By HOT ART YYC
Peter Sawatzky is an award-wining Manitoba artist who has earned international recognition for his lifelike bronze sculptures. A country boy raised in Southern Manitoba, Peter’s passion evolved from watching wildlife and birds into a career of carving these animals.
Inspiration for Peter comes from field drawings made during his many years of observing and studying animal movements. These sketches are eventually transformed into life size sculptures that can reach up to 29 feet long. The foundry process—from creating a metal frame to the empty shell being filled with bronze—can take up to a year depending on the size of the piece.
Peter’s sculptures have become iconic Winnipeg landmarks, like the sculpture of James A. Richardson at the Winnipeg James Armstrong Richardson International Airport, the monument of a mother polar bear and her cubs outside the Assiniboine Park Zoo, or “Seal River Crossing,” which stands at the city’s famed Portage and Main intersection. The impressive statue, which captures a herd of caribou crossing the Seal River, was inspired by a scene Peter saw from above while travelling to Churchill. While on the flight, he started to sketch the caribou and knew he had his next piece. The project, which took four years to complete, was commissioned by James Richardson & Sons Ltd. in commemoration of its 150th anniversary.
In addition to his public art, more than 25 pieces of Peter’s work are on display at the Loch Gallery in May and June.
More Hot Art:
Exhibits worth seeking out during your stay.
STARTS MAY 13
A pair of exhibits give a rare glimpse at one of art history’s most iconic figures at the Winnipeg Art Gallery. Picasso in Canada features more than 30 paintings, watercolours, drawings, prints and ceramic works drawn from collections across the country. Also on display is a collection of 100 etchings and drypoints, presented in its entirety for the first time in 60 years. Named Picasso: Man and Beast, this exhibit showcases the artist’s preoccupations with the civilizing nature of art and the “beast within”. Winnipeg Art Gallery, 300 Memorial Blvd, wag.ca
MAY-JUN: Graffiti Gallery presents a retrospective featuring works by artists involved with the gallery since its inception in 1998. 109 Higgins Ave, graffitigallery.ca
TO MAY 19: Matthew Gardiner explores modern society’s relationship with the natural world in You Can’t Go Home Again at aceartinc. 290 McDermot Ave, aceart.org
TO MAY 28: Through the Eyes of A Child exhibits the work of young artists at WAG@The Park inside the Assiniboine Park Pavilion. 55 Pavilion Cres, wag.ca
TO MAY 30: Love of gardening and painting runs in the family for Gerd Behrendt and Angela Lillico. See Floral Frenzy: The Love of Father and Daughter at the Wayne Arthur Gallery. 186 Provencher Blvd, waynearthurgallery.com
MAY 5-28: The MAWA (Mentoring Artists for Women’s Art) Artist Mothers Group shows a mother-child collaborative exhibit. 611 Main St, mawa.ca
MAY 5-16: See Sari Habiluk’s The Golden Hour, a collection of vibrant and abstracted acrylic paintings, at cre8ery. 125 Adelaide St, cre8ery.com
JUN 2-28: Turqoise Gem/Pale Blue Dot is a collection of mixed media works by Bonnie Taylor at the Wayne Arthur Gallery. 186 Provencher Blvd, waynearthurgallery.com
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Wanda Koop is one of Canada’s most important and inventive contemporary artists, with a career spanning over four decades and more than 50 major solo exhibitions around the world. The Winnipeg artist is known for creating large scaled remarkable paintings. “I am constantly looking at the world as if it’s for the first time,” she says. Each painting is a part of a collection, a cohesive way of expressing a series of thoughts or ideas.
Wanda is also well known for her engagement in her community as the founder of Art City. This art centre has brought world-class visual artists and Winnipeg’s inner-city youth together to exchange ideas and create projects in a safe and accessible place for nearly 20 years. Guest artists host a variety of free programs that teach all types of art media such as film, photography and ceramics.
Wanda’s exhibition VIEW from HERE is a private collection of nine-by-eight foot paintings that blur the line between landscape and portraiture. Floating head silhouettes contain surreal facial expressions created by pieces of rural scenery. The title of each painting and its landscapes were inspired by specific works from her career. Flood Plain, for example, is similar to a painting from the Green Zone (2003-2009) collection, which was influenced by television coverage of the Iraq War. For Wanda art is inextricably connected to the social and political events happening in the world.
