At the Galleries: Fall into art with sculpture, jewelry and contemporary works

Victoria Galleries bring color and diverse media to the public this month.

At the West End Gallery, Victorian artist Mary Ann Laing, inspired by the landscapes of Vancouver Island, offers her colorful and playful interpretations of beloved places.

“My paintings speak of life. Ups and downs, light and dark, contrasts that complement each other, like life. To resonate with the joys of knowing that darkness exists, to step forward to places that offer peace, I feel that’s what I’m saying through my brush,” she said.

Using oils, her color palette is a rich combination of complementary blues and oranges with the ubiquitous lush greens associated with the West Coast landscape. A signature member of the Federation of Canadian Artists, Laing’s work has been included in numerous exhibitions over the past 25 years.

“Most of my works concern places where I live or have lived. Ever since I started painting, I have been in constant awe of the beauty of sunlight dancing across the breathtaking landscapes of Vancouver Island. Fairfield’s neighborhoods offer endless subjects to paint, especially in the fall when colors range from deep hues to intense pure tones.

Laing’s Color of Life runs from November 19 to December 1. Visit westendgalleryltd.com for details.

Avenue Gallery brings Brenda Roy, Becky Holuk and Marianne Meyer to its Oak Bay gallery this month.

Roy’s work explores contrasts of color and texture: smooth stone and polished metal highlighted by fused or roller-printed textures; the play of colors in unique stone inlays; precious stones and precious metals associated with raw minerals or broken pottery shards; and contemporary designs that resemble ancient artifacts.

“I like to play with the surprise of asymmetrical designs and unexpected material combinations. I believe that there is still a place for beautiful, well-made objects and that these objects enrich our lives. A piece of jewelry acquires meaning over time by developing associations with the stories of our lives, and these acquired meanings are as important to me as the artist’s original concepts,” she said.

As one of the few metalwork artists in the country to use stone inlay extensively in her work, she is constantly experimenting to find unexpected and non-traditional ways to incorporate stone into jewelry.

Holuk is a Calgary-based artist who works primarily with acrylic paint on canvas. She studied at the Alberta College of Art and Design, winning an Illingworth Kerr Award for her drawing and design skills. After working full-time in graphic design and illustration for 10 years, Holuk changed direction to focus solely on his passion for fine art painting.

Holuk considers it a blessing to be a part of the connection the artwork provides between artist and viewer and has found that hiking and walking through the majestic natural beauty of the foothills of Alberta, the Canadian Rockies and West Coast are favorite times to observe, record, and reflect for later artistic pursuits in the studio.

She sees each painting as an opportunity to form a joyful and grateful response in color and movement to what she has been privileged to experience in the natural world.

Meyer was born and raised in Switzerland, but has lived in British Columbia’s Okanagan Valley for over 20 years. His abstract and spontaneous paintings allow him to freely express his emotions and experiment.

“My finished abstract works look nothing like the first layer – or the second. I’m always ready for anything, in terms of color and shape. Take risks – I don’t hesitate,” Meyer said.

Visit theavenuegallery.com for details.

Madrona Gallery presents Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas’ first solo exhibition in Victoria this month.

Challenging stereotypes of Northwest Coast art, Yahgulanaas presents current issues in a way that bridges the gap between artwork and viewer. In this way, Yahgulanaas allows everyone to explore different ways of thinking and to challenge established narratives that have long dominated Western discourse.

An internationally acclaimed contemporary artist, author and professional speaker, Yahgulanaas has developed a unique visual vocabulary to present contemporary social, political and environmental issues to a wider audience.

Yahgulanaas’ work has been exhibited internationally, with works from his acclaimed Coppers from the Hood series housed in major public institutions, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and the British Museum in London. More recently, Yahgulanaas completed an eight square meter mural commissioned by the Humboldt Forum in Berlin.

Yahgulanaas can’t wait to attend the opening of his solo exhibition at Madrona Gallery.

“I have many friends in Victoria since teaching at the University of Victoria and working with Pacific Opera,” he said. The exhibition features 15 recent works of art in a variety of sizes, mediums and styles, as well as four impressive brass instruments.

The exhibition runs from November 5 to 18 with an opening with the artist on November 5 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.

Visit madronagallery.com for more details.


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About Margaret L. Portillo

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