May welcomes eclectic exhibits

Local galleries offer a wealth of new artistic offerings

Harold Klunder

It’s a busy spring at local art galleries as exhibits explore everything from historical experiences to current environmental challanges.

Coming up at the Avenue Gallery is On The Surface, a solo exhibtion from Kimberly Kiel.

“Representing one of the things I’m most drawn to, ‘on the surface’ is about just that – the surface of the canvas. The very the tactile surface of it,” Kiel says. “The texture; the marks and strokes, drips and dribbles; the thick, creamy oil paint mixed in its combination of colour; the energy and the vibrancy in that very surface.”

Featuring bold florals, energetic figures and powerful tree-scapes, the artist has created a special collection of works showcasing her signature use of impasto and fearless use of colour.

Join the gallery for the opening Thursday, June 2, from 1 to 3 p.m. On The Surface runs through June 13.

At Oak Bay’s Eclectic Gallery, the Modern Visionaries exhibition continues through June 30, bringing together original artwork celebrating modernism. The show includes numerous works of historical interest by members of Victoria’s Limner group and contemporaries, including Carole Sabiston, Herbert Siebner, Pat Martin Bates, Leroy Jensen, Maxwell Bates, Jack Wilkinson, Robin Skelton as well as renowned potters Walter Dexter and Jan and Helga Grove.

All art is from private collections, primarily shown and sold publicly for the first time.

“We are thrilled with the quality and diversity of the artwork,” says gallery owner John Taylor.  “It is a wonderful opportunity for people to enrich their knowledge and personal collection of renowned Victoria artists.”

Visit Winchester Galleries through May 28 to take in Abstracta Delecta: The Quebec Painters.

“We have been working towards this exhibition for a long time and we’re honoured to have many fine works that have come directly from the artists’ estates,” says the gallery’s Gunter Heinrich.

Among the noted works in the exhibition are two early works by Claude Tousignant, Taches transparentes (1955) and the iconic 1965 circular Petit oeil; one of the finest Yves Gaucher Grey paintings, VI (1968); the lyrical Temple heureux (1977) and La chute d’un jaune #12 by Jean McEwen; Harold Klunder’s Mellow Yellow (self-portrait, 2014); Sans titre (1950), a fluid Automatiste work by Paul-Émile Borduas; and late highlights from Jean Paul Riopelle, Sans titre (1990) and Mes aventures (1990).

At the University of Victoria, take in Reflections: Images of Chinese Women in Canada, showing through May 30 in McPherson Library’s Mearns Centre for Learning.

Curated by the Multicultural History Society of Ontario, the historical photo exhibit  explores the struggles and accomplishments of Chinese women who forged a path for others to follow.

In nearby Cadboro Bay, Goward House presents an art show and sale by Goward House artists through June 29. Visit weekdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.  and for a preview of the event, visit  gowardhouse.com/artshow.

At downtown’s Madrona Gallery, take in new works from Hashim Hannoon, showing May 14 to 27.

Already a respected artist in the middle east, Hannoon emigrated to Canada in 2009, settling in Vancouver.

“His paintings reveal an interest in capturing the essence of community and how it enriches the city. Hannoon’s process results in abstract images of gentle beauty that invite the viewer to experience the city through the filter of his imagination.”

Join the gallery tomorrow, (Saturday, May 14) for an opening reception with the artist from 1 to 4 p.m.

Through May 19, West End Gallery features a premier exhibition from Vancouver Island artist Joel Mara, who captures striking scenes from across B.C. Coming up, West End opens The Hanging Garden group show, May 21 to June 16, a new collection of paintings  honouring the season of gardens and gardening.

Spring brings a new exhibit at the Robert Bateman Centre: Endangered Wildlife – the Next Migration.

Showing through June 5, this exhibit runs in partnership with the University of Victoria’s Department of Education and includes works on critically endangered species from around the world as created by local artists. Viewers are invited to participate in an exploration of the connections between art, culture, science and education as it relates to some of the rarest life forms on Earth.

To Alcheringa Gallery comes Soaring High, Landing Hard: The Veneration and Exploitation of Birds, new works by distinguished British artist and wild birds conservation activist Rebecca Jewell that examine both the beauty and extreme vulnerability of birds in the face of an unprecedented growth in global poaching.

Jewell is currently Artist in Residence in the Oceania Department of the British Museum and the brilliant, miniature birds she depicts are printed on to goose and swan feathers, ethically collected.

Showing from June 4 to July 6, Join the gallery for an opening reception Saturday, June 4 from 2 to 5 p.m. Jewell will also present an artist’s talk about her work Sunday, June 5 at 2 p.m.

Join the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria this Sunday, May 15, for Family Sunday, inspired by current exhibition Modernization in Meiji Japan.

Enjoy an afternoon of exploring ideas and hands-on art making for the whole family. The event runs from 2 to 4 p.m. and the cost is included with membership or admission.

 

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