but lively young woman possessing an inquisitive and intelligent nature. However, the happy ending for Effie Gray is elusive. The film repetitively focuses on Effie’s overwhelming oppression and rejection by her husband, artist, critic, and writer, John Ruskin. While Ruskin champions the medieval philosophy of the Pre-Raphaelite painters and their devotion to truth in beauty and spiritual integrity, he is a lack-lustre husband. Ruskin is exposed as a narcissistic, classical scholar, manipulated by his family. His dreary character lends itself to the deterioration of this Victorian marriage. While Effie Gray is a visual delight, it offers only a passing nod at historical fact and lacks a substantive social analysis making for a disappointing interpretation of these two fascinating individuals. The talents of the brilliant John Ruskin have been overshadowed and dismissed. Effie Gray suffers the same fate.
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WRITTEN BY EILEEN CORSTINE
WE HONOUR THE PASSING OF FIVE NOTABLE PEACE REGION ARTISTS, WHOSE CONTRIBUTIONS WE ACKNOWLEDGE WITH GRATITUDE AND HUMILITY. THANK YOU MAISIE NOULLETT, BERNICE TRIDER, DORIS REYNOLDS, GEORGE HENN, AND KANE GRAY FOR YOUR MANY CONTRIBUTIONS TO ART IN THE
Maisie Noullett, 1927–2015. Photo by Mike Noullett
PEACE. MAY YOU REST IN PEACE AS WE CONTINUE TO BE INSPIRED BY YOUR RESPECTIVE LEGACIES.
Maisie Noullett had a careful eye and skilled hands. Although she became known for her weaving, she was interested and had been instructed in pottery and painting as well as other fibre arts. A long time member of Peace Country Spinners and Weavers, Maisie’s aesthetic sense was always top notch, and she loved to try new things. Bernice Trider returned to her childhood love of painting in 1969, beginning with oils. In 1980, her introduction to Robert Guest put her on the path to watercolour painting and she loved it. No one could depict the green of the Peace Country landscape like Bernice. Doris Reynolds loved to work directly from nature, especially in the Peace River valley and Alberta mountain parks. Doris also began her painting career with oils, but eventually, in her words “caught on” and moved on to the watercolours for which she was lauded. Bernice and Doris were avid students of the Peace Summerschool of Landscape Art, which Doris helped organize. Both were also lifetime members of the Peace Watercolour Society. All three of these talented artists dedicated years of volunteer time to the original Fairview Arts and Crafts Club and later to the Fairview Fine Arts Society. They also mentored many regional fiber artists, potters, and painters over the years by maintaining the
weekly weaving and painting groups at Fairview Fine Arts Centre.
For more than 30 years, George Henn of Beaverlodge, found his main creative outlet in weaving. Initially inspired by the Navajo weavers of the American Southwest, George realized that weaving was the medium that would always intrigue and challenge him. In 1984, he became a member of Peace Country Spinners and spent the rest of his life honing his craft. George became proficient in both flat weaving of utilitarian goods and numerous ‘folk inspired’ tapestries, rendered in his self-professed ‘Grandma Moses style’.
Bernice Trider, 1926–2015. Photo by Eileen Coristine
Doris Reynolds, 1924–2016. Photo by Bert Reynolds
Fellow artists can attest to George’s generosity, talent and charisma. We honour the depth of George’s life and his giving spirit. Grande Prairie artist Kane Gray was in the planning process of bringing his unique vision of mural painting to his show at the Art Gallery of Grande Prairie, when he passed away early this year. His show entitled Burning Bridges, will continue at the Art Gallery of Grande Prairie until May 22, 2016.
George Henn, 1930–2016. Photo courtesy Marjorie Henn
Kane lived a vibrant life filled with art, friends, his beloved dog, music, and community work. Kane Gray, 1983–2016. Photo courtesy the Daily Herald Tribune
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Art Fest: Guest Artists WRITTEN BY TWYLA EXNER
LESLIE BELL Abstract painter and filmmaker Leslie Bell, resides in Calgary, Alberta. After completing a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in painting from ACAD, she obtained a Master of Fine Arts degree in studio arts from Concordia University. Originally, Leslie’s artistic interests were rooted in landscape paintings of trees. Over time, her tree paintings have transformed and evolved towards large-scale abstract installations and animations. A pivotal change in thinking occurred for Leslie in 2008 while attending the “Cosmic Ray” residency at the Banff Centre. Surrounded by artists, she developed the idea to create a large scale collage, which she considers the seed of her current practice. She continues to work on it to this day.
