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Artists Celebrate Below Zero (Posted On: Thursday, January 26, 2012)

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For the February show at the Mad and Noisy Gallery in Creemore, the member artists have been challenged to create works that celebrate All That is Winter.  “Our 50 member artists have chosen to live in this area because they revel in snow, frost, ice and winter skies,” says curator Jill Price, “and that love of below zero temperatures shows in their works, whether abstract or representational.”

Not surprisingly, the beauty of winter landscapes will be the inspiration for much of the new art, including photographs and infrared images by John Jacquemain, from Oro Station. 

Janet Donaghey, a textile artist from Horseshoe Valley, is showing at the gallery for the first time this month. “I work with silk, burlap, net or upholstery fabrics, that I then mix with paint, paper, wire or plastic to create winter landscapes.”

Other artists are looking inward for their inspiration. “Nestling in one’s studio is akin to tucking in for the winter,” says Kaz  Jones, an oil painter from Collingwood.  Her bold, distinctive contemporary works reflect the interior landscape of the home.  Similarly, Barrie watercolourist Claudia McKnight uses rich colours and fluid brushstrokes to bring to mind the crackle of a fire as we enjoy chocolate on those long, cold nights.

Among the 15 new artists who are joining the Creemore gallery this month are two encaustic artists, Andrea Bird and Jenn Smith. The encaustic process is an ancient method of painting with beeswax. “I start by laying down semi-transparent layers of coloured wax, hardened with resin,” explains Bird.  “The layers are fused together with a blow torch, heat gun or iron.  As I work with the various layers of wax, I can incorporate colour, with oil paint or pastels and other materials such as charcoal, graphite or gold leaf – even photography.  When the wax cools I can gouge the surface to reveal some of the layers below. It’s a fantastic medium that lets me create beautifully textured surfaces with incredible depth.”

Also joining the gallery are two jewellers from the Barrie area, DoriAnne Ross and Sarah Uffelmann. Ross makes cast jewellery using sterling silver and nickel, while Uffelman incorporates niobium into her pieces.  “Niobium is a reactive metal,” she explains.  “When given an electric charge it changes colour depending upon the voltage used.” 

Other new members at the cooperative gallery include painter Roz St. Clair from Duntroon, another jeweller Kyle Thornley, sculptors Iris Casey and Albert Matchett, and mixed media painters Ruth Ann Pearce, Michael Coughlin, and Lois Green.

The Mad and Noisy Gallery is inviting everyone to meet the new artists at a reception on Saturday, February 4th between 2 and 5 pm.  All that is Winter will continue until February 27th with the gallery open on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays between 11am and 5pm, Saturdays from 10am to 5pm and Sundays from noon to 4pm.  The Mad and Noisy Gallery is on the main street of Creemore, at 154 Mill St.  For more information call 705-466-5555 or go to the gallery website.    


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