Second Stop: Ruberto Ostberg Gallery

The second space on Love Art in Calgary’s tour yesterday was the Ruberto Ostberg Gallery, tucked away in a quiet residential area in the NW.  Anna Ostberg was very gracious as she shared with us the birthing of her dreams, the history of the gallery, her journey as an artist, mother, wife and business woman and the lively programs celebrated within The Purple Door Art Studio.

P1150814Presently on exhibit, the Bee Kingdom Collective’s Gold!  If you’ve followed my blog over so many years, you will know that I have written about this Collective of glass blowers for a long time now…and I never get tired of the enthusiasm and the positivity that this group of young men generates in our community.

From the ACAD website, this, specific to GOLD.

March 7 – 29, 2014
Roberto Ostberg Gallery | Calgary

Bee Kingdom’s Gold exhibition largely draws from mythology, and its glittery power. The glassblowing collective’s signature style is in abundance in Gold! Tim Belliveau uses new sculpting techniques to create creatures like the mythological winged-Pegasus and the alchemical Green Lion. Phillip Bandura explores the material’s value in society while flaunting his taste for gold and glitter in pieces such as Golden City and Golden Torches. Ryan Marsh Fairweather continues to build on his Weathermachines universe referencing the Hindu Cosmic Egg (also known as the Golden Cosmic Egg), a creation story of the universe. Fairweather has created colourful Cosmic Eggs of his own as well as brand new, super cute, egg-shaped Joybears!

Yesterday, Phillip Bandura shared a wealth of enthusiasm and information about the Bee Kingdom’s process, history and experience.  I was most impressed by his open, humourous and generous presentation.  In fact, as I look at my friend, Wendy’s photograph below…I’d have to conclude that I am completely captivated by Phillip’s talk. My friend, also in the photo, is no less fascinated.

Phillip Bandura talkIt seems during most encounters with the Bee Kingdom Collective,  it is very busy in the hive and I don’t have opportunity to truly connect with the guys.  I thought it was a bonus, on tour, that finally I was able to hear Phillip’s story about his own body of work.  I feel like I know him a bit better as an artist and a friend.  So, thank you, Wendy Lees, for that opportunity.

Still on my list, to learn about Tim Belliveau’s new process…the green glass is intriguing.

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David & John & the Oeno Gallery

At Huff Estates a person can enjoy the experience of the winery combined with the intrigue of an amazing gallery, intriguing because a large portion of their art is exhibited in a sculpture garden.  There are so many surprises along the way! On this particular day, with David and John, we could not have asked for more stunning weather.  The sky was brilliant blue.

We began with the indoor Oeno exhibit.  Several different gallery artists exhibited around the theme When the Bough Breaks: Re-imagining the Tree


Floyd Elzinga and Catherine Vamvakas Lay

Floyd Elzinga (cone) and Catherine Vamvakas Lay

Locating artist name...stay tuned.

Three Sisters by John Paul Robinson

Catherine Vamvakas Lay

Catherine Vamvakas Lay

From the Oeno biographies…

Within Christian iconography, especially in the early centuries, pomegranates were used to represent Christ and the Church. Within her work Vamvakas Lay evocatively and gracefully allows the past to illuminate the present, creating not shadows of doubt but richness of vision.    -Virginia Eichhorn



Melissa Doherty: Oil on Canvas

Melissa Doherty: Oil on Canvas

Peter Hoffer: Mixed Media

Peter Hoffer: Mixed Media

To learn more about the Oeno Gallery, please visit their website here.

Bee Kingdom Open House

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Karen and I attended Bee Kingdom’s Open House on Saturday afternoon.  It was a great day…a bit of sunshine…a breeze…beautiful pieces of glass exhibited tastefully throughout the residence-gallery at 427 22nd Ave NW.  Once seated for a demonstration, I always get so relaxed. I start drifting.  It’s such a calming environment; the space is warm and the good humoured gents are genuine and genuinely funny.  You are guaranteed at least one real belly laugh, but plan for more!  There is no pretense and that is a part of this magical hive that they have been building over the years.  If you have never enjoyed an open house, watch for the next one.  And keep tabs on these fellas.  They are always up to something wonderful!

The professional grade film footage is above…the less than ideal footage (mine) is below.   Thanks, Phil, for giving me permission to post.



It’s Been A Good Day

I have recently connected with my Grade nine art teacher, Mr. David F. Carlin.  He was an inspiration when I was a young art student attending Widdifield Secondary School in North Bay, Ontario and it is interesting that over all of these miles and years, I still feel the impact he made upon my life.  I see it in my art.  I saw it in my teaching.  I experience it in the way I view the world.  It is a good day, when serendipity renews a connection that was so strong for so many years ago.  Today I received this message via facebook.

“…just a short line to say that I do remember you very well…I am sooooooo glad to hear from you!!!..I dug out my computer to say hi…I am in the middle of plastering my green room to prepare for more video and I also took advantage of this time to give my arm a rest!!!!!!!!!…looks like we have a lot to catch up on!!!!!!…I move to Havana in a month with no internet for 5 there in an old wooden house for 5 months of the year..!!!Cogeco will be filming here on Thursday so I have stress with you later” 

I feel like this, in itself, made it a good day!  But…look!  It continues!

Last night, late, I received this message from a parent of a former student.  It read like this.

“Saw you on line and wanted to tell you that we just got back from Edmonton where Jenna has a show. Her Masters in Design is complete and the work was amazing. You know you had a hand in steering her towards the arts.”

And in Jenna’s words…

Jenna Hill

MDes candidate in Industrial Design

“It is my intention to examine the interrelation of design and community. I believe design has the ability to influence our actions, determine our attitudes, and meaningfully shape our relationship to the world. This said, I feel that the transition toward more sustainable ways of living will require a re-evaluation of our societal goals, specifically our definitions of well-being. Design will be an important factor in interpreting and realizing this transition. Through my research and thesis project I hope to draw upon the resources and expertise present at the University to deepen my understanding of design methods.”

I’m so very proud of you, Jenna and as always, pray that life is filled with good health and many blessings.

I was able to reconnect this afternoon with two of my former students at the Bee Kingdom open house!  As usual, this event did not disappoint…but the fact that Tim and Elisabeth were together, made it even more ‘magical’. 

I tend to hang on to pieces of art and take good care of them when students don’t pick them up or file them in their portfolios and I treasure opportunities to return these works to their creators.

So, over a glass of wine, and some yummy appetizers, I gave Elisabeth her piece of art.  Tim and Phil will soon be heading for Berlin, so I felt that this open house was a tad bitter-sweet and I did NOT take the glass blowing demonstrations for granted, but really enjoyed them.  I will miss you, Tim and Phil, but wish the Bees healthy hives and everything that is wonderful!

Junior High Art Project: 17 years later!


Three Amazing People!



My Wonderful Daughter and Tim

This has not only been a good day, it has been an exceptional day!  I am grateful!

Words to Live By


Last evening, at Kai Georg Schoefield’s opening at Dade Art and Design Lab, there was much fun to be had, as well as great conversation.  Some of my favourite Words to Live By for the evening included words from Randy, “It’s better to be single than to wish you were single.”

Kai Georg Scholefield

I’m borrowing an image in promotion of Kai’s work, so we’ll see if I get my hand slapped…this from…

Demolition Art House

Demolition Art House.


It’s an awesome thing when projects such as this take place in the City of Calgary.  I was pleased when this led me to an exploration of this blog.  It doesn’t matter the distance that separates us, artists share a common vision of the world; reactions to space/place, response to a vast number and combination of media,  and the making of individual or collective meaning.  I think all art is narrative.

Stuff That Inspires