AGC Cosmic Installation, collage, paint, chalk, and pen on mylar and paper cut-outs, 20’ X 20’ X 25’, Leslie Bell, 2013
Leslie has worked with a variety of painting and drawing materials to create her diverse portfolio. She has fostered a love-hate relationship with oil paint for its challenges and versatility. She describes it as “the most technically, physically and mentally challenging media” she has ever worked with. Currently, Leslie has become captivated by paper weaving, as an expression of simple order. Inspiration usually begins in the studio where various processes lead to new ideas. Once inspired, she sees her new idea surface everywhere: a tree, a diagram on the Internet, via research or a concept in critical theory.
TWYLA EXNER Twyla Exner is a mixed media artist who lives in Grande Prairie, Alberta. She spent her youth drawing and creating from plasticine. Twyla’s interests were nurtured by her parents and a multitude of community art instructors, who inspired her to complete a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Sculpture from the University of Regina and a Master of Fine Arts degree in Studio Arts from Concordia University. Imagery derived from science and technology often serve as the starting point for Twyla’s work. She enjoys looking at scientific illustrations, microscopic imagery, deconstructed computer systems, and museological specimens. These images evolve in her mind, combining into intricate and humorous drawings and sculptures.
Top: Thing 1, telephone wire, Twyla Exner, 2013 Bottom: Electrical Field, wire, plugs, outlets, MDF, 2013
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She has experimented with a wide range of art mediums but has focused her attention on materials and images that enable and comprise the physical substance of obsolete technologies. Telephone wire first made an appearance in her life in 2002 and has been the physical and conceptual force behind many of her drawings and sculptures ever since. She favours the plastic coated copper wire for its availability, adaptability, and symbolism. Exhibiting in public galleries and providing workshops to various communities, has taken Twyla to many cities across Canada.
ART OF THE PEACE WILL PRESENT ITS BIANNUAL ART FEST MAY 13TH–15TH, 2016 IN GRANDE PRAIRIE. ARTIST PRESENTATIONS AND WORKSHOPS, PLUS THE RETURN TO THE EARTH JURIED ENVIRONMENTAL SCULPTURE COMPETITION WILL BE FEATURED. VISIT artofthepeace.ca/art-fest FOR DETAILS.
ZACHARI LOGAN Zachari Logan is a Saskatoon-based artist who works mainly in drawing, ceramics, and installation practices. Since his youth, Zachari’s drawings were praised by his family. As a dyslexic, he found that art helped him express himself, as writing was not an easily accessible mode of communication. He earned both a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree and a Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of Saskatchewan. Zachari also entered into the Mendel Art Gallery’s “Artists by Artists” program where he worked with tenured Professor Alison Norlen as a mentor. Early in his career, Zachari used oil paint to create time-consuming paintings. In search of a more immediate form of expression and physical interaction with materials, he moved into drawing with pastels because of their blending capacity and colour saturation. Recently, Zachari has been captivated by clay for its physicality. Zachari’s own body is the catalyst for his art: Working with the body, he describes it as a “continual reference to the canon of art history and genres of art and resituating my own narratives and ideas about identity and place onto them”. He sustains a busy schedule with exhibitions and residencies that take him on international adventures to destinations such as New York and Italy.
