Gibson Gallery

“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.

 

 

Gibson Gallery showcasing “Artists of the Future”

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

Work of art students from a pair of local high schools is on exhibit at the Gibson Gallery through March 19.

“Artists of the Future” is the opening exhibit of 2017 at the gallery with roughly 100 pieces of work by General Amherst High School students on display with 200-250 pieces of art created by St. Thomas of Villanova Secondary School also featured.

Jessica Dass sits beside one of her works that are exhibited as part of the Gibson Gallery's "Artists of the Future" exhibit.

Jessica Dass sits beside one of her works that are exhibited as part of the Gibson Gallery’s “Artists of the Future” exhibit.

“The Grade 12’s worked really hard to put this show together,” said General Amherst art teacher Andrea Craig-Wammes. “It’s part of the curriculum to get pieces ready for an art gallery.”

While the show features work from students in Grade 9-12, Craig-Wammes noted the Grade 12 students were the ones getting the pieces titled, mounted and ready to be showcased.

“They’ve put in a lot of effort,” said Craig-Wammes.

The work that came from General Amherst students was chosen either by the students or Craig-Wammes herself. Students didn’t have to have their work exhibited, but Craig-Wammes didn’t recall any student taking that option.

“They had the opportunity to deny it but everyone is excited about showcasing their work,” she said. “It’s a huge honour for them to have their artwork in a gallery and to be able to showcase their talent.

A wide range of mediums was used by General Amherst students from sculptures to painting to scratch art and more, with the Villanova students also displaying their talents through a number of ways.

“We have a lot of variety of work,” explained Villanova art teacher Lisa Bastien. “Our students are encouraged to think outside the box. They are posed problems and have to solve them independently.”

Concepts are presented to the students with students able to work with the concepts in their own way, Bastien said, adding they also work with the students on their technique as well.

Kyra Breshamer shows the artwork she created for the "Artists of the Future" exhibit at the Gibson Gallery.

Kyra Breshamer shows the artwork she created for the “Artists of the Future” exhibit at the Gibson Gallery.

Roughly 400 students per year enroll in Villanova’s art program with the show being much of what has been done in the first semester. While work is showcased in the school, exhibiting it in an art gallery puts a different context on it, Bastien added.

“It makes the kids feel important to have it in a gallery space,” she said. “I’m just really proud of the kids and the families who came by and supported them.”

The Gibson Gallery is located at 140 Richmond St. Their hours are Thursday-Sunday 11 a.m.-5 p.m. For more information, call 519-736-2826, e-mail office@gibsonartgallery.com or visit www.gibsonartgallery.com.

Gibson Gallery holds AGM, former president guest speaker

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The Fort Malden Guild of Arts and Crafts, the board the operates the Gibson Gallery, held its annual general meeting (AGM) last week with a former president recounting their history.

Hazen Price was the guest speaker at last Tuesday night’s meeting at the Richmond St. gallery, with the 93-year-old recalling both the guild’s history as well as the building itself.

Dave Cozens, the guild’s current president, introduced Price and pointed out Price’s background, which includes being born and raised in Detroit and getting masters degrees from the University of Michigan in botany and chemistry.

Price and wife Beryl came to Amherstburg where they had a farming operation in Malden. He became the president of the Fort Malden Guild of Arts and Crafts in 1951 and represented the guild on the town’s recreation committee from 1965-67. He was also the guest speaker’s at the guild’s AGM in 1969.

The Prices were named “Citizens of the Year” in 1991 and were recognized in 1999 when the Gibson Gallery’s current site celebrated its 30th anniversary as an art gallery.

“I didn’t expect it to be ‘This Is Your Life, Hazen Price’,” he joked when he stepped up to the lectern.

Price said the guild first started meeting at Fort Malden National Historic Site in 1950 and speculated that is where the name of the guild came from. David Botsford was the first president with Price being the second.

Fort Malden Guild of Arts and Crafts president Dave Cozens (left) presents a plaque to Hazen Price as part of the Jan. 17 annual general meeting at the Gibson Gallery. Price and his late wife Beryl were honoured for their contributions to the gallery. The plaque will be mounted on the gallery's Richmond St. property.

Fort Malden Guild of Arts and Crafts president Dave Cozens (left) presents a plaque to Hazen Price as part of the Jan. 17 annual general meeting at the Gibson Gallery. Price and his late wife Beryl were honoured for their contributions to the gallery. The plaque will be mounted on the gallery’s Richmond St. property.

