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(Posted 2 p.m., Oct. 24)

Shenkman galleries host pair of textile art exhibits
By Fred Sherwin
Orléans Online

One of the bandoliers in the Barry Ace exhibit at the Shenkman Arts Centre. Fred Sherwin/Photo

Textile arts is one of those mediums that has traditionally suffered from a lack of appreciation when compared to other more popular mediums such as water colour, pastels and sculpture, but two new exhibits at the Shenkman Arts Centre hopes to change that perception.

“Aazhooningwa’igan – It is worn across the shoulder” is a collection bandolier bags designed in the fashion of the Anishinaabeg culture by Odawa artist Barry Ace.

The Anishinaabeg culture includes the Odawa, Ojibwa and Algonquin nations which once inhabited the northern Great Lakes region.

Ace is an Ottawa-based visual artist and band member of the M’Chigeeng First Nation on Manitoulin Island.

His collection of bandolier bags on exhibit in the Trinity Gallery on the ground level of the Shenkman Arts Centre incorporates traditional floral motifs sourced from reclaimed electronic circuitry for what the artist describes is a metaphor for cultural continuity, “bridging the past with the present and the future”.

The collection is just a small example of Ace’s mixed media paintings and assemblage textile works which explore what he describes are “the various aspects of cultural continuity and the confluence of the historical and contemporary”.

His work has been featured at various galleries around the world including the Museum of Art and Design in New York City and the Nordamerika Native Museum in Zurich. Earlier this year, he received the KM Hunter Visual Artist Award.
You can meet the artist at a vernissage this Tuesday, Nov. 10from noon to 4 p.m. at the gallery.

• • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Right next door to the Barry Ace exhibition is a textile sculpture exhibit by Ottawa fiber artist and designer Maureen Ballagh who is a graduate of Algonquin College’s Fine Arts and Craft program (Class of ’82).

Self entitled “Maureen Ballagh: Around to it”, the exhibit is made up of seven distinct pieces including two wall hangings; two wardrobe pieces; two large table top vessels; and a wardrobe sculpture.

Ballagh often blurs the line separating fashion designer and visual artist to the point where the line no longer exists. Those pieces in the exhibit that are clearly not fashion still make use of Ballagh’s hand-dyed fabrics.

Ballagh will also be available to discuss her work this Sunday from noon to 4 p.m. at the gallery.

The Trinity Galleries are located on the ground floor of the Shenkman Arts Centre near the rear entrance.

Other exhibits currently on display at the Shenkman Arts Centre include the 57th Annual Juried Art Exhibition by members of East Central Ontario Art Association in the Lalande + Doyle Exhibition Space, and a selection of works by members of Arteast in the Promenade Arteast.

(This story was made possible thanks to their generous support of our local business partners.)



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