Peterborough and the Kawarthas are awash with the signs of summer. The warm weather has returned, the leaves are out, flowers are in bloom, and people are out everywhere.
All the vibrancy of the season is bursting forth in the art world too, as June offers up enough creative nectar to keep you happily buzzing from place to place like a giant hummingbird punch drunk with so much variety and abundance.
Public Energy’s Erring on the Mount
Perhaps the headiest offering of creative inspiration to be seen here in a lifetime will close out the month of May this coming weekend and kick off June with an explosion of art, music, and theatrical experiences.
This wildly imaginative three-day site-specific festival of art and performance will take over the future site of The Mount Community Centre on the grounds and in the Mother House of the former Sisters of St. Joseph property at 1555 Monaghan Road in Peterborough.
New Paintings at Christensen Fine ArtYou’ll be well rewarded for paying a couple of visits to Lori and Peer Christensen’s beautiful studio and gallery in downtown Peterborough this month.
Pay them a visit by Saturday, June 7th to view magnificent new paintings from Meredith Bingham, Jane Eccles, and Esther Simmonds-MacAdam.
These women deliver striking images and a refined level of expertise at their craft. You’ll want to see their show before it’s gone.
Come back for the opening of Peter Rotter’s “New Paintings” on Friday, June 13th; there’ll be an artist reception from 6:30 to 9 p.m.
I featured a couple of Peter’s paintings back in January as part of a group show then; you may have missed it while you were hiding indoors.
Peter conveys a great sense of the feeling he gets when surrounded by the beautiful landscapes of this area. He recently relocated from Toronto to Lakefield to be surrounded by the environment that inspires him. He strives to paint every day to keep the experience fresh in his work and in this I believe he succeeds beautifully. His scenes really draw you in to your own experience of the piece while simultaneously allowing you to share in his inspiration.
The Christensen Fine Art Gallery (432 George St. N., Peterborough) is open during regular business hours Monday to Friday from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Call 705-876-9623 or visit www.christensenfineart.com.
Patience, materials, and crankees at the Art Gallery of Peterborough (AGP)The seemingly unrelenting hold of winter, or the floods of spring, may have kept you from the redoubtable exhibit currently on at the AGP; so I felt I couldn’t fail to mention it this month. The formidable works of Dorothy Caldwell, Beth McCubbin, and Jane Lowbeer continue their run there until Sunday, June 22nd.
Dorothy’s incredibly meticulous examination of wilderness landscapes and her deeply considered perspective on sense of place and culture possess a profound richness that anyone will be enriched to behold. Her archaeological collections alone are well worth the visit.
Much credit goes out to Celeste Scopelites and the staff at the AGP for rendering an experience so true to her work. Many of Dorothy’s works are vast creations using wax and silkscreen resist threaded with, no doubt, thousands of hours of stitching and appliqué work.
Her work is transcendent of anything you can lay a particular label upon. I overheard Dorothy leading a tour saying “Every day I collected the earth wherever I was.” I know she was referring to the earthen journals she has kept, but I heard “Earth” rather than “earth” because she creates works that begin at a planetary scale and reach toward the universal.
Where Dorothy’s work is literally grounded in the earth, Beth McCubbin’s begins with all of the things we take from it; her pieces speak to the impact of human production on the environment. Her “Material World” is quite literal also. Her work concerns materials and how we have used them over the course of human history. Beth’s site-specific installation “Plastic Cloud” with its two accompanying concrete figures inhabit the landing by the window at the AGP like some scene from a science fiction novel where it’s raining plastic.
Beth’s ability to infuse so much into these two featureless “people” is remarkable. To me, the implication that a child is turning to question a parent or guardian is unmistakable. Beth’s other works in the exhibit are a series of 12 “Boxes of Truths” representing the appearance and the history of several naturally-derived and synthetic materials. Beth’s interest in social and environmental issues is reflected in the text of these pieces as well as in the manner in which she uses stoneware, porcelain clay, ceramic glazes, stains, and iron images to represent them.
