“Taking a photo freezes time and records precious moments, gone in a flash if not captured,” says photographer Pascale Delhaye, one of the seven Westmount artists who launched an exhibition of recent works in the annual Summer Group Exhibition at Victoria Hall Gallery last evening, July 8.
Photography became a hobby for Pascale at age 12 when she picked up a camera and realized she had found her passion. Born in Belgium her immigration to Canada introduced her to a whole new world… the Canadian Arctic with its polar bears, bears and more. They became her passion and her main focus of her work. Pascale’s exhibition features some of the animals of the north she has captured on film. To see her work go to pascaledelhaye.com
Photography came later in life to Westmount photographer Harvey Corn. Mid-career as a notary, Harvey earned a Bachelor in Fine Arts degree from Concordia University that led to a second career not as a painter, his original medium, but as a photographer, one of the tools he used to set up his paintings. The advent of digital photography gave him the tool to complete his images at the computer and today works exclusively in photography.
“Creative image making is an art form; I just haven’t gone there yet.”
Painting has become a natural extension of Pierre Lessard’s professional work, education and personal experiences. With over 35 years in the field of visual communication, Pierre Lessard, as one of the principals of his firm, has managed some of the most prestigious design projects in Canada in the areas of industrial, graphic and exhibit design.
In 1996, he had the honor of being elected member of the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts (RCA) in recognition of his contribution to the field of industrial design.
For many years now, his time has been devoted primarily to painting and his work has been exhibited in galleries in Montreal, Toronto and Calgary. Since 2007, he has been represented by Avenue Art Gallery in Montreal and more recently, in Toronto by the Denison Gallery.
“My latest paintings, where nature and colour play a major role, are entitled “BLOSSOMS”. It is a series on flowers presented in an imaginative way using a mix of realistic and abstract elements. Composition is key to create a good balance between those two contradictions in order to produce beauty and excitement.”
Self-taught multidisciplinary Québec artist, Loran’s body of work includes painting, drawing and macro-photography. His medium is acrylics.
Freedom in his expression is a priority. His artistic gestures create structures that are spontaneous and improvised. Painting flat on a table, creating unconstrained shapes and colors. Brushes, spatulas and fingers fly in total abandon. “I enjoy this apprehension that leads me who-knows-where. Bringing the abstract and figurative somewhere between reality and imaginary. Things are not always what they seem to be” states the artist.
Consequence of an instant’s impulse, he creates unique work by taking risks with each gesture, working the unknown. He expresses his work by a surge of spontaneous movement, allowing his emotions to meld with their own realities and contradictions, taking no account of perspective or light and, with few strokes of his spatula, tell different stories. “Is it a shock or a moment of grace.”
The artist also expresses himself through a number of series focusing on his social concerns. Often, text of his own accompanies his visual, creating an intimate exchange with the spectator.
Inspired by her love of rich colours, organic textures and multicultural aesthetics found in arts and crafts, textiles, pottery and bead-work of Indigenous people from diverse countries, and her own Metis roots, Eliane Rivard’s still lifes, figures and more in this exhibition are “home vignettes”, glimpses into her home decor and personal belongings.
“Travels to Morocco, Mexico, New Mexico, and the Canadian West Coast have fostered my preference for geometric patterns as found in Navaho rugs, stylized First Nation Totem poles and prints, Middle Eastern kilims, and cushions. And, like many artists, I also draw inspiration from the ultimate muse — Mother Nature — as I spend hours tending my country flower garden.”
Her paintings depict part of her multi-ethnic collection of textiles — cushions, throws, a Moroccan kilim, and even a Thai scarf paired with personal jewelry including a necklace she beaded years ago with a fish pendant in reference to her mother, a Pisces. And so much more. “I am less concerned with getting exact dimensions and more intent onrendering an emotionally-subjective image of my subject.”
Andrew Stringer uses bold lines, strong colours, high contrast and fun but grim images to create paintings that are both shocking and yet pleasing to the eye. “My work explores the interpenetration of wilderness and the human psyche. I follow in the footsteps of mystics and shamans, looking beyond what we can see with our senses, exploring the untamed country of the human psyche, which exists on the frontier of true wilderness, the wildness at the core of the spirit.
The world I paint is animistic — every force is a living being with a will of its own. My work aims to evoke the beauty, agony and terror of the planet in crisis, and the longing of the human spirit cut off from its natural roots.” To view Andrew’s work go to andrewstringer.com
The group exhibition at the Gallery at Victoria Hall continues until August 8. Gallery hours are Monday to Friday 10:00 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information call 514 989-5226.
Image: from left to right, Pierre Lessard, Eliane Rivard, Harvey Corn, Pascale Delhaye, Loran and Oriana Pizzingrilli. Andrew Stringer is absent. Photographed by Andrew Burlone.
Westmount Artist Catherine Young Bates Exhibition Continues
Catherine Young Bates
Always the artist, no matter where she is or what she is going through, Westmount artist Catherine Young Bates launched Variations, an exhibit and sale of her latest works at a vernissage Sunday, June 28 at the Uplands Culture and Heritage, Centre, 9 Rue Speid in Sherbrooke.
