Gallery events and art shows
Alone Together is a body of figurative work by Kristina Campbell with a monumental scale that wrapped around the gallery walls. For Campbell, a counsellor and an artist, this exhibition directly speaks to the lingering consequences of the social experience of pandemic lockdowns and contagion prevention strategies, as well as escalating polarization, that has created an increase in people with social anxiety, and estrangement from family and friends over social, cultural and political differences, leaving many with a sense that we are 'alone together’.
No More Secrets
Sue Muirhead is a lover of deep connection, the wild, windy world, and passionate, soulful art creation. She is committed to sinking into the profound and meaningful aspects of our human existence – living fully with curiousity and a deep sense of awe. Process art (art without an investment in the outcome) has become her most enlivening way of expressing and processing thoughts and feelings. With ‘No More Secrets’ Sue calls each of us to more truth and love, sharing our wounds and scars and creating brave space together.
Steampunk’d featured a curated collection of island artists. Martha Ponting, Pat Acton, Wilma Millette, Jeff Hartbower and Daniel Needham are up-cycling the past to create a future that never existed. Our technological future has once again reached into the past, creating yet another parallel universe for us to wonder at, and rendering the first wave of a steampunk future now officially nostalgic.
Creature Comforts presented a curated collection of Vancouver Island artists: Jacques De Backer, Penny Eder, Ian Fry, David Heath, John Janzen, Josephine Olivier, Ina-Griet Raatz von Hirschhausen, and Karen Segee as they examine our complex, and often contradictory, relationships with the animals we share this planet with.
This exhibition features creatures from majestic to cuddly, realistic to imaginative, and wild to tame, and with a touch of the comical.
Artful : The Gallery presents ‘Ancient Songs’, a solo exhibition of local multi-media artist Kristina Campbell. Campbell has reached back through her Danish ancestry to explore Viking culture and bring the Nordic gods to life in this exhibition. Her mythopoetic sensibility as an artist is an expression of her belief that access to human wisdom is contained in all world mythologies.
Presented by a quartet of well-known Comox Valley artists, this exhibition demonstrates their willingness to reach into the shadowed corners of life for inspiration. Bravely looking squarely into the face of the existential questions raised by having lived long and large, these four artists examine what it means to approach death with conscious awareness.
Green Banner/Open Studio Tour
Artists from throughout the Comox Valley, and as far away as Bowser and Campbell River filled the walls of Artful : The Gallery to sample their work for the first Open Studio Tour in several years. The exhibition offered one or two highlights from most of the artists involved in the tour, providing a great way to sample the tour, or focus your touring on your favourite artists.
Locality: Space and Time
The summer show at Artful : The Gallery saw a curated collection of 8 eclectic local artists, gathered together under one theme: location, location, location!
Art can have a particular way of speaking to the question of “Where am I?” Here, there, nowhere, somewhere…each piece represents a unique space and time, a melding of past, present and future. As the worlds of artist and viewer collide with curiosity and connection, the air at the intersection is palpable, and inhaling fills you with the recognition of "ahhhh….this moment, this place.”
Paul E. Nelson
Cascadia Poetics LAB
Poet and interviewer, Paul E. Nelson, was the feature poet at Artful’s Open Mic. Nelson is one of the co-founders, and current director, of the Cascadia Poetics LAB and the Cascadia Poetry Festival, and a professional journalist that has created over 600 hours of interview programming with legendary poets (yes, Allen Ginsberg is on the list!) and whole systems activists. Nelson is engaged in a 20-year bioregional cultural investigation of Cascadia, and lives in Rainier Beach, in the Cascadia bioregion’s Cedar River watershed. He writes an American Sentence everyday.
Adele Irving and Sheila Norgate
Two Island authors have productively used Covid to bring their memoirs to press. Adele Irving and Sheila Norgate have both taken years (and years!) to bring their efforts to completion, and luckily for us, neither of them gave up. Two different stories, two different worldviews, two talented women courageously and vulnerably sharing their life stories for our entertainment, for our edification, and to inspire our own self-examination.
I have a few copies of both books at Artful : The Gallery
as well if you’re looking for a good read.
Daniel Needham's exquisite craftsmanship elevates his disdain for the sacred…well...to the level of sacred.
