Two new shows launched at the Station House Gallery Thursday.
Featuring new and old artwork, the two galleries are celebrations of a burgeoning local artist on the rise and the legacy of two who have gone on to their greater reward according to executive director Diane Toop. With live music provided by Al Giddens and LeRae Haynes accompanying the opening, the event had a light, festive feel.
“As always, it’s a thrill to have live music here, we don’t get to have live music here all the time and we appreciate that musicians give us a pretty good deal,” Toop said.
Downstairs this month are the collected works, many never before seen, of Vivien Cowan and daughter Sonia Cornwall entitled Legacy in a show and sale format. Most of the 20 some pieces are on sale and according to Toop, this will be one of the last times to purchase art by these acclaimed artists.
Many of the pieces come from the personal collection of Philippa Mahon with additional art to round out the gallery supplied by Mary Cornwall, Sonia’s daughter. Mahon is looking to downsize her art collection, after recently inheriting a collection of artwork from a mutual family friend of the Cornwall’s from the UK.
Edith Mieras of Edinburgh, Scotland came to Canada in the late 60s to early 70s and fell in love with the Cariboo-Chilcotin. Coming to know the Cornwalls through mutual friends she bought one piece of artwork a visit from them, according to Mahon.
When she passed recently, she bequeathed them all to Mahon, many of them never having been seen in the Cariboo until now save the artists and their families.
“So it’d be nice to share the art and hopefully find them all new homes in the Cariboo and I think that would make Edith happy,” Mahon said.
In the upper gallery are the works of up and coming Cariboo artist Jasmine Alexander entitled After Wake. Focusing primarily on the use of watercolours and oils, Alexander describes her works as dreamscapes inspired by the ever-surprising geography of the Cariboo-Chilcotin.
“I have such a love for colour and nature and my show I called After Wake because I really wanted to explore the idea of landscapes in between places. Landscapes that feel familiar, landscapes you maybe see in your dreams when you go to bed at night and then you wake up and feel like you’ve actually been somewhere,” Alexander said. “I’m trying to capture that feeling that you experience when you’ve walked somewhere, not in the physical but maybe in the spiritual or metaphysical.”
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“Sometimes shows are deliberately chosen to compliment each other, sometimes it has more to do with logistics … so this just happened by serendipity,” Toop said.
“It’s really great to support an emerging artist and there isn’t going to be that many chances anymore to nab one of these Cornwall or Cowan paintings.”
The works available for purchase in Legacy would go for quite a good deal more in other centres than they are here, Toop said, making this a rare opportunity to get quality artwork for a fair price.
Running from Oct. 5 to 27, Legacy and After Wake will be followed by the Station House’s annual general meeting on Oct. 28.
Toop said they have a solid board of directors at the moment but still invites interested members of the public to sit in on the meeting and become more involved if they want.