January - REPTILE ART or (Snakes are Slimy)
"Snakes are slimy". "The only good snake is a dead snake". And 6% of drivers will go out of their way to run over a snake or turtle crossing a road. Have you seen or heard anything like this? No doubt, at some point we all have. Now, its time to learn just why these misconceptions are wrong, even harmful to the balance of nature.
The Goderich Coop Gallery is currently hosting a display of REPTILE ART until mid February, and no, I don't mean paintings OF snakes or turtles, I mean paintings BY snakes and turtles. Who knew that art could be created by these animals? The people at Scales Rescue Park found out, and have provided their resident reptile artists with canvas and paint and opportunity. It is fascinating to learn how this is done. Apparently, turtles, being more food motivated, are willing to paint if rewarded by a strawberry or raspberry. The snakes, who feed less frequently, and rest for weeks after a meal, not so much. But the snakes, when they can be persuaded to paint, leave beautiful pictures of their scale patterns on the canvases.
The Huron Stewardship Council is sponsoring this exhibit, where you can see examples of the art, a video, plus handouts explaining just how each of us can help preserve these animals. There are 8 species of native turtles in Ontario, and currently, 7 of those are on the endangered list. We can't afford to allow species predation at such a rate, or soon, our children will see only pictures of long gone animals that mankind failed to protect. An adult snapping turtle must live and lay eggs for over 60 years just to replace itself...that means that in 60 years of reproduction only one turtle has lived to adulthood. The rest have been lost to predation by animals or humans. Unlike birds, of looking after themselves, but all young hatchlings are seen as tasty morsels for predators. Turtles are in fact, living dinosaurs, still existing in much the same fashion that they did during the dinosaur age....how cool is that!? Reptiles are not slimy! Their skin is in fact dry, but their heat regulating system is different than ours, and so they are called "cold blooded". This doesn't mean they are heartless and mean, it simply tells us that they use outside sources, like sunshine, to maintain body heat as opposed to mammals like us, who regulate body heat through our own metabolism.
Come in to check out this interesting exhibit; you will not meet any live reptiles, but you can enjoy their paintings, see an informative video, pick up a card explaining how to help an injured animal if it has been hit by a car. And when you leave, you will be better informed about reptiles, and how to help save them from extinction. Their artwork is available for purchase, with the proceeds of a sale going to support programs to rescue and maintain, as well as study at risk populations of the area turtles and snakes. Whether or not you can "relate" to such animals, they hold an important role in our ecosystem, and deserve our protection. Plus, you can be in the 94% of people who will NOT go out of their way to run over a snake or a turtle crossing the road. The snake is just enjoying some warm sunshine, and the turtle might be looking for a good safe place to lay her eggs.
To learn more about the Huron Stewardship Council, join its Facebook page or visit its website (hsc.huronstewardship.ca). The Council and the Goderich Co-op Gallery want to thank the Scales Nature Park for their contributions to this project. Visit www.scalesnaturepark.ca for more information about at risk animals in our area of SW Ontario.
The Goderich CoOp Gallery is now operating on a winter schedule, we are open from 10:00 a.m., to 4:00 p.m., Wednesday through Saturday.
February - Saugeen Artists
Not so far away, in a neighbouring county, there is an artist's collective, called "The Saugeen Artists". This group was formed about 10 years ago, when a local artist, who owned a blue house, felt inspired to invite other artists to paint and show their art in her house. Originally conceived as a CoOp, the group displayed their work in The Blue House Gallery for about five years. They have evolved from those days into a far more disparate group, which now includes art forms such as pottery, metalwork sculpture, designer handbags, jewellery, blacksmith works, stained and fused glass work, and rugs, in addition to watercolour, acrylic, and oil paintings.
Examples of art by three of the Saugeen Artists visiting the Goderich CoOp Gallery
Members no longer have a permanent home such as the one which that the original blue house provided, but instead create individual showings of the club member's work at various area events, and public festivals throughout the Saugeen watershed year round. They do come together once a month for meetings in Hanover, to conduct club business, keep in touch with each other, hear an occasional guest speaker, have a demonstration of a particular product or technique, and share issues of interest to members. Thus, the focus of the club is very much on the member artist's interests, sharing, and support of one another, as well as finding venues to show their work. As an example of this, GCG member Susan Peck O'Brien is also a member of the Saugeen painter' s group. She and some of her fellow Saugeen Artist's group have arranged to meet weekly over the summer to have informal outdoor painting sessions. So, even without bricks and mortar surrounding them as a group, it is plain to see they maintain their connections with and support of one another.
