Volume 12 Week 5

Thursday, July 21


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(Updated 6:30 a.m., May 30)
Still time to see and enjoy latest Shenkman exhibits

By Fred Sherwin
Orléans Online

Area visual art enthusiats will be happy to find out that they still have three weeks to take-in the latest round of exhibits at the Shenkman Arts Centre’s five main gallery spaces starting with the Ottawa Watercolour Society’s annual exhibit in Salon A of the Trinity Gallery.

The exhibition contains 34 works including still lifes, landscapes, portaits and even a few abstracts. Among them are four pieces singled out for recognition by the juried exhibit’s judges, the President’s Choice recipient, and the Morton Baslaw prize winner.

Next door to the watercolour exhibit is a collection of works by cartographer turned award-winning artist Steve Fick.

The Colorado-born, former Peace Corps member originally settled down in British Columbia after meeting his future wife at Simon Fraser University while pursuing his MA in geography.

While in B.C., Fick’s artistic talents grew and blossomed. Before long he had set up his own studio/gallery; and he passed on his passion to others as a teacher at Cariboo College in Kamloops.

When he and his wife Signy moved to Ottawa in 1989 to take over the role of chief cartographer with Canadian Geographic Magazine, Fick continued to paint until he stepped down to pursue his art full time in 2011.

His exhibit is a retrospective of his most recent work which explores a number of spiritual themes inspired by his dreams, meditations, and visions, some of which he experienced during his years out west where he often took part in sweat lodge ceremonies in Alberta and Saskatchewan.

He has also taken part in a sweat lodge ceremony conducted by the Native Brother-hood at the Kingston Penitentiary and he has practiced various forms of meditation since early adulthood.

“Rebirth, Transformation and Reconcil-iation”, takes you on a tour of medicine wheel cosmology, Christian iconography, North American Plains Indian traditions, and even touches of classic Greek and Roman imagery.

Next door to the Trinity Galleries in the Gloucester Pottery School Dust Evans Gallery, is a truly remarkable exhibit by ceramic artist Sandra Marshall.

The clay sculptures of furry woodland creators, and owls in flight, will have you doing a double take as you marvel at their realism.

The other collections on display at Shenkman include a series of works by Christine Ross who managed to explore her creativity through art while battling schizophrenia and manic depression for most of her adult life. Despite suffering from dementia and cancer in her later years, she continued to paint until she passed away in 2015.

The exhibit is a remarkable reflection of an individual’s artistic manifestations both inspite and as a result of their own personal struggles.

All five exhibits along with a collection of works by members of Arteast can be seen on the lower level of the Shenkman Arts Centre.

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


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