Leshy 2, pastel on black paper, 50” x 70”, Zachari Logan, 2014
CLEMENT YEH Clement Yeh of Kamloops, BC is a self-described ‘maker of stuff’. He obtained a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Drawing from the Alberta College of Art and Design and a Master of Fine Arts degree in Sculpture from Concordia University. Encouraged by his mother he ‘art-journaled’ more than 2100 entries from ages 6-12. Continuing this practice, Clement has now filled over twenty-five sketchbooks. Clement highly values technical skill. He believes that well-crafted objects communicate more effectively. From the historical works of Leonardo da Vinci to contemporary artist Ai Wei Wei, Clement has an admiration for artists who are inspired by multiple facets of the world and execute their ideas with refined craftsmanship. He draws inspiration from artists, nature, and current socio-political events. He has dabbled in almost every media, but found his passion in the areas of drawing and woodworking. Clement has worked as illustrator, videographer, dinosaur fossil restorer, and industrial silk screener. He advocates for working artists, saying that “a job or career in either arts administration, teaching, or an entirely different field may appear on the surface to be a diversion away from studio practice, but it can actually be a huge investment in the sustainability of one’s future as an artist, as well as a support for their own mental health.”
Apology Dice, David Garneau and Clement Yeh, 2013, Performance at the Art Gallery of Algoma, June 2014
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artcetera WEAVING ALONG
WRITTEN BY RENE GIESBRECHT, PHOTOGRAPHY BY STEPHANIE GIESBRECHT
In my world as a weaver, it is a joyful, if at times challenging and lengthy, journey from source to finished weaving. The first step in my weaving process is to source the wool. Close to Fort St. John, we have a local farm that raises Romney cross sheep. Each breed of sheep has different characteristics that make it good for one thing or another. If it is soft
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wool (merino or bond) it is great for ‘next to the skin’ items. If it is coarse and lustrous (Romney or Lincoln) it is perfect for a rug or tapestry. If the wool is downy and woolly (Finn or Cheviot) it is great for sweaters. All wool is good for something, but for a piece to be prime, it is important to match the right wool with what you intend to make.
Next, I sort the wool, and then gently soak it in hot soapy water, in a non-agitating manner, one small batch at a time. After it is rinsed and clean, it is laid out to dry. My favourite time to do this is in summer when the wool can be dried outdoors. Once thoroughly dry, the wool is either carded or combed, depending on what I want for the finished product; whether it be a worsted or a woolen yarn. Carding and combing straightens and aligns the fibres making them ready for spinning. I use both hand carders and an electric drum carder when I am preparing larger amounts of wool. I use 5 pitch wool combs that work well for a worsted preparation. Next, the spinning. I have a few spinning wheels, each with its pros and cons, along with a great collection of drop spindles. I do most of my spinning on a wheel. The fibre is spun into yarn. Singles, 2 ply or 3 ply, are each spun a particular way. For a soft lofty yarn I use a long draw. When a strong, sleek yarn is required, I use a short forward draft. After a couple of bobbins are filled, the yarn is plied by spinning together 2 or 3 strands in the opposite direction in which it was spun. The finished yarn is removed from the wheel and wound into a skein, then tied in several places. This skein is soaked and washed to remove any remaining debris, and also to set the twist. At times I dye the wool using commercial dyes but I prefer local, natural dyes. There is nothing like a ‘tromp’ through the bush collecting plants for dyeing. Recently my two little grandsons came running excitedly to my house with a bag of assorted lichens. I have trained them well! The dye pot came out. We now have lovely golden wool. I have used many dyes including goldenrod, dyers camomile, alder bark, bedstraw root, dandelions, various lichens and poplar bark. Once carded, washed, spun and dyed, the yarn is ready for the next stage – knitting, stitching, braiding or weaving. I generally work on a 40 inch floor loom but I have a few other sizes as well. When you like to have several projects on the go, you need a few looms! Setting up the loom is a bit of a process but a ‘warped’ loom gives hours of weaving pleasure. Lately I have started tapestry weaving. As I work, I love to see the interaction of colours and textures that weaving reveals. Starting from ‘scratch’ means my yarns are alive and contain their own unique energy. My hands always want to be doing something; and in this way, I can work on a piece, no matter what is happening in my life, or how much time or attention span I have. How fascinating it is to interpret what inspires me, with yarn, into a weaving.
