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Hot Art

Artist Spotlight: Michel Saint Hilaire

Courtesy Michel Saint Hilaire.

Courtesy Michel Saint Hilaire.

If you’ve wandered the streets of Winnipeg, you’ve likely seen some of Michel Saint Hilaire’s work. An accomplished muralist, the Winnipeg artist also creates arresting contemporary pieces that blend seemingly disparate media, inspiration, style, and emotion into an incredible whole.

Michel found his calling in grade school and spent years honing his ability, drawing floor plans of houses and classic cars, a precursor to the architecturally influenced style of his later work. After two years of University training in Fine Arts, where he was taught by renowned Winnipeg artist Ivan Eyre, he began selling his art and painting murals full time.

Though he originally worked solely in pencil, Michel now blends media, usually pencil and acrylic, to create a layered effect punched with contemporary flourishes of line and colour.

Courtesy of Michel Saint Hilaire.

Courtesy of Michel Saint Hilaire.

His latest work was inspired by a 3 week residency in Moncton, NB, during which time he painted roughly 20 portraits of community members. He became enthralled with the unique qualities and complexity of faces, and set out to recreate the experiment with Winnipeg muses. The resulting exhibit, which begins in January, originally featured members of the city’s French speaking arts community, but has evolved to include portraits of famous figures, a mannequin, and the likeness of reclusive photographer Vivian Meier, whose work was recently discovered posthumously. “I started from a place of nurturing my home and community,” says Michel, “Then expanded to painting people that I don’t know, then to pieces that touch on global and environmental issues.”

Michel’s collection of portraits will be exhibited at La Galerie inside the Centre Culturel Franco-Manitobain from January 26. 340 Provencher Blvd, 204‑233‑8972, monmichel.com

Hot Art: January and February

Exhibits worth seeking out during your stay.

Courtesy of the Winnipeg Art Gallery.

Vernon Ah Kee: cantchant. Courtesy of the Winnipeg Art Gallery.

ACTS OF RECLAMATION

JAN-FEB

Two major exhibits at the Winnipeg Art Gallery explore the concept of land ownership through the intersection between Indigenous identity and sport. Boarder X features contemporary Indigenous artists from across Canada, drawing parallels between areas prohibiting snowboarding, or the surfer’s search for uncrowded waves, and the contested spaces of politics, identity, and land. Presented alongside this exhibit, Vernon Ah Kee: cantchant engages with territorial disputes centred around Australia’s beaches. Traditional Aboriginal designs and colours turn surfboards into works of cultural meaning. 300 Memorial Blvd, wag.ca

Drop Shadow by Nancy Kerr. Courtesy of Wayne Arthur Gallery.

Drop Shadow by Nancy Kerr. Courtesy of Wayne Arthur Gallery.

STRIKING SIMPLICITY

TO FEB 1

The Through Her Eyes Photography Collective presents an exhibit of black and white minimalist photography at the Wayne Arthur Gallery. Dramatically reduced design elements create imagery that is striking and thought-provoking, imbuing everyday items with unfamiliar beauty. 186 Provencher Blvd, waynearthurgallery.com