Exhibits worth seeking out over your stay.
MAR 3-31 What do a neuroscientist and a craftsperson have in common? It’s not a punchline; Neurocraft, an exhibit authored by the Manitoba Craft Council explores just that. The pieces on display, all inspired by the brain, are the result of a two year collaboration between nine neuroscientists and craft artists. The resulting work blends accessible media, like fibre art and sculpture, with the complex forms of the brain and intricate ideas behind contemporary scientific research. John Buhler Research Centre Atrium, 715 McDermot Ave, manitobacraft.ca
MAR 10-APR 15 Janet Shaw-Russell’s series of drawings, prints, and sculpture, entitled Within, without, began with a medical booklet on lung cancer, a sewing pattern, and her graphite pencils. Exploring the body’s intricacy and fragility, the resulting juxtapositions at Martha Street Studio prompt the viewer to consider such issues as health, medicine, women’s rights, and the plight of garment workers. 11 Martha St, 204‑779‑6253, printmakers.mb.ca
Mar-Apr: A collection of portraits by Michel Saint-Hilaire observes and questions our social environment, showing that we all have a story to tell. La Galerie, Centre culturel franco-manitobain, 340 Provencher Blvd, 204‑233‑8972, ccfm.mb.ca
Mar-Apr: Nature Rearranged: A Century of The Still Life features Canadian and European art from the past century that depict images of flowers.Winnipeg Art Gallery, 300 Memorial Blvd, 204‑786‑6641, wag.ca
Mar-Apr: See Rodin’s The Thinker up close. Winnipeg Art Gallery, 300 Memorial Blvd, 204‑786‑6641, wag.ca
To Mar 11: Wally Dion blends traditional craft with modern technology, drawing connections between quilts and circuitboards.Urban Shaman, 203‑290 McDermot Ave, 204‑942‑2674, urbanshaman.org
To Mar 11: Barry Ace’s Niibwa Ndanwendaagan (My Relatives) is a suite of Anishnaabe bandolier bags (or ‘friendship bags’) adorned with electronic components and a tablet screening historical photographs and archival film of Indigenous peoples. Urban Shaman, 203‑290 McDermot Ave, 204‑942‑2674, urbanshaman.org
Mar 11-24: Object and Complement features three Winnipeg artists whose work explores the relationship between object, subject, and response. Cre8ery,2nd floor, 125 Adelaide St, 204-944-0809, cre8ery.com
To Mar 17: This Must Be the Place is a collection of work inspired by Winnipeg. Lisa Kehler Art & Projects, 171 McDermot Ave, 204‑510‑0088, lkap.ca
To Mar 31: Station is a meditation on the situation of the radio operator, and the individual’s role as communicators, information gatherers, and distributors. Aceartinc, 290 McDermot Ave, 2nd floor, 204‑944‑9763, aceart.org
To Apr 13: The Frontier School Division Juried Art Show features a selection of artworks by students from Manitoba’s northern schools. Graffiti Gallery, 109 Higgins Ave, 204‑667‑9960, graffitigallery.ca
Mar 3-30: James Culleton exhibits drawings, watercolours, and sculptures from his residency at the nearly-century old McCanna House in North Dakota. Wayne Arthur Gallery,186 Provencher Blvd, 204‑477‑5249, waynearthurgallery.com
Mar 10-Apr 15: Vital by Darian Gordon Stahl blends photographs and medical scans in a reflection on chronic illness and bodily perception. Martha Street Studio, 11 Martha St, 204‑779‑6253, printmakers.mb.ca
Mar 10-Apr 29: A Piece of Work centres around the scrap material assemblages of Seth Woodyard, while Timothy Joel Dyck’s Workday explores the banal components of work. Street art interventions are featured in Ulmeus Communitas/Elm Community, by Frank Livingston, with wheat pastes of trees in Winnipeg’s Wolseley neighbourhood. Mennonite Heritage Centre Gallery, 600 Shaftesbury Blvd, 204‑888‑6781, gallery.mennonitechurch.ca
