Just letting you all know that I will be opening the Gallery Café this coming Friday March 17 through Sunday March 19.
I just finished my taxes this morning and am in dire need of some therapeutic “island time.”😊
I also left a new mask, half-finished, when I was over earlier this month – keeping fresh in the fridge – and need to return and complete it before the clay hardens and dries out. I’m including a couple of photos of “Full Buck Moon – Version 3” to give you an idea of what the new mask will look like.
Hope some of you can drop in and say hi while I’m over!
*During my off season – roughly November through April – I do use Shavasana Gallery as
Just a quick note to let you all know that Shavasana Gallery & Café will be open this coming weekend. I’m changing my normal hours slightly and will be starting on Thursday 9 – 4, giving me one more day on the blessed rock.😊
Thursday 9 – 4
Friday 9 – 4
Saturday 9 – 4
Sunday 10:15 – 4
I know that the picture I’ve attached looks a little “Christmassy” but I think it’s a great cozy rendition of Shavasana in Winter –
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.
Spring definitely seems to be taking its time to kick-in this year. Lots of false starts, with days that feel warm, sunny & encouraging only to be squelched by new rounds of grey skies, rain and cold – which is exactly where we are at as I write this entry on May 2, from my home office in Kitsilano. Maybe I should just lose my expectations and anticipations of “gardening weather”, and let nature do its thing to avoid disappointment.
The “Made on Mayne” event, which ran Easter Weekend was fabulous and one of my busiest weekends ever. We opened a show for Famous Empty Sky, called her “In Isolation Series”, which showcased her beautiful array of new collage-works – this exhibit should be up and running throughout May & possibly longer (except for the pieces we sold! 😆) I’m not sure where she gets her energy but Famous Empty Sky also baked 8 dozen cupcakes (as shown) to be handed out to grateful guests. We were also treated to some lovely jamming by her husband Jim Heshedahl and friends (Rodger Cove (Hrothgar Jackson), Kurt Dahl, & Brendan Brown)…here are our hours for May:
Just getting ready to re-open the Gallery Café for the Easter Weekend, which happens to coincide with the “Made on Mayne” (image attached) event sponsored by the Southern Gulf Islands Arts Council. This will be similar to the Fall Studio Tour which ran last November and was a great success, but has now grown to include all things “Made on Mayne”. I am also the lucky recipient of a new show by Famous Empty Sky and her beautiful collage work. We’ll be hanging her new – hitherto unseen – show on Thursday in preparation for our Friday to Monday showings.
I feel quite fortunate to be welcoming back Famous Empty Sky as my first art show after two years of pandemic event precautions. As I’m sure you are all aware “Group Events”, like Art Openings have not only been discouraged, they have been banned. So, getting together with her and her husband Jim to hang the show on April 14th for an Easter Weekend Opening was a real treat. To illustrate how “rusty” I have become during this time, I am only now (May 2) editing my “Current Exhibits” page to reflect this new show that we have – something I would normally do prior to each new opening. And, in fact, we did not put together a big evening soirée as we would normally do, but chose to promote the show over the course of the first 4 days of its run, to avoid big crowds out of respect for attendees lingering precautions – but things are improving.🙏 I think the 8 dozen cupcakes that Famous Empty Sky baked to hand out to guests may have helped people to overcome their anxieties about public places😆
Famous Empty Sky’s , new exhibit is called her “In Isolation Series”, which showcased her beautiful array of new collage-works – this show should be up and running throughout May & possibly longer (except for the pieces we sold! 😆) I’m not sure where she gets her energy but the 8 dozen cupcakes (as shown) which she baked were a big hit with our grateful guests. We were also treated to some lovely jamming by her husband Jim Heshedahl and friends (Rodger Cove (Hrothgar Jackson), Kurt Dahl, & Brendan Brown).
Please drop by during our hours of operation to enjoy these gorgeous collages…(sorry, cupcakes are all gone, I ate the last one!😆)
Hours of Operation:
Friday & Saturday: 9am – 4pm
Sunday: 10:30 – 4pm
Monday: 9am – 4pm
It’s promising to be a fabulous event, please come on by!
Hi – I’m just posting this message to let all of you know that I shall be re-opening for business this coming weekend. It seems that the Omicron spike has subsided, the cases & hospitalizations are back down to their pre-Omicron level, and heck, I just feel like opening up because I miss you all so much! 🙂
So many of my posts of the past two years have reflected on the worrisome nature of the pandemic and the strangeness of our collective experience. Sadly, with the Russian invasion of Ukraine things are no less worrisome and we seem to be embarking on another journey into unknown territory. My heart goes out to the Ukrainian people at this time.😢
If all goes as planned I shall be following my winter/spring hours and opening Shavasana Gallery & Café one or two weekends/weekdays per month until my summer schedule kicks in. Here are this weekends Days/Hours:
Friday: 9am – 4pm, Saturday: 9am – 4pm, Sunday: 10:15am – 4pm (I may also be open Monday TBA)
Today, January 4, I will wander up to Dunbar to receive my 3rd vaccine shot – my Booster – thus, hopefully, completing the Trifecta of Protection that the system is telling us we need for personal and collective safety. We’ll see.
When I closed the Gallery/Café on December 16 – for my annual Xmas break – my intention was to open a couple of weekends per month throughout the winter season in 2022. Although we’d heard about the new Omicron variant at that time, most of the spike in cases was happening in South Africa – where it originated – and Europe, where it appears to have spread. On December 16, new cases in Canada stood at 6,942…rising but not as bad as waves # 2, 3, or 4 (see chart below)
Within a few days of closing it became apparent that Canada was going to follow on the same trajectory that we’d witnessed in Europe, and where we are in fact – now. Numbers/Cases have pretty much gone “off the chart” and we are all left wondering how to navigate this new situation. Luckily, it seems that Omicron – although terribly virulent – may not be as life-threatening as its predecessor – the Delta variant – and, there may be early indicators that this dramatic rise in cases may be short lived.
In any event, my responsibility as a Gallery/Café owner, is to ensure the safety and well-being of my customers, and of course, myself and my partner Cathy. Given this uncertain moment we are experiencing, I have decided to remain closed until we have a better understanding of the severity of the Omicron variant, and we see the numbers start to decline dramatically. I will also feel somewhat more secure when I have allowed my new booster to work its magic, which apparently takes about two weeks.
All that being said, my feeling is that we’ll start to see a decline mid January, and should have a better idea about Booster efficacy and the severity of the variant (Of course, my friend Jordy had to point out to me this morning that Jimmy Fallon has been vaxxed and boosted and has just tested positive for Covid-19 😆)It’s been a weird ride…
In a perfect world, I shall be opening the Gallery/Café sometime in late January or early February – hope to see you then! Stay Safe🙏❤️