First Stop: Framed on Fifth

My sister-cousin-friend, Margy, and I headed down for our Love Art in Calgary Tour with Wendy Lees yesterday morning, after a nice casual start to the day. Wendy’s signature hot coffee and freshly baked coffee cake were waiting.

P1150730Our first experience was had at Framed on Fifth and a meeting with Hannah White.  From the website,  “Hannah is a University of Guelph graduate with a Fine Arts degree. Framed on Fifth’s owner Hannah White offers a high level of craftsmanship and an excellent eye for colour and proportion. She is an artist and stone carver with over 15 years experience in framing and design.  She opened Framed on Fifth in March of 2011 at the location formerly known as Sheppard Fine Art Services.”

P1150752P1150734Representing local and emerging artists from as far away as Edmonton, there are regular exhibits and openings hosted in this location.  There is an intimate feeling as you step into the space.  Hannah shared this comfortable and warm feeling;  likely the big draw to Framed on Fifth!

Presently on exhibit, Jane Newman’s work.  She is a Banff artist who incorporates mixed media into most of her works, both sculptural and two dimensional collages.  I was fascinated when I got home last evening, exploring Jane’s Blogspot and learning about her processes, artistically, in writing and in horticultural design.  I encourage my readers to take a browse.

I really enjoy that this artist incorporates magical ‘finds’, both natural and person-made, into her works.  The multi-dimensional aspects are very engaging.  I particularly love the piece, all mothers.  Thank you to Hannah for being so engaging and for giving us opportunity to explore a new space.  I hope to make it down for some of the openings.

P1150735 P1150736 P1150737 P1150739 P1150741 P1150742 P1150743 P1150744 P1150746 P1150747 P1150748 P1150749

Reinhold (Les) Pinter

The digital footprint for Les Pinter is not a significant one, but having spent just thirty minutes with him on my recent Love Art in Calgary tour, I have to say that he has left a huge impression.  One excellent bit of biographical writing is found in FFWD magazine dated as far back as 2009 and written by Laurel Smith.  Because of this artist’s complete humility, this article is key to insights on his commitment to a craft that astounds.

I will begin by posting two images for consideration…these small stencils, pulled from a tiny box of “magic”.

P1140912P1140913In the box, are found a great number of tiny cut-outs, each a unique motif to be used again and again for larger works.  I like this description, taken directly from FFWD magazine.

“Some of the messages underlying Pinter’s work are inspired by television because he sees media as being responsible for shaping our personal realities. “Consciousness is affected by what is on the news,” he says. Then he places a grid of cutouts on the glass surface of his television to demonstrate how he screens the programs he watches. The cutouts exist as a kind of fusion between icon and symbol, text and texture, sensation and spectacle, politics and humanity.”

I was in awe of the craftsmanship and the skill in producing these monumental pieces.  But probably most intriguing to me were the many insights and the intellectual processes that occur during the process of creation.  The conceptual qualities of the work boggle me.

P1140916 P1140913 P1140910 P1140908 P1140906 P1140904 P1140903 P1140902 P1140901From this work, Les led us into another intimate space in the SQ Commons and showed us current explosions of another kind!  Very atmospheric, and generally involving cyclonic rotation of great tornado forms, the restrained energy that provides for such systematic creation as the stencil cut outs, expresses itself in bursts of motion, light, darkness and colour.


Les Pinter Cycone Series: 2014 (sic)  Photo Credit: Bart Habermiller

Les Pinter Cycone Series: 2014 (sic) Photo Credit: Bart Habermiller

Thank you for your artist talk, Les.  It was an honour to hear about your process first-hand.

Love Art in Calgary: Eighth Avenue Place

From the Danish Canadian Club, our group managed its way around/through a bit of a crane obstacle course and headed in to the most opulent of towers,  Eighth Avenue Place (EAP).  I have to say that the maneuvering and laughter just made the entire experience more fun!  Look at the size of these cranes!

P1140856 P1140858

Our fearless leader gives her apologies...

Our fearless leader gives her apologies…


Belay on!

P1140863 P1140867Gordon Menzies, General Property Manager, was inside to greet us and fully prepared with an excellent presentation about Calgary’s premier office tower where wonderful art collides with world-class design!  My writing about this experience will cover three separate posts because there were three distinct art happenings within this same venue.

To begin, my readers may wish to follow this link and read about the first-class collection of Canadian modern art that is exquisitely displayed on the first floor.

One of my favourite Canadian artists is Jack Shadbolt.  In fact, one of my most important art history papers was written about Shadbolt. It was a dream to turn a first corner in EAP and be visually confronted by these panels titled Wild Grass Suite – Quintet!

P1140868 P1140872Next, Jack Bush‘s work!  His piece, New York 55 (1955) is outstanding!  I am rarely featured in any tour photographs because generally, I am the monkey behind the camera, but in this case, I insisted that Wendy snap a couple.

