Monday, 7 March 2011

Frames & More's 2nd Exhibition: A Review

On Friday, Feb 25th, I attended an art exhibition at the Carol Breen Art Gallery located within Frames and More. This is the second of four art exhibitions during 2011 and this show in particular celebrates 5 outstanding local artists and their talents;
· Amy Keller-Rempp: painter/air brush art
· Dave McDonald: custom opal jewelry
· Barb Howe: pottery/raku platters
· Kelvin Huppie: painter
· Julie Jones: fine silver jewelry

I attended this showing for roughly an hour and a half and during that time I was very surprised to see over 25 people visit Frames and More to take part in this experience. Leading up to the showing, I had only seen advertising for the art opening on a couple of free local advertising portals. When I spoke with Florence Weber, asking about advertising and commenting on the high number of visitors to the gallery thus far, her response was one relating to the most reliable form; word of mouth. The word of mouth travels far and the success of the first art show that opened Nov 3, 2010 along with the anticipation for the second art show certainly did.

As I entered the building, I noticed a fine spread of flavored cheese, crackers and dip arranged along what normally is the sales counter. It was a 'help yourself' set up, which included punch. I pulled my thoughts from food (hey, it was close to dinner time) and began scanning the room. Amy Keller-Rempp’s artwork, big and bold, hung in the main foyer on all four walls. Her work overpowered the front space of Frames and More and as much as her pieces were large and in charge, they were subtle and one in particular instantly reminded me of a painting in my grandparents’ house. Amy's art focuses on the realism of boreal animals. Her love for nature and the free spirits of animals is captured in her pieces. She informed me that her art work is a reflection of how important her dad was to her and what he taught her about nature and the world. The piece in particular that fostered a memory in my mind was of three horses (pictured above), set in a gallop stance with manes flowing and nostrals flaring. This painting, as mentioned, was strikingly similar to a painting my grandparents hung above their stairway and I admired it very much when I was a little girl. I mentioned this to Amy and she was very pleased that people such as me could identify a personal meaning or relate a familiarity within her artwork.

The second artist I had the privilege of speaking with was Julie Jones. Julie is the artist and creator behind Julie Jones Studio. Her artistic talents literally shine through fine silver jewelry. Julie's pieces range from delicate unique cuts of silver to more elaborate decadent pieces, some supporting intriguing moving parts. Creating fine silver jewelry is a new adventure for Julie. She focused on pottery and ceramics prior to this and has expanded her creativity just recently to this wonderful array of rings, bracelets, necklaces and earrings. Back in the fall of 2010, one piece from Julie Jones Studio was auctioned at the Annual Keyano Foundation Gala with a base price of $800.00. Julie's jewelry will be exclusive to Frames and More and from what I can tell, Frames and More generates the right clientele.

Dave McDonald was the third and final artist I spoke with that evening. Dave also showcased jewelry (pictured above) but very different from Julie Jones. His focus is opals and both him and his wife travel to Australia as often as possible to collect opals and other semi precious stones. Collecting and polishing stones was always a hobby for Dave. It wasn’t until Dave suffered a stroke and had to leave his career that he pursued his love for opals and created a company called Jems Tar Tar. Dave's work is stunning; each opal sits in a clasp and hangs from a 14kt gold necklace. Dave also has some ammonite and jade pieces and plans to expand his line of product to include rubies and sapphires. Although not my style of jewelry, I am very appreciative to the work Dave dedicates to his pieces.

I also had the opportunity to speak with Florence Weber about the art exhibition. Florence informed me that she has been working within Wood Buffalo for 20 years and feels that the arts community is strong and the idea to showcase local artwork within Frames and More was something that’s always been close to her heart. Florence informed me that future discussions with local groups such as the Artists Forum and the Arts and Craft Guild would potentially generate new faces to be showcased at the Carol Breen art gallery. Florence also stated she doesn’t have any upcoming plans to develop a website and is very comfortable with how well the word of mouth has worked in favor of the art exhibitions. She did not put a call out to the community to recruit artists for the exhibitions but mentioned that a few artists informed her that they appreciate the approach to be included in exhibitions and openings so Florence will be making more of an effort to do so.

Take the time this week to visit the Frames and More second art exhibition and of course, tell your friends.


1 comment:

  1. Ofcourse Amy is a class apart and kudos to Florence for giving her the required launchpad! At the launch of the Northword 4th Ed, I spotted a lovely face painted by CB, beautiful!