They would meet on what was known as the McGregor House on the Fort’s grounds and would put on small shows.

Price dealt with the farmer’s co-operative that was behind the gallery’s current location and, as the president of the guild again, was asked if they wanted to buy it for the group.

“As president, the railroad came to me and asked if we wanted to buy this building as an office for the group,” said Price.

A $500 cheque later, the building belonged to the guild. Price said it was Florence Gibson who made the donation.

Repairs were made to windows, furnaces, the roof, floor and electrical work with the building also receiving a paint job.

Valerie Buckie said Price’s wife Beryl’s family dates back to 1796 in Amherstburg. She said the two married in 1946 and she learned to weave and perform other arts and crafts. Beryl joined the stitchery group in 1969 and kept going to the gallery until she became ill in 2014.

Buckie said Beryl wanted the arts to continue at the gallery and left a “sizable donation” after her death.

“I’m very proud to have known her,” said Buckie.

Cozens said the Prices gave over 100 years combined to the gallery and unveiled a plaque on the property to commemorate that. He added her donation helped with the craft room, indoor and outdoor lighting and other renovations.

The Gibson Gallery currently has 112 members. Cozens outlined 2016 accomplishments as being renovations to the interior and exterior including the new lighting and a new fence. He said the 50th annual Art by the River was a success despite the thunderstorms that cut both days short.

The Gibson Gallery was TWEPI’s choice as best art gallery, awarded one scholarship to a St. Thomas of Villanova Secondary School student and hosted several community events, he said. The gallery also received a donation from Susan Whelan of a model train that used to be in her father Eugene’s Ottawa office.

Goals for 2017 include deciding what to do with the train, creating a procedural and operational manual and painting on the exterior of the building.

The Gibson Gallery is located at 140 Richmond St. Their phone number is 519-736-2826 and their website is 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.

 

 

 

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.

Gibson Gallery celebrates “Culture Days” with launch of new exhibit

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

Ontario Culture Days were celebrated on the weekend with the Gibson Gallery getting into the act with “Wings & Things.”

The exhibit of Nancy Bauer’s work is at the gallery through Oct. 23 with the Culture Days weekend seeing the artist come, meet the public and work on her latest piece. It is Bauer’s first solo show at the Gibson Gallery.

“I have never displayed here before,” said Bauer last Saturday afternoon.

Artist Nancy Bauer (left) chats with Stephanie Beneteau and her son Justin last Saturday afternoon at the Gibson Gallery. Bauer’s “Wings & Things” exhibit coincided with the Ontario Culture Days that was also held last weekend.

Artist Nancy Bauer (left) chats with Stephanie Beneteau and her son Justin last Saturday afternoon at the Gibson Gallery. Bauer’s “Wings & Things” exhibit coincided with the Ontario Culture Days that was also held last weekend.

Bauer explained she is performing a 10,000 hours challenge, a concept popularized by Malcolm Gladwell in his 2008 book “Outliers.” She said the challenge is 10,000 hours over five years, meaning she wants to work at her art for that length of time, or 40 hours per week.

“If you put in 10,000 hours of deliberate practice, you become an expert,” she explained.

Bauer said she is going into her fourth year of the challenge and has noticed an improvement in her work.

“I’ve always been fairly good at this so I decided to see if I can be really good,” said Bauer, a LaSalle resident. “I decided to work hard at working hard.”

With a degree in fine arts as well as being a retired registered nurse (“I always tell people I’m reasonably well educated,” she jokes), Bauer has pursued her art full-time for the last three years although she had medical drawings published during her career. She indicated it can be hard working from home, noting there can be numerous distractions, but she is managing to focus on her art.

Bauer said she enjoys coming to Amherstburg.

Nancy Bauer works on her latest piece.

Nancy Bauer works on her latest piece.

“I love Amherstburg,” she said. “I love the restaurants. I love the Mudpuppy Gallery. The Gibson Gallery is just lovely.”

Noting the Gibson Gallery’s roots as a former train station, she said it is a magnificent gallery.

“They do a marvelous job here,” she said.

Bauer returns to the Gibson Gallery Oct. 23 for a “meet and greet” from 12-4 p.m.

The Gibson Gallery is located at 140 Richmond St. in Amherstburg and is open Thursday through Sunday from 11 a.m.-5 p.m.