OTHER EXHIBITS

TO JAN 8: Our Land: Contemporary Art From the Arctic showcases artists from Canada’s north at the Winnipeg Art Gallery300 Memorial Blvd, wag.ca
TO JAN 19: Megan Krause’s abstracted landscapes act as a visual exploration of the effects of climate change and a rising global population in Fertile AshMennonite Heritage Centre Gallery, Canadian Mennonite University, 600 Shaftesbury Blvd, gallery.mennonitechurch.ca
TO JAN 19: Interna is a collection of non-objective abstract paintings by Dale Boldt. Mennonite Heritage Centre Gallery, Canadian Mennonite University, 600 Shaftesbury Blvd, gallery.mennonitechurch.ca
TO JAN 20:
Climate Changes by Mathieu Gotti explores the metamorphosis of animals in their environment at La Galerie inside the Centre Culturel Franco-Manitobain. 340 Provencher Blvd, ccfm.mb.ca
TO JAN 25: Christian Worthington’s Sermons To The Birds explores the influence of historical religious art in a secular post-modern world. Gurevich Fine Art, 2nd floor, 62 Albert St, gurevichfineart.com
JAN 6-24: 99 Pieces of Art on The Wall is an exhibit and sale featuring Cre8ery members. Pieces are priced $40-$200 and sold on site. Cre8ery, 2nd floor, 125 Adelaide St, cre8ery.com
JAN 6-FEB 4: Catch To Step is To Rise, a solo exhibition of new work by Montreal based artist Jeanette Johns, at Lisa Kehler Art + Projects. 171 McDermot Ave, lkap.ca
JAN 12-FEB 18: University of Winnipeg gallery, Gallery 1C03, displays video exhibition Moving Images. This group show features 23 short films and videos, including work by acclaimed filmmaker Guy Maddin. 1st floor, Centennial Hall, University of Winnipeg, 515 Portage Ave, uwinnipeg.ca/art-gallery
JAN 20-FEB 25: Hireath is a collection of pieces by printmaker Heather Lier exploring the nostalgia and wonderment of childhood memory. Martha Street Studio
11 Martha St, printmakers.mb.ca
FROM JAN 26: A collection of portraits by Michel Saint-Hilaire observes and questions our social environment, showing that we all have a story to tell. La Galerie inside the Centre Culturel Franco-Manitobain. 340 Provencher Blvd, ccfm.mb.ca
JAN 27-FEB 7: The Society of OUTstanding Artists group show features this collective formed through the LGBTQ Rainbow Resource Centre.Cre8ery, 2nd floor, 125 Adelaide St, cre8ery.com
FROM FEB 3: 
Wally Dion blends Indigenous craft with modern technology, drawing connections between quilts and circuit boards. Urban Shaman, 203‑290 McDermot Ave, urbanshaman.org
FROM FEB 3: Barry Ace’s Niibwa Ndanwendaagan (My Relatives) is a suite of Anishnaabe bandolier bags (or ‘friendship bags’) adorned with electronic components and a tablet screening historical family photographs and archival film of Indigenous peoples. Urban Shaman, 203‑290 McDermot Ave, urbanshaman.org
FROM FEB 3: The Manitoba Society of Artists exhibit Visual Voices in Manitoba, a group show highlighting emerging and professional visual artists in the province, at the Wayne Arthur Gallery. 186 Provencher Blvd, waynearthurgallery.com
FEB 9-21: Artworks featuring horses pay homage to the 43 horses recently killed in a barn fire in Ontario in the group show 43 Horses: Enduring Spirits. Cre8ery, 2nd floor, 125 Adelaide St, cre8ery.com
FROM FEB 10: Yapci Ramos’ Perras y Putas is an intimate dialogue through photography with women in prostitution in different parts of the world. Lisa Kehler Art + Projects, 171 McDermot Ave, lkap.ca

More Things To Do in Winnipeg:

Here & Now: Must-see and Do Activities During Your Stay
Why You Need to Visit the Canadian Museum for Human Rights
All About Winnipeg’s Convention Centre
Best New Restaurants 2016: What’s Hot Right Now for Food Lovers

Artist Spotlight: Larry Rich

Ancient Animal by Larry Rich

Ancient Animal by Larry Rich

Larry Rich fell in love with art the day he stepped foot in his University graphic design class. After realizing he lacked the patience for the technical aspects of design, he began exploring analog mediums like painting on canvas and live model drawing.

More than 20 years later, Rich’s work has been displayed all over the world, from Calgary to Italy. Known for his vibrant and textured paintings of Manitoba landscapes, Rich uses his surroundings for inspiration. Growing up as a city boy, captivated by different angles of the cityscape, led to his fascination with the spaces around us. From his current home just outside Winnipeg, he enjoys the closeness to nature that allows him to envision his next painting.

