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VASA and CAVA big with St. Albert artists

Cathy Bible's atmospheric Halcyon

Cathy Bible, Miles Constable and Janet Sutanto are more abstract these days than they’ve ever been. These three artists from the Visual Arts Studio Association have joined forces to put together a rock-solid exhibit of their abstract works, a show that they call Through the Paint.

“It means that the message that the artists are trying to convey is through the paint,” said Constable, no stranger to playing with forms and colours on canvas. He has a long history of listening to jazz while he works, often leading to such impressive collections of Impressionistic delights as his 2014 show Miles does Miles, which he painted with the help of the late Miles Davis.

He makes his return here with a series of abstract landscapes so don’t expect to see much in the way of trees and flowers.

“There’s rarely intended to be any form in it. I try to be non-representational in most of them,” he continued. In one piece called X Section, this beholder thinks a skull has somehow appeared out of the refracting light of some murky pond.

“Some people have said that they see bones of various sorts. I thought it looked like the cross-section of a rotten onion. The problem with doing abstracts is you can’t say, ‘I don’t know what that is. What am I going to name it?’ Sometimes the title isn’t what a lot of people think of.”

That’s also the beauty of abstracts: so much is left to the viewers for their own interpretations. Bible hopes that people get as much out of viewing her work as she does out of making it. She paints with her hands as her arthritis makes regular brushwork unwieldy. It’s very messy, she said, but adds a level of artistry and finesse that you don’t get from other painters.

She also paints straight from the hip, so to speak.

“I don’t have any preconceived ideas. I don’t paint from pictures. I just paint from intuition. That’s why I call myself a lyrical artist,” she said, noting that the keyword is also the name of her new gallery. The Lyrical Art Gallery is located in Red Deer. “It’s a little bit different.”

This marks the first time that Bible is participating in a show at the artist-run centre.

Through the Paint opens on Tuesday with an opening reception set for next Thursday from 6 to 9 p.m. in conjunction with the August ArtWalk. Artists will be in attendance. The show runs until Sat., Sept. 2. VASA is located at 25 Sir Winston Churchill Ave. in the Hemingway Centre. Visit www.vasa-art.com for more information.

From VASA to CAVA

The Centre d’arts visuels de l’Alberta is hosting Elise Almeida and Rénald Lavoie, as well as VASA members Andrew Raczynski and Patricia Trudeau in its new members’ exhibit, which opened Thursday.

“I’m just tickled to death to be part of a show at CAVA again with Pat Trudeau, a lady who I admire for all reasons that made her a great teacher, a writer, a woman whose [artistic]style has varied over the years. She’s such a graceful, charming woman,” Raczynski said. “It’s a real thrill.”

The show is a combination of paintings and sculptures from the diverse artists. The former St. Albert Catholic High School art teacher has a selection of more than 20 watercolour works, all landscapes including many garden-related scenes and some of St. Albert and area.

It runs until Sat., Aug. 12. Galerie CAVA is located at 9103 95 Ave. in Edmonton. Visit www.galeriecava.com for more information.

Scott Hayes: Scott Hayes joined the St. Albert Gazette in 2008. Scott writes about the arts, entertainment, movies, culture, community groups, and charities. He also writes general news, features, columns and profiles on people.