P1140885 P1140886Kath and Jack Bush 2Another one of the Painter’s Eleven, Ray Mead’s Totem (1986) is a beautiful painting to see in such a well lit and welcoming location at the front desk.  Given my father’s service in the RCAF, I am particularly interested in the fact that Ray Mead served in the RAF and that he was born into a Watford family, where my own daughter met, fell in love with and married her husband.

P1140878 P1140874Next, I was aghast to see a Jean-Paul Riopelle piece titled Oliviers (1966).  Who would have thought?  This brought up recollections of gallery-viewing in both Quebec City and Montreal when I did a cross Canada gallery trip some years back.  How surprising that Riopelle should be found in Eighth Avenue Place in Calgary, Alberta!

P1140881 P1140883Next, Le Climat Rouge (1957) by Jean McEwen RCA.  Wendy was captured, seated before this one and looking like she is a part of the painting.  At each stop, the conversations continued about the art, the framing and about all other related topics.

P1140887Wendy and Jean McEwenFinally, Marcelle Ferron’s Chile (1973) exploded with colour.  I was glad to see that a female painter of the automatiste style was represented here.

P1140892To conclude this portion of our EAP tour, Gordon Mensies pointed out several settings of furniture designed by Arnee Jacobsen, Earo Saarinen and Florence Knoll.  A concern for a beautiful aesthetic was evident throughout the space.


Arne Jacobsen 3300 Chair (1956)

Arne Jacobsen 3300 Chair (1956)

Oval Coffee Table (1956) Eero Saarinen

Oval Coffee Table (1956) Eero Saarinen

Much gratitude to Gordon Menzies who came in on a Saturday to expand our knowledge and to enjoy the aesthetic of such an amazing tower.

A fabulous article, accompanied by beautiful photographs is written by Richard White on his blog titled Everyday Tourist.  Visit this write up, from the perspective of a clearly educated gentleman, here.

Katie Ohe and Harry Kiyooka and Their Objects of Affection

Generously, Katie and Harry shared their spaces with us.  Conversations were rich and warm.  Hospitality was offered us…a group of diverse travelers from the city.  Stories were told…so many stories that connected objects to the souls of the artists.  A fabulous journey into the lives and motivation for creativity, in the sense of art practice, but also largely in the sense of a vision coming to life in the form of the Kiyooka Ohe Arts Centre.  I highly recommend that your contribution be known as funding is always challenging for the arts opportunities and they are imperative to the health of our communities.  In the spring, a group of us will be heading out to clean out scrub brush and physically labour on the property.  Let me know if you wish to join us.

P1140303 P1140305 P1140307 P1140308 P1140309 P1140310 P1140311 P1140312 P1140313 P1140314 P1140315 P1140316 P1140327 P1140328 P1140329P1140338 P1140340

Finding a Poem For Katie Ohe

I’ve tried to write about Katie three times.  Each time, I got to a point and had to stop.  Today, I begin to write again.

As I reflect back on things that Katie said and then the unspoken power of her sculpture, I am left somehow overwhelmed.  It seems to me that she is some version of a fireball.  She is compacted energy that has been burning deeply for a lifetime and in connection with that light, I was left in awe.  So, once in awe, I had to go looking for a poem.

No luck. I found no poem for Katie Ohe.  That, in itself, is unbelievable. However, the act of looking for a poem caused me to sit for most of that particular afternoon, reading poetry, and that can’t be all bad.

After some days…more than a week…I found this.  It describes something of Katie Ohe.

A short version, my version, of one of Katie’s stories (and really, you need Katie to tell YOU her story…nothing compares).

Katie’s Dad gave Katie and her brother each a potato to peel.  Katie created a long spiral of peel…I think she said that she tried to peel the entire potato in a single peel.  (Her brother doesn’t even remember this, but Katie does.)  Her father then attached the end of her peel to a pin or a needle, suspended it by a string and then set the peel to spinning.  This image has stuck with her all of these years. (The metaphor…the image of the twirling potato peel offered up in this narrative, illuminated some very basic principles of Katie’s work…at least I think so!)

Katie spoke of Weeping Bees and Typhoon…and so much more and shared her studio space with us.  I was in awe the entire time.  I was left speechless.

P1140259 P1140261 P1140264 P1140266 P1140269 P1140270 P1140271 P1140272 P1140273 P1140275 P1140277 P1140278 P1140279 P1140281 P1140282 P1140283 P1140284 P1140287 P1140288 P1140290P1140291 P1140292 P1140293 P1140296 P1140297 P1140298 P1140299

Katie Ohe IS a poem.

