Bonnie Deslippe

Canada 150 juried art exhibit opens at Gibson Gallery

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

Art with a Canadian theme is now on exhibit at the Gibson Gallery.

The Canada 150 juried art exhibit opened Sept. 7 and runs through to Oct.1 at the gallery, with a reception planned for Sept. 17 from 1-3 p.m. Exhibit chair Kathleen Cant said there were 24 pieces submitted with mediums including watercolours, oils, acrylics, pencils, ink and more.

“We decided to do a competition this time,” Cant explained. “The artists paid a small fee to get in. The money will be pooled and divided up among first, second and third place finishers.”

Bobbi Wagner judges work that appears as part of the current Canada 150 juried art exhibit at the Gibson Gallery.

The call for submissions was made in March and organizers wondered what kind of turnout they would get. As it happened, they were pleased.

“The artwork is phenomenal,” said Cant. “We are very surprised at what came in.”
“You never know what you are going to get,” added board member/office manager Bonnie Deslippe.

Deslippe added that the main criteria was it had to be representational art with a Canadian theme. Judges came in last Tuesday night and scored the artwork with those asked to judge including Corrine Ross from Fort Malden National Historic Site, Meg Reiner from the Marsh Historical Museum, Mayor Aldo DiCarlo, Hugh Barrett from the Chimczuk Museum in Windsor as well as local artist and Gibson Gallery member Bobbi Wagner.

“We’re pretty excited,” said Cant. “We had a great response. We are really impressed with the art that came in.”

The first place winner is Dennis K. Smith for “The Real McCoy” while second prize goes to Nancy Bauer for “Many Things are Canadian but …. ‘Eh!’ says it all.” Taking third place is Sue Southern for “Canadian Women at Mackenzie Hall” with honorable mentions going to Debbie Goldring for “Strong and Free”, Mariano Klimowicz for “Homestead” and Donovan Alp for “A Vision.”

Meg Reiner was one of the judges Sept. 5 prior to the opening of the Canada 150 juried art exhibit at the Gibson Gallery.

“It will be open during Culture Days (Sept. 30-Oct. 1) and the Open Studios Tour,” added Deslippe. “We probably will have artists on site painting.”

The Gibson Gallery is located at 140 Richmond St. and their current hours are Thursday-Sunday from 11 a.m.-5 p.m.

For further information, call 519-736-2826 and or visit their website at www.gibsonartgallery.com. Their Twitter account can be found at www.twitter.com/ARTamherstburg while their Facebook account is found at www.facebook.com/GibsonGallery.

Art by the River reports “best show ever” in 2017

 

By Jolene Perron

 

Since 1967, Amherstburg’s annual Art by the River has brought artists, enthusiasts and art lovers alike to the town’s beautiful waterfront.

“We attract over 150 exhibitors from across Ontario,” explained Bonnie Deslippe, office administrator for the Gibson Art Gallery. “We have added musical entertainment to add to the ambiance and encourage demos by the artists. We also have an area devoted as the “l’il artist workshop” where the children can create their own works of art. We have asked for sponsorship the last few years and have been fortunate to have RBC sponsor the music and TD sponsor the children’s workshop. The fort adds to the event with their “mini militia and historical music demos.”

Adelynn Wong, 2, looks at hand-crafted art along the Fort Malden waterfront Sunday during Art by the River.

Adelynn Wong, 2, looks at hand-crafted art along the Fort Malden waterfront Sunday during Art by the River.

Deslippe explained they have a very strong support system from the community, which brings in between 8,000 and 9,000 people over the course of the two days. She added Monday morning that “it was our best show ever” with record numbers.

It gives artists a chance to sell their creations, interact with the public, gauge buying trends and connect for commission work. It also reminds people how important art is to have in our lives, or as Deslippe puts it “to feed our souls.”

“I believe it is very important to the town,” said Deslippe. “We were the first large festival and are the original art and craft festival in the county. It is all about celebrating everything art and gives people an opportunity to purchase original art in various mediums and to meet with the artists and artisans. It is a family-friendly event that brings people from across the county, Ontario and Michigan to Amherstburg. We encourage them to enjoy our local restaurants and shopping before or after visiting Art by the River.”

