Michael Robinson: Great Canadian Highway
November 17, 2007 – January 5, 2008
Opening Reception: Saturday, November 17, 2007, 2 – 4 pm. Artist will be present
The early Canadian fur trade and its impact on the land and its people is the subject of this wonderful upcoming exhibition. A gifted story teller and poet, Michael’s paintings, drawings and etchings make a rich and textured experience for the viewer. Reaching back to the time of the Hudson’s Bay Company and the Northwest Company the works are rich in the detailed landscape of northern Ontario.
Along with the story of this time and its impact on the land and its occupants, Michael’s inspiration for his art is drawn from his spiritual beliefs. Making people aware of the world around them, he believes, is the only hope for the future. He also sees, as so many others, a need for global balance. “It is important that we see the Earth as a living entity, only then can we understand where we fit”.
Join us at the Opening Reception on Saturday, November 17th, when Michael will be present.
Freeman Patterson: The Call of Creativity
Continues to November 5, 2007
Opening Reception: Sunday, November 4, 2007, 1 – 5 pm. The artist will be present.
Freeman Patterson is internationally recognized as a photographer, teacher, and writer. His books include Namaqualand :Garden of the Gods; Portraits of Earth; Shadow Light; the Garden; Canada: A Year of the Land; Between Friends/Entre Amis, and many instructional books on the subject of photography and visual design.
He received a master’s degree in divinity from Union Theological Seminary at Columbia University. Through the years, Mr. Patterson has received numerous awards and honours, including gold medals for distinguished contribution to photography from Canada’s National Association for Photographic Art and The National Film Board of Canada.
In 1985, Freeman was awarded the Order of Canada, and in 1990, he received the Progress Medal, the highest award offered by the Photographic Society of America (other recipients include Ansel Adams, Eliot Porter, and Jacques Cousteau). In 1995 he received a fellowship in the Photographic Society of South Africa and, more recently, a fellowship in The Nature Photographic Society of New Zealand and a Lifetime Achievement Award from the North American Nature Photographic Association. He is a member of the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts (RCA), and his photographic images have been accepted into the permanent collection of the National Gallery of Canada.
Mr. Patterson regularly conducts photographic workshops from his home in Shamper’s Bluff, New Brunswick, and he travels the world to photograph and teach. A large number of the images in his current exhibition were made during Freeman’s many teaching trips to South Africa and can be seen in his book Odysseys: Meditations and Thoughts for a Life’s Journey.
The gallery will be open Monday November 5th from 12 noon – 4pm in addition to its regular open hours. We are pleased that the student’s of St. Mary’s High School will be assisting with this event.
From Roots to Royalty: A Celebration of Fine Craft
August 28 – October 13, 2007
Opening Reception – September 8th, 2 – 4pm
Curated by Aurelie Collings (visit Aurelie’s gallery online at www.akcollings.com) and featuring the work of Susan Rankin, Phyllis Erwin, Joseph Roschar, Brad Copping, Ted Hodgett, Wendy Cain, Liz Parkinson, Merike Lugus, Nina Keogh, John Boorman, Martin Everist, Dorothy Winter, Bill Reddick, Michael Fortune, Evelyn Von Michalofski, Julie Lockau, Monica Johnston, Michael Snow, Paulus Tjian, Fiona Crangle, Hart Massey, Dianne Algera and Joe Lloyd.
The show covers a wide range of craft and craft-influenced fine art, from regional artists and artisans. There are “well-knowns” and “unknowns” in the show, with works ranging from rustic/folk/whimsy to objects commissioned for the Governor General. All of the work is of outstanding quality.
Metal sculpture by Hart Massey, and an extraordinary over-scale raku vessel by the late Joseph Roschar, are among the important pieces loaned to the show by private collectors: it is a wonderful opportunity to see works which are rarely available to the public. Another must-see is “Condimental Drift 2007″by Michael Snow. This work is the result of an unexpected collaboration between Canada’s most important living contemporary artist, and Thomas MacLaren Aitken, a potter well known for his functional dinnerware.
Ancient Places: Sacred Spaces – Ron Bolt, John Satterberg, Andrew Gregg
July 7 – August 23, 2007
Opening Reception – Saturday, July 7, 2007, 2 – 4pm
Artist Talks: Monday July 16, 2007 – 7pm
Society today is increasingly aware of how vulnerable our planet is. Science has brought home the messages of global warming and loss of natural habitat. Among those messages are the quieter, but no less urgent, calls of the cultural community. The remnants of ancient civilizations are fragile. The remoteness of these remnants has helped to preserve them, until now. The degredation that we see in our environment is affecting these records.
