Marking the Valley Art Exhibition and Reception

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SAVE THE DATE: Monday, September 29, 2014

Join us for A Juried Art Exhibition and Reception

Visual Arts Alberta ~ CARFAC has partnered with the River Valley Alliance to showcase the Capital Region River Valley through artwork!

We are pleased to report  that dozens of artists were inspired by our beautiful river valley and submitted artworks for the juried exhibition Marking the Valley. Artworks have now been selected and 28 artists will be featured in the exhibition, which opens August 28, 2014 at the Kaasa Gallery at the Northern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium.

Chris Carson, Executive Director of Visual Arts Alberta – CARFAC, says the river valley really was the muse and inspiration for the artists. They used paint on canvas and paper, charcoal, pen and ink, mixed media, stained glass—and even felting—to depict aspects of the river valley.

The exhibition represents parts of the river valley from Devon to Fort Saskatchewan, the stretch of municipalities that encompass the River Valley Alliance. Some artists worked realistically, looking at the valley from a distance, while others focused on objects and detritus they found on walks in the river valley. Several artists were intrigued with the concept of what a river means, while others abstracted meaning they found in nature.

The artworks reflect the beauty of the river valley and what it contributes to the region—connecting communities and improving the quality of life for everyone in the region.

Marking the Valley  will be at the Kaasa Gallery, Northern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium until mid-October 2014. It will then move to the Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium from mid-October until late November 2014.

Marking the Valley is an initiative of the River Valley Alliance and Visual Arts Alberta – CARFAC.

The artists featured in Marking the Valley are:

Debra Bachman
Carroll Charest
Patricia Coulter
Susan Diebel
Father Douglas
Gerald Faulder
Lori Frank
Elaine Funnell
Wendy Gervais
Shane Golby
Nicole Hiebert
Lesley Lambert
Rosalette Mandryk
Tracey Mardon
Byron McBride
Anne McCormick
Leona Olausen
Jozé Olvera
Deltra Powney
Nina Robertson
Helen Rogers
Leanne Schnierer
Elisa Sereno-Janz
Alison Service
Gerald St. Maur
Natasa Vretenar
David Yowney
GuoQuan Zheng

See the original article from the River Valley Alliance here

East meets West in eyecatching Art Beat show

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He’s the last on the list of the alphabetical painters represented at Art Beat Gallery, and one of the newest to grace its walls. GuoQuan Zheng was born in Shanghai but seems to have come from a long line of Old Masters to bring his European-influenced works with a soul from the Far East all the way to St. Albert. What local gallery goers will get is the best of all worlds.

“He told me that when he took art lessons, everything was about realism,” offered Brigitte Barrantes, gallery owner. “He could make a realistic painting in a perfect way but once you live the lessons, he has to find his own style, he has to find his own colours and his own flavours.”

The flavours that he has found are pastel pink and blue candy floss sunset skies, fiery forests in the fall and pristine azure blue waters of some ridiculously beautiful lakes, rivers and other waterways.

Those other waterways include some canals, complete with gondolas. Yes indeed, there are a lot of European Romantic images side by side with some unmistakable Albertan picturesque landscape scenes. All are dreamlike in a way, and can easily lead to flights of fancy.

“He loves Impressionism which is what he follows. He loves his pink skies, greens and turquoise … anything but Realism.”

He knows his way around shadows and textures, bringing some great depth to river bends and forest groves. He is also adept at composing tricky street scenes, capturing just the right amount of shadows and reflected light in what is otherwise a pathway immersed in murky darkness. It’s not a small skill, something he has certainly continued to develop over decades of dedication to his craft.

After his formal education ended, he taught fine arts and graphic design at Shanghai’s China Textile University. Now, he’s teaching us how he sees the world.

“It’s not something we see a lot of here especially in this gallery. It was the point to bring somebody different and to appreciate a different style of painting. They’re exquisite like Matisse. You do see a lot of the Eastern influence. They could be really simple landscapes but when he puts it on canvas, there’s a real richness and depth to it. You can see it. There’s a lot of Romanticism in his paintings.”

“Obviously this is not what he sees but he interprets it completely different. His point isn’t to copy. It’s to find what he loves in his own style, which he believes is the purpose of any artist.”

See the original article from the St. Albert Gazette here by Scott Hayes.