Our exciting 2016 season will open on June 4 with an exhibition by Natasha Miller called An Island Life for Me, and a group show by Grand Manan Community School students that will be co-ordinated by their art teacher, Sara Griffin.
We were very fortunate to attract Natasha Miller to our gallery this year. She is a self-taught artist who was born and raised on Vancouver Island, and now lives on Deer Island, NB. Natasha has pioneered a unique painting technique. She creates haunting, yet calming, seascapes and landscapes using maple charcoal from her wood-fired pizza oven, and ashes and acrylic paint for bold silhouettes and pops of colours. Most paintings consist of 40 to 60 layers of medium and sealers, and usually take over a month to complete.
Natasha has always drawn inspiration from dusk and dawn silhouettes – especially trees and rugged coastlines, the sea, boats, birds and beaches, and her current work reflects this. Her work is represented in several commercial galleries in North America, and in private collections across Canada, the USA and Europe. She recently started an international travelling exhibition through a Paris-based gallery.
We are also very fortunate to have Krista Hasson exhibiting her work with us this season. She will be showing in the Main Gallery from July 16 to August 4. Krista was born in Saint John, NB, and now lives in Rothesay, NB. She paints primarily with watercolour on rice paper, employing bold colours and texture in an impressionistic manner. Her work stands out as creatively different, and it evokes a sense of visual energy.
Krista has been published in International Artists as a top 10 finalist in their floral competition, and her artwork has been licensed by Rogers Chocolates for their Canadian artist collection of chocolate tins. The Proxim Group also licensed her artwork for their 2015 calendar cover. Her work has been acquired by private and corporate collectors across North America.
Krista is passionate about her art. She says, “Being an artist is a very integral part of who I am, it allows me to express myself in a way that showcases my sense of creativity, my love for nature and the world around me. Growing up in the country gave me a deep and lasting connection with nature. The vast array of colourful flowers, beautiful landscapes and peaceful trails through the woods has always captivated me. It is this beauty and magical quality that fuels my creative spirit and is reflected in my art.”
Like Natasha Miller, Krista’s methods are very untraditional. She uses wax in a similar fashion to batik, but with rice paper and watercolour. She uses many alternating layers of colour and wax. “Normally you would watch your painting come to life as you paint it,” she says, “but with my work I have to trust my creative instincts until the end. When I remove all of the wax and see the final result, it is then that my vision is revealed.”
For her Grand Manan show, Krista will also include some small oil paintings. These little gems are an affordable way to start, or add to, an art collection. She says, ” I love the small format as it allows me to try different subject matter without committing the time that it takes me to do my watercolour batiks.”
Penelope Patrick from Picton, ON will also be exhibiting her work from July 16 to August 4. She has been painting for the past eight years, and has been fortunate to learn from some wonderful teachers, inspiring artists and very talented models. She started with chalk pastels doing life drawings, and then moved on to painting with oils and then acrylics.
According to Peni, “There’s a scene to sketch, draw or paint around every corner! It is important to me that my paintings reflect how I feel about the subject matter, and my hope is that people will be able to connect in an individual and personal way with the painting.”
Since moving to Ontario’s Prince Edward County and experiencing the fabulous landscapes surrounding her – the old barns, birdhouses and trees, a collection of old paddles, etc., she has felt compelled to record these scenes through her paintings. She says, “I have a love of, and the utmost respect for, scenes that you just know hold stories from the past, and I hope to reflect that love and respect in the work that I do. Playing with shape, contour, line and colour brings a whimsical feeling to my paintings that I hope you will enjoy.”
When she travels she takes her paints with her, and when something captures her eye she usually feels compelled to get it down on canvas. For the past two summers she has participated in painting workshops on Grand Manan. “In my paintings I have wanted to connect with my maritime roots,” she says, ” and to explore the relationship between the force of nature and man. It is with a deep love and respect that I place paint on my canvases. I have been told my paintings have a large emotional component, and so it is my hope that when looking at them, people will feel a connection with an experience or time in their life, and that they will take a moment to reflect on that connection as well as on their personal story. ”
Sue McCulley is a regular contributor to our Square Foot Shows and the Island Art Shows, and her photography is always been popular with Gallery visitors Her first solo show at the Grand Manan Gallery will be from July 16 to August 4.
