New art opens the new year at Vernon Public Art Gallery

Nicole Young’s Mission, mixed media on canvas,is one of the artworks on display in new exhibitions at the Vernon Public Art Gallery. - Photo submitted
Nicole Young’s Mission, mixed media on canvas,is one of the artworks on display in new exhibitions at the Vernon Public Art Gallery.
— image credit: Photo submitted

A Vernon-raised artist is about to show how she has turned her paintings into 3D sculptures.

Katherine Pickering, who is now based in Kelowna, is showing lean, stumble, spill, sway, fold, one of four exhibitions opening at the Vernon Public Art Gallery.

“The presentation style of Katherine Pickering’s acrylic on canvas paintings is truly something to see and experience in person as she liberates her paintings into three dimensional sculptures,” said VPAG executive director Dauna Kennedy Grant.

Pickering’s work starts as two-dimensional paintings, and are then cut and shaped into three-dimensional sculptures built entirely from canvas.

“One can argue that these paintings/sculptures transcend both disciplines. The paintings are liberated from (their) rectangular format, and the sculptures are not defined solely by the physicality of media, but carry an additional meaning encapsulated in the painting on canvas from which it was created,” said VPAG curator Lubos Culen.

Pickering will give an artist talk on her process at the VPAG Feb. 4 at 1 p.m.

Also on exhibition is the work of Vernon’s Amber Powell and Kelowna-based artist Nicole Young.

The exhibition Third Drawer Down, produced by Powell, includes a body of mixed media and collage works on paper, which address the existential aspects of the human condition in contemporary society both on global and individual levels.

“The context of Powell’s work is conceptually married to the tenets of the Dada movement, specifically of its mockery of materialistic and nationalistic attitudes,” said Culen. “Powell’s images create narratives that often contain serious messages which are in turn subverted by a gentle humour and general sense of lightness. The objects and characters in Powell’s narratives are often suspended mid-air and liberated from the predictable influence of the Earth’s gravity. This leaves an implied narrative in flux and is interpretable according to the viewers’ associations based on visual clues contained in the work of art.”

Young’s exhibition, Rivers and Roads to Find You, consists of paintings and sketches she produced during her artistic residency in Iceland together with larger paintings produced after her return to Kelowna.

The paintings produced in her studio are based on photographs, en plain air sketches, and Young’s memories of geomorphology of places, rock formations, ice floes and icebergs.

“This exhibition documents a personalized narrative of the artist and the new landscape together with her memories of places and the people who inhabit them,” said Culen. “The installation of the artworks has a diaristic quality, which is also referenced by the display of Young’s sketchbook, which contains an itinerary of her time spend in artistic residence.”

Joining the solo artists is the Kama? Creative Aboriginal Arts Collective, who together reflect on siwɬkʷ, the Syilx word for water, and the role it plays on our lives locally and globally.

“Within the exhibition, WATER: The Sacred Relationship, the Kama? Creative Aboriginal Arts Collective artists reflect on the sacredness of siwɬkʷ (water), and acknowledge and honour their relationship with siwɬkʷ,” said Kennedy Grant. “The artists delve into the deep relationship with that which gives us all life, and sharing traditional conversations in hopes of awakening the rivers within.”

All four exhibitions open with a reception Thursday, Jan. 12  from 6-8 p.m. at the Vernon Public Art Gallery. Patrons can enjoy an evening of art, music, appies, beer, wine, and punch.

For more information, visit vernonpublicartgallery.com.


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