To that end, with members arriving from various towns in the area, they take full advantage of geography, and participate in many local events, studio tours, and shows in Hanover, Paisley, and Walkerton, and as far afield as Owen Sound, and now Goderich. Their main endeavour, however, for the year is their Christmas "pop-up" Store. During the months of November and December, all members who wish to participate rent a store, set up their art, staff the store, and await the crowds. The local residents quickly caught on to this opportunity, and look forward to seeing new art, and be able to make their purchases just in time for Christmas; this seasonal store has been very successful.
Susan has gathered together some of the Saugeen Artist's group to display their work at the Goderich Co-op Gallery for the rest of February and until mid March.
We welcome you to visit the Goderich Co-op Gallery during winter hours, Wednesday through Saturday, from 10:00 a.m., until 4:00 p.m.
April - EXPOSURE 2017
May - Marjorie Duizer
Shortly after retiring from a nursing career, Marjorie Duizer attended a rug hooking show, with her daughter. Marjorie was, apparently "hooked" by the display, because as they viewed the beautiful hand crafted rugs, she turned to her daughter and said, " I know what I am going to do for the rest of my life!" In a relatively short time, Marjorie Duizer has become an expert in this time honoured art.
Marjorie has not been content to simply sit by the fire and hook rugs however. She has become an expert. Her second career has taken her all over the province, and into the U.S., to participate in shows, as well as teaching the rug hooking skill to others. She has also served as President of the Ontario Hooking Craft Guild, and is President of the London chapter of the ATHA , a joint American and Canadian Rug Hookers association which has over 1000 members in Ontario. In these leadership roles, Marjorie has been instrumental in mentoring many aspiring "hookers".
All of the wool used in Marjorie's rugs are 100% hand dyed wool flannel, which she obtains as undyed strips. Her designs favour a "mottled" look, which helps to give a more nuanced appearance to the finished rug. Marjorie creates her own colours using acid dyes, which are made specifically for dying natural fibres such as pure wool. She selects specific colours to create the scene she is "painting", which is what any artist does, except, in this case the "painting" will be a hooked rug. It sounds as if the dying process can be quite intensive, since, to create a three dimensional appearance, she will make many different intensities of specific colour in order to depict the shading and perspective of a particular scene. This level of care and artistry is what sets Marjorie's rugs apart. While patterns are available for purchase, Marjorie prefers to create her own patterns, so the pieces you will see are all truly original.
The CoOp gallery would like to invite you to visit during the month of May to see Marjorie Duizer's exquisite handcrafted rugs. You will also discoverv that we have done our semi-annual 'changeover', wherein we are all in new spaces, have " cleaned house", and have put up new art for spring. We are also making a slight revision in the way we display art, and as well, we are planning for a gallery celebration of Canada's 150 th birthday. In order to make all these preparations, we will be closed on Monday May 1. All in all, it is well worth a visit to the Goderich CoOp Gallery during May.
If you would like to join us in welcoming Marjorie Duizer to the Gallery, please join us for a reception on Saturday May 6, from 2:00- 4:00 p.m., where you can meet the artist, and enjoy refreshments. Summer hours are now in effect, we are open Mondays through Saturdays from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at 54 Courthouse Square, lower level. Come on down...see whats on for May!
June - Mitchell Art Club
The Mitchell Public Library has a very nice gallery space....unfortunately, until very recently it did not have art to display in that gallery. This sparked an idea, and a group of local artists took on the project of displaying original art in the gallery.
The newly formed Mitchell art club will be the Goderich CoOp Gallery's Guest Artists for the month of June. Members Deb Elligson, Brendan Card, Sarah Verhoog, Jean Gloor and David Doyle, will be showing their work, and CoOp visitors will enjoy a variety of styles and media when they visit this show.