Sue believes that the most powerful photographs start with modest subject matter, but starting with an ordinary subject is only the first step in the creation of a finished piece. She says, ” I am continually discovering additional influences that can inform a mood, stir an emotion, or optimize the visual impact of a simple object or scene. For this reason, I happily embrace this period of my life where years of experience influence my understandings. It is fun and sometimes frightening to bring those understandings to life by creating visual stories. In these photographs, objects of utility grabbed me, captivating my imagination. They created a mood that I felt in a single moment; and which can never again be recaptured; in part because of their setting, and the atmosphere that temporarily shrouds them. On another day or at another time, they would tell a different story.”
Nihan Basak is a multidisciplinary artist who comes from a long line of classical painters. She will be showing her installation art in the Main Gallery from August 6 to 18. After studying architecture in Istanbul Nihan moved to Toronto, and while working with various architectural and interior design firms in Toronto, Montreal and The Hague, she continued with her journey in the arts in many different forms. Some of her early work included animations and illustrations for children’s books. She started a design studio in 1995 producing furniture inspired by pop culture and comic books. In 2000 she won an Idee International design award in Japan for a large-scale conceptual outdoor furniture piece.
Today Nihan produces paintings and sculptures that speak to emotional landscapes in abstract and representational styles. Her work can be found in private collections in France, Holland, Germany, Japan and the United States. She is currently teaching Design and Architectural History at Yorkville University in Toronto, and she continues to pursue site-specific art installations.
Her installation at the Grand Manan Gallery will be about first impressions, random observations and memories created by having arrived on the Island of Grand Manan. The overall mass of the installation on the main wall of the gallery is designed to resemble a large bird morphing the variety of elements that define the Island. The exhibition will contain close-ups, obscure details, mirror effects and occasional surprise elements scattered throughout. The loose sequence will be based on the experience of arriving at the island, starting with the ferry and continuing with images of lobster traps, abandoned boats, and random details like a giant rusted metal buoy or whale bones displayed in a small shop completely out of context. In the end, the overall concept will speak to the idea of an island, detached but coherent.
Sara Griffin is originally from Grand Manan Island, and in addition to co-ordinating the student art show in June, she Sara will have a solo show of her own work from August 6 to 18. Sara has a degree in Fine Arts from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, and an Education degree with specialization in Art Education from the University of New Brunswick. She has carved marble in Italy, printed lithographs in British Columbia, taught English in Japan, and exhibited and curated exhibitions and learning programs in eastern Canada. She has also been studio manager for several mural projects, served on the Board of Directors of Third Space Gallery, and acted as Executive Director of ArtsLink NB.
Sara now lives and works as an art educator and visual artist on Grand Manan, NB. In addition to teaching art at the Grand Manan Community School, she is currently completing a large mural at the Grand Manan Museum. Her Art Gallery exhibition Found is a series of paintings that explore place and time, and illuminate the boundaries of seen and unseen experience. Inspiration for these visual works come from the artist’s personal heritage, old family photographs, and the rhythm of the Bay of Fundy tides.
Marilee McLintock Van Nice is an artist, illustrator and teacher. She grew up in Aylmer, PQ, and spent her summers on Grand Manan Island where she was inspired by both nature, and her father’s and grandfather’s passion for art. At a young age Marilee began her artistic process creating homemade illustrated books, painting seascapes, nature, dancers and antique-inspired fashion. At the age of 15 she studied with printmaker Robin Wall.
