Shavasana Gallery & Café is participating in the annual November Art/Studio Tour which this year has expanded to include all things “Made on Mayne”. The show is running from Friday November 11th until Saturday the 13th 12 – 4. Gallery hours will be slightly expanded as follows: Friday 9 – 4, Saturday 9 – 4, Sunday 10:15 – 4, and Monday 9 – 4. Made on Mayne is a fabulous way to check out all the local talent that Mayne has to offer, and have a peek into various studios that may not be open otherwise.
Shavasana Gallery will be showcasing art by local artists Famous Empty Sky, Bill Maylone and Wayne Thomas as well as Art Prints & Cards by Stephen Cropper, Deborah Strong, Toby Snelgrove, Linda Dzus and a collection of ceramic masks by…yours truly.😊We also have a number of antiques and curios and a beautiful selection of regionally made jewellery by various artisans.
Please come on by to check out the art or to stop in for a coffee or tea and say hello – it would be great to see you! 🙏😊
…I’m continuing with my plan to update my Podcast episode list on my Clay and Bone & Shavasana Gallery Websites. Here is “A true story of narrowly avoiding the horrible fate that befell 9 innocent people in central BC on August 28, 1972…” recorded on Feb 9th, 2021…have a listen if you haven’t already….
I’m about two years into publishing/posting episodes of The Accidental Curator, and recently published Episode 13. I’m not terribly active promoting my Podcasts, so it occurred to me recently to also share them with my two websites, this Shavasana Gallery site and https://clayandbone.com/ . Although I’d referenced The Accidental Curator on both sites last year, I wasn’t actually sharing episodes – until now. So, my intention over the next while is to post episodes – chronologically – until I’m all caught up, and then post each one as they are produced (and Facebook etc.)- to cover all my social media. Hope this doesn’t flood any of you with TMI over the next short while…if you’ve already seen/listened to the podcasts, or, have no interest – please just ignore😊
“Finding Shavasana” is the first Chapter in the story of The Accidental Curator. The searching, the indecisiveness, the waffling, and finally, the finding of what would eventually become Shavasana Art Gallery & Café. A light-hearted adventure of exploration and change….November 22, 2020
It was a great summer at Shavasana Gallery & Café, and my three exhibiting artists – Famous Empty Sky, Bill Maylone & Wayne Thomas – and I, decided to wrap it up with a Closing Party on Sept. 30. This Friday night soiree also coincided with Empty Sky’s husband (and my good friend) – Jim Heshedahl’s – 70th birthday, and the wrap up to my 9th summer in business on the sweet little island of Mayne.
Posters were put up, Social Media accounts were alerted, invitations were extended, copious amounts of food and drink were assembled, and there was even talk of a mystery guest/artist* showing up from Colorado…to peak the curiosity of the guests. The only disappointment was the cancellation of “The Rambling Truths” musical collective (of which I am a member) due to my lingering cold-related croaky voice issues. And then, at 5:15, a full 45 minutes before opening, while I was still assembling the cheese, slice meats, crackers & grapes plate & the Fruit Punch…people started to show up.
What started out as a trickle soon became a flood and by 6:30 the better part of the 70+ people who attended our end-of-season blowout were milling about, nibbling, admiring art, buying art, chatting, laughing and generally enjoying this “Pandemic Seems to Be Over” shindig.
Perhaps my only regret from this beautiful evening is not taking some photos – or shooting this video – while the event was taking place…I…was…just…too…damn…busy. So, this is a morning-after walkabout description of events – sans people, music and “the buzz”
To top it off… some of that Mayne Island Serendipitous Synchronistic magic occurred, and four fabulous Island musicians appeared with their voices and instruments and started jamming. Rosalie Ripley belted out the tunes, accompanied by Alan Barber & Jim Heshedahl on guitar, and Barry Gordon on Saxophone. As the sun slowly set on this warm & dry early Fall evening, every available chair made it’s way to the front yard for what became, a standing-room only spontaneous musical event – it was sublime.
This region of BC is experiencing record-breaking warmth (for September) and an ongoing 3 month ++ drought. Apparently we have had less rain during this period, than the Mojave Desert (my sunflowers don’t seem to mind 🌻 😊)
But Friday night and the party was not my final day of business. Here’s a little wander – post party – through a few of the happenings and events that populated my last few days on Mayne before I switched to my Fall/Winter schedule. (The following two pics are not for the squeamish – my apologies)
My friend “Hunter Bob” who quite kindly provides me with antlers for my art https://clayandbone.com/ showed up with the above Fallow Deerantlers (removed from the deer) which were so completely entangled, that the poor animal likely would have died of starvation wrapped and trapped by netting and barb wire were it not for Bob’s “coup de grâce”. Bob’s idea that, perhaps, I could use the antlers in my art was intriguing, but after some consideration I declined.
