Trio brings newfound talents to bookstore gallery
Perron Street fixture
Wednesday, Jul 09, 2014 06:00 am
It has been a few years now since former St. Albert Catholic High art instructor Andrew Raczynski retired and branched out on his own artistic path. Now, he is one of three painters who have combined their talents to put on a display at the Bookstore on Perron.
The VASA and St. Albert Painters’ Guild member has since become a student again, enrolling in the Visual Arts certificate program at the U of A’s Faculty of Extension. As he has taken to learning various media, he has not lost his spirit of giving back to the world.
Here, he has dedicated much of his efforts to a friend named Bob, a man who bears a not too slight resemblance to John Lee Hooker, the late acclaimed blues musician that Raczynski still admires. The resemblance spurred the artist to create a small series of painted portraits of his friend as The Healer, a spiritual profession that the subject takes on in real life. As it turns out, it’s also the title of one of Hooker’s most notable and best-selling albums.
“Bob’s insights into the human condition and his willingness to serve others selflessly are evident in his many years of service working with and for the destitute, the needy and the abandoned in this province, and in his continued commitment to a worthy cause in a developing country,” Raczynski stated.
It’s a fitting tribute. Bob, he explained, picks up pop cans and uses the refunds to help an aid organization called Canadian Physicians for Aid and Relief to purchase goats that provide food for people in an impoverished village in a foreign country.
Hill, on the other hand, has taken her recent post-secondary instruction in a different direction. Like Raczynski, she too is a member of the painters’ guild and has been studying through the Faculty of Extension towards a fine arts certificate.
“I’m just about finished so I decided it’s about time to show some of this stuff,” she laughed. “I’m just having fun now!”
She has brought a series of sketches that easily demonstrate her development as a draughtsperson. There are several portraits of children, plus some landscapes and images of buildings, working in graphite, conté and oil.
She said that this is her first show in St. Albert, although she had one previously at Pro’s Art in Edmonton six years ago.
Nataša Vretenar, as the final member of the trio, works in acrylics. Her works are glossy florals that stand their ground nicely in contrast to the portraits.
She also has work that is on display as part of the Visual Arts Alberta members’ Bread Box exhibit (until August 1) and at the Blue Curve Gallery in the Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital (until August 31). That show had its opening on Thursday evening as well.