New Art Show! Famous Empty Sky & Angie Carson, “Images & Icons”, Sept. 5 – Oct. 6

I’m just on the ferry heading to Tsawassen and have an hour, or so, to devote some words and attention to our new Art Show at Shavasana Gallery. Famous Empty Sky has returned to Shavasana for her third exhibit in as many years and she is sharing the stage with good friend and fellow artist, Angie Carson, who is back with her second show.

We had a fabulous opening on the evening of Friday September 6…the weather was cooperating, there was a great turnout of friends and art appreciators, Empty Sky had baked two delicious cakes & Angie brought a multitude of fruit & custard tarts. Guests were serenaded by the gentle guitar of Jim Heshedahl, and Rosalie Ripley even stepped in to contribute her beautiful voice to some of the arrangements.

And the Art! Empty Sky is a renowned Collage & MultiMedia artist and she has created a new series of pieces that reflect the title of the show “Images & Icons”. The majority of her new pieces are beautiful collages which include images of spiritual leaders from the various spiritual traditions – Buddha figures prominently; the Virgin of Guadalupe; Ganesh; Goddess of Mercy; Lohan and others. Her collages are vibrant and playful and draw the viewer in for deeper more reflective viewing. One young purchaser was moved to tears by her purchase! (she said that purchasing art has this effect on her as a very personal experience…perhaps it was the Blue Buddha effect!)…when asked how long it took her to produce a piece of art Empty Sky replied, “A lifetime”…so true.

Angie Carson never fails to amaze with her range of ability and talent. She is able to move comfortably between impressionistic landscapes (this piece is just gorgeous)

IMG_3600

to expressionism, whimsy, cubist abstracts & collage (here are but a few examples):

Did I mention that she also won a Blue Ribbon at this year’s Fall Fair for growing the tallest Sunflower on Mayne Island? Her talents know no bounds! 🙂

IMG_3568

(here is her prize entry being proudly displayed at Shavasana Gallery for public viewing)

I always like to do a walkthrough video of each new art exhibition at Shavasana Gallery when I find a quiet moment. A great way to participate in the beauty of Empty Sky’s and Angie’s art if you are unable to attend in person.  The show runs until October 6 and is the last show of our season, so please drop in! – cheers!

Next Art Show! Famous Empty Sky & Angie Carson, “Images & Icons”, runs September 6 – October 6

We are just preparing for our final art exhibit of the season, Famous Empty Sky is returning to Shavasana Gallery with her friend Angie Carson (nee Liudzius) with a brand new show called, “Images and Icons”. I know that the artists have been busy creating new and exciting pieces for this show which is self-described as “quirky mixed media art”. I’m pleased to be welcoming F.E.S. back for her third exhibit at the  Gallery which will also be Angie’s second show here. Although I’ve seen glimpses of Empty Sky’s colourful & thought-provoking new work, the talents of both women will arrive as a delightful surprise when we hang the new show next Thursday September the 5th.

We are having an opening reception on the evening of Friday September 6th between 6 and 8 pm. Please come by for a chance to meet the artists and to hear the Gentle Guitar of Jim Heshedahl. Refreshments and merriment will also be on hand – so don’t miss it! 🙂

Shavasana Gallery is located at 457 Village Bay Road, Mayne Island – Hope to see you there!
(The show runs from September 6 to October 6)

 

Previous Show: Nicole Rittemann “Shapes of Life” and Linda Dzus “Deja Vu” June 7 – July 1

It’s Sunday June the 9th – a day after we launched our first show of the 2019 season – and I’m taking a quiet moment to do a little Website (and F’Book) update. The new show is a collaboration between artist Nicole Rittemann and her mother Linda Dzus. These two women bring a variety of talents to the walls of Shavasana Gallery. Their art exhibit includes photos on canvas, acrylic and oil paintings on canvas and canvas panel, art cards and paintings on rocks – an eclectic mix!