Saturday was another beautiful, extended summer day…sunny, warm & dry, drier, driest…and, for most of us, becoming worryingly so. The skies have had ongoing haze from some nasty forest fires up the Fraser Valley and a particularly toxic lumber yard fire in Southern Vancouver which gave Metro Van the dubious distinction of having “the worst air quality in the world” for a day or two. I’m convinced that my lung infection and laryngitis likely stemmed from these mid-September fires. Even the Dr. at the walk-in clinic said that, “No one’s coming in with Covid anymore, and 1/3 of my patients are all coming in with this recent smoke-related cold which is making the rounds”…but, it does have a lovely effect on the sun, and the light…here are some pics:
The fields of Punch’s Farm, Miner’s Bay Dock and surrounding Miner’s Bay provides a beautiful yet slightly ominous sun & sky during September’s fires
Sunday at Shavasana Gallery starts a little later – 10:15 – because of a commitment I have to the local chapter of AA with its 9am Meeting. It’s important for me to remember that I owe the beauty of my current experience to the saving graces of AA, so I attend. As I enter my Fall/Winter schedule with it’s intermittent hours, I’ll miss my Sunday meeting, and everything else that accrues with running a popular little local Gallery Café…the friends & quirky but loveable residents, the happy tourists, my interactions with island artists and musicians who drop by to play the 108-year-old Blüthner piano or pick up the Fender acoustic, the newly formed Chess club, and perhaps most of all, my meditation community and my Jamming Buddies – colloquially known as “Gail Noonan and The Rambling Truths”😊
Because “The Truths” were unable to perform at Friday nights Closing Party, we decided to have a “make-up” jam on Sunday afternoon on Shavasana’s front porch, a last jam of the season and an homage to the years of Sunday jamming that were held there before the Pandemic interceded. Stalwarts – and members of the original trio – Gail Noonan (vocals, ukulele, original material), Jim Heshedahl (vocals, bass), and myself (croaky vocals and guitar) were there, and luckily we were also joined by Brendan Brown on guitar and Anita McCamley with her lovely singing voice & extensive repertoire. We’ve never actively promoted our jam sessions but word gets out and people seeking an entertaining and sweet musical interlude on a warm and sunny Sunday afternoon do show up – so Sunday became a sublime gathering of The Truths and an appreciative audience of 15 – 20 happy people – just a great wrap up to Summer 2022🙏😊❤️
As I was still feeling exhausted from my 14 hour day on Friday and a very busy Saturday & Sunday bookended by our jam session which wrapped around 6, I suggested to the musicians and a few guests that we forego cooking and stroll down the hill to have dinner at the Springwater Lodge with their fabulous deck and good food. Having dinner on the deck at the Springwater with friends in summertime is truly one of my favourite things to do – it is, arguably, the most beautiful deck on the west coast – if not BC.
The fabulous view, and good friends: Brendan Brown, Anita McCamley, Sallie Graham, Gail Noonan & Neena Hasel
Despite the healing quality of just sitting on the Springwater deck, eating and chatting with friends, I still had a café full of dirty dishes, and clean up to contend with at Shavasana Gallery before I could leave Mayne Island on my scheduled 7:55 am ferry the next morning. When the sun sinks below the mountains, it gets cold. As I said my goodbyes, Gail reminded me that “I absolutely had to attend John Aitken’s installation piece in honour of Truth and Reconciliation day (Friday Sept. 30), and the deceased indigenous children” …”it’s best appreciated after dark, and is only open til 9:30…and tonight will be your only chance to see it” No rest for the weary…I decided I would go.
There’s always more “wrapping up” work than I anticipate after a busy weekend at Shavasana and as 9 o’clock approached and I prepared to go to John Aitken’s to see his installation/homage, the phone rang. It was Empty Sky wondering if they could swing by to pick up Prospector’s piece of art – which had been part of our show. As I was heading out anyways I said that I would drop it off as it was enroute to John’s place. Leaving Shavasana, Billie, my next door neighbour came running out of her house to see if I could help her with “an emergency situation” she was having…she agreed that she could wait 15 minutes to allow me to drop off the painting and see the installation. I headed out.
John Aitken standing above a grave he’d dug in his front yard, full of lights and mirrors, with assembled lights above to represent the spirits of all the missing and unaccounted indigenous children whose graves have recently been discovered in schoolyards across Canada. Wayne Thomas carved this phenomenal “Light Box” as an homage to Truth and Reconciliation. It has been making its way around the island to various events, before it is burned in a symbolic ceremony later this year.
After delivering Prospector’s painting, I arrived at John’s in the pitch dark except for the stunning illumination which you see in the photos above. Whereas John’s event drew about 50 people on Friday and Saturday nights, when I arrived shortly after 9 on Sunday, the crowds had thinned and I was the only one in attendance – so I had the artist all to myself and got a personalized tour of his installation. It felt like such a poignant and bittersweet end to this glorious weekend…tragic beauty…meanwhile, in the back of my mind was “Billie’s need for emergency help”…I thanked John profusely and left.
