Each room of the Silver Star home is designed with the purpose of celebrating art.
From the tall stairway in the entrance whose walls are adorned with beautiful fibre art and paintings to the ornate glasswork casting its radiant gaze across the kitchen, Gallery Odin is a place that celebrates art. And, as owners Kalman and Maria Molnar set to work hanging the pieces for their upcoming Winter Exhibition — which opens Thursday, Nov. 23 from 6 to 10 p.m. and Saturday, Nov. 25 from 1 to 6 p.m. — it’s a place that has celebrated all things art for 16 years.
“That’s a lot of years now that we think about it,” Maria says, sipping her glass of French chardonnay. “Sixteen years ago, we just had the one room.”
Now, nearly two decades later, the gallery has filled the Molnars’ warm, inviting home, with nearly every inch of wall showcasing work of largely British Columbian painters.
“The challenging thing is to come up with new works, new displays, new artists,” Kalman says, also while swirling his wine.
“And still accommodate the artists who have been with us since the start,” Maria adds.
While the home is full of beautiful pieces, ranging in size from small blown-glass bowls to 36×60 portraits, the path through the elaborate display is finely-tuned by Kalman and Maria, each piece simultaneously flowing in to the next and standing out as a dominating demonstration of creativity.
As Maria and Kalman guide the tour through the kitchen, wine still in hand, the picturesque landscape paintings of Rod Charlesworth and Peter Stuhlmann take pole position on the walls in the small entrance room.
“He’s a force to be reckoned with,” Kalman says of Charlesworth. “We combined Rod with Peter and it just worked.”
Through the closed door opposite the entrance, Karel Doruyter’s acrylic buildup peers through the glass, beckoning patrons to pass through and enter the gallery’s grand hall.
“He has been selling so well that he has a hard time keeping up with demand,” Maria says, motioning toward Doruyter’s work as she steps into the large room.
Standing stoicly on a table to the right of the entrance past Doruyter’s piece, Doug Alcock’s impressive combination of forged steel and Montpetit glasswork catches the eye.
“We have known Doug personally since we moved to the valley 20 years ago,” Kalman says of Alcock. “We are very happy he is with us now for the Winter Show.”
Previously having pieces too large to fit in the Molnars’ home gallery, Maria and Kalman found three ornate works of his to put on display.
“It adds a new dimension,” Maria says, adding that they have shown his larger works in their outdoor summer wine show, which runs in tandem with the Mile High Wine and Music Festival.
“He’s very good to deal with,” Kalman says. “He understands the art scene and it’s a pleasure to have him.”
Of Alcock’s additions to the exhibition are a factual representation of a bird, the abstract steel and glasswork and a commanding sculpture of a human figure.
Also new to the Winter Exhibition is Quebec-born and Canmore-based artist Pascal Ouellet, a.k.a Bigoudi.
“We try to keep the gallery just to B.C. artists,” Maria says.
Ouellet’s work is a tour through the whimsical, with vibrant and inviting colours juxtaposed with stunningly accurate depictions of animals. Though her work doesn’t stop there. In the Molnars’ living room stands a larger- than-life portrait of a woman, likely Ouellet’s sister or cousin, who bears a remarkable resemblance to the artist.
“The reason why we show her is because we love her stuff and love her creative work,” Kalman says.
Light reflects off the fluffy white snow and pours in from the large windows in the small room adjacent to the grand hall where Ouellet’s painting of a cow, placed over a black background with white polka dots, and Teri Paul’s substantial abstract work has a commanding presence. Paul was also featured in the summer wine show.
“Before we closed the wine festival show, we asked her to join the Winter Show,” Kalman recalls.
Standing in the small, bright room surrounded by Paul and Ouellet’s work and looking into the large room provides a bisection of British Columbian art and artists, with talent both local and provincial, such as Destanne Norris, Barry Rafuse, Glenn Clark, Sharda Murray-Kieken, Jerry R. Markham, Wendy Hart Penner, Julia Trops, Lynne Grillmair, Bonnie Anderson, Edward Epp, Dawn Piché, Al Scott, Derek M Lynch, Elizabeth Moore, Peter Lawson, Dana Roman, Charlene Woodbury, Deborah Wilson, Patricia Ennis, Bryan Ryley, Ginny Hall and Lumel Studios on display.
“We are very loyal to our artists,” Kalman says.
“We just absolutely love everything we show,” Maria adds.
And, as the gallery owners sit adjacent to the living room, wine still in hand, it’s clear that for them, that’s what it’s all about.
“That’s the whole idea,” Kalman says. “Now it’s in our veins. It’s in our blood.”