Art in the Street – July 2015

Featuring Janette O'Neil, Henry Melissa Gordon, Sarah Crane, Elizabeth Lees Dell, Gary Blundell, Michael Bainbridge, Christy Haldane, and Anne Cavanagh

At the height of her impressionism, Janette O'Neil paints beautifully using bold blocks of colour in well-integrated fields like these blues, reds, and greens. Her work is on display in the Art & Healing Gallery and Peterborough Regional Health Centre until July 15.
At the height of her impressionism, Janette O'Neil paints beautifully using bold blocks of colour in well-integrated fields like these blues, reds, and greens. Her work is on display in the Art & Healing Gallery and Peterborough Regional Health Centre until July 15.

A charming technologist named Birgitta and a desultory visit to see the artwork of Janette O’Neil were definitely the highlights of my recent visit to the Peterborough Regional Health Centre (PRHC). I only wish the location of the Art & Healing Gallery were more conducive to viewing along a more public and spacious corridor. These paintings deserve to be brought out into the light.

O’Neil’s landscapes could certainly do much to brighten the spirits of patients, visitors, staff, and volunteers at the busy hospital. The vibrant palette and bold impasto of her work shines even amid the dreary beige fluorescent-lit corridor they’re situated in. I felt in possession of a secret source of buoyancy while others bustled by, as I took in these beautiful woodland scenes. The artist’s walk through different levels of impressionism and her personal glimpses of nature commute the healing power of wilderness.

Janette O’Neil’s paintings will continue to be on display at the Art & Healing Gallery at PRHC (1 Hospital Dr., Peterborough) until July 15th. Take a left down the corridor just past the main reception desk to enjoy a beautiful stroll of your own.

"Winter on the Mississauga" (detail shown here) is a more representative painting engraved with heavy strokes and visceral marks
“Winter on the Mississauga” (detail shown here) is a more representative painting engraved with heavy strokes and visceral marks
The background greens and bright foreground yellows and oranges of "Autumn Rush" convey the refreshing lightness of a late summer day
The background greens and bright foreground yellows and oranges of “Autumn Rush” convey the refreshing lightness of a late summer day

Photos by Michael Fazackerley


There is a great deal of expressiveness in this horse's gaze; I feel certain that Gordon must know this creature personally
There is a great deal of expressiveness in this horse’s gaze; I feel certain that Gordon must know this creature personally
Summer is a great time to tour through the Kawarthas and Maynooth is a small community with a great deal to offer. Just 20 minutes north of Bancroft, it’s a great place to hike nearby trails, grab some excellent food at the Sun Run Café, or perhaps take in some music and stay a night or two at the legendary Arlington Hotel.

There are also several art shops, galleries, and studios in Maynooth. Right in the centre of downtown is the Wildewood Gallery, where they’re currently featuring recent paintings by Henry Melissa Gordon.

The spirit of a hare is perhaps just as elusive as catching up with these fleet-footed creatures, but it is captured well in this image
The spirit of a hare is perhaps just as elusive as catching up with these fleet-footed creatures, but it is captured well in this image
This kid goat seems like it might possess all the presence and wisdom of an ancient mountain dwelling hermit or a lama
This kid goat seems like it might possess all the presence and wisdom of an ancient mountain dwelling hermit or a lama

Thrown into relief by the otherwise unadorned boards they are painted on, Gordon’s animals depictions take a deep look at some of our more familiar fellow creatures. Essentially this is animal portraiture. Each her subjects get treated with a focus that recognizes them fully as beings with hearts, minds, and spirits like our own. The more I look at these paintings the more I see each animal’s particular essence and character emerge.

ANIMAL SPIRIT is on exhibit throughout July and August with an opening reception on Saturday, July 4th at 4 p.m.

The Wildewood Gallery (33012 Highway 62 in the heart of downtown Maynooth) is open Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. or by appointment. Call 613-338-3134, email wildewood.madawaska@gmail.com, or visit the gallery’s Facebook page.

Photos courtesy of Joey Shulman and Barry Siegrist at the Wildewood Gallery


New artists Elizabeth Lees Dell and Sarah Crane at Black Honey

Some beautiful photos of dawn at Crary Park and these landscapes are my favourites, but if you love flowers you'll find lots to love in Elizabeth Lees Dell's other images
Some beautiful photos of dawn at Crary Park and these landscapes are my favourites, but if you love flowers you’ll find lots to love in Elizabeth Lees Dell’s other images
The Black Honey Dessert and Coffeehouse has been a great home to both established and emerging artists alike. The café and eatery has a great community atmosphere and is an accessible exhibition space for new artists to show their work.

Sarah Crane is taking her art making to a new level with a series of new encaustic paintings, and Elizabeth Lees Dell is following in her father’s footsteps in pursuing photography.

