Feather Gallery

It was best I not infiltrate the big Disclosure opening with my germs last evening, so today I nipped into  Feather Gallery  at 36 Woodfern Court,  just west of me in suburbia, all on my own.

I headed over to Woodbine after having a lovely visit with artists, Barbara Ballachey and David Foxcroft down at Calgary’s new Edge Gallery.  There’s a big opening there next Saturday.  I’m excited to see that one!

I’ve been a fan of Barbara Ballachey for a zillion years, having her as one of my first Artists in Residence at Cardinal Newman School the year after it opened up in the late 1980s..  She did a marvelous job conducting drawing sessions with almost 400 children.  Anyway, Barbara is always generous and welcoming and I considered her a mentor as I tackled the subject of landscape years ago.  I enjoyed, always, how she received pleasure from the land and had an amazing relationship with it.  While my work was very much different from hers, I think I had a similar passion for the earth, water and air and still do.


We’re blessed here in the south where entrepreneurs are popping up with some warm and wonderful spaces where we don’t always journey to the core, but sometimes hang out in our communities.  I consider  Michelena’s Wolf Willow Studios to be among those beauties.  For music, the Cornerstone Music Cafe is bringing in live performers that include Ruth Purves Smith (going on at this very moment).


So, once I made it to Feather Gallery, I had the chance to have beautiful, reflective and relaxing conversation with Samantha.  I love her vision for her space.  The gallery, a part of her living-breathing home, is warm and welcoming.

Directly from the Calgary Herald dated July 27, 2015, this…

“The home, incongruous among the usual mix of residential homes of Calgary’s suburbia, was built in 1931 as Leighton, recently married, set down roots in his adopted city. He’d been hired out of England a few years earlier by the Canadian Pacific Railway at age 23 — already acknowledged as a prodigious talent — and asked to paint the scenery of the Canadian West.

When he saw the Rockies he was stunned, so much so that, by 1929, he had put down roots in Calgary, resigning from the railway and accepting the role as head of the Alberta College of Art. Soon he’d met his bride-to-be and, once hitched, they decided to build a home, buying ten acres for $500 from rancher Alfred Crocker.

Fellow artist Walter J. Phillips visited Leighton and later described to the Winnipeg Tribune, the harrowing trip to the newly constructed home.

“A.C. Leighton telephoned to say he was coming to fetch us. He arrived very late, having driven all the way with the emergency brake on. We piled in the car, and having succeeded, by the grace of God, in getting headed in the right direction, we started immediately on an exciting seven-mile journey to his new country home.

“We emerged on a bare expanse of prairie, a desolate spot at night, but one which affords in the daytime an unrivalled view of distant mountains.

“In the East many artists’ homes have been built around a studio, but in the West I know of only two — Charles Scott’s in Vancouver, and Leighton’s in Calgary. Leighton’s is in the best tradition — high, wide and handsome, with plenty of light,” said Phillips.

Leighton and his wife moved on — their final home eventually proving the location for the art centre named after him near Millarville — and the house he’d built was captured and virtually swallowed by expanding Calgary. But something remained behind. A spirit of place, as D.H. Lawrence would have called it.

“It is a special place. There are a lot of people who come in and they feel something here. Sometimes we forget how special it is — people come in and they look up and down and around and you think ‘What are they looking at?’” said Samantha Malach.”

The artists are to be commended for a beautiful exhibit of figurative work…I’ve connected with so many of you over the years and I’m proud of your collective contribution to this show! (missed you, Paula, Daniel, Joanne, Mark, Luella, Bruce, Elena, Desere…)

Kath's Canon, February 2, 2016 Feather Gallery 008Kath's Canon, February 2, 2016 Feather Gallery 007Kath's Canon, February 2, 2016 Feather Gallery 006Kath's Canon, February 2, 2016 Feather Gallery 005Kath's Canon, February 2, 2016 Feather Gallery 004Kath's Canon, February 2, 2016 Feather Gallery 003Kath's Canon, February 2, 2016 Feather Gallery 002Kath's Canon, February 2, 2016 Feather Gallery 001


Voted Most Likely

My dear friend, Bob, was in town and from the time we met up at the Central Branch Public Library, last weekend, until we got to my place to share dinner, we were able to fit in a few art events.  I’ve posted about Bob before.  We met at ACAD, sharing a third year studio space and conversed our way through many lunch hours.  A lot of time has passed since 1998 and he has had a seat at many Thanksgiving and Christmas feasts. Likely our most memorable event was meeting up in Paris to enjoy art together and then some relaxed time in Monet’s part of the world, Giverny, France.

Over the years, I’ve commissioned Bob to paint several pieces for me, the most important being the ten magpie paintings through my final months of teaching, one to represent every season and one of Pauline’s window looking out onto Kootenay Lake.  My treasured teacher from the University of Lethbridge is easily remembered each and every time I look up at the painting.

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Painting by Robert Melville: Blue Glass Looking Out on Kootenay Lake

Painting by Robert Melville: Blue Glass Looking Out on Kootenay Lake

P1130993Bob and I walked over to C2, where the exhibition Voted Most Likely curated by Kim Dorland is happening and then I took him on to have his first ever wander of the Esker Foundation.  Borrowed directly from the C2 description…Contemporary Calgary has invited Kim Dorland to guest curate an exhibition of artists who currently call – or have previously called – Calgary “home”. Featuring the work of emerging and established artists working in a variety of mediums, Voted Most Likely includes Chris Cran, Bradley Harms, DaveandJenn, Mark Lawes, Erik Olson, Annelie McKenzie, Tiffany Wollman, Pamela Norrish, Kent Merriman Jr, Stacey Watson, Kiarra Albina, Matthew Mark, Jeremy Pavka, and Chad VanGaalen.

DSC_0938 ?????????? DSC_0935 ?????????? DSC_0933 DSC_0932 DSC_0931 DSC_0930 DSC_0929 DSC_0928 DSC_0926 DSC_0922 DSC_0921 DSC_0920 DSC_0919 DSC_0918 DSC_0917 DSC_0916I have decided that I much prefer attending these art exhibits in the quiet of my own time rather than during the busy and sometimes crowded opening events.  If you are in the mood, however, openings are a great opportunity to meet up with the artists and converse about their process.  Why not do both?

Regardless, it was a beautiful thing to meet up with my friend from Vancouver and share in delightful conversation about the work.