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CAILY OLDERSHAW A STUDIO OF HER OWN - WRITTEN BY ANDREA JOHANNSON You can feel the excitement in Caily Oldershaw’s description of her new workplace. “Having a studio space outside my home has been a real game changer for me.” Previously Caily worked in a tiny living area while ‘navigating around’ her twin daughters. Recently, Caily procured a ‘room of her own’, renting the visual arts space at the Calvin Cruk Centre for the Performing Arts in Dawson Creek. Caily’s new studio space has become ‘like a sanctuary, almost free of distractions’. While she paints (oils), she listens to music, artist’s interviews, online critiques, and lectures— and often simply silence. Because Caily wanted to protect her children from toxic chemicals while painting at home, she developed a technique without solvents: Subsequently, this technique lends itself to her signature style.
Three BC Artists
While nature stimulates Caily’s interest, bees are her particular passion. Raised on an apiary, and influenced by the research and knowledge of father and grandfather, she comes by this fascination naturally. Though allergic to bee stings, Caily continues the family legacy by photographing and painting bees. After Caily sees her daughters off to school, she spends the rest of the day in her studio and paints until it is time to pick up her children. Once a month she teaches a painting workshop at Diamond Willow Retreat, located just a few minutes east of Dawson Creek. Although she is very happy with her studio, Caily hopes eventually to move to a country home-and-studio setup. She dreams of painting all winter and gardening all summer; while all the while, creating to her heart’s content.
Photo by Solyana Oldershaw
WRITTEN BY ANDREA JOHANNSON AND KIT FAST
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SHANNON BUTLER KILNHOUSE STUDIO - WRITTEN BY ANDREA JOHANNSON From the first moment she saw it, Shannon knew that the studio space she christened Kilnhouse Studio, would suit her needs. Replete with a sunlit zone in front, to the large high-ceilinged space in back, Shannon felt that she could ‘think big’ in these rooms. This is home to her wheel, clay, tables and kiln.
Photo by Kit Fast
Originally she lived in the studio; cooking on a hotplate and fending off prairie winters. Hence she feels a strong sentimental tie to this space—where she creates her electric-fired porcelaneous stoneware. Shannon maintains a gruelling six day work week. From the time she dons her work apron and turns on CBC Radio, to the minute she gets home to man and dog, Shannon uses her time to update her social media and create her remarkable pottery. “There is a huge amount of solitude [here] which feels totally natural at this point,” she says.
KIT FAST DESTINATION UNKNOWN - WRITTEN BY KIT FAST
Shannon opens her studio to the public every week. Thus, she satisfies her desire to socialize while embracing her need to produce new work efficiently. Shannon’s philosophy, deeply rooted from her upbringing, declares “Ceramics are similar to farming in that every day there is something new to do and chances are that it has everything to do with what you did yesterday.” Mugs are produced one day, trimmed the next and handles added. While they are fully drying, many other projects are started. Shannon may be working on ‘17 different things’ since timing is everything with clay. While she is adamant about keeping each piece one-off, Shannon produces work in a series, maintaining that ‘craftsmanship is key’.
Having a dedicated 10’ x 20’ studio space is new to me. For three months now, I have rented the top floor of a house owned by author and photographer Don Pettit. I think a studio allows for things to find their place. Objects become subjects when they sit in relation to each other. Photographs, texts, found objects, and tools become active in the imagination while you work within the studio space. I grew up in Dawson Creek and returned 10 years ago to live and work in my home town. Most of my work begins with the photograph. This includes printing images on canvas to be cut and stitched together and photos placed into assemblage sculpture. I am now experimenting with iPhone panoramas and explorations in clay sculpture.
Recent work involved the mapping of ‘place’ through assemblage sculpture. Each place is mapped by collecting and combining a found object with a carved map, a text in the form of a journal entry and a reference to industry—usually with threaded rods, bolts and washers. This reincarnation of place through experience hints at the relationships that enliven the land. It’s always exciting to start a day’s hike or a day in the studio with an unpredictable destination.
Photo by Sarah Sovereign Photography
Changes on the land through development and resource extraction continue to inspire my work. To understand a ‘place’ requires curiosity tempered with patience and a willingness to approach the familiar from many perspectives, using many materials and media.