Catherine Young Bates is a Canadian artist based in Westmount and Georgeville. Her landscapes and still life paintings are created on single canvases or in sectional formats. Large scale drawings and paintings are done both on site and in her studio.
Her recent paintings focus on the lavishness of colour and emotion. The return of colour, after a long series of monochrome works, coincides with her return of hearing thanks to a successful cochlear implant operation in late 2010.
If you are familiar with Catherine’s work, or if you are looking for the perfect reason to spend the day in the beauty of the townships, this is it. Catherine’s latest works are worth the drive. While you are there, enjoy tea in the stately and elegant heritage house that hosts the Uplands Cultural and Heritage Centre. The space combines local history with cultural and artistic traditions that generates a sense of community spirit while acting as a base for creative activities for its members, its user groups and the community at large.
Variations continues until September 6. For more information go to cybates.com
“Spring” by Catherine Young Bates
Westmount Novelist Caroline Vu Launches Second Book this Sunday July 12
Westmount novelist Caroline Vu will do a book signing of her second book That Summer in Provincetown, at Indigo Books located in Place Montreal Trust, 1500 McGill College Avenue this Sunday July 12 from 12 to 1:45 p.m. It is an important book because it shares again with the West the continuing odyssey of the Vietnamese Canadian.
While Boomers were experiencing the Vietnam War vicariously through daily television news feeds, protests and even knowing draft resisters, Caroline was living the war in Saigon with her mother, a second generation doctor. Caroline was 11 when she and her mother found their way out of Vietnam in 1970 to the United States and then to Canada.
Rather than writing about her war memories, Caroline, today a third generation family doctor practicing in Montreal, was inspired to write her first book Palawan Story. The novel is a compilation of stories into one of childhood memories of the war-torn Vietnam and the integration into North American life through the eyes of the fictional Kim who was put by her mother on a crowded fishing boat to escape Vietnam and arrived in the Palawan, a refugee camp in the Philippines. There, an American immigration officer mistakes Kim for a sponsored orphan with the same name and sends her to America.
Caroline’s second book, That Summer in Provincetown, launched July 1, is narrated by the fictional Mai, a Vietnamese woman now in her fifties, who tells the story of 70 years and three generations of a Vietnamese family.
To purchase That Summer in Provincetown on Amazon click here
If you do one thing to celebrate arts in Montreal this summer, enjoy the excellent world premiere production the Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz; The Musical, at the Segal Centre, 5170, chemin de la Côte-Ste-Catherine.
Even though the play it is not directly about Westmount, anyone who grew up in or lives in Westmount has been touched by the book the Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz written by Montrealer, and one time Westmount resident, Mordecai Richler. The adaptation of the book in musical format from Alan Menken’s original score and David Spencer’s book and lyrics, Austin Pendleton’s direction and presented by an all Canadian team of actors, musicians and designers is just… well… the best of Montreal entertainment. You have to have lived here to really get it.
I had the privilege to attend the pre-opening night show which was a fundraiser for Generations Foundation. It is an excellent too much fun production. I was frustrated I didn’t have a venue to share it through so I revived Around Westmount to write about the show and the Generations Foundations. So Adrian and Natalie… this is for you and Generations Foundation.
Generations Foundation fights childhood hunger in the greater Montreal community by serving daily nutritious breakfast, lunch and snacks in schools, after school and day pr0grams, including our own Westmount High School, at no cost to 8,000 children. They also send hundreds of disadvantaged children to summer camp.
The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz: The Musical has been extended at the Segal Centre until July 12. For more information or to reserve your tickets 514 739-7944 or segalcentre.org
A scene from The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz: The Musical
Summer Concerts at the Gazebo Begin with Jazz Trio
In conjunction with the Montreal Jazz Festival, the annual Summer Concerts at the Gazebo in Westmount Park launched its annual summer weekly sanctuary at the gazebo with a performance by the Kellan Selig Trio on Sunday, July 5. The trio that specializes in jazz and Latin standards filled the park with the sounds of Kellan Selig on lead guitar, Gabriel Gagnon on trombone and Mathieu McConnell on upright bass. The recent graduates of McGill University’s Schulich School of Music has had the opportunity to play with groups the Joe Sullivan Big Band and the Christine Jensen Big Band, in addition to working with Montréal-based musicians Jim Doxas, Kevin Dean, Rémi Bolduc, Kenny Bibace, and André White. Look for them this summer in Montreal jazz hot spots.
The concert series continues this Sunday, July 12 at 2 p.m. at the gazebo with Grouillant Gombo, a savoury gumbo of southern and northern roots music: a mix of Cajun, Creole and Acadian traditional tunes along with some of original tunes written by the band.
The summer concert series continues every Sunday until August 9. Make plans now to pack a picnic lunch, pick up a chair and come out to enjoy jazz, classical and popular music all summer long.