CANMORE – For local artist Meg Nicks, art has always been something she knew would be her path in life. Dating back to childhood, she had been fascinated by the artistic and natural worlds.
“It is something I have always done, since I was a little kid,” Nicks said. “I think there was never any question in my mind that that would be a path for me to follow.”
Now, that path has led her to be the feature artist at the Canmore Art Guild this month during its latest exhibit. She uses various materials and combines them in her artwork, which varies from collage, mixed media, drawing, photography, and acrylic. The work on display at the Canmore Art Guild comes from various parts of her artistic career.
“Some of it represents a little more deep in my past and some of it is more along the lines of what I am doing right now," she said.
Her work often focuses on microscopy to reveal what is often unnoticed, with an emphasis on the mountain environment.
“I am focusing on aspects of climate issues since we are seeing so much change right now,” Nicks said. “I am here because I love being in the mountains and I am always reflecting on that landscape and what it means to us.”
In the past, Nicks would create labour-intensive drawings but the interest in the work was not strong at the time. At the same time, a virus paralyzed her dominant hand for six months, forcing her to find a new art style.
“Slowly, the use of my hand came back, and it was challenging to work under those conditions,” Nicks said. “What I did was I moved to collage because it was easier to manipulate the components.”
Since then, collage has become something that Nicks enjoys working with, especially as it allows her to often use her own photography.
“Collage work is really important to me, but I am looking right now to go back to a combination of collage and drawing,” Nicks said.
The hope, according to Nicks, for those who see her art is that they begin to see the connections that are so important in our lives.
“Understanding our connections to everything is very important and I want to explore how to best express the connections so others can feel it,” Nicks said. “You have to move into people’s feelings and heart realms, or it doesn’t mean much otherwise.”
At the Canmore Art Gallery this month, several other artists are also featured, although Nicks has the highest number of works on display.
“We like to have a range of work to show people that we are inclusive, we are trying to spread the word that if you are creative in any media, you can show at the gallery,” said Heather Wood, a long-time member of the art guild. “We have a really good cross section right now of different pieces.”
Some of the artists on display at the gallery include Lynn Kemshead, Gillian Quinn, Peter Fuhrmann and Jannis Allan Hare. Several new members also have their work on display including Karen Freeman, Puck Jones and Tanya Mezina.
This month, Wood would like that those who come to the exhibit to be able to get whatever is important to them out of the artwork.
“You see in the image whatever it is you relate to. It is a language that has many messages depending on the receiver,” Wood said. “Our mission at the gallery is to provide a place for people to be creative and hopefully people who come in and view the creative work that is there, that is going to stimulate them as well.”