Let me introduce the participants:
DAVID DOYLE may already be a familiar name to gallery regulars, as he is also a CoOp member. David is a retired art teacher, who has a life long passion for the outdoors, hiking and kayaking being among his favourite pursuits. He finds inspiration for true Canadian scenery in his outdoor adventures, and you will enjoy his watercolour depictions of scenic paths and waterways. The plein air painters, will be interested to learn that David is a regular "Artist in Residence" at Killarney Provincial Park, MacGregor Point, and this fall, at Quetico Provincial Park, where he will be conducting art classes at all three locations.
BRENDAN CARD is a stained glass artist whose pieces are quite structural, following the patterns of "fractal" or "sacred" geometry which lends itself beautifully to expression in a glass medium. However, last November, he was introduced to acrylic paints, and now finds he is enjoying the freedom of mixing colours, and working loosely, without expectations of any particular outcome, other than the freedom of expression the medium affords him. Brendan will be displaying examples of both types of his art.
DEB ELLIGSON is a life long Perth County resident, who partners her husband on their dairy farm. Following a career as an interior designer, she became interested in Mandalas after meeting a Mandala artist at Celtic Roots Festival. She has since found a new path of artistic expression through the satisfying pursuit of Mandala Design. Mandalas are found in ancient art works such as cave art, and native art all over the world; they are historic, spiritual, and always incorporate a 'divine' geometric pattern. Deb is finding satisfaction and fulfillment in these creations.
SARAH VERHOOG is a young artist, who, following graduation from Sheridan College, continued her studies at McMaster. She is currently attending classes at Artventure, in London, and is exploring a variety of art techniques. Sarah has been employing a variety of mediums, but her favourite remains soft pastels, with some acrylics and paper cutting. Her creations are colourful and intriguing.
JEAN GLOOR: a well known Mitchell area artisan, and owner of "Touch of Art", is also a member of the group, and will be showing some of her creations at the Goderich Co Op Gallery for the month of June.
Come to 54 Courthouse Square, Saturday June 3 between 2:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. Join the members as we welcome the new Mitchell Art Club with an opening reception.
If you haven't visited for awhile, we have new art on display, and have decorated the gallery in honour of Canada 150, with Canadian scenes, and some handcrafted maple leaves. Visit us at 54 Courthouse Square, lower level. Summer hours are Monday through Saturday, 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m, and you will always be greeted by one of our member artists.
Watercolour landscape by David Doyle
July - Deb Elegson
July is promising to be a very busy month at the Goderich CoOp Gallery. We open the month, on July 1 st, with the return of Mandala artist Deb Elligson, of Brodhagen, and her beautiful Mandala designs. Deb's Mandalas are her own unique creations, following ancient Celtic traditions, but with her inspired sense of colour and design from years of work as an Interior Decorator. Celtic knot designs are an ancient form of expression, and while there are specific methodologies handed down through the centuries, each Mandala designer brings an individual perspective, developed through colour, shape, placement of knots, spacing, and geometric patterns. These designs follow those which the ancient Celts found in nature, and this natural beauty still guides the modern artists.
Visitors will be able to see Deb Elligson's new work on Saturday July 1 st, however, because of the holiday celebrations, we will have our "official" welcome for her on Saturday July 8 th. For the Canada Day celebrations on July 1st. the CoOp Gallery will be joining in the festivities on the Square with 150 Canada Day cupcakes to be given away, plus an outdoor children's art area using sidewalk chalk.
August - Christine Kowal
Anyone with any interest in animals will be sure to visit the CoOp Gallery during the month of August. Our Guest Artist is Christine Kowal, who is not only an artist, specializing in animal portraiture, but is also an Animal Whisperer.
Christine began her studies at Queens University, in a Canadian History program. It is not over stating it to say she felt trapped, and miserable. An experience which has no doubt enhanced her empathic response to animals. After her second year at Queens, she had an opportunity to take a University sponsored summer program in Venice. She jumped at the opportunity. During her stay, she visited The Accademia Dell Arte, where she viewed a painting called "Rachel at the Wheel". She felt such an inspirational connection, that she believed she had an epiphany, allowing her to visualize her proper place in the world, in the scheme of things. She believes that God had chosen that moment to speak to her, to reveal to her the path she would take in life. Back at Queens, in her first art class, she finally felt that painting in oil paints was her true calling. After living and creating art in Toronto for 35 years, Christine moved to Kincardine recently, where she finds herself living next to a private zoo. A more perfect setting for an animal whisperer couldn't be scripted.