Mar 24-26: The annual Over The Top Art Auction and Cupcake Party is the art scene’s sweetest event. Mentoring Artists for Women’s Art, 611 Main St,
Mar 24-Apr 22: This Must Be the Place (Home Pt 2) features works by three Montreal based artists exploring ideas about home. Lisa Kehler Art & Projects, 171 McDermot Ave, 204‑510‑0088, lkap.ca
Apr 1-26: Coddiwomples by Helma Rogge Rehders takes inspiration from an Old English word meaning to travel purposefully toward a vague destination. The exhibit shows pieces that reflect two decades of work based around marsh and lake landscape. Wayne Arthur Gallery, 204‑477‑5249, waynearthurgallery.com
Mar 2-Apr 8: Cafeteria II is a collection of paintings, photographs, and mixed media sculptures by Elvira Finnegan and Lisa Wood that examines the culture of the University cafeteria. Gallery 1C03, 1st floor, Centennial Hall, University of Winnipeg, 515 Portage Ave, 204-786‑9253, uwinnipeg.ca/art-gallery
Starts Apr 14: You Can Never Go Home Again features paintings by Matthew Gardiner. Aceartinc, 290 McDermot Ave, 2nd floor, 204‑944‑9763, aceart.org
Starts Apr 15: Performance artist Ray Fenwick waits behind a curtain for a visitor ready to have a conversation in A Greenhouse. The Valley. Never-Ending Evening.Plug In ICA, Unit 1-460 Portage Ave, 204‑942‑1043, plugin.org
Starts Apr 15: Patrick Cruz claims space and disorients the viewer with his series of maximal floor-to-ceiling paintings, awash in vibrant colour and bold use of line. Plug In ICA, Unit 1-460 Portage Ave, 204‑942‑1043, plugin.org
Starts Apr 20: Collective Voices features an eclectic group of Manitoba artists who vary in medium, style, and point of view. Cre8ery, 2nd floor, 125 Adelaide St, 204-944-0809, cre8ery.com
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If you’ve wandered the streets of Winnipeg, you’ve likely seen some of Michel Saint Hilaire’s work. An accomplished muralist, the Winnipeg artist also creates arresting contemporary pieces that blend seemingly disparate media, inspiration, style, and emotion into an incredible whole.
Michel found his calling in grade school and spent years honing his ability, drawing floor plans of houses and classic cars, a precursor to the architecturally influenced style of his later work. After two years of University training in Fine Arts, where he was taught by renowned Winnipeg artist Ivan Eyre, he began selling his art and painting murals full time.
Though he originally worked solely in pencil, Michel now blends media, usually pencil and acrylic, to create a layered effect punched with contemporary flourishes of line and colour.
His latest work was inspired by a 3 week residency in Moncton, NB, during which time he painted roughly 20 portraits of community members. He became enthralled with the unique qualities and complexity of faces, and set out to recreate the experiment with Winnipeg muses. The resulting exhibit, which begins in January, originally featured members of the city’s French speaking arts community, but has evolved to include portraits of famous figures, a mannequin, and the likeness of reclusive photographer Vivian Meier, whose work was recently discovered posthumously. “I started from a place of nurturing my home and community,” says Michel, “Then expanded to painting people that I don’t know, then to pieces that touch on global and environmental issues.”
Exhibits worth seeking out during your stay.
