Friday, September 28, 2018

One Day in this Town: Your Guide to the Best Day Ever!

Fall is one of the best seasons in Nova Scotia to explore the city. It's no longer unbearably humid, and the icy, bone-chilling winds of winter have not yet arrived. There are a lot of tourists around the city these days, and it's got us thinking about what it must be like to experience Halifax as a visitor. Many of our favorite local  businesses and hangout spots are depicted by our gallery artist in a wide range of mediums, so we thought we'd put together a little visual tour guide. Imagine you have one free day to spend in town; what would you do, and where would you go? The following is a little guide to a day in the city. Enjoy!

8am: Your alarm clock goes off; it's time to get up. The morning air has a bit of a chill to it, so you boil the kettle to make a big cup of tea.

 Isobel Hamilton, Tea with Lemon, 8"x8", Acrylic on Board

You add a heaping spoonful of NS honey to your tea, and take a seat by the window to ease into the day.

 Kim Floyd, Honey, 9"x12", Acrylic on Board

Yoko White, Cozy Reading Room, 4 1/4" x 4 1/2", Cotton Embroidery

9am: It's time to get outside to enjoy the day! You put on a light jacket, and set out for a walk through the neighborhood.

Andrea Crouse, Bloomfield,  6"x8", Collage Mounted and Framed

9:15am: What a great surprise! You stumble across the Ol' School Donuts truck parked right in your neighborhood. This will make a perfect morning treat!

"Ol' School Donuts" by Jan Davison 24" x 30" Acrylic on Board

10am: You take your time wandering around the Hydrostone Market, popping in and out of all the little shops.
Michelle St Onge, The Hydrostone, 12"x16", Archival Print Mount

10:30am: The sun is starting to come out, and it's turning into such a beautiful day! You decide it would be nice to go spend some time at Point Pleasant Park, so you hop on a bus, and start heading to the park.

Halifax Transit Bus, Kim Danio, reclaimed shoe.

10:45am: You make a quick stop at the Halifax Central Library to pick up a book to read while you're at the park.

Craig Baltzer, Central Library, 8"x10", Watercolour and Ink on Board

11am: You arrive at the park, and set out onto the trails. The leaves on the trees have not yet started to turn color yet, and everything is looking so lush.

Danny Abriel, Point Pleasant Park Celebration, 18"x36", Acrylic on Canvas

11:30am: You start to feel a little bit hungry. Luckily, you remember that you packed an apple in your bag, so you find a nice spot near the water to enjoy a quick snack and to read your book.

 George Spencer, Apple on Checkered Cloth, 8"x10", Oil on Board

12:30pm: The apple is not satisfying your hunger, so you leave the park and decide to head to the Halifax Seaport Farmer's Market to pick up some lunch. The walk to the market takes you through the South End of Halifax where there are many big, beautiful homes.

Michelle St Onge, Tower Road South End Halifax, 20"x20", Archival Print Mounted
You also take notice of the old Elmwood Hotel- such a beautiful old building that has weathered over many years.

Jennifer Harrison, "Elmwood Hotel", Oil on Canvas, 36" x 60"

1pm: You arrive at the Market. There are so many wonderful smells, and the autumn produce is at its peak.

Jan Davison, Seaport Market, 20"x24", Acrylic on Board

1:30pm: After picking up a few groceries and a lobster roll, you head out onto the boardwalk to enjoy your lunch. Unfortunately there are a lot of seagulls heckling you for a taste of your lunch.

 David Stephens, Tempest in a Teacup, 8"x10", Acrylic on Board

2pm: You're feeling adventurous, so you walk along the boardwalk until you reach the Ferry Terminal. What a perfect day to head across the harbour to explore downtown Dartmouth!

Halifax Transit Ferry, Kim Danio, reclaimed shoe

2:15pm: You arrive in Dartmouth, and walk up Portland Street to check out some of the lovely new shops. You can't go to Dartmouth without having one of those brick-of-butter croissants from Two if by Sea, so you make sure to stop by the cafe.

Kim Danio, Two If By Sea, Reclaimed Shoe

3:30pm: The view of Halifax from Dartmouth is just so lovely! We live in such a great city!

 Craig Baltzer, The Night is Young, 6"x24", Watercolour and Ink on Board

5pm: You take the ferry back across the harbour to Halifax. The sun is starting to lower in the sky; the colors are mesmerizing.

Gordon MacDonald, Big Round Cloud, 12"x12", Oil on Board

5:30pm: There's some live music this evening at the Old Triangle, so you head there to catch the show.