Love Art in Calgary Tour: We Visit Harry Kiyooka and Katie Ohe

To try to adequately write about my experience yesterday, attending the Kiyooka Ohe Arts Centre, will be a challenge.  I think that I was engaged at a very personal level to this experience and so these few posts will be informative, but with a smattering of heart felt connection.  What the heck!  My readers know me and my obsession with issues of identity, memory and sustainability.  You will understand.

The ‘getting there’.  Wendy Lees has opened up so many opportunities for Calgarians through her offer of Love Art in Calgary tours.  I highly recommend them.  She is inspiring, connected and driven in this venture and I’ve become more aware and more linked in to my arts community because of these experiences.

P1140192We gathered at Wolf Willow Studio, where the air is filled with the rich smells of evergreen. Presently, the studio is home to Michelena Bamford‘s Rocky Mountain Wreaths where, on December 8, my readers are invited to take in a marvelous day of creative wonder.  Michelena, a profoundly inspiring mosaic artist provided that sort of comfortable space where we could gather and connect, in preparation for the car pool to our art experience.

P1140185 P1140187 P1140194Thanks, Bill, for driving.  I shared the road with Conrad, Doreen and Suzanne.  It’s always fun to connect with new people and it was especially interesting to learn from Doreen that they had hosted Lawrence Hill, near the onset of his writing career.  Lawrence had shared a narrative at his One Book/One Calgary launch about a Calgary couple that he treasured deeply for their long friendship and somehow I ended up sandwiched between them on our ride out to KO Arts Centre.  God has a way of pulling the pieces of our lives together.

I am ending this first post with some photographs.  Upon arrival, we stepped out into a warm bright day, facing a vast expanse of mountains on the horizon…tall stands of trees…stunning architecture and a sense of anticipation.  The twenty acres that is dedicated to be the KO Arts Centre was charged with magic.  A feature article, as an introduction, can be found in the Calgary Journal here, Giving it All Away.  Please scroll down to the video.

Air. Breath. Expanse. Beauty. Anticipation. Mentorship. Generosity of Heart. Opening.

P1140196 P1140198 P1140199 P1140200 P1140257 P1140300 P1140301 P1140302

Love Art in Calgary: Carl White at Jarvis Hall Fine Art

Shannon Williamson, Assistant Director of Jarvis Hall Fine Art, introduced us to Carl White.  She was bright eyed and smiling as she explained that this was the last day for the exhibit.  My readers might remember that I had written of the opening event, but this was a wonderful thing to be able to have the artist to ourselves for conversation and inspiration.  I circled Carl like a shark at the opening, but never did get closer than four feet from him…openings are just like that.  This tour was oh-so-much-better!

Some of the topics that Carl White explored during his artist talk were poetry, cursive writing, romanticism, art as layering of skin/flesh, teacher as facilitator and Gnosticism.  It was a thought provoking morning and the conversation certainly informed the work and our experience of the pieces.  Shannon generously pulled out some of Carl’s earlier works that contributed to an even broader context.  Thank you, Carl White, for your time and your thoughts.

Words carried away in my heart as we left the gallery…”Kath, who is your e?”

P1130862 P1130864 P1130866 P1130869

Courtesy of Jarvis Hall Fine Art

Courtesy of Jarvis Hall Fine Art


Love Art in Calgary: Red Line Gallery

At the Red Line Gallery, Harold Pendergast greeted us in typical good cheer.  A very diverse exhibit was curated by Steward & Creative, Redheaded Champion of Artistic Expression. The space that was both warm and intimate.  It was the perfect first pit stop for the Love Art in Calgary tour, lovingly planned by our fearless leader, Wendy Lees.  As is her impeccable style, again, we started our day with hot coffee and home made coffee cake.  Members of the tour group were treated to a variety of art magazines and ‘things-about-town’ reminders.

Coffee CakeThis was a very relaxing start to the day…moments filled with little conversations about art and life and reconnect with our Love Art friends.  A lovely space and home for the Oilmens Review.

P1130818 P1130823 P1130832 P1130835 P1130838 P1130840 P1130844 P1130848 P1130851 P1130853 P1130856 P1130858

Love Art in Calgary: MOCA

Quick…before I go tuck in, I wish to complete the series around my recent Love Art in Calgary tour arranged by Wendy Lees.  The Artistic Director, Jeffrey Spalding, welcomed us to MOCA, as is his style, with warmth and enthusiasm.  The hospitality received was exceptional, given that on that very evening, MOCA was to celebrate their Grand re-opening.  Due to June floods and some related infrastructure concerns around connected buildings, MOCA was forced to close for a period of time, affording them the opportunity to make some changes and ‘really’ move in to the existing venue.  It was fun to receive insights into these changes up close and also to enjoy the sorts of activities buzzing around the evening opening.  It’s not often that one witnesses beautiful white sofas being washed down and arranged out on a city patio by a glassy pool.  Fantastic!