Two major exhibits at the Winnipeg Art Gallery explore the concept of land ownership through the intersection between Indigenous identity and sport. Boarder X features contemporary Indigenous artists from across Canada, drawing parallels between areas prohibiting snowboarding, or the surfer’s search for uncrowded waves, and the contested spaces of politics, identity, and land. Presented alongside this exhibit, Vernon Ah Kee: cantchant engages with territorial disputes centred around Australia’s beaches. Traditional Aboriginal designs and colours turn surfboards into works of cultural meaning. 300 Memorial Blvd, wag.ca
TO FEB 1
The Through Her Eyes Photography Collective presents an exhibit of black and white minimalist photography at the Wayne Arthur Gallery. Dramatically reduced design elements create imagery that is striking and thought-provoking, imbuing everyday items with unfamiliar beauty. 186 Provencher Blvd, waynearthurgallery.com
TO JAN 8: Our Land: Contemporary Art From the Arctic showcases artists from Canada’s north at the Winnipeg Art Gallery. 300 Memorial Blvd, wag.ca
TO JAN 19: Megan Krause’s abstracted landscapes act as a visual exploration of the effects of climate change and a rising global population in Fertile Ash. Mennonite Heritage Centre Gallery, Canadian Mennonite University, 600 Shaftesbury Blvd, gallery.mennonitechurch.ca
TO JAN 19: Interna is a collection of non-objective abstract paintings by Dale Boldt. Mennonite Heritage Centre Gallery, Canadian Mennonite University, 600 Shaftesbury Blvd, gallery.mennonitechurch.ca
TO JAN 20: Climate Changes by Mathieu Gotti explores the metamorphosis of animals in their environment at La Galerie inside the Centre Culturel Franco-Manitobain. 340 Provencher Blvd, ccfm.mb.ca
TO JAN 25: Christian Worthington’s Sermons To The Birds explores the influence of historical religious art in a secular post-modern world. Gurevich Fine Art, 2nd floor, 62 Albert St, gurevichfineart.com
JAN 6-24: 99 Pieces of Art on The Wall is an exhibit and sale featuring Cre8ery members. Pieces are priced $40-$200 and sold on site. Cre8ery, 2nd floor, 125 Adelaide St, cre8ery.com
JAN 6-FEB 4: Catch To Step is To Rise, a solo exhibition of new work by Montreal based artist Jeanette Johns, at Lisa Kehler Art + Projects. 171 McDermot Ave, lkap.ca
JAN 12-FEB 18: University of Winnipeg gallery, Gallery 1C03, displays video exhibition Moving Images. This group show features 23 short films and videos, including work by acclaimed filmmaker Guy Maddin. 1st floor, Centennial Hall, University of Winnipeg, 515 Portage Ave, uwinnipeg.ca/art-gallery
JAN 20-FEB 25: Hireath is a collection of pieces by printmaker Heather Lier exploring the nostalgia and wonderment of childhood memory. Martha Street Studio, 11 Martha St, printmakers.mb.ca
FROM JAN 26: A collection of portraits by Michel Saint-Hilaire observes and questions our social environment, showing that we all have a story to tell. La Galerie inside the Centre Culturel Franco-Manitobain. 340 Provencher Blvd, ccfm.mb.ca
JAN 27-FEB 7: The Society of OUTstanding Artists group show features this collective formed through the LGBTQ Rainbow Resource Centre.Cre8ery, 2nd floor, 125 Adelaide St, cre8ery.com
FROM FEB 3: Wally Dion blends Indigenous craft with modern technology, drawing connections between quilts and circuit boards. Urban Shaman, 203‑290 McDermot Ave, urbanshaman.org
FROM FEB 3: Barry Ace’s Niibwa Ndanwendaagan (My Relatives) is a suite of Anishnaabe bandolier bags (or ‘friendship bags’) adorned with electronic components and a tablet screening historical family photographs and archival film of Indigenous peoples. Urban Shaman, 203‑290 McDermot Ave, urbanshaman.org
FROM FEB 3: The Manitoba Society of Artists exhibit Visual Voices in Manitoba, a group show highlighting emerging and professional visual artists in the province, at the Wayne Arthur Gallery. 186 Provencher Blvd, waynearthurgallery.com
FEB 9-21: Artworks featuring horses pay homage to the 43 horses recently killed in a barn fire in Ontario in the group show 43 Horses: Enduring Spirits. Cre8ery, 2nd floor, 125 Adelaide St, cre8ery.com
FROM FEB 10: Yapci Ramos’ Perras y Putas is an intimate dialogue through photography with women in prostitution in different parts of the world. Lisa Kehler Art + Projects, 171 McDermot Ave, lkap.ca
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Larry Rich fell in love with art the day he stepped foot in his University graphic design class. After realizing he lacked the patience for the technical aspects of design, he began exploring analog mediums like painting on canvas and live model drawing.
More than 20 years later, Rich’s work has been displayed all over the world, from Calgary to Italy. Known for his vibrant and textured paintings of Manitoba landscapes, Rich uses his surroundings for inspiration. Growing up as a city boy, captivated by different angles of the cityscape, led to his fascination with the spaces around us. From his current home just outside Winnipeg, he enjoys the closeness to nature that allows him to envision his next painting.
