The Kelvington Heritage Art and Cultural Society has been bringing art shows of a calibre previously reserved for the likes of local artist Rose Steadman.
In July, Heavy Metal, a collection of artwork by three different prairie-based artists, spent a couple weeks showcased in the Heritage Building. The show featured art focused on heavy metal as either a medium or subject.
Artist B.A. Conly used metal to construct his sculptures. “Dance, Dance” was a representation of grass, the finely cut metal strips mimicking the lay of grass that one might find in a prairie field.
Ken Delgarno used aluminum metal as his medium to display photographs of the twisted trees found northwest of Hafford, Sask., in the Redberry Lake Biosphere Reserve. His artwork was displayed on 20- by 30-inch frames, large enough to present this unique phenomena found in our province in bold and striking detail. Capturing light in his photographs, his metal mediums accentuated the “shine quality” while also exploiting the twisted, almost grotesque imagery of the trees, not unlike the look of metal in a car wreck.
Mark Vitalis took pictures of heavy metal, closeups of old cars that were then matted and framed in more traditional mediums but every bit as effective at evoking the nature of metal and its weathering in the Saskatchewan landscape.
The Organization of Saskatchewan Arts Councils brought the artwork to Kelvington in conjunction with the Art and Cultural Society. Part of its Arts on the Move program, Heavy Metal was a taste of what is to come in future presentations.
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This month the local arts council brought back Armand Roy, an artist living in the Hendon countryside. While Roy had displayed some of his pieces at the Heritage Building this spring, this showing gave a larger and broader look at his body of work. All three galleries in the Heritage Building held Roy’s art and a patron could spend an hour perusing it and at times talking to the artist himself, a rare treat at any show.
Beginning in the main gallery, Roy showcased his most accessible art, acrylics on canvas. “My Family Portrait” is an acrylic that had to be studied closely before the meaning of its title became clear. The painting had an open-windowlike quality that brought the eye back to it time and time again.
The second gallery showcased Roy’s work that, in his words, was Thinking Outside the Box.
Several of the pieces were canvases stretched on irregular frames. “Ash Tree,” “Geraniums” and “Thinking Outside the Box” all took advantage of the shape of their subject and offered an eclectic presentation. These were pieces that had to be studied, not simply swept across as one might do with a young child in tow. After circling the gallery several times to understand what Roy was trying to accomplish with these differently shaped canvases, “Geraniums” was a favourite .
One titled “Depression” caught the eye, particularly in light of the recent death of Robin Williams, attributed to the actor’s suffering with the clinical condition. Dark and forboding, the small canvas looked out of place in a gallery of flowers and blue skies. Maybe it was deliberately positioned at the margin of the show to evoke only temporary despair and not the prolonged sadness that many think depression represents.
Climbing the stairs to the third gallery, patrons discovered a beautiful piece of art, “Star Candle,” almost a stained glass representation of a church full of the fire of life. The final gallery of Roy’s work was a collection of nudes contained in two of the rooms of the Heritage Building’s upper floor.
Roy’s show was extensive. Filling up the Heritage Building with one man’s creations gave us a good glimpse into the life of an artist who has made our part of this world his home.
How life here may influence his art, we will have to wait and see.
By Susan Lowndes