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Exhibitions+ Opportunities CHECK OUT ARTOFTHEPEACE.CA FOR MORE DETAILS
Art of the Peace EXHIBITIONS + OPPORTUNITIES Become a Member Register at artofthepeace.ca or call 780-532-2573 for details Art Fest and Land Art May 13th–15th, 2016 For details visit artofthepeace.ca ce.ca
Dawson Creek, BC DAWSON CREEK ART GALLERY EXHIBITIONS + OPPORTUNITIES Call 250-782-2601 or visit DCArtGallery.ca for more info
Fairview, AB FAIRVIEW FINE ARTS CENTRE EXHIBITIONS + OPPORTUNITIES Call 780-835-2697 or visit fairviewfinearts.com for info
BEAVERLODGE CULTURAL CENTRE EXHIBITIONS + OPPORTUNITIES Gallery exhibition and gift shop sales opportunities are available. Call 780-354-3600 or visit beaverlodgegallery.com
MCNAUGHT HOMESTEAD EXHIBITIONS + OPPORTUNITIES The Schoolhouse Studio is available for retreats, classroom, gallery or meetings. For info call 780-5126316 or visit McNaught-Homestead-Heritage.com
Fort St. John, BC PEACE GALLERY NORTH EXHIBITIONS + OPPORTUNITIES Call 250-787-0993 or visit npcc.bc.ca for more info
COMMUNITY ART COUNCIL EXHIBITIONS + OPPORTUNITIES Call 250-787-2781 or email email@example.com for info
GRANDE CACHE TOURISM & INTERPRETIVE CENTRE
HIGH PRAIRIE & DISTRICT MUSEUM
EXHIBITIONS + OPPORTUNITIES Call 888-827-3790 or visit GrandeCache.ca for info
EXHIBITIONS + OPPORTUNITIES Call Darlene Adams at 780-523-2601 for info
Grande Prairie, AB
EXHIBITIONS + OPPORTUNITIES Contact Raylene Snider by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 780-624-4076 for info
GRANDE PRAIRIE MUSEUM EXHIBITIONS + OPPORTUNITIES Call 780-532-5482 or visit cityofgp.com/gpmuseum for info
PEACE RIVER MUSEUM
ART GALLERY OF GRANDE PRAIRIE
EXHIBITIONS + OPPORTUNITIES Call 780-624-4261 or visit peaceriver.ca/visitors/museum for info
EXHIBITIONS + OPPORTUNITIES Call 780-532-8111 or visit aggp.ca for info
Alberta & BC
GRANDE PRAIRIE REGIONAL COLLEGE
artrubicon For opportunities, exhibitions, events, visit artrubicon.com
EXHIBITIONS + OPPORTUNITIES Call Tanya at 780-539-2443 for info
QEII HOSPITAL, COURTYARD
Alberta Federation of Artists For information about grants and other resources, visit affta.ab.ca
EXHIBITIONS + OPPORTUNITIES Call Fiona at 780-830-4855 for info
Gift Shop watercolours, local pottery, knitwear, Calvin Cornish prints, dichroic glass, jewellery, quilted and hand woven items
Welcoming applications from all professional artists – from the traditional to those who work in new and digital media
PEACE RIVER MUNICIPAL LIBRARY AND CULTURAL CENTRE
EXHIBITIONS + OPPORTUNITIES Call 780-814-6080 or visit creativecentre.ca for info
Call for Memberships
Open National Juried SCA Online Exhibition
Peace River, AB
CENTRE FOR CREATIVE ARTS
Society of Canadian Artists
check out the
High Prairie, AB
Grande Cache, AB
780-835-2697 www.fairviewfinearts.com April Joanne McQuarrie / Gene Toews
32 art of the peace
• quilting • glass • photography • portraiture • oil painting • children’s art • knitting • meditation • drop-in classes
fairview fine arts centre
Artists at School / Creation’s Inc
Katherine Moe and Friends
Callista Gemmell and Friends
March 15th - July 15th
Spring Courses 2016
Tel: 250-782-2601 | www.dcartgallery.ca
101-816 Alaska Ave, Dawson Creek, BC V1G 4T6
Artist Run Centre | 13 Exhibits Per Year Art Rental | Education Programs By Donation | Year Round | Gift Shop
Return Earâ€ h TO THE
Environmental Sculpture Competition
Opening Reception & Awards
Guest Artists Presentations
Workshops & Art Demos
Sheep to Shawl, Lamp Work Glass Beads, Medieval Crafts,
Featuring Four Diverse & Accomplished Guest Artists Leslie Bell, Twyla Exner, Zachari Logan, and Clement Yeh
Everyone is invited to view the sculptures all weekend long and enjoy the Sunday art demos. Register for presentations and workshops online.