Not knowing quite what to expect, I knocked at Billie’s door and she came out in a bit of a flap. “What’s up Billie?” I asked. “My computer died on me and I hadn’t logged out of Facebook, can I log out on your computer”, she asked. I always love it when Mayne Island deals me these Fellini-esque moments. It was the perfect wrap up to to busy artful, social, fun, crazy & tragic experience…my own little tragi-comic farce. “Yes Billie, I’d be happy to help you out”, I said. I fired up the computer and we logged her out. “G’night Billie” I said. “G’night George…thanks!” she said with her big smile and big heart. “Oh, and thanks for helping me with the recycling Billie, that was a big help, see ya in a couple of weeks” What are good neighbours for.
*The mystery guest artist was Famous Empty Sky’s ex-partner and friend, Prospector, whom she has known for over 50 years, who had flown up from Colorado to visit and put a painting “Raven Studies The I Ching” into our show🙏😊
This has been an atypical year for Shavasana Gallery & Café. Whereas most years would see artists set up and take down within a month – with the joy of Opening Night parties – in 2022, because of the lingering uncertainties surrounding Covid/Omicron I decided it best to keep a good stable of resident artists on the walls, supplying café guests with a safe visual treat of their creative talents while focusing on a very busy café season.
Just some of Bill Maylone’s, Famous Empty Sky’s and Wayne Thomas’s new works
But as the season is winding down, my good friend and Figurative Abstract Collage artist extraordinaire – Famous Empty Sky, who always loves a good social event – proposed to myself and the other artists that we completely refresh the show which had been up for some months, by bringing in all-new material, and having a “Final Show of 2022” event. Structured Abstract Painter Bill Maylone, and renowned First Nations carver Wayne Thomas and I loved the idea, so, new pieces have arrived and found new homes on the Gallery walls and now, we are planning a Closing Party!
We hung the show several days ago (Sept 15) and it always goes smoothly when assisted by the calm hand and careful measurements of Empty Sky’s personal hanger – her husband Jim Heshedahl! As well as being an accomplished art hanger Jim is also a fabulous musician and will be providing background music the night of the show with “The Rambling Truths” (which includes Gail Noonan and myself – see poster above). *Rumour has it that Jim may also be celebrating a “Special Birthday” on the night of the party – Sept 30th….shhh!😆
Just a few pics of the varied talents of these 3 brilliant island artists – I feel blessed to have their art on Shavasana Gallery’s walls
So please set aside Friday September 30, 6pm – 8pm to come on down to Shavasana Gallery & Café (457 Village Bay Road, Mayne Island) for a great evening of art, conversation, food, drinks, music and fun!
*Prospector is flying in from Colorado a few days prior to the party and will be in attendance and able to answer any questions you may have about his art which will also be on display🙏😊
I recently had the good fortune of meeting artist Joseph Loh (Synn Kune Loh) and his lovely partner Esnie Shum when they came by Shavasana Gallery & Café several weeks ago. Joseph & Esnie and their family are new arrivals to Mayne Island, and had dropped in to have a look at the art and sit for a visit and a coffee – exploring, as one does, all that Mayne Island has to offer, and familiarizing with their new community.
I was delighted when they invited me to visit Joseph’s Art Studio on their rambling forested acreage on Mayne. A large, bright and airy building on the property now houses many of Joseph’s work from a long and illustrious career as a painter. I managed to take several shots of his various styles, including the larger pieces seen here…
Joseph’s Studio contains an interesting and varied selection of his work from a long career as an artist which includes the above framed drawings (left), and “Whispers of Immortality” (right) inspired by his many travels and studies in consciousness
For a brief bio on Jospeh (Synn Kune’s) life, I borrowed the following from his website: http://www.synnkuneloh.com/ …. “Synn Kune Loh has been an exhibiting visual artist, design consultant, author, and international speaker on the evolution of consciousness. For over a decade he travelled extensively in Mexico, leading explorations to twenty pyramids, including the special sacred site known as The Luminerias. Synn Kune was also an active speaker with the Sivananda Yoga Farm in Grass Valley, California. Born in China, Synn Kune grew up in Hong Kong. He completed a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Bridgeport in the USA, before his graduate study in Cultural Psychology at Queen’s University, in Kingston, Ontario. An accomplished painter, he studied experimental art at the Ontario College of Art in Toronto. In addition, Synn Kune holds a Master’s Degree in Therapeutic Counselling from the International College of Spiritual and Psychic Science in Montreal, Quebec.”
Mayne Island and her citizens are fortunate to receive Synn Kune Loh’s artistic and spiritual contributions to the fabric of our creative culture.