exhibit

Mudpuppy’s featured artist for May is Grade 9 Villanova student

 

By Danica Skakavac

At only fifteen-years-old and in the ninth grade, Madison Young of St. Thomas of Villanova has made quite a name for herself.

While she has loved art since the age of four, Young has been interested in her current style, hyperrealism, for only one and a half years. Despite the short period of time, Young’s skill has only grown dramatically and her wonderful artwork is being showcased again and again. She has been featured in a couple of local magazines, attended a couple of charities where she donated original artwork for auction and, as well, was the Mudpuppy Gallery’s student artist.

This month, she became the gallery’s featured artist. Only recently has she been spotlighted in a much different way; when local musician Christian Vegh’s mother contacted Young’s mother, Sharon, about designing the cover art for his brand-new single, “Worthy.”

Madison Young, a Grade 9 student at St. Thomas of Villanova Secondary School, is this month’s featured artist at the Mudpuppy Gallery in Amherstburg. (RTT Photo by Danica Skakavac)

Madison Young, a Grade 9 student at St. Thomas of Villanova Secondary School, is this month’s featured artist at the Mudpuppy Gallery in Amherstburg. (RTT Photo by Danica Skakavac)

Young jumped at the opportunity and designed a stunning cover, the picture a very realistic pair of diamond-encrusted lips.

“It was an exciting opportunity and I’m very fortunate they asked me,” Young said.

Young isn’t planning on letting her talent go to waste either, as she has opened an online store so people can purchase prints and paintings they like. In the future, she wants to attend medical school to become a surgeon (though unsure of what specialty in particular) but is adamant about continuing her artwork, just maybe not full-time. She is very proud of the textures she incorporates into said artwork, since she is able to render those textures with only coloured pencils.

“My favourite thing about creating art is a sense of accomplishment,” she said. “It is exciting when people want to purchase my artwork to hang in their homes or businesses.”

If you are interested, you can visit Young’s website at www.diamonddraws.com. Young’s exhibit at the Mudpuppy Gallery will be running through the month of May.

Gibson Gallery presenting “Student Pix” through May 7

 

 

By Danica Skakavac

 

For the Gibson Gallery, nothing matters more than bringing together families and friends in light of original artwork.

The Gibson Gallery is hosting the “Student Pix: Student Digital Photography GECDSB” exhibit until May 7. The idea of the event is to create the opportunity for public board students from Grades 1-12 to enter in their photographs in hopes of winning the contest.

River Town Times editor Ron Giofu was one of three judges for the Gibson Gallery's "Student Pix" exhibit, which runs through May 7.

River Town Times editor Ron Giofu was one of three judges for the Gibson Gallery’s “Student Pix” exhibit, which runs through May 7. (RTT Photo by Danica Skakavac)

The entry categories are Junior (Black and White, Colour and Digitally Altered Using Computer Software), Intermediate (Black and White, Colour and Digitally Altered Using Computer Software) and lastly Senior (Black and White, Colour and Digitally Altered Using Computer Software).

The gallery works with Shelley Pike, teacher consultant K-12 Computers and 21st Century Skills, Business Studies and Computer Science with the Greater Essex County District School Board.

Judges for the “Student Pix” event included River Town Times editor Ron Giofu, freelance reporter and Gibson Gallery board member Jonathan Martin and professional photographer Phyllis Chant.

The awards for the winners and participants will be held May 7 at 3 p.m.

The walls of the Gibson Gallery are filled with the photography talents of students from within the Greater Essex County District School Board.

The walls of the Gibson Gallery are filled with the photography talents of students from within the Greater Essex County District School Board. (RTT Photo by Danica Skakavac)

“My favourite part of the event is the closing day when the students and families come together to honour the winners and to celebrate the successful contest and exhibit,” says Pike. “The media is there and our superintendent gives out awards. It is a very big deal for the students and a day that they will never forget!”

Pike also added in her opinion of the showcase, saying that reading the descriptions the students write with their entry photographs about what their images mean to them allows a little glimpse into their values that we may not know.

The Gibson Gallery is located at 140 Richmond St. and can be found online at www.gibsonartgallery.com. Their Facebook site can be found at www.facebook.com/GibsonGallery. To find them on Twitter, visit www.twitter.com/ARTamherstburg.

Their hours are Thursday through Sunday, 11 a.m.-4 p.m.

 

“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/.

Park House takes people back to the 1920’s at “Gatsby Gala”

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The Park House Museum has featured a 1920’s exhibit all summer and they capped the season with the “Gatsby Gala.”

The fundraising dinner was held Saturday night at the Verdi Club where people dressed in 1920’s attire and even learned the Charleston when it was time to take to the dance floor. Park House Museum curator Stephanie Pouget-Papak said the turnout was around what she expected as nearly 40 attended the dinner with more expected for the dance afterwards.

The Park House Museum hosted its “Gatsby Gala” at the Verdi Club Saturday night. Those who got into the spirit of the 1920’s  included Cathy and Bob Papak.

The Park House Museum hosted its “Gatsby Gala” at the Verdi Club Saturday night. Those who got into the spirit of the 1920’s included Cathy and Bob Papak.

Pouget-Papak said the museum fielded about 250 calls about buying tickets for just the dance portion.

While pleased with the turnout, she added he was more enthused about the fact those in attendance had a good time and got into the occasion.

“When I do events, it’s not about the quantity of people, it’s about the quality,” said Pouget-Papak.

The event also featured a “Most Wanted” area where people could have pictures taken of themselves and put on a “Most Wanted” poster.

The Gatsby Gala provided some exposure from the museum, Pouget-Papak added, and that it attracted more people than last year. She was also pleased that a number of people dressed in period attire this year.

The exhibit itself, located on the second floor of the museum, closes this Friday and Pouget-Papak stated it has received a lot of great reviews. People like the “naughty side of Amherstburg” and there is even an old Chicago Tribune article which blames the prohibition enforcement problems in the 1920’s on Amherstburg.

Chrysta and Monty Walker from Cedar Lake, Indiana enjoy a spin on the dance floor during Saturday night’s “Gatsby Gala” at the Verdi Club. Proceeds raised from the gala benefit the Park House Museum.

Chrysta and Monty Walker from Cedar Lake, Indiana enjoy a spin on the dance floor during Saturday night’s “Gatsby Gala” at the Verdi Club. Proceeds raised from the gala benefit the Park House Museum.

Next year’s exhibit will be about 150 years of women in Amherstburg and Pouget-Papak said that will include the suffrage movement, fashion and politics.

Upcoming events for the rest of this year include Friday evening’s “Music off the Back Porch” fundraiser, which runs from 5:30-7 p.m. weather permitting, featuring Celtic music from the Logsdon Family and Friends. The Park House presents an “All Hallow’s Eve” Festival Oct. 23 from 11 a.m.-4 p.m., while candlelight holiday tours will occur Nov. 18-19 from 5-9 p.m. “A Dickens Christmas,” which is their traditional Victorian Christmas, is scheduled for Nov. 27 from 11 a.m.-4 p.m.