Crane’s encaustic and mixed media works are playful, colourful, and endearing. She has a good grasp of some basic techniques and I’ll be interested to see how her work continues to progress. The dominant body of Dell’s work here shows she has quite a passion for flowers, but I particularly like the few landscape photos she in this exhibition.

This piece is called "Vintage Robin" and I'm not sure why, but there certainly is something undeniably appealing about it
This piece is called “Vintage Robin” and I’m not sure why, but there certainly is something undeniably appealing about it
The rough texture and direct imagery of this piece give it a definite feeling of treasured nostalgia and our wonder years
The rough texture and direct imagery of this piece give it a definite feeling of treasured nostalgia and our wonder years

Their works will be on display throughout July.

Black Honey Dessert and Coffeehouse (221 Hunter St. W., Peterborough) is open Monday to Thursday from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., Friday from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m., and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Don’t forget to check out their excellent bakery out back too (open Tuesday to Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.). For more information, call the coffeehouse at 705-750-0014, the bakery at 705-750-0024, or email blackhoneycake@gmail.com.

Photos by Michael Fazackerley


The intersection between the natural beauty of the stone and Christy Haldane's careful shaping of architectural glass creates an elegant tension
The intersection between the natural beauty of the stone and Christy Haldane’s careful shaping of architectural glass creates an elegant tension
Animal, vegetable, or mineral? In this case, the latter asserts its primacy as the stuff that makes all the life of the former possible. At this gallery nestled among the hills of Minden and the Precambrian rock of the Canadian Shield, three artists give this “First Kingdom” its due in the spotlight.

Gary Blundell takes a very personal approach in imbuing each boulder, stone, or pebble with its own particular character in his colourful mosaics of small oil paintings. His close scrutiny of these shoreline inhabitants show that even the parts that make up the whole may be more than they appear to be.

While Michael Bainbridge’s photographs of unaltered naturally occurring crystals have a decidedly more scientific approach, there is nevertheless the hope of bridging our way back to a simple appreciation of their material aesthetic and the most basic life-force they possess.

In Christy Haldane’s work, the natural and the engineered realities of these most primordial materials are combined to show the intersection between our basic apprehension of these substances and how we use them.

Gary Blundell has spent enough time now with the geology of the land that he can see every rock and formation as having its own particular character
Gary Blundell has spent enough time now with the geology of the land that he can see every rock and formation as having its own particular character
By stripping away any distraction with his careful photographic documentation of natural crystals, Michael Bainbridge lets us see the thing in itself
By stripping away any distraction with his careful photographic documentation of natural crystals, Michael Bainbridge lets us see the thing in itself

In its synthesis, this exhibition explores an appreciation for our inorganic brethren in a manner that recognizes their essential nature and seeks to elevate them to a level — where they can be considered worthy subjects of artistic consideration in themselves.

“First Kingdom: Art of the Canadian Shield” opens on Tuesday, July 7th and continues until August 15th. There will be an opening reception on Friday, July 10th.

The Agnes Jamieson Gallery (176 Bobcaygeon Rd., Minden) is open Thursday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Sunday from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m., and Monday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Call curator Laurie Carmount at 705-286-3763 or email gallery@mindenhills.ca.

Photos courtesy of Laurie Carmount


In her most recent work, Anne Cavanagh has been exploring the use of mylar as well other media and substrates to good effect
In her most recent work, Anne Cavanagh has been exploring the use of mylar as well other media and substrates to good effect
Anne Cavanagh’s intimate portrayal of herself through her deftly wrought and carefully crafted illustration work continues to hold my attention with the sparse tenderness it portrays. I’m eager to see more of this new direction from Anne and perhaps eventually the introduction of other subjects.

Her current exhibition at the Lew Gallery goes deeper into stripping away any affectation to leave us with only what is necessary to appreciate how our bodies express the balance of our experiences and our innermost emotions. To me, the stark precision, monochromatic contrast, and measured absences in Cavanagh’s work only add to their power.

The artist's insights into herself as a subject give her varied perspectives on self-portraiture remarkable depth, as seen here
The artist’s insights into herself as a subject give her varied perspectives on self-portraiture remarkable depth, as seen here
Scientific rigour of form so precisely rendered in contrast with formlessness opens a greater dialogue than strict representation
Scientific rigour of form so precisely rendered in contrast with formlessness opens a greater dialogue than strict representation

The pleasing environs and gorgeous surroundings of this gallery are a great place to see her latest works.

“Finding Balance” is exhibiting now until August 30th. Come to the Gallery on Saturday, July 4th from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. to meet Anne and view her incredible collection. Complimentary refreshments will be provided as you tour her outstanding solo show.

The Lew Gallery (2752 County Rd #36, Buckhorn) is open Tuesday to Thursday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Friday to Sunday from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.. Call 705-559-7433, email info@lewgallery.com, or visit www.lewgallery.com.

Photos courtesy of Anne Cavanagh

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