“Exploring Kenya” by Brad Goldring now on exhibit at the Gibson Gallery

By Pat Bailey


Brad Goldring is totally focused on his first exhibition—at least for the moment.It’s amazing he finds the time to pursue his hobby—turned side hustle, into a beautiful exhibit at the Gibson Gallery.

At 33, Goldring has spent nearly two decades honing his craft—-one that began when he was just 14 and assisting his mom capturing her subjects on film. An artist in her own right, Debbie Goldring would turn the images captured by her son into commissioned portraits of her subjects—generally, dogs, cats and horses.

Debbie admits anyone can take a picture of a beloved pet but said at a young age Brad’s photos showed he definitely had a special gift. And Goldring credits his mom with encouraging his beginnings as a shutterbug.

“I still have my first original roll of film,” said Goldring, “of my cat in the backyard.”

Last Sunday, at a special reception at the gallery, Debbie, beaming with pride, was on hand to support her son in his first showing.

Goldring’s amazing photos feature his works from around the globe. But it’s the sheer strength and emotion captured while on safari in Kenya that steals the show.

African lions, giraffes and elephants grace the walls of the gallery, showcasing some of his finest works.

Despite being sidetracked by a little thing called university, the LaSalle resident, formerly of Milton, has managed to continue as a photographer while pursuing his career as an attorney/computer engineer for Ford Motor Company. In fact, it was law school that lured Goldring to the Essex County area, graduating from the dual American/Canadian law program between the University of Windsor and the University of Detroit Mercy.

While busy commuting between LaSalle and his Detroit-area job, Goldring still makes time to run a couple other businesses on the side, including photography.

Brad Goldring stands with some of his equipment and his work that is featured as part of his “Exploring Kenya” exhibit at the Gibson Gallery. His work is displayed through March 24. (RTT Photo by Pat Bailey)

While he says he failed to inherit any of his mother’s artistic ability, he said photography allows him a passion that also provides a creative outlet.How does someone possibly have time for so many pursuits? The secret said Goldring — “I don’t sleep.”

Instead he spends about 18 hours a day, working on the many facets of his careers.

In fact he had spent the morning driving from a business weekend in Chicago to the Amherstburg gallery for the reception.

While most would crumble under such a demanding schedule, Goldring flourishes.

He really couldn’t imagine his life any other way. But he is thinking ahead to his next ‘vacation’ — be it a working vacation.  For Goldring, whose goal one day is to have a photo published in a national wildlife magazine, he hopes a three-week trip to Africa will pay off.

In the meantime, he’s enjoying showcasing his works to a new audience and allowing others to go on safari vicariously through his works.
In his “spare” time, he will continue to show off his talent by shooting weddings, concerts and drag racing.

His photography has allowed him many opportunities he might not have otherwise enjoyed—including trips to Kenya, Tanzania, Jamaica, Cuba and Florida.

The exhibit, “Exploring Kenya: Brad Goldring”, will continue through March 24 and features Kenyan wildlife, but also includes a glimpse into his other photographic subjects–an album containing photos from the wedding of the son of the Governor General of Jamaica, drag races and concerts adorns the podium in front.

Goldring admits he enjoys seeing the reaction of others to the photos of his wildlife in particular, but said that all that really matters is that it makes him happy.

The Gibson Gallery is located at 140 Richmond St. and is open Thursday-Sunday from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Admission is free, but donations are welcome.

For further information on the Gibson Gallery, call 519-736-2826 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.


Amherstburg Freedom Museum features “Rarely Seen” temporary exhibit



By Ron Giofu


The Amherstburg Freedom Museum is celebrating Black History Month with an exhibit of materials not usually seen as part of their regular tours.

“Recently Seen” features rare artifacts and recently acquired items and the stories behind them, noted museum curator Mary-Katherine Whelan. Whelan said like many museums, the Amherstburg Freedom Museum can display only a fraction of its collection.

“We’re inviting the public to view rarely seen artifacts from the collection,” she stated.

