PETER MENNACHER | AUGUST AND SEPTEMBER
Selected prints, sculptures and paintings, by chance or appointment.
LIVE AT BLIZZMAX | AUGUST 27 AND 28 |SUZANNE PASTERNAK
Blizzmax Gallery is hosting the world premiere of Suzanne Pasternak‘s Tales From the Point Traverse Schooner Tavern and Life Saving Station, Saturday August 27 at 7:30 PM and Sunday August 28 at 2 PM.
Suzanne’s latest work is the true story of the men and women who heroically rescued sailors whose ships had wrecked off the shores of Prince Edward County. Taking us back to the mid 1800’s in the Schooner Tavern run by schooner Captain Solomon Mouck ,these heroic tales are woven together with storytelling, traditional great lake ballads, and original music by Suzanne. The Pt.Traverse LifeSaving Station was the first on Lake Ontario including both the American as well as the Canadian side of the lake.
Suzanne has been documenting the south shore of Prince Edward County for over 30 years. When the environmentally-protected South Shore of Prince Edward County, Ontario, came under the threat of 300 foot Wind Turbines being built, Suzanne spent one year documenting the fragile ecosystem of the South Shore and Ostrander Point. She has collected hundreds of hours of oral histories from Canadian lumber jacks and lake faring families of Eastern Lake Ontario. She is currently cataloging and curating these interviews and photos for a book aimed at teens and young adults.
Her folk opera Minerva is a dramatic and true cross border story that tells the tale of a young 17 year old ship’s cook from 1878. Minerva McCrimmon was a famous heroine in both Oswego, New York and Prince Edward County. Another cross-border work between Halifax, Nova Scotia and Boston, Massachusetts is told in her newly published book titled The Story of the 1917 Halifax Explosion and the Boston Tree. This book has been donated to every library in Boston by the esteemed A.C. Ratshesky Foundation.
Two dates only: Saturday, August 27 at 7:30 and Sunday, August 28 at 2 PM
Tickets are $25 and available by calling Suzanne at 613-847-9842 or Alice at BLIZZMAX at 613-476-7748. Seating is limited.
AS I SEE IT | July 14 – Aug 14 |
A collection of County women artists
Nell Casson, Buffy Carruthers, Gudrun Gallo, Jenna Kusch, Cynthia McQuillan, Sara Lou Miller, Andrea Pillar, Leanne Rhem, Deborah Root, Jillian Seer, Lauren Wiens, Bay Woodyard
TWELVE WOMEN SEE IT DIFFERENTLY
By Ulrike Bender
The whole idea behind Blizzmax is to promote art and artists,” says former vineyard manager and architectural designer turned gallery owner Alice Mennacher. She has invited 12 artists to contribute to the current show, which she calls “As I See It,” on view until August 14.
Now in its 29th year of summer exhibitions, Blizzmax, in a repurposed barn in South Bay, for the first time showcases the work of exclusively women artists—their points of view as individuals. Be prepared for a variety of styles and mediums, a few surprises and a bit of intrigue. Some works tell a story, some elicit questions, others delight with their whimsy or their aesthetic richness. All require a close look. “I wanted to mix it up,” explains Alice. “These are artists that over the years caught my eye.”
Lauren Wiens, at 38 the youngest artist, has chosen photography as her medium, concentrating on close-ups of bumblebees on flowers. Hung as a series of intensely coloured images in fuschia, yellow, red and green, the four photos pack a punch, particularly set beside the first surprise this viewer encountered: Lauren has elaborated on her floral theme by including a very realistic, but much more subtly coloured, painting of a bumblebee gathering pollen from a white honeysuckle.
Also hung as a series, Shifting Points of View, by Cynthia McQuillan, makes use of the circle, a favourite motif of the artist. Three abstract compositions work in tandem to create a meditative sequence demanding a closer perusal. Although the number and position of the overlapping circles never varies, the colours change perceptively, while a transparent white acrylic wash—like a muslin curtain—adds a different perspective to each view, unexpectedly culminating in the creation of a central focus encased in a square.
Delicately balanced on a low plinth near the entrance to the barn sit two sculptural pieces by textile, jewellery and papiermâché artist SaraLou Miller “Ornament is my passion,” writes SaraLou on her website. She created her two egg-shaped vessels using a papier mâché technique, but instead of paper, we see various layers of overlapping, frayed and transparent textiles ornamented with strands of coloured string and strips of fabric. A wasp’s nest comes to my mind, as do Russion dolls, as I peer into the pieces trying to decipher the contents.
Sculptor Andrea Pillar frequents the shores of Lake Ontario for inspiration. Her porcelain entanglement glazed in blue and white—colours of water and sky—lounges in one far corner of the gallery, its bloated tubes covered by various protuberances in the form of pitchers and spines and claws. Sea creature or aquatic plant?
Two large oil paintings by Gudrun Gallo will speak to gallery goers who have been to Iceland. Recognizable is the hilly, rocky, treeless land punctuated by waterways and waterfalls. Some might consider the Icelandic countryside bleak, but in the smaller of the two paintings the artist, a former designer and art director, has animated the landscape with expressionistic brushstrokes, intense contrast and colours, and what photographers call “leading lines” in sky and landforms. (Kudos to Alice for positioning this painting above Pillar’s sculpture: a suggestive juxtaposition.) Gallo’s powerful larger painting takes this viewer by surprise. The landscape, in similar tones, has morphed into an abstract composition focussed on a gushing, dripping, swath that pours forth from the somewhat sinister surroundings. And yet, still recognizable.
Small, and in black and white, Pour Your Music Into Nothingness, a delicate woodcut by Genna Kusch, illustrates the powerful potential of this medium. Any kind of relief printmaking involves inherent risk. Here the workmanship in producing the feathers of the central figure of a bird indicates Kusch’s mastery of this medium. And to place the bird in a tangle of noodle-like nesting material, in which its beauty could be lost, further indicates a confidence on the part of the artist, whose work often concerns the natural world.
33 LONG PLAY | June 3 to 27, 2022 | Carl Weins
The show features 33 pieces from 33 years as a working artist. It’s a mix of asignment work and creative explorations featuring original art and prints.
“Inspiration can be found in so many unexpected places. Over the years, I have worked to bring joy and energy to the art you see in this collection.”
– Carl Wiens
Belleville-based illustrator Carl Wiens has enjoyed a successful career spanning 33 years, producing conceptual illustration for books, newspapers and magazines. He has been published in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Time, and Esquire. Carl has explored works in different mediums including screen printing, painting and woodworking and has exhibited work in local galleries.
Carl has a number of children’s books including the recently published ‘Science of Song’ for Kids Can Press, written by Alan Cross. In addition to his art, Carl teaches science and technology-based illustration at Sheridan College where his continually inspired by the dedication and creativity of the next generation of illustrators.
BALANCING ACT: GROWING GRAPES AND MAKING WINE IN PRINCE EDWARD COUNTY | LAUNCH JUNE 26 | ULRIKE BENDER
Join the author, 3 to 5 pm, to celebrate. There will be County cheeses, a short reading at 3:30 and a chance to try some County wines that you may never have considered.