A thread of curatorial weaving continues as Jane LowBeer’s “Crankees” tell the story of materials in the forms more familiar to our everyday lives. A tape measure, yellow plastic containers, string, and glass bottles adorn Jane’s unique interactive constructs, combining scrolls on Japanese paper, plexiglass, wood boxes and found objects. By turning the cranks, a visual story is told and layered with the image on the plexiglass panes. Lowbeer’s exploration of common objects provides them with an intimacy that allows you to playfully consider how necessary they are to the story of our daily lives.
The Art Gallery of Peterborough (250 Crescent St., Peterborough) offers free admission and barrier-free access Tuesday to Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Call 705-743-9179 or visit agp.on.ca.
“Patti Paints a Picture” at Gallery in the Attic
Local darling Patti Blouin walks us through a charming portrayal of Canadiana and nostalgia with an intimate and personal focus on Peterborough. Her paintings and accompanying short stories reveal the kind of personal details that will have you reminiscing about old photographs, friends, or a favourite family pet. You’re bound to leave this exhibit with a pleasing warmth and perhaps a few bittersweet memories.
Continuing this month is the exhibit exchange “Location, Location, Location”. The Little Red Hen collective artwork hit the road to show at Lindsay’s Art on Kent while Gallery in the Attic (GITA) plays host to a group show from members of the Kawartha Arts Network. If you’re not one to venture too far afield this is a great opportunity to see different works from artists in the region.
Also continuing this month at GITA is “Creativity, Passion, and Self-Exploration: On Becoming an Art Therapist”.
As the name suggests, this is a personal portrayal of Myria Rei Solas’ journey in using art as a means of healing herself and others.
“Patti Paints a Picture” continues until Thursday, June 12th while the other shows close on Saturday, June 7th.
Gallery in the Attic (140 ½ Hunter St., Peterborough) is open Tuesday to Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Call 705-740-1162, or visit www.facebook/galleryintheattic.
Eduard Gurevich at Gallery on the Lake
Gallery on the Lake in Buckhorn is kicking off its 2014 season with new paintings by Eduard Gurevich, on display from Saturday, May 31st to Friday, June 27th. Visitors can meet the artist at the gallery on May 31st.
Eduard is a diverse, original and well-respected artist whose thought-inspiring works convey a variety of themes drawn from his own life experiences, philosophy, as well as the world and people that surround him. “Images of reality and the fruits of my imagination are sitting tightly next to each other inside my head, often mixing together on the canvas”, to put it in his own words.
The “Meet the Artist” and reception will be held from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, May 31st. Local culinary artisans, such as Publican House Brewery, will be sampling their goods at the event as well.
Gallery on the Lake (65 Gallery on the Lake Rd.) is located on Highway 36, three kilometres east of the Village of Buckhorn. It’s open Wednesday to Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Call 705-657-1108 or 1-888-242-7475 (toll free) or visit www.galleryonthelake.com.
Artspace’s Annual 50/50 Gala FundraiserIt’s time to grab your tickets to Artspace’s 50/50 Gala Fundraiser in June.
If you haven’t gone before, there are two types of tickets: a Party ticket ($25) and a Draw ticket ($100).
Each type gets you entry to the event that includes great food from local restaurants, live bands, and a full evening of entertainment. This includes a free drink, and access to the art auction and fire sale.
The Draw ticket has the added fun of participation in the 50/50 Draw. Each Draw ticket is numbered and drawn from a hat and guests select an artwork from the Main Gallery (valued at $100 or more) in the order the tickets are called.
This year, ARTSPACE boasts an impressive selection approaching 200 works by 50 artists including John Boyle, Anne Cavanaugh, Peer Christensen, John Climenhage, Brad Copping, Christy Haldane, Roz Hermant, Patrick Moore, Rob Neizen, Shannon Taylor, Esther Vincent, Victoria Wallace, and new work by Joe Stable. The best part: all proceeds from art sales are split 50/50 between the artist and the gallery.
Artworks are available for viewing now and Artspace’s helpful staff is on hand to answer all your questions. The Gala is on Friday, June 6th — giving you plenty of time to recover from Erring on the Mount. Don’t miss the most galarific event of the year!
Artspace (3/378 Aylmer St. N., Peterborough) is open Tuesday and Wednesday from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m., Thursday and Friday from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m., and Saturday from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. Gala tickets are available at the gallery or online at www.artspace-arc.org). Call 705-748-3883 for more information.