BANFF – After a rocky start to its opening, Banff’s Sideshow Gallery is preparing to host its first soirée.
Located in Harmony Lane, the gallery initially opened Feb. 15 but had to close nearly a month later due to COVID-19.
Local artist Marcos Molina’s solo show Glaciers and Peaks has been on display in the gallery since July 2. A reception is scheduled for Tuesday (Sept. 15) from 6-10 p.m.
“It didn’t make sense to do a large opening reception in July, but now that people are a little more comfortable, why not come and enjoy a night out and check out some local art?” Molina said.
Molina’s show marks the first to open in the gallery since the first scheduled exhibition was indefinitely postponed.
The evening will be co-hosted by the Radiant to ensure a physically-distanced evening. Guests will have the opportunity to meet the artist, get a private tour of the show and enjoy refreshments.
As an avid outdoorsman, each of Molina’s painting begins with his own adventure through cascading rivers of ice, dramatic ice cliffs, and the high mountain summits of the Canadian Rockies and Columbia Mountains.
“I like to get out and ski tour or hike with my family, Usually I don’t have the time to sketch while I’m out in the backcountry, so I will just take pictures for reference and use those when I start painting,” said Molina.
“I’m fascinated by these landscapes. You see these glaciers, which are these huge living things … you almost feel like they will never change, but we know that is not the case. These paintings are just a moment in time showcasing their beauty.”
Painting is something Molina has only started to take seriously in the past four years and has no formal training. Molina said he has always been skilled at drawing and wanted to make the transition to painting. He received a degree in animation while living in Australia, and applies the artistic techniques he learned overseas to his paintings.
“It wasn’t painting, but I was able to learn a lot about composition, colour and lighting through that degree and use what I learned in my paintings.”
Over the course of a year-and-a-half, Molina also learned one-on-one with renowned Canadian landscape artist Roger D. Arndt.
“I saw his work at Canada House and I wanted to learn the techniques he used. I was able to work on the underlying skills like layering and brushwork. He was in Kelowna, so over that time I made about seven trips out there to learn from him.”
Instead of painting on canvass, Molina uses a custom-prepared art panel to achieve the smooth painting surface. Molina said oftentimes more than six hours of work goes into building his panels even before any paint touches the surface.
Throughout the summer, Molina has been painting inside the gallery as a way to draw interest to the show.
“The response was great. I’ve been able to meet people from all over Canada and showcase my work, and that’s what I hope to do at the reception – is to get as many eyes on my work as possible,” Molina said. “As an artist who lives in Banff, I am very honoured to be able to showcase the beauty of the mountains.”
In the spirit of giving back to the community, Molina will be donating a percentage of print and painting sales from the evening to three local organizations – the YWCA Banff Women's Emergency Shelter, CPAWS Southern Alberta, and Eagles Nest Stoney Family Shelter.
For those interested in attending the event it is encouraged to RSVP by emailing email@example.com.