As long as I have memory, I have been fascinated by all forms of fibre arts. My mother was a prolific knitter, stitcher, and sewer. As a child, I harassed her to teach me these things. In my youth, while on a school trip to an historical fort, I observed a woman weaving on a floor loom. I was intrigued and knew that at some point in my life I needed to learn more about that! My opportunity arose years later at a potter’s sale. There, in one corner, was a display of crudely woven items and a big bowl full of highly textured balls of hand spun yarn. This array spoke to me—yelled, actually—and I was smitten. The wife of the potter, a spinner herself, noticed my interest and offered to teach me what she knew. And so a teaching-friendship began. At that time (1979) spinning was done on an Indian head spinner which was attached to a treadle sewing machine base and the weaving on nail looms—very primitive and certainly the product was primitive as well. Within the year I joined the fledgling Fort St. John Weaver’s Guild. As a young mother, I continued to dabble with the fibre arts; but once the kids were grown I continued in earnest, taking workshops whenever the opportunity arose. I continue that to this day—there is always something to learn! Recently I graduated with a ‘Master Weaver Certification’ (6 year program) from Olds College.
34 art of the peace
My inspirations are eclectic. Bark on a tree— its colours and textures beg me to transform them into a weaving. People, art, nature—I ask myself how I may translate these into fibre? And I am drawn to only natural fibres; wool, linen, cotton, silk, alpaca, or hemp. They are even better when locally-produced. I attend the annual sheep shearing at a local Fort St John farm; and l have grown flax in my garden and cotton in my greenhouse. Because of my enduring passion, I have always felt that weaving had to be ‘in my blood’. Shortly before my Dad passed away he told me about my Grandmother whom I had never I met. She had been a spinner and weaver in Latvia! There it is—I knew it! Perhaps that is why I MUST do this. I cannot imagine my life without weaving.
Art works for Sylvie Richard. As a child Sylvie loved to draw and create stories. When she graduated from high school she didnâ€™t think she could channel that creative energy into a life-long career. She took Open Studies at GPRC and regained her passion for art in her Fine Arts classes while her instructors showed her all the places she could go with an arts education. This gave her the confidence to pursue her Fine Arts degree. Sylvie now animates television shows at DHX Media and children around the world see her work.
Art works for Sylvie. It can work for you too.
S y lv ie
Op en St ud ies , 20 09
A RT GALLERY OF GRANDE P RAI RI E We hope you will be inspired to visit the Art Gallery of Grande Prairie and continue our journey of exploration, inspiration and preservation of the human spirit through art. Since 1975, the community has created an engine for creativity; one that will never cease to expose the minds of this community to the newest, the most innovative and the most beautiful creations of our society and it is our honour to continue protecting, nurturing and enhancing that legacy. The future of the Art Gallery is just as surprising, enlightening, rewarding, exciting and mysterious as is the experience of art itself.
Photos by: Teeple Architects
#103, 9839 – 103 Avenue, Grande Prairie, Alberta T8V 6M7 | PHONE: 780-532-8111 | EMAIL: email@example.com | FREE ADMISSION GALLERY HOURS: Monday – Wednesday: 10 am – 6 pm | Thursday: 10 am – 9 pm | Friday & Saturday: 10 am – 5 pm
Sunday: 1 pm – 5 pm | Holidays: Closed
A GG P. C A
In this issue.. a winter's conversation with Peter Von Tiesenhausen, the biannual Art Fest, and a feature piece on Candace Sanderson's elega...
Published on May 3, 2016
In this issue.. a winter's conversation with Peter Von Tiesenhausen, the biannual Art Fest, and a feature piece on Candace Sanderson's elega...