IMG_3422

Here’s a picture of Linda and Nicole working tirelessly (with me) to hang and arrange the art the day before the show – it was fun working with these two. It’s always at least a 3 or 4 hour job depending on the number of pieces, but I always find it enjoyable to see the new work that will reside on the walls of the Gallery for the next month – Galleries are, by their nature, constantly changing 

The Opening Reception ran from noon til 3 on Saturday and was quite well-attended – despite the many things that were occurring on Mayne Island at the same time. The island has a small population of 1,000 people but it’s a busy little place. While our show was humming along with happy guests, the farmers market, the ladies church auxiliary clothing sale, a celebration of life, and a conservancy demonstration were all taking place at the same time. Clever islanders are usually able to strategically plan their days to weave multiple events into their – surprisingly – busy schedules.

 

Here are Linda and Nicole (and I) shortly before the opening reception, standing in front of the kitchen island laden with snacks and a generous bowl of fruit punch. The fifty to sixty guests ensured that there was very little left to pack up at the end of the 3-hour show.

I always like to do a walkthrough video of the show after the crowds have gone home so I can keep a record of the exhibit and include a wee commentary on individual pieces – here it is below, have a look:

The show runs until July 1st, come on by and have a look at Linda & Nicole’s art if you have a chance – cheers!

Previous Show: Donna Williams & Kriss Boggild, “Surface & Strata” Sept. 8 – 30, 2018

Donna Williams & Kriss Boggild have both returned to Shavasana Gallery with an exciting new collection of photographs and paintings for their second show here in the past year, and I’m delighted to – once again – enjoy their creative expression on the walls of my Gallery.

IMG_3002

The opening – last Saturday September the 8th, 7 – 9 was well attended and fun. Both artists have an established community of friends and interested admirers of their work so it wasn’t hard to fill the room with art buzz.

IMG_3008

(the two images above show Donna’s photographic image enlargement of Leaves on Stone, #XIII on Stonehenge Archival Paper – and Kriss’s Triptych: “Train South” Acrylic Paint & Letraset on Canvas Board)

Shavasana has now been operating as a Gallery since April 2016 and, thus far, seems to be a well-received idea. The rewards are often intangible, yet must include the pleasure of working with talented creative types such as Donna & Kriss & the visual rewards of having exposure to their beautiful art for the four week duration of the show.

IMG_3004

(an image of faded Arabic Script from one of Donna’s trips to Greece, #II – on Stonehenge Archival Paper)

If you were unable to attend the opening or have been too busy to drop by the Gallery to see the current show – here is a brief walkthrough video of what you’ll encounter when you come by – the show runs until September 30! 🙂

Art Opening! Tina Farmilo’s “Stories & Dreams” August 11, 7 – 9 pm

I’m just getting ready to host Tina Farmilo’s new show “Stories and Dreams” this evening. There is a long-overdue and very welcome sprinkling of rain falling on our parched little island – I think we’ve been without rain of any consequence for at least 3 months.

It’s been two years since Tina exhibited at Shavasana Gallery, and I’m very pleased to be welcoming her back, and enjoying her display of colour, whimsy and story. They say every picture tells a story and this is most true for Tina’s work.

IMG_2977 Persephone in Summer (in her mother’s house)

Tina has been producing art for over 40 years and practices the concept of “beginners mind”…with “openness to possibility, eagerness and a lack of preconception – always at the beginning, free with her material and tools, with inspiration, imagery and expression.”

IMG_2976

“Two of the big pastels are part of an earlier series of rarely shown works which explore Tina’s fascination with the House as metaphor for the Self and the Body.” She has included these images as they fit so nicely with the exhibit theme “Stories & Dreams”

IMG_2974

If you are unable to attend the show (or would like a little preview of the show before you are able to come by) here is a walkthrough of Tina’s show with some of my rambling commentary 🙂

This show runs from August 9 until September 3 – hope to see you soon!

A fabulous evening of Bluegrass with “5 on a String”

Bluegrass Band 5 on a String put on a great show for Mayne Islanders last Wednesday evening August 1st, at Shavasana Gallery. With ferries plying Active Pass as a scenic backdrop, the boys entertained a crowd of 75 for over 2 hours with a great selection of original and traditional bluegrass tunes. We have a very inviting grassy area behind the Gallery which makes for lovely outdoor concert seating, and the weather, which has been quite hot recently, shed a few degrees to make the evening comfortable for all.