Each piece begins with one cohesive idea, but Rich allows creative spontaneity to take over. His textured, contemporary style of prairie abstracts is made by applying layers of acrylic paint with palette knives, brushes, spatulas and sponges. The result is a surface that is built up to create a three-dimensional effect. “I look at painting as a building process, as opposed to a painting process,” he says.
His goal for each piece is to convey mood by capturing ambient light. Techniques like gold leafing are used to produce an ethereal glow.
Rich’s background as a musician also informs his art. He approaches these two creative endeavours in much the same way, by using layers—whether of brush strokes or sound—to create a vibrancy that captivates his audience.
Larry Rich’s work can be viewed at Birchwood Art Gallery, 1068 Pembina Hwy, 204‑888‑5840 or 1‑800‑822‑5840
To Jan 1
Group exhibition Superimposition: Sculpture and Image at Plug In ICA features artists Nadia Belerique, Valerie Blass, Ursula Johnson, Kelly Lycan, Ursula Mayer, Kristin Nelson, Dominique Rey and Andrea Roberts. The exhibit includes a variety of mixed media pieces exploring superimposition—a technique usually unique to image—in three dimensional space. The collection, which draws inspiration from fashion, film, architecture, and performance, incorporates bright colours, text and texture to create sculptural works that play with the conventions of graphic design. Unit 1-460 Portage Ave, 204‑942‑1043, plugin.org
Fascinated by the mundane and commonplace at a young age, Cindy Dyson began drawing as a child as a way to find therapy and refuge from her challenging childhood. In her 20s, she fell in love with the work of 19th century Impressionists such as Monet, Renoir and Pissarro. Since then, she has been inspired by the commitment of these artists to depict the beauty and elegance of daily experiences.
Dyson’s exhibition A Pause In Routine at Pulse Gallery is a celebration of everyday life in our 21st century world. Her paintings and observations reveal the joy, bittersweetness and preciousness of a fleeting moment, presented through bright splashes of colour that exude energy and life. Her work captures street scenes and landscapes of Winnipeg’s cultural hubs like the Exchange District and downtown core.
The process of creating can be time consuming, yet rewarding. Often times, Dyson takes photos of scenery while out with family and friends, and sketches the subject on paper to form composition. She then applies acrylic paint to canvas to create shadow, depth and light. Texture is common in her paintings, as she uses tools like a palette knife, sponge, fork, comb and her fingers to apply paint. “I find the endless variety of marks I can make with these tools challenges and fascinates me,” she says. I love the physicality and range of the knife —aggressive slices, delicate dabs, focused scrapes and thick bold swaths of colour.” The versatility of acrylic paint enables Dyson to splatter, spray, blob and pour, to evoke mood and movement within each piece.
Her collection will be on exhibit at Pulse Gallery from Oct 14-31. Main floor, Johnston Terminal, The Forks, 204-957-7140
In January the world lost a powerful creative force when influential and prolific pioneer of modern Inuit art Kenojuak Ashevak died at age 85. Ashevak’s distinctive, enchanting imagery has graced Canadian stamps and coins, earned honourary doctorates, a Governor General’s Award in Visual and Media Arts, and the distinction of highest auction sale price of any Canadian print at $52,000 USD. Her final masterpiece,Tall Tundra Bird (pictured), is a stunning stonecut and stencil that fittingly features Ashevak’s favoured subject: a mythical and nearly supernatural bird. Nunavut Gallery is the place to see this very special artwork and many other resplendent Ashevak prints. 603 Corydon Ave, 204-478‑7233.
Haisla artist Lyle Wilson is painting outside the lines—of traditional Northwest Coast art, that is. In Paint: The Painted Works of Lyle Wilson, his artwork finds form in traditionally stylized, yet playfully experimental, pieces. Find captivating works by the artist, such as “Octopus” (pictured), until Sep. 15 at Bill Reid Gallery of Northwest Coast Art.—Jill Von Sprecken
National Aboriginal Day is June 21. Find out more information on celebrations in Vancouver.