“If we make it through December / everything’s going to be alright, I know”(Merle Haggard. It’s necessary to dilute the horrid XMas music filling the air like a bad smell this season). This December, there’s many things happening in the Niagara visual arts sphere: some are events occurring in December itself, while others are accessible all month, offering an escape from the holiday miasma. Let us begin:
Niagara Artist Centre is where we shall start: June Etta Chenard’s exhibition in the Dennis Tourbin Space is titled So Invisible, and has an opening reception Saturday, December 9th (2 – 5 PM). The show runs until December 22nd, featuring new works as well as older ones. The Showroom Gallery will still have Cody and Connor Smith’s collaborative I Have A Vision In My Mind Of A Life That I’ve Left Behind on display. This is an odd show (though based on a conceptual premise, the aesthetics – the globbysploshygooey bits that resolve into more detailed symbols and images – are what attract me).
A teaser: NAC will be making a major announcement about the NAC studio / shop space that many of you may be familiar with, already, further up St. Paul, that day. Many excellent artists (Bruce Thompson, Sandy Middleton, Geoff Farnsworth) have works for sale there (#buymoreart).
As you’re inundated by X-Mas capitalist horror, remember that you might be able to use it to do good: and that brings us to ART Block 2017.
It’s “the third Annual Art Block show [at] the Visual Arts Exhibition Space at the MIWSFPA, Brock University…bringing together works completed on 6×6 panels by members of the Brock Art Collective, made with a variety of mediums.” All works are for sale, all start at $40.00, all unique and it’s not only a chance to #buymoreart but also to support local artists. The show opens on Wednesday Dec. 6 (6 – 9 PM) and runs until Friday Dec. 22, 2017. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday 1-5 pm.
But, acknowledging the madness of the season, let’s flee the downtown and surrounding areas. There’s three spaces I want to mention: let’s begin with the Grimsby Public Art Gallery (GPAG). Local artist “Bruno Capolongo is well-known for his exquisitely crafted oil and encaustic paintings. In his most recent body of work, the Kintsugi series, Capolongo explores kintsugi and the related Japanese philosophy of Wabi-Sabi (where flaws and imperfections are embraced) as a metaphor for human experience.” You might be familiar with the term kintsugi, also known as “golden joinery”, which is the “Japanese art of repairing broken pottery with gold or other precious metals.”
Your intrepid #artcriticfromhell wishes all a happy holiday, if you’re lucky enough to have one and however you choose to mark it. 2018 will surely be interesting, as this December also saw the latest consultations regarding the future of Rodman Hall and Brock University, I’ll be holding forth on that in the new year.
Bart Gazzola (also known as #artcriticfromhell) is an arts writer/critic who has published with Magenta Magazine, Canadian Art, New Art Gazette, Galleries West, PrairieSeen, Long Exposure and BlackFlash (where he was Editorial Chair for 3 years). He is Assistant Editor at thesound.rocks and a frequent contributor to various cultural spaces in Niagara.