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4 new exhibitions land at the McMillan Arts Centre in Parksville

Works by 3 artists, Fibre Artist Network are on until May 26
The McMillan Arts Centre (MAC) in Parksville. (File photo)

Four new exhibitions have landed at the McMillan Arts Centre (MAC) in Parksville.

Visitors to the arts centre, located at 133 McMillan St., can check out new exhibits by Tom Shardlow, Dorota Geode, Alyssa Penner and the Fibre Arts Network from now until May 26.

Shardlow studied at the Vancouver School of Art (now the Emily Carr School of Art and Design) before working in advertising doing art layouts, according to a news release by the MAC.

After graduating from UBC, Shardlow worked as a field research biologist and traveled to many of B.C.’s wild places. These travels inspired him to document on canvas and paper what he saw and felt.

“My works are based on my love of the wilderness,” Shardlow said. “I see nature not only as beautiful and nurturing, but also as remorseless and uncompromising. I convey this dichotomy in an unsentimental way in my landscapes.”

His drawings and illustrations have appeared in books, magazines, newspapers and a series of commissioned drawings for the Canadian publisher Fitzhenry and Whiteside.

Shardlow’s paintings have won multiple awards and are part of a major private collection lent to the National Gallery in Ottawa.

Dorota Geode was born in Poland and studied architecture before immigrating to Canada in 1981.

After few years of commercial design work, she accepted a teaching position at Mohawk College in Hamilton, Ont.

Geode retired in 2018 and lives in Nanoose Bay and enjoys nature, creative arts, gardening, golfing, sailing, travel and recently taught arts at the Nanoose Place Community Center.

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She was educated in drawing and completed courses in watercolours from Dundas Valley School of Art.

She loves learning and is now delivering professional art classes and fundraising for charities. Geode is working on freeing her expression in art via colour, simpler, more abstract, forms as well as creative brushwork, a departure from her structured and highly representational former work. She is also embracing painting outdoors and hopes to establish a new plein-air support group in Nanoose Bay.

Alyssa Penner’s exhibition Nature’s Expression can be found in the MAC’s Nemeth Gallery. Penner’s exhibition is about the unique connections people have to nature and the spaces surrounding them.

“I create art first and foremost for my own personal expression and needs,” Penner said. “But also, by doing that I seem to express how we all see the world though an untainted, magical and childhood like view. To achieve this, I like to try and turn the landscape into a painting that represents how it makes me feel. I use colour to create both a joyful and calming presence.”

Penner plays with with movement, light and shadow. By working in this intuitive way, she creates an experience that might spark a bit of wonder in the viewer’s mind.

“The most positive childhood memories I have is growing up within the rugged and beautiful natural landscapes of Vancouver Island,” she said. “That combined with a creative mind served me well in imagining our area as the most magical place.”

It’s important for Penner to share her art with the world because the story and narrative of her artwork does not end with her.

“It continues through the eyes and minds of other fellow humans,” she said.

Chromatopia is an exhibition of fibre art created by the Fibre Art Network, a co-operative of western Canadian artists committed to promoting fibre as an art form and each other as artists. The exhibition visually explores the colour spectrum while preserving the unique individualistic style of each artist.

— NEWS Staff