art

“From My Heart” now on exhibit at the Gibson Gallery

 

By Jonathan Martin

The opening reception for a local artist’s exhibit has drawn an estimated 80 people to the Gibson Gallery.

The show, titled “From My Heart,” opened Sunday and will run through April 16. It features the work of Windsorite Cindy Shafer.

Shafer says her art focuses on her “impressions of nature and its inspirational value.” She feels that her style lies somewhere between expressionism and impressionism.

“From My Heart” is dominated by highly-stylized landscapes done in acrylic. Loud, striking colours and obvious, textured brushstrokes pervade the exhibit, channeling the energy, movement and gaiety of its springtime subject matter.

“I don’t usually tell people what my paintings are about (emotionally),” Shafer said. “But their feedback is usually that they feel what I did while I was painting it.”

Shafer said she sees painting as a sort of escapism. She uses her brushes to build a univese in which she can simply sit and breathe. Sometimes it’s a reflection of someplace real, or a peaceful moment immortalized and stretched out to infinity over the canvas.

Cindy Shafer (right) poses for a photo alongside her daughter, Amanda Dufault (centre) and Shafer's husband, Roger, beside one of her paintings at the Gibson Gallery in Amherstburg last Sunday.  Shafer said her family has been "extremely supportive" of her artistic pursuits.

Cindy Shafer (right) poses for a photo alongside her daughter, Amanda Dufault (centre) and Shafer’s husband, Roger, beside one of her paintings at the Gibson Gallery in Amherstburg last Sunday. Shafer said her family has been “extremely supportive” of her artistic pursuits. (Photo by Jonathan Martin)

Many times, though, Shafer said, her landscapes come from a world that would otherwise exist only in her mind.

“It’s like playing Barbies,” she explained, referring to the Mattel doll brand. “I am the Barbie and I’m making myself a world and become a part of that world.”

A world in which Roger, Shafer’s husband, has taken up residence.

“(Her artwork is) on every wall of my house,” he said, laughing. “It’s like I’m living inside of her (mind).”

And he doesn’t expect it to change any time soon. Roger said he thinks the Gibson Gallery exhibit is just the beginning for his wife. He thinks gallery patrons will “see the uniqueness” in Cindy’s work and will tell others about what she has created. That will lead to more paintings and, ultimately, more Cindy.

“This really is her,” he said, motioning to the paintings hanging on the gallery walls. “When I look at them, I see her. People connect with that (artistic honesty).”

According to Gibson Gallery office administrator Bonnie Deslippe, those connections are already being made. She said several of Shafer’s pieces sold within the first hour of “From My Heart’s” opening reception. She thinks art-lovers are likely excited by the work of a creator who was previously unknown to them. Though “From My Heart” is not Shafer’s first exhibition, it is the largest in which she is the only artist featured.

Based on the reception”From My Heart” has received, Shafer said she doesn’t think it will be the last.

The exhibit runs through April 16.

The Gibson Gallery is located at 140 Richmond St. and their website is www.gibsonartgallery.com.

Their Facebook site can be found at www.facebook.com/GibsonGallery.

To find them on Twitter, visit www.twitter.com/ARTamherstburg.

 

 

Mudpuppy Gallery hosting “In the Eye of the Beholder” exhibit

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The Mudpuppy Gallery is hosting its latest exhibit, which features work from a variety of different age groups and mediums.

“In the Eye of the Beholder” opened March 16 and runs through April 9. Mudpuppy Gallery owner Melissa Piva said it is a community show.

“It was open for all ages and all stages to submit to,” she said. “They could enter anything they wanted.”

Submissions came from both new and returning artists; some coming as far as Windsor and Kingsville. The “In the Eye of the Beholder” theme reflects that while one piece of art may not appeal to someone, another piece might. The exhibit takes up an entire wall at the gallery.

“There is art for everybody,” said Piva.

“In the Eye of the Beholder” is currently on exhibit at the Mudpuppy Gallery. The latest exhibit runs through April 9 at the Dalhousie St. gallery. The Mudpuppy Gallery is open Thursday-Sunday. (Photo by Danica Skakavac)

“In the Eye of the Beholder” is currently on exhibit at the Mudpuppy Gallery. The latest exhibit runs through April 9 at the Dalhousie St. gallery. The Mudpuppy Gallery is open Thursday-Sunday. (Photo by Danica Skakavac)

Everything including acrylics, water colours, mixed media, alcohol ink, black ink, landscapes, portraits and sculptures is represented as part of the exhibit.

The next exhibit runs April 13-May 7 and will be “The Madison Young Collection.” The 14-year-old Amherstburg girl was featured last year as an emerging artist and will get her own feature show this year.