 

Band members Hugh Ellenwood (Fiddle, lead and bass vocals), Garry Stevenson (Guitar, lead and baritone vocals), Gordie Sadler (Banjo, lead and tenor vocals), Dan Mornar (Upright Bass, lead and tenor vocals), and Tim Eccles (Mandolin, lead and tenor vocals), have been playing together for nearly 30 years http://5onastring.com/ , and their on-stage humour and camaraderie reflects this lengthy bond – as does their music!

The Band also quite generously donated 50% of the door to a worthy local cause – “Arts on Mayne”, which, along with the proceeds from some delicious baked goods donated by local bakers – Astrid Bellem & Brenda Webster – brought in over $650 for the organization.

Here’s a video from the evening which gives a nice feel for the mood and the music of     5 on a String:

Art Opening! Tina Farmilo – “Stories & Dreams”, Saturday August 11, 7 – 9pm

Tina Farmilo returns to Shavasana Gallery & Café, after a 2 year hiatus, with brand new Paintings and Drawings. Her show is called: “Stories and Dreams” and we are preparing  an Opening Celebration on Saturday August 11th from 7 – 9pm – come on down for a chance to meet the artist, and to partake of the refreshments & conviviality – hope to see you there! 

Outdoor Bluegrass Concert at Shavasana – Aug. 1, 7:30pm

Bluegrass Band “5 on a String” returns to Mayne Island for an outdoor* concert which will be held at Shavasana Gallery & Café on Wednesday August 1 at 7:30pm. Last year they gave a fabulously entertaining show when they performed at the Groove as part of M.I. fundraising activities in support of saving St. John Point – thanks Guys! This year they are once again – quite generously – donating 50% of all ticket sales to “Arts on Mayne” (formerly known as the Mayne chapter of the Southern Gulf Islands Arts Council) before they continue on their way to a gig on Saltspring and then onwards to the annual Bluegrass Festival in Coombs.

This years concert will be staged on the outdoor grassy area behind Shavasana Gallery (457 Village Bay Road) which has a stunning view overlooking Active Pass. Weather permitting, we will be able to enjoy their music while ferries ply the waters and the sun slowly sets over Galiano. Tickets are $15 and may be purchased at Shavasana Gallery, Thursday thru Sunday, or at the door. A limited number of chairs, blankets and pillows will be available, but please bring a folding chair or blanket in case we run out 🙂

As an aside, I’ve known Gordie Sadler the banjo player for 5 on a String for over 40 years. We used to jam together and it’s so great to see him remaining true to his Bluegrass roots after all these years. Here is a little bio from their website:

“We began playing as 5 on a String back in 1989, when Gordie, Garry, and Dan got together with other musicians to play together informally.  One thing lead to another and before long the band was invited to play at some of the regions most prominent Bluegrass Festivals including; Darrington, Wintergrass, and Chilliwack.  About 10 years ago founding member Carrol Oldenburg (mandolin) left the band and we were pleased to add multi-instrumentalist and lead singer Tim Eccles in his spot. Another year later Vancouver fiddle player Hugh Ellenwood agreed to enlist after the retirement of our original fiddler, Val Dean.   It’s been wonderful to perform all across B.C., Alberta, and Washington state over the years and the friends, fans, and relationships we have shared are priceless to us.   We hope that we can bring our brand of mountain music to your venue someday soon.”

Here is a wee taste of what you’ll be hearing on August 1 …..

If you’re interested in booking them for an event or have any questions, you can reach them through their website: http://5onastring.com/

See you at the show!

*weather permitting…if it rains we’ll move inside 🙂

 

Donna Williams & Joella Grymaloski “Nature of Reflections” @ Shavasana Art Gallery & Café- Friday October 20, 7 – 9 pm

It’s Sunday evening in mid-October. The fire ban has been lifted on this small water-challenged island on which I reside, and residents are taking this opportunity to clear months of accumulated debris by having autumnal fires.  These are the first fires we have seen in 4 or 5 months, and smoke now drifts down the cool valleys of this picturesque enclave.