Each piece begins with one cohesive idea, but Rich allows creative spontaneity to take over. His textured, contemporary style of prairie abstracts is made by applying layers of acrylic paint with palette knives, brushes, spatulas and sponges. The result is a surface that is built up to create a three-dimensional effect. “I look at painting as a building process, as opposed to a painting process,” he says.

His goal for each piece is to convey mood by capturing ambient light. Techniques like gold leafing are used to produce an ethereal glow.

Rich’s background as a musician also informs his art. He approaches these two creative endeavours in much the same way, by using layers—whether of brush strokes or sound—to create a vibrancy that captivates his audience.

Larry Rich’s work can be viewed at Birchwood Art Gallery, 1068 Pembina Hwy, 204‑888‑5840 or 1‑800‑822‑5840

Hot Art: Shifting Perspective

Photo by Leah Snyder Courtesy Plug in ICA

Ode To Miss Eagle Testickle by Ursula Johnson (photo by Leah Snyder)

To Jan 1

Group exhibition Superimposition: Sculpture and Image at Plug In ICA features artists Nadia Belerique, Valerie Blass, Ursula Johnson, Kelly Lycan, Ursula Mayer, Kristin Nelson, Dominique Rey and Andrea Roberts. The exhibit includes a variety of mixed media pieces exploring superimposition—a technique usually unique to image—in three dimensional space. The collection, which draws inspiration from fashion, film, architecture, and performance, incorporates bright colours, text and texture to create sculptural works that play with the conventions of graphic design. Unit 1-460 Portage Ave, 204‑942‑1043, plugin.org

Hot Art: Artist Spotlight, Cindy Dyson

"Mid day” Courtesy of Cindy Dyson

“Mid day” Courtesy of Cindy Dyson

Fascinated by the mundane and commonplace at a young age, Cindy Dyson began drawing as a child as a way to find therapy and refuge from her challenging childhood. In her 20s, she fell in love with the work of 19th century Impressionists such as Monet, Renoir and Pissarro. Since then, she has been inspired by the commitment of these artists to depict the beauty and elegance of daily experiences.

Dyson’s exhibition A Pause In Routine at Pulse Gallery is a celebration of everyday life in our 21st century world. Her paintings and  observations reveal the joy, bittersweetness and preciousness of a fleeting moment, presented through bright splashes of colour that exude energy and life. Her work captures street scenes and landscapes of Winnipeg’s cultural hubs like the Exchange District and downtown core.

The process of creating can be time consuming, yet rewarding. Often times, Dyson takes photos of scenery while out with family and friends, and sketches the subject on paper to form composition. She then applies acrylic paint to canvas to create shadow, depth and light. Texture is common in her paintings, as she uses tools like a palette knife, sponge, fork, comb and her fingers to apply paint. “I find the endless variety of marks I can make with these tools challenges and fascinates me,” she says. I love the physicality and range of the knife —aggressive slices, delicate dabs, focused scrapes and thick bold swaths of colour.” The versatility of acrylic paint enables Dyson to splatter, spray, blob and pour, to evoke mood and movement within each piece.

Her collection will be on exhibit at Pulse Gallery from Oct 14-31. Main floor, Johnston Terminal, The Forks, 204-957-7140

Hot Art: Editor’s Pick: Bird Lady’s Swan Song

TundraBird-002

In January the world lost a powerful creative force when influential and prolific pioneer of modern Inuit art Kenojuak Ashevak died at age 85. Ashevak’s distinctive, enchanting imagery has graced Canadian stamps and coins, earned honourary doctorates, a Governor General’s Award in Visual and Media Arts, and the distinction of highest auction sale price of any Canadian print at $52,000 USD. Her final masterpiece,Tall Tundra Bird (pictured), is a stunning stonecut and stencil that fittingly features Ashevak’s favoured subject: a mythical and nearly supernatural bird. Nunavut Gallery is the place to see this very special artwork and many other resplendent Ashevak prints. 603 Corydon Ave, 204-478‑7233.

