This ever-popular, year-end show inspires our creative membership to create a submission based on a given theme. Encounters is an open-ended and versatile theme that’s sure to ignite diverse, thoughtful responses. Encounters happen every day. They usually hold the unexpected. It could be a casual meeting or a chance discovery of a good book.
This year’s jurors, Fynn Leitch (Curator, Art Gallery of Peterborough), Leila Timmins (Curator & Manager, Exhibitions & Collections, The Robert McLaughlin Gallery) and Greg Murphy (Executive Dean, School of Media Art & Design, Durham College) had the challenging task of selecting from a large number of works. Their challenge was to select works that make a strong statement in connection to this year’s theme and work together in a relevant, cohesive way.
The artists featured in this exhibition approached the theme of Encounters in a variety of media, including photography, watercolour, printmaking, sculpture, and everything in between. A recurring subtheme that is shared by many of the works hung in the show is their depiction of encounters with animals in nature. For example, Carol Sakamoto painted a close-up rendition of two curious cows in “Friend or Food”. Using watercolour as her medium, Sakamoto positions her viewer in a staring competition with this gentle cow, creating a very personal and intimate moment between two creatures. Gordon Reidt takes on a similar subtheme in his stone sculptural work that depicts an almost abstracted polar bear in motion. Aptly titled “Last Encounter?”, Reidt asks the viewer to contemplate the endangered existence of this majestic animal as they reflect on the sculpture’s delicate, smooth forms.
Another subtheme that connects many of the works in this exhibition is the unexpected, yet exceptional, moments that occur every day. Sue Miller illustrates this notion in her oil painting titled, The Onion Man, which depicts a peaceful city street on a warm sunny day. Some of the figures find refuge in the shade, while others shop at the various store fronts. Miller’s precise attention to the architectural features on this streetscape situates the viewer in a certain time and place, thereby enhancing the everyday sentiments of the collective human experience. Another approach to this subtheme is a photograph taken by Lynn Wyczolkowski, which depicts a viewfinder telescope before a vast body of water, inviting the viewer to take a peek at the expansive waterscape beyond their view. In this quiet moment of observation, this familiar image transports us to an unexpected memory of our own, such as hiking through a local forest or travelling to a new country.
These are just a few examples of the remarkable works of art included in this year’s 27th Annual Juried Exhibition at Station Gallery. We invite you, your friends, and family to visit the gallery between now and January 19, 2020 to explore how each of the works in this exhibition offers its own unique form of encounters.