Describing his work as post-catholic, Needham now derives great pleasure in re-interpreting and re-illustrating biblical tales to deliver a more humanist (and humorous) version. Needham is not apathetic to his religious upbringing and sees that his mission is to re-illustrate the stories of Catholicism, making post-Catholic work for the next millennia.
More Than Paint
Transitions: More Than Paint is the visual record of the lifetimeof Victoria artist Virginia Whitehead. Documenting half a century of artistic production this retrospective summation culminates with her prolific pandemic production of the Angles of Healing Series.
Created within the time capsule of Covid, Angles of Healing illustrates Whitehead’s exploration of trauma and healing, both personal and collective, through the timeless and universal symbol of the hand.
May 6th, 2022
Richard Olafson, Founder and Publisher of Ekstasis Editions and the Pacific Rim Review of Books, finished off his 40th Anniversary Island Tour: The Death and Rebirth of Critical Thinking, here at Artful : The Gallery.
The event marked the launch of Sean Arthur Joyce's 'Words From The Dead' and the gallery piano got some love from jazz singer Carol Sokoloff during the event.
Words From The Dead
Artful : The Gallery opened the 2022 exhibition series with a curated collection of four exceptional Vancouver Island artists; Leonard Butt, Gary Dillon, Bill Friesen and Jeff Hartbower. Each presented their own vision of man, through sculpture and painting. Utilizing the rich context of history, archetypes, memories and lifespan, each piece speaks volumes on how men, at least these men, are reflecting on what it means to be a man.
Cover Up : Artist Talk
Damian John spoke to a (Covid constricted) full house at Artful on the evening of November 18th, having just managed to get to the coast before BC highways descended into flooding chaos.
The full talk was recorded and can be watched if you are interested in seeing more of the show and hearing Damian speak to his work.
Cover Up, by Tl’azt'en artist Damian John, is an exploration of the cultural genocide perpetuated by church and state; british empire, canadian government, protestant and catholic churches.
It moves us toward the underbelly of things, places we prefer to hide away from.
“As humans, the best thing we do is create beauty.” Damian believes that through the act of creation we get better, and that we can work on this relational space between us, creating art as an invocation to relationship.
Maiden Mother & Crone
Maiden Mother & Crone spoke to two themes. First, the ongoing disparities in the art world, well documented by the Guerrilla Girls. In our public art institutions, just over 10% of the artists, according to their “weenie counts”… that’s about a 7% increase in just under 40 years. Unless of course one is naked…then women represent 85% of the nudes on display.
I'm a woman, and an artist, and I just made the whole damn show about women. It wasn’t even difficult.
Secondly, this exhibition sought to examine the tropes of womanhood, and gazing around the space one is struck by the humanity of this show. The gallery full of women, all kinds of women: strong, vulnerable, celebratory, sorrowful, introspective, and challenging.
The summer was spent in good company!
Eros : Out of the Darkness and Into the Light
A curated collection of paintings and drawings featuring the work of Gary Dillon and an excellent cast of supporting artists.
Eros represents the generative, creative life instinct; desire, love, sex, vitality and profound creativity. 2021 was ushered in with a life-affirming, sensual celebration of the erotic.
A toast to 2021…and to life!
Bikes & Barbies
Mark Henderson’s graphic works represent the formatting, display, and packaging of information that pervade our culture. His fascination with information, its' manipulation, and subsequent interpretation that shapes our opinions and behaviours resonates throughout his art.
Whether Mark is designing large painting panels or building custom bike frames, Marks’ satirical sensibility results in jarring absurdity as we look into the mirror of our world. Information overload influences his work in the form of misconstrued meanings, encoded messages, and brain overload, all the while we seek to be entertained.
Dancing Through Despair
Two Vancouver Island artists have joined forces for an intriguing juxtaposition of their art, bringing together their diverse styles for an entertaining and lively exhibition.
Each has come to art via the circuitous route of their full lives. A lifetimes worth of travel, creativity and varied interests has led them to now and they are emphatically ‘Still up for it!’ Bringing the work of these two artists together has created a dynamic and fascinating narrative, every bit as engaging as the two friends in conversation.
And the Gallery opens!
Artful's opening had been scheduled for March of 2020...
we plan and the Gods laugh.
Artful opened its doors without much fanfare in May of 2020.