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CAG abstract show offers freedom to artists and viewers

Write your story here... The Second Annual Abstract Show in Canmore Art Guild Gallery will open on April 13 with a reception at 7 p.m.
Barb Fyvie’s Paradox 2, (oil and cold wax).
Barb Fyvie’s Paradox 2, (oil and cold wax).

Write your story here... The Second Annual Abstract Show in Canmore Art Guild Gallery will open on April 13 with a reception at 7 p.m.

Participating artists are Wanda Ellerbeck, Peig Abbott, Pascale Ouellet, Joan Dunkley, Jan Kabatoff, Helen Cyr, Dawn Saunders-Dahl, David Foxcroft, Dana Roman, Claudia Shellenberg, Catharine Findlay, Barb Fyvie and Anne Noel-Martin, with most of the contributing artists present on opening night.

Besides wall art, local sculptor Peig Abbot has used stone to carve abstract sculptures and Joan Dunkley has utilized natural materials including roots and bark to sculpt her abstract pieces.

The exhibit will also include guest artists Jan Kabatoff and David Foxcroft exhibiting alongside Canmore Art Guild artists, offering a diverse and exciting mixture of abstract art.

“For non-realistic stuff we need a non-realistic art – for example, we express our moods well with the abstract images, but it is usually left up to the viewer to interpret the abstract art,” said CAG member Dana Roman of the special relationship between the abstract artist and their audience.

Kabatoff states, “abstract art is a lot like entering the unknown, where an artist is guided more by intuition and the calling of the creative impulse, than by the workings of the mind.”

Last year’s inaugural abstract exhibit was very successful, with guild members hoping to make the exhibit an annual event.

“With abstract art, the artist has total freedom, they have no rules, which makes it even more creative and, as you read in their statements, some of them don’t want to talk about it because then you label it,” Roman said.

“You inhibit the creativity in viewing and yet other artists love titles and think a simple two word title might help explain the painting at least to them. It’s so different and each painting and approach to it is so different and that’s what’s so great about abstract art.”

Artist Pascale Ouellet’s inaugural piece Sans Titre #5 is part of a series she debuted last year as part of the first exhibit. Sans titre is French for untitled, or without title.

“There is a reason why I wanted my painting to be without a title. I truly think that abstract art is the only kind of art where you don’t need to guide the viewer,” Ouellet said.

“The viewer is indeed free to travel in their own head, meeting its imagination and personal feelings. There is no need for words or guidance on how to interpret the piece, I want the emotions to be raw and without a framework.”

Fyvie states she builds her abstract environment to reflect her physical environment in Canmore; where monumental geometric architectural elements juxtapose the organic calligraphic flow of nature.

“My memories of walking through the wilderness around Canmore and the emotions I experience there are my subject matter. For me, the only way to fully demonstrate those emotions is through abstraction,” Fyvie said.

Dunkley says her inspiration often comes from the wonder and amazement she experiences in paying close attention to some detail, pattern or process of the natural world.

“I am thrilled and intrigued to work with found natural and earth materials, to experience direct contact with them, to explore them and their processes, to learn from them. I carry this direct encounter into my art works and on into the gallery,” Dunkley said.

Foxcroft states his fascination with interiors is exemplified by the strategic placement of colour, tonal variances and mixed media miscellany. References to his knowledge of art history, everyday occurrences and life in general are randomly, yet precisely revealed.

The abstract art exhibit will run until April 25, and the gallery will be open every day from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Canmore Art Guild Gallery is located in Elevation Place, (700 Railway Ave.) in Canmore.

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