How has technology changed our perception of a real “live” crowd experience? What is our role within a crowd in the modern world? Are we a participant, an observer or not present at all?
In ‘Metropolitans’, Czekus considers the crowd as an entity that forms as a result of the structure of the urban environment. Looking back to Flaneurism in the late 19th c in Europe, Czekus investigates the rise of urban culture as a social phenomenon where people took to the sidewalks of the city, as a way to see and be seen, interacting, socializing publicly. She records her experience and observations initially through video and photography and then employs paint and the process of painting to portray the urban crowd as a single entity. Abstracted segments of the figures and patterns on clothing dominate the shallow space in the paintings that attempt to illustrate the visual perception of the everyday experience of city life. The paintings conceal the identities of the individual figures caught in the scene in an effort to expose the identity of the crowd at large.This exhibition is sponsored by a donation from our caring community of women who attended the Black Dress Event. Thank you for supporting the arts in our community!
Making my paintings begins with becoming one of the crowd as part of the everyday experience. On busy city sidewalks with my camera, I make my source images of the urban crowd and its figurative gestures, intersections and spaces between its members. Since the emergence of flaneurism and urban culture in 19th century Europe, the online social frontier has recently developed and has changed our visual perception of the physical crowd experience. Painting, as a conceptual medium, simultaneously expands and collapses these moments I capture as an enriched site of knowledge about us as a collective. Straddling the boundaries of representation and abstraction, I allow the photographic language give way to the language of painting.The physical crowd experience is continuously interrupted by the attraction of the social online community that can be accessed at all times through our handheld devices. It is this fleeting and fragmented sense of perception specific to our time and circumstance that poses problems in painting that I find worthy of investigation. The language of painting takes up the problem of presenting the crowd in an atmosphere that has yet to be determined in art.
Sherry Czekus is a Canadian painter based in Waterloo, ON, who completed her MFA at University of Western Ontario in London, Ontario. She holds a Bachelor of Arts with Studio Specialization from University of Waterloo and a Bachelor of Education from Wilfrid Laurier University. She has exhibited her work in private and public art galleries in Canada and the United States.
This exhibition features the work of 3 different artists who have been inspired by our oceans, lakes or rivers. Water speaks to us in many ways. And it has a lot to teach and remind us. Rebecca Brianceau, Carolyn Sharp and Helen Utsal have each embraced the beauty of water in a way that will harken peaceful days at the beach, the power and might of the ocean, the restful calm of our rivers. The exhibition will also remind us that our water is precious, and clean water is something worthy of protecting.
About the Artists
Rebecca Brianceau – currently based in Toronto Ontario. Rebecca’s Ocean Soul art series was inspired by a journey she took to Brazil where she joined local marine biologists on a 2-week work trip along the coast of Sao Paulo. She worked picking up garbage samples from the shoreline. The amount of garbage pulled from a small radius was outrageous and was enough for her to see how damaging human behaviour has been to the ocean, sea animals and beaches. They picked up shampoo bottles from Poland, Coca-Cola bottles from China and water bottles from around the world that had all washed up on the once-pristine shores of Brazil. After realizing that the biologists communicate their different information in lengthy reports, Rebecca felt that she could contribute by communicating the information by telling this dark story through beautiful, scenic ocean pieces. Spreading the message of loving and preserving our water from oceans, to lakes and to wells. Rebecca is a self-trained artist and visual storyteller.
Carolyn Sharp – Elora Ontario. Carolyn’s work is about the Canadian landscape, meant to connect the viewer with a sense of human frailty in the face of the natural elements. Her paintings express a love for the land and waters surrounding her home and studio in Southern Ontario. Her current work seeks to convey the sense of freedom felt in wide open spaces – the raw physical elements, big skies and surging lakes and streams. She offers these painterly impressions for viewers to interpret as they wish, hoping they connect with the underlying energy, gentle calm, or raging elemental force that she is remembering in paint. As these recollections of Canadian lands and waters tumble onto her surfaces and the process ebbs and flows, her intent is to absorb the viewer with the powerful forces inherent in our natural world and ultimately, the importance of its preservation.
Helen Utsal – Vancouver Island BC. Helen Utsal’s colourful paintings express nature’s exuberant and vital spirit. Gesture, expression and emotion weave into colour, texture and light. Helen spends a lot of time in nature, sometimes painting outside with acrylics to study and capture dynamic impressions. In the studio she uses oil paint mixed with cold was medium to bring texture and depth to the painting. Helen likes to work on a large scale, using big palette knives and lots of motion. Born in Montreal, and now based on Vancouver Island, Helen runs Art Alchemy Studio, a shared artists studio space and gallery in Courtenay, BC.
FORGED IN FIRE: This exhibition showcases a collaborative group of artist blacksmiths from across Southwestern Ontario. The collection of handmade objects is a cross-section of functional, architectural and sculptural ironwork. This compelling body of work is an honest expression of what is capturing the imagination of blacksmiths, who make a living hammering hot metal in order to re-shape it into useful, pleasing or thought-provoking objects of art.
Participating artist blacksmiths include Mike Armstrong, Wolfgang Bleckert, Aimie Botelho, Megan Carter, David Cross, Sandra Dunn, Bronson Kozdas, Daniel Linkenheld, Darrell Markowitz, Robb Martin, Scott McKay, Mark Puigmarti, David Robertson, Graeme Sheffield and Jim Wallace.
