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New Art Guild exhibit explores minimalist views around us

“Minimalism is by definition, to my experience, often found on more simplified landscapes. They exist in mountainous areas but I found them easier to find in rural landscapes, in agricultural communities. I think a lot of people look to these and relate to the themes they see in front of them.”

CANMORE – A new month means a new series of artwork being showcased at the Canmore Art Guild.

Running from Sept. 29 to Oct. 30, the featured artist for the exhibit is Kevin McCormick, whose photography focuses on landscapes and wildlife but he has recently been exploring minimalist aspects of those subjects.

“I have always had an interest in minimalist and I have gone back and looked at my images, from five, six, seven years ago, and they have a minimalist approach to them,” McCormick said. “I pursued it a little more over the last year. I thought I had enough pieces that I could use that as a theme for the show.”

McCormick worked as a wildlife biologist before he retired, which now gives him more of an opportunity to pursue his hobby of photography.

“Photography is the perfect excuse to get you out there,” McCormick said. “There are other reasons, too, as it helps you relive some of the attractive scenes you come across. It also means to share those experiences with others.”

With his background as a biologist, McCormick sees the inherent beauty of the natural world, but looks deeper into the areas most people don’t tend to notice on a quick drive through the mountains.

“I am of the view that the natural world has a lot of inherent beauty in it,” McCormick said. “I think a lot of people appreciate it on one level, but don’t see everything that it has to offer. If you don’t stop to think about it, to fully appreciate it, you may overlook the beauty that is there in front of your eyes.”

McCormick is not the only artist with work at the guild this month. The glass mosaics of Brenda Heine, the felt landscapes of Dana Roman, and the wood and copper collages of Karen Freeman are on display. As well, the drawings and paintings of Claudia Schellenberg and Jannis Allan Hare are featured.

“Some work by Canmore Art Guild members, who have been members for quite a lot of time, they were showing work that was quite unique and different from what they did before,” said Art Guild member Heather Wood.

In speaking of McCormick, Wood said he brings something that is quite different from his past photography to the exhibit this month.

“They are all quite different from the work he has shown before,” Wood said. “He is an amazing photographer. A lot of his work in the gallery is very minimal in its colour usage and in black and white with subtle shading.”

Overall, Wood is excited about the exhibit for October, which blends a wide variety of styles from local artists.

“It comes together in an eccentric and random way. I am amazed at how amazing the show is because it all comes together in a random way,” Wood said. “In the last eight months, it has been amazing the variety of work that has come in and it has gone together well.”

As for McCormick, he hopes his photography helps people appreciate what might be considered mundane in the landscape, and to see what is in front of them.

“Minimalism is by definition, to my experience, often found on more simplified landscapes,” McCormick said. “They exist in mountainous areas but I found them easier to find in rural landscapes, in agricultural communities. I think a lot of people look to these and relate to the themes they see in front of them.”