Ross Stuart from Rosbilt TinCan Banjo / Ukelele plays his musical instrument, crafted out of an old can of oil, at Art by the River Sunday.

Ross Stuart from Rosbilt TinCan Banjo / Ukelele plays his musical instrument, crafted out of an old can of oil, at Art by the River Sunday.

Even before she became involved with the Gibson Art Gallery, Deslippe said she has always looked forward to Art By the River. She knew it would be a day she could spend in a beautiful setting, surrounded by art, and of course she would always find a treasure or two to purchase and take home with her.

“Last year, for our 50th anniversary, we started a ‘live art’ competition involving two person teams of local students,” said Deslippe. “We have decided to keep it as an annual event. The winning team as selected by the Gibson Gallery board will be awarded a $400 prize to share between the two of them. There are always new exhibitors. As people retire from doing festivals, it opens the door for new exhibitors to apply.”

Local author John Schlarbaum displayed his books along the Fort Malden waterfront during the Art by the River event last weekend.

Local author John Schlarbaum displayed his books along the Fort Malden waterfront during the Art by the River event last weekend.

Parks Canada 150 passes were not honoured at the event, due to the fact that Fort Malden is separate from Art by the River. Deslippe wanted to let people know the Gibson Art Gallery pays a fee to use the grounds and it’s important for the public to understand that any and all money raised goes back into the gallery as a public art gallery and charitable organization run by a volunteer board.

The gallery is always looking for more volunteers and members. For more information, visit www.gibsonartgallery.com or call 519-736-2826.

Art by the River gearing up for 51st annual show

 

 

By RTT Staff

 

Art by the River, the major fundraiser for the Gibson Gallery, is returning to the grounds of Fort Malden National Historic Site this weekend.

According to Bonnie Deslippe, a member of the board of directors and office manager for the gallery, there are 147 vendors expected for the 51st annual arts and crafts show “but I am expecting we will get a few last minute calls.”

Deslippe said the focus is on fine art, but they will have artisans that work in wood, pottery, jewellery, glass, concrete, metal, soap, lotions candles, fibre and create musical instruments.

“There also are a few gourmet food vendors. The Gibson Gallery Wednesday Guild will be selling their knitted and crocheted items and the Park House Tinsmiths will be on site,” said Deslippe. “The Belle Vue Conservancy will be unveiling the new painting by Peter Rindlisbacher. Of interest, although we have many husband and wife teams exhibiting each year, this year we have numerous mother and daughter exhibitors, a new potter from Amherstburg, Trish MacDonald and her mother, Sheila Currie who is a watercolour artist, Carolyn and Kathy Hardy, artists from Kingsville, and a long-time exhibitor Elizabeth de Lange of Harvest Pillows (buckwheat) joined by her daughter Sasha who creates turmeric teas.”

Traya and Melah Mulder  create their own pieces of art at the “Little Artists’ Workshop” during Art by the River last year. The event returns this weekend.

Traya and Melah Mulder
create their own pieces of art at the “Little Artists’ Workshop” during Art by the River last year. The event returns this weekend.

Art by the River will be featuring live art again this year with local students painting Saturday and Fort Malden Guild of Arts and Crafts board members judging on Sunday with the winners receiving $400. The Fort Malden Guild of Arts and Crafts is the board that operates the Gibson Gallery.

“We have musical entertainment in Barracks Way and Artist Alley sponsored by RBC to add to the ambiance of the event,” said Deslippe. “Sabre Bytes Robotics will be doing demos as well as some of the artisans and for the children, TD Canada Trust is sponsoring the L’il Artist Workshop where they can create their own work of art for free.”

Deslippe said Art by the River’s average attendance is 8,000-10,000 people over the course of a weekend. Admission is $5 for adults with children under 12 being free as long as they are accompanied by an adult.

“This is our 51st year as the principle fundraiser for the Gallery. It allows us to run and maintain the Gibson Gallery as a free public gallery and offer children’s art and craft classes for a nominal fee,” she added. “Because we pay a rental fee to Fort Malden, the free 2017 park passes cannot be used at our event. The Fort personnel will be offering mini militia, music demos and Fort tours free.”

For more information, call the Gibson Gallery at 519-736-2826 or visit them at www.gibsonartgallery.com.

 

“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.

 

 

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.