Prince Edward County’s Newspaper of Record
May 18, 2024
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April 17, 2024
Volume 194 No. 16

Gallery Crawl

In which the Gazette samples the art on offer in Picton this month
<p>Portia ‘Po’ Chapman with cashmere rope by Sara Torrie. (Photo: Submitted)</p>
Portia ‘Po’ Chapman with cashmere rope by Sara Torrie. (Photo: Submitted)

Last Saturday was already set to be busy, thanks to an influx of visitors in advance of the full solar eclipse. And then by serendipitous coincidence, not one, not two, but three Picton galleries announced openings and receptions.

A spontaneously organized Downtown Picton Gallery Crawl gave each space its moment in the sun.

All three exhibitions are collective shows. They highlight artists working in complementary spheres of practice or influence. Most works are for sale, and all are within walking distance of each other.

First Stop 

The Royal’s Barlow Room (6 Ross Street) was packed for the opening reception of Gather, A Textile Sampler. Many of the artists were present, and visitors were engaged in deep conversation and consideration of the pieces.

Curated by Bay Woodyard and Bear Epp, and sponsored by Chetwyn Farms, works on display demonstrated the diversity and versatility of fibre art by artists, traditional crafters, and contemporary makers. Ranging from sumptuous, like Sara Torrie’s heavy on the soft, a collection of ropes made of colourful cashmere and merino wool remnants, to striking, as is Bay Woodyard’s Rewilding Blanket, designed to look like a mossy forest floor, the show is a knockout. Don’t miss Renee Lortie’s Bluest Shore and Glacial, two abstract, undulating hand weavings. Eva Ennist’s spiky, staccato hangings, titled Blunted Sight #1 and #2 suggest the sculptural.

Bay Woodyard and Bear Epp curators of A Textile Sampler. (Photo: Submitted)

Portia ‘Po’ Chapman’s drum, Sharing Wisdom: Tending to Nature’s Little Ones, is another standout, as was her artist talk the next day about the process of drum making.

Other exhibitors include Valerie Carew, Nell Casson, Megan Fitzgerald, Mandy Forbes, Shannon Gerard, Jessica Leigh, Alisa McRonald, Tammy Ratcliff, Bill Stearman, and Belove Unlimited.

There are two more workshops: Community Rope Making with Sara Torrie and Shannon Gerard on April 13 from 1-3pm, and an embroidery stitch-in with Nell Casson on April 21 from 1-4pm.

If the quality of the work in the Barlow Room is any indication, Gather’s upcoming Modern Textile Market on June 15 at the Crystal Palace is a can’t-miss event.

The show runs until April 28.

Second Stop

Lunare, at Kindred (165 Main Street), is in the gallery tucked behind the shop. Kindred owner Tamara Steinborn’s handcrafted, silver-edged stained-glass moons are awe-inspiring when viewed as a collection. Strings of single crescents in every colour and pattern adorn the room, along with vertical and horizontal mobiles playing out the moon’s phases—plus a few bright cats thrown in for good measure. Paintings by Beata Kruszynski offer a soft and surreal exploration of the moon’s effects, a perfect complement. A steady stream of visitors enjoyed the experience. Show runs to May 6.

Third Stop 

The grand opening of Picton’s newest hair salon, Proudest Pony PEC (281B Main Street, at the end of Lipson’s Laneway) doubled as a reception for a new show by the Radiator Collective, who focus on the lo-fi and DIY.

Curated by fibre artist Erynn Ahren, the show features over 40 works, by Proudest Pony owner Ashley Brewsmith, Alex Currie, Laura Jean, Erynn Ahren, Tomas Del Balso, B Sargeant, Lee Bedford, David Rendall, Hri Neill, and Sky Anderson.

The show ranges from paintings to fibre art to jewelry by Skullbug Creates.

Big kudos to Ms. Brewsmith for making room for community magic to happen. It was heartwarming to see the art in Carbon Art and Design’s former space. Keep an eye out for the Radiator Collective’s next offerings. Community-driven art that’s accessible feels more necessary now than ever. The show runs until April 26. 

Leigh Nash is publisher at Assembly Press.

This text is from the Volume 194 No. 16 edition of The Picton Gazette
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