Ron Bolt and John Satterberg met on the Orkney Islands in 2005 to share a few days exploring the northern most location of standing stones. The resulting work is the focus of this exhibition. Coupled with the mixed media work of Andrew Gregg, which draws upon both Australian and North American indigenous drawing, the exhibition speaks to the vulnerable nature of our world and asks us to redefine the word “sacred”.
For the tribes of hunters still surviving in a few remote regions of the world and for the people who painted the caves of the Dordogne or engraved images in Gobustan in Azerbaijan, the Drakensberg Mountains of South Africa or Kakadu in Northern Australia, art is a mirror of the mind that has characterized the human species and continues to do so. It testifies to an ever-present past.
The vulnerability of that past and the natural world in which it exists is central to the work in this exhibition. The artistic expression of Ron Bolt, John Satterberg and Andrew Gregg mirrors the concern and respect that each artist feels for the environment – and also for the disregard for remnants of culture that are distant in time and space.
For Ron Bolt, the remote landscape is seductive. Whether portraying the coasts of Newfoundland, the waters and ice of the Arctic, the lichen of the Yukon or the forests of northern California, Ron’s work is informed and driven by the natural world. His works in this exhibition come from the Orkney Islands, home of the northernmost known standing stones. The remnants of stone circles stand in peaceful vigil against the rugged landscape in three of the most powerful paintings. The stones are, as Ron observes, totems of time. The other paintings in this exhibition explore the broader Orkney landscape, most of them shore and coastline. All in an Orkney Evening introduces the human footprint on this otherwise stark place. Here plowed fields and a perfectly placed building creep into the field of vision, asking: How much longer will this present-past be with us?
John Satterberg is captivated by nature’s detail. In black and white photographs of the Orkney Islands, he abstracts the textures and patterns of the landscape in work that is almost pure geometry. His record is of the ancient evidence of human habitation, standing stones of pagan time, remnants of monks’ cells and dry stonewalls. Here also is evidence of the land’s reclamation of these human scars.
Andrew Gregg draws upon the aboriginal images of Australia and Ontario. Ancient figures are superimposed upon topographical maps, under translucent layers of clay-red paint. The work, which includes collage, is Gregg’s meditation on the relationship between indigenous and dominant European cultures. The lines on the maps are purely conjecture on the part of European surveyors and leave no marks on the land, but they represent ownership. The cultures that created the images that Gregg uses had no word for ownership and used the symbols to indicate stewardship of the natural world.
One of the roles of the artist in any culture is to hold a mirror up to the larger society. Each of these men mirrors the loss of diversity and the contempt that we seem to exercise, in a global way, towards the past. Our natural world is under assault; the losses that the earth has sustained are enormous. The remnants of ancient cultures that lived, for the most part, with respect for the natural world are being destroyed. We have in this exhibition a definition of “sacred” that applies to nature and the ever-present past.
Fourteenth Annual Northumberland Student Exhibition
June 2 – June 28, 2007
Opening reception: 2 – 4 pm, Saturday, June 2, 2007
Secondary School Students from across Northumberland County participate in this very popular annual exhibition. Students from grades 9 though 12 will have their artwork selected within their own school. The final works selected will be exhibited at the AGN for the month of June. This is a wonderful opportunity to see the work of area emerging artists. We are fortunate to have many talented young people in the County.
This year, sponsorship from the United Way will provide art books for each of the participating school libraries. We are grateful to the United Way for this support. Each student will receive a written critique from a member artist of the Society of Canadian Artists.
Wilhelmina Kennedy: Recent Works
April 14 – May 26, 2007
Opening reception: 2 – 4 pm, April 14, 2007
Inspired by a minimal sensibility, these recent works have their roots in deep spiritualism. Many of these assemblages are the spirit contained. All engage the viewer in the world’s place in the universe.
At the AGN, Paul KaneGallery, Victorial Hall, Cobourg
Maureen Paxton: Ave. Alma
April 14 – May 26, 2007
Ave. Alma began as several sheets of foam core, an x-acto knife and glue gun. Intended as reference for an unrelated painting, a small red house, approximately twenty inches high, was constructed.
