Arts & Culture

Own works by A-list artists, seeking signs in Gatineau, Atomic anxiety & other exhibits worth catching

Rare is the opportunity to purchase a genuine Mary Pratt artwork in Ottawa. Well, now’s your chance. Cube Gallery is offering three small ink drawings by the Newfoundland artist in its latest exhibition, paper/papier.

The drawings, made in 2000, are all nature scenes as seen from the windows of Pratt’s home. The trio present views that resemble an enchanted garden, with touches of whimsy and magic and a style very different from the hyper-realistic paintings of baked fish, jelly jars, and other domestic objects that have made Pratt one of Canada’s most celebrated artists.

Mary Pratt’s “Drawing from my Garden 2” ink on paper, 9 x 12 in, 2000

She is not the only A-lister in this multi-artist exhibition of photos, drawings, and prints — all on paper. Other participating artists include Russell Yuristy and Rosalie Favell from Ottawa, David Thauberger from Saskatchewan, Daphne Odjig from British Columbia and Anita Kunz from Toronto. The work may be familiar to many, since some of these works have been presented in past solo shows at Cube or as part of group shows in galleries outside Ottawa.

Favell has nine black-and-white photographic portraits from a huge series she did a few years ago of Aboriginal artists and curators throughout North America. Those approximately 300 portraits were exhibited last summer at the MacKenzie Gallery in Regina. The nine portraits from that show – now on view at Cube – include local artists Barry Ace and the skyrocketing Meryl McMaster, plus such icons as Odjig and Alberta’s Alex Janvier — the latter who has a solo show opening at the National Gallery in November.

David Thauberger “First Elevator” Acrylic on paper, 15 x 22 in, 2001

Thauberger’s prints in bold colours celebrate prairie architecture. Through his craft, he is able to capture the souls of old homes, stores, grain elevators,and public buildings, making them shine in a slightly otherworldly manner.

Some of my other favourites in paper/papier include Yuristy’s print of a leaping rabbit and an acrylic painting on paper by called Tangled, showing a jumble of green vegetation in the undergrowth of a forest.

The Cube show paper/papier continues until Oct. 2.


Seeking Signs

Artist Jonathan Stuart is an accident investigator by trade, which requires an ability to piece together a narrative from telltale signs both large and small. For a photo exhibition entitled, Wild Park: Track and Sign in Gatineau Park, he focused his trained eye on evidence of wildlife he came across on recent wanderings in the park.


“Detail from the Death of a Northern Flicker” by Jonathan Stuart

Animal tracks in snow are the easy ones to spot. And there are several photos of this type, showing the tracks of a coyote galloping across a snow-covered lake or tracks of a mink taking a surprisingly circuitous route in the snow. A sharper eye is often needed to find tracks in summer. Stuart’s summertime offerings include signs of beaver activity and a spot where a great blue heron has been fishing for minnows.

The bottom line: You are never alone, even when taking a solitary walk in Gatineau Park.

“Otter Fishing Hole” by Jonathan Stuart

All prints are in colour. The winter scenes are sized 24 inches by 24 inches. The summer scenes are 53 inches by 40 inches.

The exhibition is at Exposure Gallery, which is atop the Thyme and Again food emporium on Wellington Street. It continues until Sept. 27.


Exhibitions worth catching:

Ottawa artist Anna Frlan opens Sept. 18 a solo sculpture show, The Age of Atomic Anxiety, at the Diefenbunker in Carp. Frlan served as artist-in-residence this past summer in the underground museum creating large steel sculptures reflecting the atmosphere of the Cold War. Until Jan. 31, 2017.

Carleton University Art Gallery opened three new shows this month, including one of photographs taken by American writer Allen Ginsberg of his Beat Generation buddies: Jack Kerouac, William S. Burroughs, Neil Cassady, and others. The show is titled We Are Continually Exposed to the Flashbulb of Death: The Photographs of Allen Ginsberg (1953-1996). It runs until Dec. 11.

Winnipeg artist Diana Thorneycroft brings Herd to the Shenkman Arts Centre in Orleans Sept. 23 to Nov. 13. The exhibit features a collection of mangled plastic horses that asks viewers to contemplate those with disabilities who tend to be ignored.

Lisa Creskey’s ceramic paean to her hometown of Buckingham and its local hero, boxer Gaetan Hart, runs at Art-Image in Gatineau Sept. 9 to Oct. 23.