Old Triangle, Carlos Carrillo, 9”x12”, Watercolour on Paper

Watching live music always reminds you of the banjos you have at home that you should really pull out and re-learn to play. Listening to and playing music is so much fun!

Caitlin McGuire, Eight Four Six, 4" x 5",  Oil on Board

8pm: You run into some friends at the bar, and you enjoy a beer together.

Olands, Jana Wicha, acrylic on carved MDF

10pm: It's been a long and eventful day! You head home tired but happy with a full belly and a full heart!

 Craig Baltzer, After Hours, Watercolour and Ink on Board, 5"x7"

 Goodnight! :)

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Embracing Our Surroundings Through Art

With the G7 environment ministers meeting here in Halifax this week, we've been thinking a lot about how many of our local artists are inspired by and pay homage to the environment. A number of our artists reflect their love of nature through their interpretations of  local landscapes, many of which feature water. Living in Atlantic Canada, the ocean and the many fresh water lakes that form the backdrop to our lives, provide so much inspiration. 

Taking the time to explore the local landscape allows us to slow down and gain an appreciation for the natural world. Many of our artists are so skilled in being able to capture the nuances of light and color that make up an ever-changing landscape.

Mark Brennan, Evening The Cove, Thomas Raddall PP NS 11" x 14" Oil on birch, framed

Mark Brennan is one painter who is continually exploring the Canadian landscape. He is able to capture the mood of each season through the use of vivid colors and textures. It is so easy to imagine yourself on the scene of any of his works being able to smell the earth or feel the cool air. Mark features many of the country's provincial parks in his paintings.

Mark Brennan, The Clear Air of October, Killarney Provincial Park, N. Ontario 9" x 11" Oil on Birch

Gordon MacDonald is another artist who has a keen awareness of the natural world. He always has a conscious eye surveying the world around him, paying close attention to light and color. Gordon is able to convey landscapes in a way that makes what may be thought of as an "ordinary scene" appear to be one of those rare, heart-stopping views. Gordon's paintings capture those fleeting moments of beauty, and he's able to portray these because he takes time and care to look with curiosity at everything around him.

Gordon MacDonald, Big Round Cloud, 12"x12", Oil on Board

Gordon MacDonald, River Bend at Dusk, 26"x40", Oil on Linen

This past year of one of our gallery artists, Briana Corr Scott, had the opportunity to explore a very special slice of earth: Sable Island. Located 300 km southeast of Nova Scotia, Sable Island is a relatively untouched piece of land whose permanent residents are restricted to wildlife and vegetation. A small number of researchers and visitors make their way to Sable Island each year, and Briana was one of those lucky visitors. Briana created a large body of work that reflected her exploration of the island, and reverence for the pure beauty of the land. The wildness of the landscape and animals she depicts in her paintings have a lot to teach us about respecting and honoring nature, and the power of resisting human interference with nature.

Briana Corr Scott, Seals on North Beach #2, 6"x12", Oil on Board

Briana Corr Scott, Sable Dunes, 6"x12", Oil on Board

Danny Abriel is another one of our gallery artists who enjoys spending time outdoors and exploring the local landscape, including pockets of urban protected green spaces. Danny has a truly unique style of depicting the natural world; he uses bright colors and strong lines that come together to convey strength and beauty. His  paintings have bold presence, and serve as a powerful reminder to respect and protect our environment. Danny's works do not take for granted the beauty of nature, and remind us that nature is a powerful force not meant to be tamed.

 Danny Abriel, What Remains is Beautiful, 24"x36", Acrylic on Canvas

Kimberley Eddy is an artist whose love for the ocean is wholeheartedly expressed through her work. Kimberley's stunning mixed media pieces portray water; each piece is a mesmerizing dreamscape of blues and turquoises that flow in compositions that elicit feelings of calm and peace. Being near, in, or on the water has a huge impact on our overall health and happiness; Kimberley's work reminds us of the magical power and allure of water.  

 Kimberley Eddy, All Is Not Lost, 24"x12", Mixed Media on Board

Kimberley Eddy, Dance With Me Forever, 24"x24", Mixed Media on Board

 Some of our gallery artists re-use and re-purpose materials to create their works as a way to maintain a more environmentally-sustainable art practice. Kim Danio gives new life to shoes and handbags by transforming them into whimsical works of art with paint and reclaimed materials. Kim manipulates her materials in the most imaginative ways, often masking the shoe or handbag that lies at the core of her work so well you would never believe the transformation! 

