New artis­tic ven­ture in An­caster

Fresh from the Stu­dio of­fers a cor­nu­copia of work by lo­cal artists

The Hamilton Spectator - - GO - REGINA HAGGO dhaggo@thes­pec.com

THE BURBS are strik­ing back.

Arthur Green­blatt, charis­matic ex-DVSA di­rec­tor, put to­gether a Fine Arts Com­mit­tee to over­see an ex­hi­bi­tion of lo­cal artists for An­caster’s Field­cote Mu­seum.

“We de­cided to do a juried show out in the burbs, not on James North,” Green­blatt said de­fi­antly.

The call went out be­fore Christ­mas. Green­blatt says more than 100 pieces were sub­mit­ted and the com­mit­tee chose 45 for Fresh from the Stu­dio, a new ven­ture.

The ex­hi­bi­tion com­prises mostly paint­ings and pho­to­graphs with some sculp­ture, tex­tile and stained glass work. The artists, some well es­tab­lished, oth­ers emerg­ing, tackle a great va­ri­ety of sub­jects in­clud­ing landscapes, still-lifes, por­traits and ab­stracts.

A big land­scape filled with ra­di­ant colour by Marike Scholtens is one of sev­eral ex­am­ples of the genre.

In “Path­way to the Top,” a wind­ing path takes over the whole of the fore­ground and makes it easy for us to en­ter the paint­ing. Yet a row of trees, some bare, oth­ers in leaf, stop us from barg­ing into the rest of the scene.

Scholtens paints in a loosely life­like style, us­ing the strokes of the brush to sug­gest shapes rather than pick­ing out in­di­vid­ual de­tails.

Michelle Teitsma’s “Grapes,” a dra­matic oil ex­e­cuted in a life­like style, es­tab­lishes a close and inti- mate re­la­tion­ship with the viewer. A pair of over-life­size hands emerges from the dark­ness hold­ing out bunches of red and green grapes and fills the pic­to­rial space.

Irene Kly­menko’s “The Tea Party” tempts the eye with a less healthy yet tasty feast painted in sunny tones. Slices of lemon meringue pie await in the fore­ground, tea and cup­cakes in the back. Kly­menko tilts the ta­ble so that we won’t miss all the good­ies.

“Con­tem­pla­tion,” a dy­namic ab­stract by Richard Zazu­lak, is filled with sharp-edged geo­met­ric shapes and lines run­ning in many di­rec­tions, cre­at­ing a strong sense of move­ment. The re­stricted pal­ette of black, white, grey, yel­low, blue, red and green adds to the com­po­si­tion’s clar­ity.

Pamela Lakin takes a qui­eter ap­proach in “Thought­ful,” a strik­ing por­trait, a genre Lakin is ex­cel- ling at. She’s placed her sit­ter, a bearded man, in an in­te­rior. Slightly hunched over, hands clasped and fore­head with a slight frown, he looks lost in thought, un­able to re­turn our gaze.

A por­trait of “Frida Kahlo” by Mar­garet Pot­tinger looks at first to be al­most too fa­mil­iar in a ho-hum sort of way. But up close, it turns out to be a won­der­ful in­ter­pre­ta­tion in fab­ric of one of the Mex­i­can artist’s self-por­traits.

Pot­tinger lay­ers and ap­pliqués plain and pat­terned fabrics, se­cur­ing them with hand em­broi­dery and ma­chine stitch­ing. And a fi­nal in­spired touch: she’s given Frida a real ear­ring.

There’s one prob­lem with the show. While some works are un­doubt­edly fresh from the stu­dio, oth­ers have been round the block a few times.

But, yes, I know how hard it is to strike the right tone with an ex­hi­bi­tion ti­tle, hav­ing wres­tled with this my­self as a cu­ra­tor.

Regina Haggo will be giv­ing a talk, Picasso’s Brush, an in­tro­duc­tion to an artis­tic ge­nius best known not for sub­tlety, but for shock and sex. It takes place at the Carnegie Gallery, 10 King St. W., Dun­das, on Wed­nes­day, Feb. 15, start­ing at 7 p.m. For in­for­ma­tion and tick­ets, con­tact the gallery at 905-627-4265.

Marike Scholtens, Path­way to the Top, acrylic on can­vas.

Michelle Teitsma, Grapes, oil on can­vas.

Pamela Lakin, Thought­ful, oil on can­vas.

Richard Zazu­lak, Con­tem­pla­tion, acrylic on can­vas.

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