Piva said a recent pancake and sundae “Fun Day” at the Beacon Ale House was a success with the next “Sip & Paint” event at the Beacon Ale House being March 29. The “Sip & Paint” event is for beginners and costs $35 with supplies and the first drink of the evening provided. It runs from 6:30-8:30 p.m. and to register, call 519-560-0470 or message them on their Facebook page.

The Mudpuppy Gallery’s contest where people can bring in a receipt from any downtown business and enter it for a chance to win a $50 gift certificate to the downtown business they choose runs until April 2. Piva said they have been getting a good response to the promotion. For more information, call the gallery or visit their Facebook page.

The Mudpuppy Gallery is located at 264 Dalhousie St. in Amherstburg and is open Thursday from 9 a.m.-6 p.m. and Friday through Sunday from 12-6 p.m. Their website can be found at http://www.mudpuppygallery.webs.com/.

Holiday Art at the Gallery ongoing through Dec. 11

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The Gibson Gallery is ready for the Christmas holidays and wants to help the community get ready as well.

The gallery is hosting its annual “Holiday Art at the Gallery” and it runs through Dec. 11.

“It’s basically a smaller version of Art by the River,” explained Bonnie Deslippe, publicity director at the gallery. “We have it every year as a fundraiser for the gallery.”

Bev Williams, a volunteer at the Gibson Gallery, looks at some of the items available at "Holiday Art at the Gallery." The sale runs Thursday-Sunday through Dec. 11 at the gallery.

Bev Williams, a volunteer at the Gibson Gallery, looks at some of the items available at “Holiday Art at the Gallery.” The sale runs Thursday-Sunday through Dec. 11 at the gallery.

Deslippe explained they used to rent space to vendors but changed formats about five years ago to where vendors can now drop off items with a percentage going to both the gallery and the vendor if there are any sales. She added it allows more people to participate and also frees up space for people to shop.

“It freed up the vendors to go to other events,” said Deslippe.

Among the items available at this year’s Holiday Art at the Gallery are jewellery, woodworking, stuffed animals, books, Christmas decorations, knitting and crocheting and other forms of artwork. There was a bake sale last weekend with a raffle also available for those in attendance.

Pictured is just a sample of what is available at Holiday Art at the Gallery. The last show of the 2016 season for the Gibson Gallery runs through Dec. 11.

Pictured is just a sample of what is available at Holiday Art at the Gallery. The last show of the 2016 season for the Gibson Gallery runs through Dec. 11.

Acknowledging “it’s not on the scale of Art by the River,” Deslippe said it is a smaller version which allows the Gibson Gallery to raise funds to support itself. It is the final show on the gallery’s 2016 calendar before closing for the winter.

“It’s a way you can support local artists and crafters and get some really great gifts,” said Deslippe.

Deslippe estimated there are over 40 vendors that are participating in this year’s Holiday Art at the Gallery.

“We always get a lot of positive feedback,” she said.

The Gibson Gallery’s current hours are Thursday-Sunday from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Their phone number is 519-736-2826, the website is www.gibsonartgallery.com and they are on Facebook and Twitter as well.

Mary Johnston making exhibiting debut at Gibson Gallery

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The work of Mary Johnston is currently on exhibit at the Gibson Gallery with it being Johnston’s first-ever exhibit whatsoever.

The “What Has It Become” exhibit is Johnston’s debut with a reception being held for it Sunday afternoon. Johnston paints at the Gibson Gallery Thursday afternoons and was encouraged by gallery board member Bonnie Deslippe to enter an exhibit.

Mary Johnston stands with some of her work that is part of the “What Has It Become” exhibit. Johnston's debut exhibit runs at the Gibson Gallery through Nov. 15.

Mary Johnston stands with some of her work that is part of the “What Has It Become” exhibit. Johnston’s debut exhibit runs at the Gibson Gallery through Nov. 15.

“The whole idea of this is to share what I do and have people enjoy it,” said Johnston. “I wanted to show my growth from decorative painting through oils, watercolors, pastels and pen and ink.”

All of those mediums are included in the exhibit with much of the work on display being from the past 25 years.

After an attempt at painting didn’t pan out years ago, Johnston wanted to give it another try and made the most of it.

“Something inside of me just made me have to do it,” said Johnston.

Johnston’s main subject matter is the outdoors, particularly trees. Growing up on a farm north of Toronto, Johnston said she was brought up with a love of the outdoors. She mainly paints in watercolors or pastels now as it is easier for her to transport her supplies when she paints with other artists.

“I’m just so happy to show my work,” said Johnston.

Johnston added praise for the Gibson Gallery itself.

“I feel the gallery is an important part of the community,” she said.

“What Has It Become” runs through Nov. 15 with the gallery open Thursday-Sunday from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. The Gibson Gallery is located at 140 Richmond St.

It is the final formal exhibit of the 2015 season, though Holiday Art by the River follows from Nov. 26-Dec. 13 before the gallery closes to the public for the winter.