Marilee received an Award of Excellence and a Diploma with Distinction in Fine Arts from CEGEP Heritage College in Hull, PQ. She then received a degree in Fine Arts from the University of Ottawa. After completing her Diploma in Education as an Art Specialist, and Education degree at McGill University, she went on to share her passion for art with young people. Marilee has taught in Montreal, PQ and Moncton, NB. She and her family now live in Winnipeg, MB where she inspires children, and teaches art in the local schools. She finds teaching introduces her to a wealth of new ideas and media with which she constantly experiments in her own creations. Expressive acrylic paintings inspired by Grand Manan’s coast, and watercolours of her children continue to be her main subject matter.
Marilee has exhibited her work in group exhibitions in Gatineau, PQ, Winnipeg, MB, and Grand Manan, NB. Her first solo show at the Grand Manan Gallery from August 6 to 18 will showcase her illustrations that brought to life Judy Stone’s story The Mouse in the Gingerbread House.
Local artists Donna Nixon and Tam Greenley will close out the 2016 season with solo shows from September 10 to 24.
Donna Nixon grew up on Grand Manan island where she developed a love for nature. She is a graduate of the New Brunswick Teacher’s College, Mount Allison University, and the University of New Brunswick. Donna was encouraged by the late Helen Charters, and she started taking watercolor classes during a sabbatical from teaching. She continued her classes in St. Andrews, Prince Edward Island, Sussex, Saint John, and Gates Art Gallery. She has studied under well know artists Sandi Kompt, Jay Dempt, Barry Coombs, Donna Berry, Henry Vivikle, Chincok Tan and, more recently, Dorina Gates and Jennifer Hinrichs. Donna captures Maritime scenes using watercolours, oils and most recently, she is enjoying the challenge of chalk pastels.
Tam Greenley began painting classes as a way to pass the time during the winter. They were decorative art classes taught by a very talented local artist, and Tam hated it! As the weeks passed slowly, she continued to attend, and then she realized that maybe her work wasn’t so awful after all.
Tam continued taking classes with artists from all over North America, and she learned and improved. A move to Grand Manan in 2010 provided an opportunity to learn from local and visiting artists. While she still prefers painting with acrylics and creating decorative art, she also enjoys using water colour techniques, sketching and the odd venture into Impressionism. She also loves helping other artists choose matts and frames to enhance their work at her Dragon Fly Framing Shop in North Head.
Group Shows in 2016
This will be the third year for our annual Square Foot Show and Sale, an event that has proven very popular with both artists and gallery visitors. This year the show will be held from June 25 to July 14, and again there will be cash prizes for the top three entries. As before, the challenge is to see how much artistic punch can be packed into a space measuring 12 inches by 12 inches. Paintings, drawings, photographs, ceramics, fabric art, etc. – all media are eligible, but the outside dimensions of all artwork must be 12 inches by 12 inches including any frame.
All artwork will be offered for sale at a price of $200, and the Gallery will raise funds with the entry fee of $25 (for two pieces), and a modest commission of 25% on sold artwork. Peoples Choice Awards of $200, $150 and $100 will be given for the three most popular works in the show. Entry forms are available on the Gallery website (www.grandmananartgallery.com).
The popular Island Art Show is scheduled for August 20 to September 8. Guidelines and the entry forms are posted on the Gallery website. This year we will be adding something new to the show. In addition to the exhibition of mixed-media work inside the Gallery, there will be assembly art in the form of driftwood sculptures outside the building in the area surrounding the Danielle Park Memorial Bench. The sculptures should be big enough, and rugged enough, to withstand the elements. They will help beautify the Gallery grounds, and also serve as a memorial to Danielle. The creators of the sculptures will be eligible for the Peoples Choice Awards that are given for entries to the Island Art Show.
In addition to driftwood sculptures, another new feature of the 2016 schedule will be the first-ever Island Group Photography Show to be held from September 10 to 24. This new show will provide an opportunity for the Island’s photographic community to showcase their work. The deadline for submission of work is September 8. More information about this show will be posted shortly on the Gallery website.