Farewell? Say it isn’t so! (rumours of our demise have been greatly exaggerated…but…)

 

Nuit BlancheIt is with great regret that we announce the unexpected closing of the Whitestone Gallery effective this July 26th. We wish to thank our many supporters: those who joined us for openings, found their own creative spirit in our Nuit Blanche activities or supported us by purchasing one of the amazing original works of art created by our members. It has been a great run and for almost 7 years over 50 artists have been members of the collective.

It seemed like it would never end, and our closing still feels surreal. But we all know how the great “location, location, location” mantra of real estate can lure owners to make choices unsuitable to the small entrepreneur tenant. This situation has plagued artists who struggle to find affordable locations for the creation, exhibition and sale of their work. In this regard, the current location of the Whitestone gallery at 80 Norfolk Street has served us well. But, changing times and rising rent have combined to make this location no longer feasible and without another venue on the horizon, the Whitestone, as a physical gallery space, needs to go on hiatus for now.

You no doubt understand that the Whitestone has been much more than just a physical space: it has been a creative hub reflecting the individual energies of many talented local artists. This energy will remain with us as we pursue our individual practices and while we discuss ways in which the collective can retain its core in a virtual space.

So it is our sincere hope that this isn’t “goodbye” but “so long for now.” As the last days of the gallery approach we have time for one more solo show. And that is the perfect way to say goodbye. Come out in the month of July and sign our guest book. Share your memories. Pass on your wishes for the collective. Let’s go out in style.

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New Whitestone Show – Barbara Bryce

Glass Art, Paper MasksPheonix and Dragon Dance copy

and the stories that tie them together

O P E N I N G   R E C E P T I O N

Sat., July 5th
11am-2pm  •  80 Norfolk St., Guelph
Show runs through July 26th
Gallery hours: 11 to 5
Monday to Saturday
or by appt. by calling 519 265-8882

mouse mask 2 cropped I remember seeing a child’s drawing with a big red heart saying “I love art because art makes people happy”. Right then I thought, “Yes!, and that’s why I do it too.”

Often I’m asked, “So Barb, what exactly do you do?” and I say, “Three things, tai chi, I design and paint sets for theatre and I build stain glass artwork, often with recycled materials and broken bottles.

The tai chi keeps body and soul together, the glass gives me a creative outlet and the theater allows me to give back to my community.

Much of the theatre work I do involves children and youth so it is important to me that my artwork be accessible to this age group as well, and maybe the child in all of us. The glass artwork, paper masks and tai chi themed work are all presented with stories that tie them together. Sometimes writing the stories is just as much fun.

So over all I think of this show as one big story of what I do and as Tomas King says, “The truth about stories is that’s all we are.”

_ASC7669 as Smart Object-1CAutumn copy

Tai Chi 1

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Whitestone Member Larry Lawrence

larry painting queen vic_copyLarry was encouraged to join Whitestone Gallery in 2008 by fellow artist and member Michelle Leblanc. It has been an amazing experience for him to be associated with such a talented group of artists. In fact, it was so inspiring that he married Michelle in 2012! They are actively involved in the arts community including the annual Guelph Studio Tour. They have a home gallery and studio called “Synchronicity”.

Rovin' RoosterAlthough always interested in art, the first half of Larry’s life was taken up with a busy dental practice at Lawrence and Yonge in Toronto. During this time, photography was his artistic passion stemming from two years volunteering as a regional dentist with CUSO in Uganda, East Africa where he took many photos of the exotic wildlife and interesting cultural environment. His journey in painting and sculpture began about 15 years ago when he was considering the next phase of his life: retirement. Music and art had always been important and now he had the freedom to learn and explore both: in Collingwood he played trumpet in a 20-piece Big Band and then joined with a piano player and bass player to play in the Eh Train Trio. At the same time, there was an active arts group, the Georgian Bay Association for Creative Arts (GBACA), where he met a wonderful group of artists and was encouraged to discuss, take courses and participate in showing and then selling his art. The change from “Dr Lawrence, dentist” to “artist and musician” was like being given a second life with a new identity: fun, scary, strange but satisfying. Over time he took his turn as Chair of the arts organization and it grew to 170 active artist members.

Mirror Mirror rLarry’s son-in-law has a 170 acre farm near Collingwood and he began to experiment with oil portraits of cows, sheep and chickens. They were fun to do and often evoked a smile from visitors to art shows. The medium of oil lends itself to producing vibrant colours as well as the subtle nuance required to portray the facial details and expression of our barnyard friends. Larry’s animal paintings have been hanging in other venues in Guelph such as the Red Brick Café but home has always been the Whitestone Gallery.

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New Whitestone Show – Mary Karavos

Mary Karavos – Fragments to FormMary - June exhibition imageO P E N I N G   R E C E P T I O N

Thurs., June 12th

7-9pm  •  80 Norfolk St., Guelph

Show runs through June 27th
Gallery hours: 11 to 5
Monday to Saturday
or by appt. by calling 519 265-8882

Rack card Word Template Mary solo 2014

mary florence cropped 84:85Born in Toronto, Ontario, Mary Karavos received her formal art training at the Ontario College of Art. She was awarded a year of advanced studies at the OCA Fine Arts campus in Florence, Italy, which became home for many years. During this time, while surrounded by the history, architecture and people of the city, Mary found herself drawn to paper fiber as a medium for her art.