To find out more about each artist blacksmith, and view their bios please click here.
CALL FOR ENTRY CLOSED. PLANET YOUTH! is a student art gallery show at the Elora Centre for the Arts, featuring selected work that draws upon trees as creative inspiration. We will celebrate the strength, healing and resiliency found in trees and highlight how we can learn, grow and face challenges like they do, despite the storms that come. The gallery exhibition will be called “See the Forest Through the Trees: a Youth Exhibition in Support of Mental Health.” Prizes will be awarded for the top entries!
The concept: Utilizing trees in the community as a benchmark for inspiration, the exhibition will draw parallels between the strength and resiliency of trees and how humans can build similar roots of strength within themselves in order to face the world and all the seasons and stages of life.
DATES AND DEADLINES
A teacher’s guide and overview can be viewed/downloaded here.
This past summer (2019) the Elora Centre for the Arts partnered with Creative Spark Workshops for a summer event called ‘Creative Spark in the Yard’.
This TWO DAY July show was a juried artisan, makers and artist handmade show and sale with great exposure across the region and to the GTA, in one of Ontario’s busiest summer tourist towns, Elora!
The event partnered with Elora & Fergus Tourism for marketing efforts, helping us spread the word far and wide. Attendance was just under 2,000 visitors over the two day event! Food trucks and live music throughout the weekend created a wonderful atmosphere for a daytrip adventure for tourists.
Call for Artists & Makers 2020: Application for the summer of 2020 will begin in November 2019 – watch for early bird deadline to take advantage of the discount! Stay tuned for dates and more information! Follow us on Facebook or check back here in November 2019 for all of the details!!
Elements of Creation is a collaborative exhibition showcasing the Five Elements that help determine the outcome of the artistic process and the relationship of these energies between eight local artists.
Featuring original artwork by artists from the Elora Centre for the Arts Schoolhouse Art Cooperative: Leah Blagden, Megan Cleland, Julianna Cox, Emi Embrey, Carol Gregg, Teri Hranka, Nadine McEwan and Charlene Van Rees.
In their upcoming exhibition, Elements of Creation, the Schoolhouse Art Collective decided to utilize the five fundamental reasons why life exists to find commonality within their unique and varied approaches. The elements of Earth, Water, Fire, Wind and Space ultimately determine the outcome of their creative process. Whether its stone and earthy fibres, the fluid & flowing movement found in water, the energy source of fire, the expanding and free movement of wind, or the pure energetic space in the skies and heavens – each artist has found inspiration in one or more of these essential elements.
Elements of Creation expresses the very different personalities of each artist in various forms of expression. The exhibition includes needle felting, pottery, clay, found objects, watercolour, acrylic, pastel and oil mediums, communicated in styles ranging from traditional to abstract expressionism.
The Schoolhouse Arts Cooperative are an eclectic and diverse group of artists, but they share a life long love of creating, teaching and growing. Many of them have work featured in private and public collections both nationally and internationally.
Their distillations of real and imagined spaces navigate the threshold between observation & abstraction, the deliberate and the intuitive. Guelph artist Chris Ahlers’ acrylic and mixed media paintings employ geometric and geomorphic abstraction, colour play and the exploration of materials to invite interpretation both as scenes and surfaces. Toronto based artist David Brown’s abstract encaustic paintings utilize beeswax, oil, and spray paint to construct a multi-layered, multi-sensory experience. Guelph artist Laurie Skantzos’ process driven painting is largely inspired by the interactions of colour, shape and application. She works with oil and cold wax medium, layering shapes upon shapes, adding richness and textures to the surface.
To read artist bios in more detail, please view our Gesture and Geometry Exhibition at the Elora Centre for the Arts Press Release.
Dawn Owen, Curator of Guelph Museums visited each studio and wrote a thoughtful and insightful piece about the work in the Gesture & Geometry exhibition. To read it, please click here.
This October, the Minarovich Gallery at ECFTA is featuring the works of Guelph artist and illustrator Ryan Price. The exhibition entitled “A Series of Meaningless Pencil Drawings Done Over A Short Period of Time While Listening to Heavy Metal Music” runs through November 18th. Curator Micaela Campbell
A 4-person exhibition of exploratory work
Sunday January 14th – Sunday March 4th, 2018
Minarovich Gallery at ECFTA
Response (and Responding) features the work of Beverley Hawksley, Carmen Hickson, Supria Karmakar, and Tanya Zaryski. Exploring the theme of art as embodiment of mindfulness, these four artists working in a variety of mediums, challenge themselves to engage more deeply with their individual and collective creative process. Response (and Responding) addresses the space between action and reaction; the quiet reverberations moving from the creative source to the maker and from the maker to the viewer. Opens Sunday January 14th and runs through March 4th in the Minarovich Gallery at the Elora Centre for the Arts.
In conjunction with the exhibition, “4 IN RESPONSE” (2017), a short film by Sandy McLennan exploring the collaborative art making process of Beverley Hawksley, Carmen Hickson, Supria Karmakar and Tanya Zaryski will be shown as part of the Elora Women’s Film Society Event on February 15th. Following the screening there will be a Q & A with the artists. Event begins at 6:30PM in the Harris Exchange at the ECFTA.
Creative Direction Shelley Carter
Curator Micaela Campbell
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