Amherstburg Freedom Museum curator Mary-Katherine Whelan stands with part of the “Rarely Seen” exhibit that is featured for Black History Month.

The temporary exhibit, located on the upper floor of the main museum building, displays paintings, photographs, scrapbooks and artifacts. A three-page petition from 1921 to Amherstburg town council regarding small pox and a Board of Health order advising a theatre to “exclude all coloured people”  is on exhibit as is an accompanying article from The Amherstburg Echo is also on hand. Manacles are also on exhibit, with those coming from the Canadian Museum of Human Rights.

There are also signs from the southern United States pointing African Americans the direction of the washrooms they must use with the signage coming from the Jim Crow era.

Photographs of museum co-founder Mac Simpson are also part of the “Rarely Seen” exhibit.

“I wanted to include a variety of things people don’t usually get to see. Hopefully people come and connect with it in some way,” said Whelan.

The museum is welcoming school tours and adults will come out to view the temporary and permanent exhibits.

“There are so many pieces we have in our collection,” said Whelan. “It’s fun to bring them out and show the material we have in the collection.”

A sample of what is displayed as part of the temporary “Rarely Seen” exhibit is photographed here.

Admission to the Amherstburg Freedom Museum is $7.50 for adults, $6.50 for seniors and students and $30 for a family of five. People can get $1 off admission this month if they can name the year the Nazrey AME Church was built (1848) and by whom (people escaping slavery in the U.S.).

The museum is located at 277 King St. and is open Tuesday-Friday from 12-5 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 1-5 p.m.

Whelan also invited the public to check out Black History Month events on their website, www.amherstburgfreedom.org. There is a Black History Month events calendar there that Whelan said can be downloaded. The calendar is run in conjunction with the Essex County Black Historical Research Society.

For more information, call 519-736-5433 or 1-800-713-6336.

“Ahoy! Amherstburg’s Marine Past” now on exhibit at the Gibson Gallery



By Ron Giofu


Amherstburg has an extensive marine history and the Gibson Gallery is the place to go to learn more about it.

“Ahoy! Amherstburg’s Marine Past” is on exhibit at the Gibson Gallery through Oct. 21. It was co-ordinated by David Cozens, president of the Fort Malden Guild of Arts & Crafts board of directors, and a team of local residents who are no strangers to the water.

“I think it turned out very well,” Cozens said of the exhibit.

John Dupont, Cliff Morrison and David Cozens show a trophy that is part of the “Ahoy! Amherstburg’s Marine Past” exhibit now at the Gibson Gallery.

Cozens estimated that there are at least 75 artifacts on display, including an underwater diving suit that dates back to around 1880. There are also over 100 photographs around the gallery. He said when the River Town Times printed an article in early August appealing to the community to loan their materials to the exhibit, it was very helpful.

“We were overwhelmed by the response with photos and artifacts,” he said.

There are also fleet pennants displayed at the gallery including pennants from Canada Steamship Lines, Algoma Central and Lower Lakes Towing. The Ministry of Fisheries and Oceans also helped out, he stated.

An opening reception was held last Thursday evening and “we have at least four people here who worked for McQueen Marine,” Cozens said. He thanked Cliff Morrison, Al Jackson, John Dupont, Wes Ball and Dave Goodchild for their help with the exhibit as well as Meg Reiner from the Marsh Historical Collection.

Cozens explained that his love of the water and marine life dates back to his youth.

“When I moved to town in 1962, we moved into Capt. Penner’s house,” he said. “Our neighbour to the north was Capt. Hackett. Capt. McQueen was to the south of us. I’ve been a boat nerd ever since.”

He added: “To this day, if I hear a boat in the middle of the night, I have to get up and see what it is and where she’s from.”

David Goodchild and Al Jackson also worked at compiling materials for the exhibit, which runs through Oct. 21.

Cozens also thanked Ron Deneau for his financial support of the exhibit and all who helped make it possible. He said he felt it was important to preserve this piece of Amherstburg’s history and show it to the newcomers to town as well as for future generations.”

