Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Halifax: No Place Like Home!

With the ending of August and a new school year fast approaching, there is evidence of transition all around the city. U-hauls are loaded and unloaded as students eagerly unpack to settle into their new Halifax pad, or pack up to leave for studies and adventures elsewhere. Neighborhoods all around town see the arrival of fresh-faced individuals ready to explore and take on new beginnings.

Whether you are new to Halifax, a seasoned Haligonian, or about to depart our beloved city, there are some pieces in our current show "Under the Influence" that will likely pull on your heartstrings!

Artist Carlos Carillo has three watercolor paintings in the show that depict some of Halifax's iconic watering holes: "Gus' Pub", "Halifax Alehouse", and "Old Triangle". He carefully captures the minute details that are characteristic of each building, making them easy to quickly recognize. There is a familiarity Carlos' work that makes it approachable and nostalgia-inducing.
"Gus' Pub" Carlos Carillo, 9"x 12", Watercolor on Paper.

"Halifax Alehouse", Carlos Carillo, 9"x 12", Watercolor on Paper.

"Old Triangle", Carlos Carillo, 9"x 12", Watercolor on Paper.

Carlos' work for our current show "Under the Influence" is inspired by Mateusz Urbanowicz, an artist from Poland who has been living and studying in Tokyo, Japan. Urbanowicz began sketching some of the old traditional buildings that remained amidst the rapid surge of building development in Tokyo. His sketches led to a series, the Tokyo Storefront series that documents some of these remaining buildings in a style that is charming and full of character. Urbanowicz's work seeks to preserve memory of tradition and history that will likely be lost someday to development.

"Kobayashi Hair Salon from the Sanbanchyo District", Mateusz Urbanowicz
Watercolor and Pen.

"Houbiou Chinese Restaurant from around Takadanobaba District"
"Miyake Bicycle Shop based on Shops from Kagaruzaka and Kichiyouji"
Mateusz Urbanowicz, Watercolor and Pen.

Like Urbanowicz, Carlos' documents some of the city's iconic buildings with attention to the tiniest details that truly capture the character and history of the spaces. We'll keep our fingers crossed though that we won't loose any of these Halifax gems to development anytime soon!

Catherine Bagnell Styles is another artist in the exhibition who chose Halifax buildings as the subject for her work. Citing Henri Matisse and Andre Derain as influences, Catherine depicts a row of historic homes on Morris street in a vibrant acrylic painting titled "Morris St."

"Morris St." Acrylic on Board, 16" x 20", Catherine Bagnell Styles

Matisse and Derain, both painters from France, are well-known for their  use of vivid colors and expressive application of paint. While Catherine's painting accurately depicts Morris St., her influences are apparent in the expressive nature of her brush strokes and the warm tones that transform Morris St. into a romantic and glowing scene.

"Notre Dame" by Henri Matisse
"Charing Cross Bridge" by Andre Derain, 1906.

If you haven't been by the gallery to check out the show, now is the time! There's only one week left to see it! If you're not able to make it, you can see the show here.

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