Close by, Dave Dyment’s Mirror Ball installation was coming to life and all sorts of interesting things were appearing both outdoors and inside the gallery.  If you have not had the chance to enjoy similar openings and events in the open plaza downtown, hop the C Train and take advantage.  Great location…typically, good food and wonderful people!

My readers are invited to view the Made in Calgary: 1980s exhibit, as well as see Danish artist Jesper Just’sA Vicious Undertow” in the upstairs gallery.  There will be more festivities in the plaza and outdoor spaces, given that MOCA is a part of the launch Party for Calgary Culture days.

I’m certain that, as you mingle with friends, you may find yourselves in delightful proximity to Evan Penny’s sculpture, ‘Janet’ or capture her looking with tremendous intensity in the same direction that you are.

P1120953 P1120958 P1120961 P1120962 P1120963 P1120964 P1120965

Wendy Lees, Jeffrey Spalding and Participants

Wendy Lees, Jeffrey Spalding and Participants

Jeffrey Spalding, Thank you.

Jeffrey Spalding, Thank you.

News I received via the MOCA mailing list is included here for your perusal.

MOCA Calgary is pleased to be a part of the launch Party for Calgary Culture days, taking place this Friday 7:00pm-11:00pm.  Lots to do from a series of concerts, hosted by the city, across the way in Olympic Plaza, to food trucks, outdoor installations, animation screenings, fashion show featuring creations made of light and cash bar lounge at MOCA Calgary.  If you missed our Grand re opening last Saturday not to worry because Dave Dyment’s Mirror Ball installation along with Max Streicher’s horse are back for one more night.  Quickdraw Animation Society is also joining in the fun by screening “The best of the Giraffe Festival” projected onto the side of the MOCA building.  Our gallery will remain open late so check out our Made in Calgary: 1980s exhibition along with the screening of Jesper Just’s “ A Vicious Undertow” in the upper gallery, on loan from the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts.  Come down, enjoy the fun and help us support the City of Calgary Culture Days!

Jeffrey shared with us the background on the Made In Calgary: 1980s exhibit and it never fails to disappoint as far as his knowledge of art history.  I am proud that he is with us here in Calgary because he makes us so much more rich for his knowledge.  If given a chance, please participate in a Love Art in Calgary tour when you see MOCA on the menu!  There is an awesome write up on the Made In Calgary: 1980s show HERE!

Love Art In Calgary: Newzones Gallery of Contemporary Art

I’ve got to say, leaving cSPACE and entering into Newzones created a huge contrast for me!  It goes to show what a variety of opportunities we have in the Calgary art scene. Director, Tamar Zenith, gave us a quick introduction to the work and an entry point into the current exhibit of Franco DeFrancesca’s works.

The tour group members (quickly becoming friends), wandered independently, reacting to the works, the light and residual thinking around cSPACE.  I liked how the DeFrancesca works reflected the environment and also how the clean surfaces of the space reflected the works.  I think this is what I tried to capture in these few photographs.

P1120898 P1120899 P1120900 P1120903 P1120904 P1120907P1120915Most appealing to me in this space, though, were the works created by artist Sophie Jodoin…an intimate exhibit titled Open Letters.  Lovely, while at the same time, somewhat unnerving the perfectly executed drawings (conte on mylar and in altered proportion), immediately stirred up recollections of correspondence…exchanges of words…nostalgia…mystery…boundaries…human interactions and connection.  I walked away saying, “I still write Christmas cards,” as though the art somehow communicated that that was important.  An interesting bit of writing about Sophie can be found here.

She includes these thoughts on drawing…to begin, in reference to an exhibit in Vancouver titled, Small Dramas & Little Nothings.

“I see them as chambers of our lives. You wander through it and each body of work makes you question how you live your own life and the kinds of struggles you might be going through,” she said.

Jodoin is referring to close your eyes, an exhibition from an artist dedicated to the medium of drawing and known to explore themes rich with emotion. Four years of artwork is included in the show, including a video and three bodies of work comprising mostly drawings and collages: Small Dramas & Little Nothings, a series of 90 small drawings; Charred, five larger works; and Vigils, four large unframed drawings.

For Jodoin, drawing is more of an attitude than a medium.

“I see them all as drawing,” she said in a telephone interview from Montreal. “It’s undefined for me by the medium, or even the fact that it’s monochrome. It’s really the way I do art.”

Jodoin earned her fine arts degree from Concordia University nearly 25 years ago, and since 2003, her drawings have been exclusively in black and white, on paper and mylar, usually completed over the course of one day.

“Drawing—if you don’t do very large scale obsessive drawings—allows you this kind of immediacy,” she said. “I work very quickly, and I usually build bodies of work, series. I relate to them as diaries and notations.”

P1120910 P1120909 P1120908Thank you to Newzones and to Wendy Lees of Love Art In Calgary.