This is a big week for members of the Visual Arts Studio Association, not all of which is actually set to take place at the VASA Gallery.
Bruce Allen is steering clear of the collective’s All Members’ Show so that he can focus his energies and his artworks at the Daffodil Gallery in downtown Edmonton. His new exhibit, Neighbourhoods, has been developing for at least a few years now. His absence from the scene has been noticeable but he has been hard at work.
“I really haven’t displayed much,” he admitted, remarking that he has preparing several submissions behind the scenes. He has just finished six large paintings for a commission for the Mazankowski Alberta Heart Institute and has a few more still being finished to go up for a commission at the Lois Hole Hospital for Women at the Royal Alexandra Hospital.
He has made a name for himself as a house painter: not a guy who puts paint on houses but rather takes houses and city districts with unique and interesting character and turns them into paintings.
He has been painting Edmonton neighbourhoods for more than two decades. He is fascinated with some of the area’s defining architectural styles, their geometric patterns and the otherwise unique characteristics of houses by themselves and in neighbourhood groupings.
“All of those. Because of their relationships to each other – the forms and the artifacts in my paintings – all kind of meld together to create a story about what’s happened in that neighbourhood and what kind of people live there, how things have developed, where it is in the ‘cycle of neighbourhood-ness’,” he explained.
“The scenes that I find most interesting – and what I think most people relate to best – are scenes in neighbourhoods like Norwood, Parkdale, McCauley, Boyle… that’s where I take most of my material from. I think I’m going to move into the Highlands area next,” he laughed.
Look for Allen later this year when he makes an appearance at Gemport for an upcoming ArtWalk event.
Eryn Thorsley is just one of nearly 20 University of Alberta students who are graduating from the Bachelor of Fine Arts program this year. To demonstrate their prodigious talents and to get their big send-off, they are putting on a group show that runs until this weekend. Affinities is a diverse show that does much to demonstrate these up and coming art talents who have gained much exposure in the worlds of drawing, painting, sculpting, and other forms of media and visual culture.
Thorsley explained that each person has her or his own very unique way of working too. Her own work, she describes, is a “comment on identity in today’s society.”
She has focused her attention on printmaking, a practice that she believes “needs more exposure to the general public.”
“Now that my degree is finished, I hope to work on my art practice until next year and then to apply for solo shows. Within the print community, there are many residency opportunities where I am able to travel and study around the world.”
She has her fingers crossed as a few of those opportunities are expected to advise her of their decisions in the coming days and weeks.
Affinities is up at FAB Gallery on the U of A’s main campus until Saturday, May 3.
The address is 112 Street and 89 Avenue. For more information, call the Department of Art and Design at 780-492-3261 or visit www.artdesign.ualberta.ca.
Paintings by Bruce Allen
Opening reception tomorrow from 5 to 8 p.m. featuring live music from Evan the Hat. Artist will be in attendance.
Exhibit runs until Saturday, May 24
10412 124 Street in Edmonton
Call 780-760-1278 or visit www.daffodilgallery.ca for more information.