Prep function fulfilled, the house remained as an artefact and, although not done consciously, was eventually recognized as an elliptic, perhaps cartoonish representation of the artist’s own house.
If house or home may be said to represent heart or hearth, then the series of twelve paintings offers a stage upon which the house – that is any house – looks in upon itself and its appetites, vanities and weaknesses.
30th Annual Regional Juried Exhibition
March 3 – April 7, 2007
Artists from across the region have once again produced some interesting and engaging works. The variety of work is quite broad this year, providing a very satisfying mixture for exhibit.
The opening reception was also an opportunity to celebrate the gallery’s 30th anniversary in Victoria Hall. Some of the gallery members that were present on that cold January 7th evening and were with us March 3rd 2007 were, Tom Wilson, Anne Wilson, Marion Hagen, Vera McIlwham, Irene Young and Anne Cortesis. The AGN will celebrate its 50th Anniversary (since establishment) in 2010!
Mary Green and Judith Ingwersen: Shifting Transversions
January 13 – February 24, 2007
Points, connected by space in the river of time influence the trajectory of our lives, expanding or contracting existence at will. Change is a constant, shifting where we have been and where we are going. Nothing is still.
An understanding of direction and change is the challenge taken up by two artists who have not previously worked together.
Judith uses visual narrative to expand and explore our relationships with one another and with nature. She has integrated organic materials to develop her artistic expressions.
Mary challenges our perception of land and water through her very personal manner of using paint, video and photography. By interweaving these media she acts as a visual diarist.
Both artists are influenced as much by their community as by this internal compass. Their paths have taken diverse directions, though they have a firm understanding of self in their oeuvre to date.
This travelling exhibition is organized by the W.K.P. Kennedy Gallery, North Bay, Ontario.
To the Audience of Shifting Transversions from Judith Ingwersen:
Art helps remember what we have forgotten, who and what we are and why we are here. Thus my work integrates stories, myths and dreams as I explore relationships and spirituality. Originally the northern landscapes, which for me represents both wilderness and wildness strongly influenced my work and was reflected in much imagery I produced. Now my art express the inner landscape, the passages from birth to old age and looks at the underside of experiences. This has led me to explore a more symbolic expression of subject and to become more reliant on colour and design and less on line.
A quote from Dante’s The Divine Comedy, “Mid-way in life’s journey, I found myself in a dark wood having lost my way,” is present in some of the images as theme and in others a whimsical air is expressed. My art reflects the ragged edge of aging, the transition from traditional roles to the reach for the independent self. This process, for me involves a humorous response to the jokes life plays on us. The restlessness of the human conditions is also part of my work, and I find inspiration in stories and myths because they sometimes tell us who we are, and how we can emerge as more conscious individuals. Most of my work is large and life size and invites you to enter the mystical, magical world of the imagination and there discover your intrinsic worth and the mystery of the Other.
The restlessness of the human spirit threatens to overwhelm, and art can throw us stars and bring us to an experience of transcendence. My personal experience of the ongoing process of healing is present in my images. I hope my art draws you to look deeper and higher. In my quest for enlightenment I just pick up my brushes and start to paint.
To the Audience of Shifting Transversions, from Mary Green:
I am a multi- disciplined artist, using whatever materials are needed for a particular expression. Experimentation is never for its own sake: the idea is to match the concepts with the medium.
‘Shifting Transversions’ arose out of the desire to express a commonality between two artists, a commonality of change, change that needed address. It is more than happenstance how apt this theme has become for me. It brings to mind the phrase, “Be careful what you ask for.”
Things in my life take on a visual form and I am compelled to respond. The expressions in this exhibit refer to interior and exterior landscape. Working biographically is not simply journaling; there are multiple layers of filters in play when creating any work of art. I have been and am cultivating a natural, almost organic, approach to my art and life. Life and surrounding, the intimate and profound, fuel my imagination.
The flux of nature reflects the same fluctuation in our lives, and from this I draw sustenance. An inward vision of this process helps to give significance to what might otherwise be so chaotic one could suffer loss of self.
Janet Read: Ocean as Vessel for Sky
November 28, 2006 – January 6, 2007
Celebration, Friday, December 1, 7 pm
Paintings and assemblage work influenced by Janet’s time as artist-in-residence in Newfoundland. Much of this work mourns the loss of the fisheries and the effect that it has had on the oceans and the people.