Kim Danio, Small Bee, Reclaimed Shoe

Basil Doucette is another artist who re-purposes materials to create his work. Basil utilizes reclaimed wood to make tiny folk art wood carvings and creations. He even creates tiny butterflies using wood from fruit boxes in which clementines are packed at the supermarket.

Basil Doucette, Butterflies, reclaimed wood, paint, steel pins.

These are just a few of many artists we represent that hold nature at the forefront of their work. Stop by the gallery for a breath of fresh air, and to see our current display of works inspired by nature!

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Take Care of your Elders: Elmwood Hotel

If you've visited Halifax or lived here for any amount of time in the last 200 years or so, you've most likely walked past or perhaps even lived at the corner of South Park Street and Barrington Street.That's the home to one of Halifax's oldest residents still referred to as the Elmwood Hotel but now an apartment building in disrepair.

It's fate is still unknown for certain, but as of the first of this year there is a glimmer of hope that the current owner is considering saving the building as opposed to demolishing it to build a newer, modern looking building. As far as anyone knows, this is still the plan as the developer and HRM work together to make this a reality. It would truly be a huge loss to the city. The building is almost like a living-being. Can you imagine the stories it could tell if it could speak? We'd be wise to take care of this elder and let it live on for another 200 years or more.
NS Archives Photo

In an article printed in THE COAST last fall, the author Jacob Boon spoke with many people that lived in the building over the last 4 decades. It's really interesting to read if you have a chance HERE

The history of this building is amazing- a quick Google search shares stories from it's first owner to it's most well know owner,  James Augustus Farquhar.  James grew up on Sable Island and learned to salvage and build things from shipwrecks and other stuff that would wash upon the shore. "The swashbuckling sea captain made a fortune in his career as a professional wrecker—salvaging ships and cargo that had been thought lost forever to the deep. His success so often seemed to arise out of impossible odds that the locals in Halifax coined a phrase after the good captain: Farquhar’s luck."

We feel very LUCKY to have just received a painting by artist Jennifer Harrison of the Elmwood. It's of course, even more amazing in person, as Jennifer built up the windows and peeks with paintbrushes, palette knife and paint that are quite a sight to see. Come see this piece in person and relive a bit of history everyday, perhaps on your very own walls. Who knows, maybe it will also hold a bit of Farquhar's luck within...

Elmwood Hotel, Oil on Canvas, 36" x 60", by Jennifer Harrison

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Honey, I Shrunk the Carnival!

The end of summer doesn't have to mean the end of all the fun and games! Here at the gallery, we are having all kinds of fun lately with the arrival of the wild and wondrous fair: Teensyland! 

Bumper Cars, Mixed Media, Damien Webb
If you think you're too big for carnival rides, you're right. You ARE too big (in this case), because Teensyland is a miniature fun fair. You likely couldn't fit even your smallest toe into any of the rides! Each piece in this show was meticulously created using a knife, glue, and paper matte board by artist Damien Webb.

Ticket Booth, Mixed Media, Damien Webb

Damien describes the work in his show:

Teensyland: a magical world of fun and excitement that fits in the palm of your hand! Enjoy a hot dog by the pier, witness the expansive view from the top of the Ferris Wheel, or experience an exhilarating ride on the world famous Molecule Mountain! There's something for everyone to enjoy at the worlds tiniest world of wonder..."

Popcorn, Mixed Media, Damien Webb
Rick's Pickles, Mixed Media, Damien Webb

Kiddie Copter, Mixed Media, Damien Webb

The tiniest of details are what make Damien's work so charming and realistic to the point it is hard not to wish you could shrink down to fit inside the Kiddie Copter or Yellow Submarine. It feels so tempting to order a hot dog from the Hot Dog truck where teeny tiny condiment bottles sit waiting on the counter. 

Hot Dog Truck, Mixed Media, Damien Webb

The amount of focus and patience required to capture such detail on a minute scale is almost unfathomable. On his Instagram account Damien provides snapshots of pieces in-progress that offer a glimpse of all the work that goes into creating his miniatures. It's quite fascinating to the beginning stages of some of the pieces!

Hot Dog Truck, in progress

Gravitron, in progress

Gravitron, Mixed Media, Damien Webb

Fortune Teller, in progress

Fortune Teller, Mixed Media, Damien Webb

Damien's work is best appreciated in person, so come swing by the gallery to check out the show! We had a lot of fun installing the show , and even used fake grass to help transform the gallery into a mini fun park :)

Cotton Candy and Popcorn, Mixed Media, Damien Webb

If you're not able to make it to the gallery, you can view the entire show online here.