After more than 20 years, Mary continues to be fascinated and challenged by the endless possibilities of this medium. She is a purist in that she works only with the finest imported papers and is not tempted to use other medium. No paint is used in her art. Her unique style, vibrant colour and rich texture make her work distinctive and recognizable.

midsummer nights dreamFor Mary, her work is about the process and creative growth towards an original work of art that evokes an emotional connection.  She finds that doing her art is very meditative. While patiently layering fragments of carefully selected papers Mary becomes lost in the moment, leaving her open to discovery and exploration.
She has a great appreciation for all types of art and creative expression, both contemporary and classical. Her approach to creating realism and abstraction challenge her to use her classical fine art training in different ways.

Mary actively exhibits and sells her work. Collections of her art and current work can be seen in solo, group and juried exhibitions in Canada and internationally. In April 2014 Mary was awarded with a bronze medal by the Academy of Arts, Science and Letters in Paris, France.life awaits

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Whitestone Member Deborah Dryden

Deborah Dryden written by Rachel Mottin

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Ever since she can remember, art has always been bursting from within Deborah Dryden. A childhood in Brantford, Ontario allowed her the first hints of satisfaction for the creative fire whenever her art teacher would enter the classroom in a frenzy of vibrant colour, poodle skirt included, to teach grade school art. Yet it was not until she gave herself permission to pursue her passion whole-heartedly that her career in the art world really took root.

After completing her Bachelor of Arts in Fine Art at the University of Guelph and her Bachelor of Education at Dalhousie University, she became the Director-Curator of the Nova Scotia Museum of Fine Art. It was here when her belief of the inherent creativity in everyone was cultivated through her successful development of art classes for children who were taught by local artists._DSC4743_2

Upon returning to the Ontario area, Deborah settled in Guelph where her budding enthusiasm for the attainment of knowledge through the power of art was satisfied both universally and personally. On a public level, not only was Deborah a full time art educator continuing to make positive influences on young minds, but she also taught art workshops at universities and conferences where she made lasting impressions on her adult students. On a personal level, Deborah is continually pushing herself as an artist to explore and create in various mediums such as acrylic, printmaking, clay, watercolour, and glass mosaic.

Fittingly, this multilayered artist is currently expressing herself through the ancient art of encaustic where pigmented bees wax is layered, fused and scraped back. This echoDelicate Reminderes her artistic journey in a constant cycle of inspiration and affirmation. Deborah thrives on her challenging journey through this tactile and sensory encaustic process. She also experiments by introducing organic elements into the textural, translucent and rich-coloured wax and finds that the intuitive and reactionary nature of wax emotes the raw experience of exploring unpredictability.

In early May, Deborah’s most recent series of encaustics entitled “Fresh Start” was shown at Studio 404 in Guelph in the show Eight Dimensions which was organized by the Octarine Women Artists’ Collective of which she is a member. Her series featured images of flowers inspired by how nature’s conversations mirror human groupings and familial relationships. Still able to find awe and humour in the way a flower bends in the wind or faces other flowers along the sidewalk, Deborah’s sensitivity to the colours and forms in nature allows her to echo experiences in her own life.

Meadow IIDeborah is currently working on a school wide art project with Rockwood Centennial Public School. This was initiated because their community is growing with the building of a new school, L’Ecole Harris Mill P.S. All students and staff are taking part by making a leaf out of clay, taught and facilitated by Deborah. These leaves will be placed on a tree painted in both locations by artist Don Russell.

Staying true to her adventurous nature and thirst for knowledge through artistic challenges, Deborah will be taking an encaustic callograph workshop this summer in Portland, Oregon. She is also working on an upcoming show for September at Whitestone that she will share with her daughter Sarah

Family Talk IReaching

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“Le temps vécu” Reception spurs introspection.

Family, friends and colleagues joined Michelle at her opening on Saturday. Lots of discussion centered around the universal life experiences of growing up and finding your place in family, work and interests. There is a guide to the titles of the artwork which gives a hint at the thoughts and emotions included in the creation of the art. A video with headphones allowed visitors to hear Michelle discuss the creative process that went into the artwork.

WHT May 2014-05IMG_4401IMG_4405IMG_4404

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New Whitestone Show – Michelle Leblanc Lawrence

Un Temps Vécu : Vestiges de Mon Passé

April 26th – May 31st

O P E N I N G   R E C E P T I O N

Sat. May 3rd
2-5pm  •  80 Norfolk St., Guelph

Show runs through May 31st
Gallery hours: 11 to 5
Monday to Saturday
or by appt. by calling 519 265-8882

The Whitestone Gallery presents a solo exhibition of new works on paper and canvas by Guelph artist Michelle Leblanc Lawrence.

Michelle Leblanc Lawrence

Michelle Leblanc Lawrence

“This series is based on meditations on my life and experiences. In creating the pieces I immersed myself in a specific memory, focusing on a moment, place or situation from my past. Each line, brush stroke and choice of colour became a response to what I was remembering and how the memory made me feel. The pieces then became a part of that memory or experience in an indefinable way.

The majority of the pieces were created on paper because the medium is better suited to what I wanted to achieve: to fully and quickly respond to my thoughts and emotions and to move from one work to another as the memories flowed. The first part of the process (first “drafts”) were put aside after the initial burst of remembering. I then went back into each piece at a slower more thoughtful pace adding whatever words or sentences seemed appropriate.

These works are personal, but because they are about the human experience (albeit mine) most people will identify with them on a subliminal level.”

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