Stroll by Café Chartreuse and you will encounter a nice surprise... recently celebrating their first anniversary and on the heels of receiving the award for Businesses Excellence for an established business from the Collingwood Chamber of Commerce, Café Chartreuse has added a new addition to the cityscape. Artist Keli-Ann Pye-Beshara of pi designs (www.pidesigns.ca) has set up her studio in the front window and is currently painting well-known Collingwood landmarks with a fresh and funky perspective.
If you've been to Café Chartreuse before... you will think... "leave it to Ruth and Patrick to bring you yet another fun and exciting reason to visit". In addition to the everyday tasty delights with French flair, coffee, lattes and espressos, second to none, now you get real-time artistic flair and can watch passionate artwork being created while you munch on the best croissants in Collingwood. Café Chartreuse is always putting their best food forward and this is just another great reason why they won an award for Business Excellence, not only do they satisfy a market niche with their amazing food, specialty dinners and catering services... they offer up new and exciting things all the time.
Keli-Ann just presented Ruth and Patrick with a set of limited edition prints of Downtown Collingwood in appreciation of their support of the arts and they are on display for your enjoyment.
Since she was a child, Keli-Ann Pye-Beshara has always paid attention to the faces and personalities in houses and buildings. Everywhere she went she would see laughing houses... sad houses... tired houses.
Keli-Ann was born and raised in St. John's, Newfoundland. The island's deep rooted history greatly influenced her at a young age and due to her upbringing amongst a very large and lively family, she developed a sharp sense of humour and an appreciation of it in every element of life. After completing her Bachelor of Fine Arts in 1994, she realized art can be way too serious. "Sometimes you have to lighten up and have a good time with art."
The two ingredients of history and humour have come together in her Ontario Town Series in which she has taken the significant architectural landmarks of the area and placed them side by side to create a pretend street. For this series, she chose to employ her funky style in a bold whimsical manner that breathes life into the structures as "if the walls could talk... "
Keli-Ann gives the dwellings a face and the viewer gives them the voice.
She paints these "magical, whimsical, animated, happy, humorous" characters in the front window of Café Chartreuse in downtown Collingwood. All day long people stop, smile, tilt their head in childlike wonderment and begin to tell a story. The tales are either of the viewer's past, or of a piece of history or knowledge of the landmarks, or they just make up a story from what they see as a sincere reaction to the artwork.
Keli-Ann loves the daily interaction with the viewers, the knowledge and stories they pass along, and the humour people see in her paintings. It's like a kitchen party all day long.
Check out Keli-Ann's website www.pidesigns.ca for a look into her other styles and subject matter, or drop by Café Chartreuse for a coffee 9.30-4.00, Monday to Friday.
Submitted by: Julie Card, mycollingwood.ca