Hot Art: Haisla Artist Lyle Wilson at Bill Reid Gallery

"Octopus" by Lyle Wilson. Photos by Jenn Walton courtesy collection of the artist

“Octopus” by Lyle Wilson. Photos by Jenn Walton courtesy collection of the artist

Haisla artist Lyle Wilson is painting outside the lines—of traditional Northwest Coast art, that is. In Paint: The Painted Works of Lyle Wilson, his artwork finds form in traditionally stylized, yet playfully experimental, pieces. Find captivating works by the artist, such as “Octopus” (pictured), until Sep. 15 at Bill Reid Gallery of Northwest Coast Art.—Jill Von Sprecken

National Aboriginal Day is June 21. Find out more information on celebrations in Vancouver.

Hot Art: Dutch Masterworks at the Vancouver Art Gallery

Balthasar van der Ast's "Untitled (Still Life with Peaches and Shells)." Photo by Jim Gorman courtesy Vancouver Art Gallery

“Untitled (Still Life with Peaches and Shells)” by Balthasar van der Ast. Photo by Jim Gorman courtesy Vancouver Art Gallery

If the Netherlands isn’t in your itinerary—and even if it is—take a trip to the Vancouver Art Gallery for Persuasive Visions: 17th Century Dutch and Flemish Masterworks and Contemporary Reflections (Jun. 15 to Sep. 15) to see works from the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam. Find pieces from the Dutch Golden Age, including artist Balthasar van der Ast’s “Untitled (Still Life with Peaches and Shells)” (pictured), alongside contemporary art, for an exhibition that’s well worth the journey.—Jill Von Sprecken

Hot Art: Watery Landscapes at Art Beatus

"Shoal" by June Yun

“Shoal” by June Yun

For a dose of springtime serenity, visit Art Beatus to see cool, watery landscapes by Chinese-Canadian artist June Yun (to May 31). In Spring • Water, the Vancouver-based artist uses oils on canvas to explore water in its various forms and colours (“Shoal,” pictured). Look closely: continuing from her Lemon Traveling series, Yun’s paintings are sometimes accompanied by a tiny lemon. We love the playful pop of unexpected colour.—Jill Von Sprecken

Hot Art: Haute Hotels at the Vancouver Art Gallery

Portland's Ace Hotel. Photo by Jeremy Pelley © Ace Hotel Group

Portland’s Ace Hotel. Photo by Jeremy Pelley © Ace Hotel Group

Whether a backpacker or a five-star fan, every world traveller needs a place to rest and recharge. Explore the evolution of hotels, hostels and inns as social spaces during the Vancouver Art Gallery’s Grand Hotel (Apr. 13 to Sep. 15). The exhibition, which shares its name with the iconic 1932 Hollywood film, highlights the architecture, design and culture of travel lodgings from Portland to Berlin.—Kristina Urquhart

Hot Art: Dreamy Watercolours by Charles John Collings in Vancouver

Charles John Collings’ “Niagara, Above the Falls.” Exhibition at Uno Langmann Limited

If Hope at Dawn: Watercolours by Emily Carr and Charles John Collings at the Vancouver Art Gallery (to May 26) leaves you yearning for more, stop by Uno Langmann Limited to view additional pieces by the British-born Charles John Collings in a complementary self-titled exhibition (to Mar 31). The Canadian artist lent an ethereal quality to his landscapes by mixing the paint directly onto water-soaked paper (“Niagara, Above the Falls,” pictured). Dreamy, indeed.—Kristina Urquhart

Hot Art: Haida Art in Vancouver

Haida Art. Photo Courtesy Coastal Peoples Fine Arts Gallery

Talk about talent running in families: Haida Masterworks II highlights emerging contemporary artists who are following in their parents’ footsteps. See works of Haida art in cedar, silver and argillite by carvers such as Ben Davidson and Kyran Yeomans, sons of famous Haida artists Robert Davidson and Don Yeomans. There are other family ties, too, including pieces by Christian White (“Raven Transformation,” pictured) and his cousin Darrell White—both descendants of the late, great Charles Edenshaw. At Coastal Peoples Fine Arts Gallery (to Apr. 30).—Kristina Urquhart