This exhibition is curated by none other than Gordon A. Smith, O.C. This fact alone is refreshing . Why? This is art chosen by an artist and teacher and mentor for no other reason than to focus attention on a group of artists and art works that he believes deserves greater attention . It is to praise their art and provide an opportunity to actually "SEE" and discuss local work at a time when it feels to me like the contemporary art scene is exceedingly restricting the public viewing of art to focus on a very small number of "marketable" artists for the sake of making money . [ Well, it probably also has something to do with egos, power, influence, marketability and other such things - something that is not new to the art scene].
I found something to appreciate and discover in each and every artist whose works are on display. Who are these artists? Andrew Alvarez, Wing Chow, Warren Goodman, Dirk Heiss, Bill MacDonald, George Rammell, Frank Mayrs, Richard Turner, Les McKinnon, Neil Prinsen, Anne Watt. I especially fell in love with the colours and patterning of Dirk Heiss, Warren Goodman and Frank Mayrs..... but I thought Wing Chow's contribution especially emotional and thought provoking as it spoke to me about what it is to be part of this unique Canadian landscape even as we feel separate and small within it. Richard Turner 's works are certainly in the avant-garde but masterfully created and worthy of more than just one viewing. There is just so much here in this one exhibition.
My one disappointment is that yet again , women artists seem to be left behind .... [ one woman out of eleven ....... ].... Perhaps Mr. Smith might do another exhibition with gender in mind ..... I would love to see and hear his views on local women artists worthy of more attention .
This exhibition is diverse, exciting , energetic, and appealing in every sense of the word.