In her new home, she has felt her world become lighter, freer, brighter; as an example, she says she had always favoured oils for her work, but has now switched to acrylics, which she finds "freeing and expressive".
Christine's unique talent is something she calls "Animal Whispering", which is a technique employed to assist communication between animals and humans, in order to resolve issues which may arise in the melding of these two disparate worlds. Such a technique can help resolve issues with family pets, and discover productive ways of interaction between species. Christine says that, " from the animal world, humans can learn amazing lessons from these interactions, chiefly, that unconditional love equals unconditional respect, for that is what such a relationship is all about". All of Christine's paintings of animals carry the animal's name, and a message Christine has received from that animal.
You are invited to visit the Goderich CoOp Gallery during the month of August, Mondays through Saturdays from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. to see Christine's paintings, as well as the rest of the art on display by member artists. As well, we would love to have you drop in for an opening reception and refreshments to meet Christine in person on Saturday August 5 th from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
September - Barb Alkemade
It seems almost to be a truism to say that an artist is never satisfied. There is a pressing need to keep growing, trying new techniques, or new materials, but always striving to improve. Goderich CoOp Gallery visitors might recall the ethereal pastels of Seaforth artist Barb Alkemade, a Gallery guest artist in June of 2015. Alkemade is returning as our Guest Artist for September.
Barb is still painting with soft pastels, a medium which allows intense colours to be built, giving a quality of mystery and depth when used skillfully, both of which are exemplified in her art. However, she is now employing pastels along with a variety of other art techniques, and materials. She depicts her newest pieces in a series of contradictory terms: "soft pigment with hard acrylic", "sharp-edged collage with blurred lines", "realism with abstract images". As you can tell, she is juxtaposing opposing materials and techniques, melding them together to create what she calls, "paintings which tell a good story, with a touch of wry humour", as seen in the picture left, titled: " Down But Not Out".
Please feel free to join us as we welcome Barb Alkemade back to the Goderich Co op Gallery, for an opening reception on Saturday September 2, from 2 to 4 PM
Barb has also generously offered to be " In Residence" at the gallery each Friday and Saturday between 11:00 am., and 2:00 pm. where she will be available to greet you, answer questions, and demonstrate, Barb's work can be seen and enjoyed for the full month of September, from Monday to Saturday from 10:00 to 5:00. Come for a visit, we look forward to seeing you! We are located at 54 Courthouse Square, lower level, where you will always find a member artist on duty.
October - Denise Dalton
If an artist cannot create actual art, what would she do? For the young Denise Dalton, it would appear that she found a way to use paint by painting houses, and making signs. Fortunately, she found her artistic path after studying art for a year at University in Windsor. However, as with most artists, in her early career she found her actual vocation was teaching. Now, after a lifetime of teaching Religious Education in the London area, she can finally claim art as her true calling.
Denise prefers to paint in oils, but also likes to do pen and ink sketches, as well as working with both acrylic and watercolour. But her preferred medium is oil paint, which she feels enables her to capture the depth and intensity of the beautiful colours she sees in the landscape. She has found inspiration in the style of the classic Canadian paintings of nature by the Group of Seven. Denise says she "loves the interplay of light and dark, in land, water and sky", which fills her with an intangible inspiration, and brings forth an unanticipated extra spark in her paintings.
When she recently retired, and needed to find a studio in which to paint, Denise's sister came up with an interesting solution. An old Voortman's cookie delivery van was available, and Denise designed and built a cosy, light filled studio for one, overlooking her family's heritage farmland. We recently visited her in this unique, and well planned space, and found her hard at work on another canvas depicting a typical Huron County scene.
Denise Dalton will be the Guest Artist at the Goderich CoOp Gallery for the month of October. Please plan a visit to see this local artist's vision of Huron County scenes during the month of October.
There will be an opening reception from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Saturday October 7th. Join us as we welcome Denise Dalton to the Gallery, located at 54 Courthouse Square, lower level, open daily from 10:00 - 5:00, Monday to Saturday.
November - Monica Eckert
2017 Guest Artists
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All Images Copyright The Goderich Co-op Gallery & Its Artists