The Guilded show returns
Special version of annual event features five select artists
By: Scott Hayes
| Posted: Wednesday, Oct 03, 2012 06:00 am
Works by Carroll Charest, Father Douglas, Val Solash, Peg McPherson and Rick Rogers
Opening reception tomorrow from 6 to 9 p.m., artists will be in attendance
Show runs until Saturday, Oct. 27
Art Gallery of St. Albert, 19 Perron St.
Call 780-460-4310 or visit www.artgalleryofstalbert.com for more information.
The St. Albert Place Visual Arts Council consists of five sub-groups or guilds. There are painters, potters, quilters, floral artists and paper artists.
This is the time of year when Guilded comes along. It’s a group show to celebrate the diversity of the dozens upon dozens of members in all the guilds combined.
This year, things are being done a little differently. To celebrate 50 years of community arts in St. Albert, Guilded has become a feature show for five selected artists, all visual artists: Val Solash, Peg McPherson, Rick Rogers, Father Douglas and Carroll Charest.
Exhibition curator Jenny Willson-McGrath ran through the roster, giving a brief glimpse at what visitors should expect for the next four weeks. Two of the artists take new looks at the trees that surround us.
“Val’s pieces are close-up studies of decaying trees,” she said, “but you might not necessarily know that’s what they are when you first look at them. They look quite abstract. There’s decay, and lichens and insect workings all over the bark.”
The works are meant as a study of impermanence plus the cycle of life, or how death brings forth new life in the natural world.
McPherson, on the other hand, wants to highlight the beauty of birch trees, so often lost in forests and groves, especially at night.
“Some of the birches are drawn on just bare linen without a background of any kind, not even a wash, so the birch trees really stand out,” she said of the night-time studies. “There’s a moonlit quality to them, quite dreamy.”
While these two focus on earthly delights, others have their eyes on the skies and beyond.
“Carroll is showing a series of night-time sky scenes: stars, space phenomena … She’s drawing with really bright pastel so they’re very lively to look at but also quite calming,” Willson-McGrath described.
“Father Douglas … his work is very interesting. It’s a series of oil paintings that are inspired by the writings of Blake. They’re very surreal. I’m calling them weirdly wonderful because they really are very different but they’re incredibly endearing. They’re very interesting in the sense that they’re full of symbols and objects, dogs … That’ll be a fun one for a lot of people to look at.”
Finally, Rick Rogers takes a departure from his usual palette of bright colours. It’s as huge a departure as one could take from normal.
“This is something very different from that. It’s a new line of inquiry for Rick with white on white, textural compositions. There’s no colour in them at all. They’re exploring the boundary between what is sculpture and what is painting because a lot of the composition comes from reliefs and shadows on the surface.”
In addition to the show, and to help commemorate the 50th anniversary, the gallery is also filling its vault space with historical documents, images and objects relating to the history of the guilds in the city. This comes thanks to the help of members of the community and Rene Georgopalis, the archivist at the Musée Héritage Museum, a fitting joint effort during this Archives Week as well.