The Gibson Gallery is located at 140 Richmond St. and is open Thursday-Sunday from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Admission is free, but donations are welcome.

For further information on the Gibson Gallery, call 519-736-2826 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.

“Hyperrealism” by local youth artist on exhibit at the Gibson Gallery



By Ron Giofu


The work of Madison Young has made it to the Gibson Gallery.

The local teenager’s work is now on exhibit at the gallery, with previous displays of her work having been at G.L. Heritage Brewing Co. and the former Mudpuppy Gallery.

“This is my first exhibit at the Gibson Gallery. It’s really special to me,” said Young.

Young said she was pleased that, as a 16-year-old, she was able to get her own exhibit at the gallery.

“It’s a really great feeling as an artist,” she said. “Thank you to the Gibson Gallery for giving me this opportunity.”

Young, who just completed Grade 10 at St. Thomas of Villanova Secondary School, is hopeful the more exposure she receives will allow her to continue to have exhibits at art galleries.

“To have this whole room to myself is really special,” she said.

There are both original works and prints as part of the current “Hyperrealism” exhibit. She uses mediums such as pencil, markers, pastels and has now added an oil painting to her growing collection.

“I’ve been selling a lot of them,” she said, but noted some of the works that are part of the exhibit are not for sale.

Local artist Madison Young is the current artist with an exhibit at The Gibson Gallery. Young’s “Hyperrealism” exhibit runs through July 29.

Young added she has been hearing a lot of good input on her art.

“The feedback has been super-positive,” said Young. “It’s been great.”

Noting she has been drawing since she was three or four, Young said she started getting into hyperrealism when she was 12-years-old.

“I drew a cupcake and that turned out well,” she said. “I decided to pursue it and now I’m here.”

Young defines hyperrealism as drawing something and having it really look the object she was drawing, including using the colours needed to make it look as real as possible.

Young will be one of the exhibitors during Art by the River, which is scheduled for Aug. 25-26 at Fort Malden National Historic Site of Canada.

The opening reception for “Hyperrealism” was last Saturday afternoon, but Young is also having a closing reception July 28 from 2-4 p.m. The exhibit runs through July 29.

“It’s been super fun already and I’m excited to meet as many people as I can,” she said.

For more information on Young and her work, visit www.diamonddraws.com.

The Gibson Gallery is open daily from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. and is located at 140 Richmond St. For more information, visit www.gibsonartgallery.com or call 519-736-2826. Their Twitter account can be found at www.twitter.com/ARTamherstburg while their Facebook account is found at www.facebook.com/GibsonGallery.

Local artist crosses off item on her “bucket list” with her first exhibit



By Ron Giofu


The work of Sandra Menard is on exhibit at the Gibson Gallery through March 25 and those interested in seeing her work had better get in there between now and that date.

“This is the one and only time I am going to do this,” the Amherstburg resident said of exhibiting her work. “It was on my bucket list.”

Menard estimates there are about 45 paintings on exhibit with the work encapsulating about six decades of work. One painting included in her exhibit – entitled “Some Beauty I’ve Seen on my Way” – was created almost 63 years ago.

“My son was born in 1955 and I painted it that year,” said Menard during an opening reception.

Noting she works mainly in oils, Menard has painted some watercolours over the years. Much of her work is landscapes but there are wildlife paintings and other subject matter included as well.

“It’s just whatever catches my eye,” she said. “I do like landscapes.”

Sandra Menard is presenting her first-ever exhibit “Some Beauty I’ve Seen on my Way” now until March 25.

Some of the paintings originate from a vacation she took with her daughter, with her daughter taking photos and Menard painting from them. She also is a regular painter at a Thursday art group in her apartment building.

“I love playing with colours,” she said.

Menard has given away many paintings over the years, joking she had to retrieve some of them so she could have the exhibit. She does have some of her work for sale as part of the exhibit.

“I hope everyone will come out and have a look,” she said, adding she plans on coming to the gallery once per week during the time the exhibit is displayed.

This is the first exhibit at the Gibson Gallery in the 2018 season. The gallery is open Thursday-Saturday 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.