Donna Williams – one of two artists who are showing with me right now – and I, hung her and Joella Grymaloski’s art several days ago. We are just gearing up for her Artist’s Opening on Friday October the 20th at 7 o’clock, and had decided to have a “soft opening” on Friday the 13th when her and Joella’s beautiful and beguiling pieces were made accessible to visitors to Shavasana Art Gallery & Café.

The show is called “Nature of Reflections” and centres around Donna’s intriguing collection of abstract photographs which were captured on a recent trip to Toronto. The compelling images are shots of the downtown urban landscape as viewed through reflections in high-rise glass towers. The effect is almost painterly in some instances and reveals the beauty of glass in its ability to capture and change reflected shape and colour.

This collection is beautifully complemented by Joella’s quilting artistry and her sewing and painting talents which she displays so nicely with a series of hanging prayer flags.

IMG_2336

If you happen to be reading this before October the 20th please join us at the opening on Friday night. There will be refreshments, Conviviality and Art – and a chance to meet the artists! Below is a little walkthrough video to give you a better idea of what you might see at the show, which runs until November the 5th. Hope to see you there (or, in this case -here! 🙂 )

Previous Exhibit – Famous Empty Sky “NNots – A New Twist” Aug. 17 – Sept. 24

On Thursday August 17th we had a fabulous opening for our current artist: Famous Empty Sky, and her new show “NNots – A new Twist”. Empty Sky brought a gallery-full of her beautiful “Mysterious Mixed Media Works”…

IMG_2299

…to Mayne Island residents and visitors alike. The gallery was packed and lively, the food and refreshments were delicious, and for two hours we were serenaded by the melodious guitar of Jim Heshedahl – bliss! 🙂

Catering was provided by the talented Astrid Bellem (right) and the lovely Mikela Jay (left) assisted with the evenings logistics – IMG_2279

Famous Empty Sky shared the stage with budding young artist Thea-Rose Mitchell whose small colourful paintings and bone china teacup candles were quite popular with guests.

img_2281.jpg

The fascinating beauty of Empty Sky’s NNots draws one in for a closer look at their intricate complexity, and often leads to new revelations as the viewer is treated to visual discoveries both large and small. In an effort to answer the many questions that were posed during the course of the evening, I’ll quote directly from her Artist’s Statement:

 “These new works are called the “Nnots”. They are true works of mixed media containing elements of drawing, printing, collage, photography, and painting. A fresh energy carries me along, producing images that reflect all my earlier work but with a new twist. Now, I have created over 60 individual pieces.  

           It begins with a simple knotted piece of fine handmade paper and sucks me into a vortex of art making unparalleled in my 40 years of visual art creation. My compositions simplify toward a complete form of abstraction, moving toward pure sensation. Details enlarge to a point where they are no longer recognizable and assume true abstract character.    

IMG_2301    

       I make no other work. I am at the mercy of the Nnots. It is glorious and hard. It is the most demanding work I’ve ever done. Requiring intense meditative concentration and constant honing of all my earlier skills, they take on a life force of their own. I am along for the ride and very grateful for the opportunity to be their humble scribe.

It’s all in the Nnots.

              They reflect all of my experiences and they get me through. They are the light in the dark. They reveal the beauty in the darkness. They are about capturing the moment of transition, that moment of stillness in the act of transformation.

             The Nnots are innocent, childlike but also, dark and dangerous. They mimic ancient forms and sing songs of science fiction sirens while referencing veins, arteries, orchids, and Japanese samurai. Archaic, totemic, architectonic, both crisp and soft, they float in a contemplative space. Synthetic yet organic, they reveal multiple faces like other worldly fairies bringing hints of the “oversoul”, of Buddhas, too. Wizards, princesses and dragons lurk between the folds.  

The more one looks, the more one sees.”

Several years ago, Mikela Jay produced a video about Empty Sky’s NNots which, in her own words was “a hauntingly beautiful journey, literally navigating in/out of magical landscapes, layer upon layer of soulful imagery…” here is that video – with a serene soundtrack by John Williams and a cello solo by Yo Yo Ma:

This show will run until September 24th – don’t miss it!