IT’S NOT A PAINTING UNTIL YOU SPILL COFFEE ON IT
Beaux Arts Brampton’s In-Progress show displays artists at work
By Staff Writer – Paul Edward Costa
The front window of Beaux Arts Brampton provides a living tableau of the city’s flowing energy when viewed from inside. That same window shows a glimpse of an intimate, professional gallery dedicated to nurturing a wide variety of the arts when viewed from the outside.
Beaux Arts Brampton hosted another edition of its recurring “In-Progress” show on the evening of Thursday September 1st, 2016. Partially completed works of art hung in the main gallery for the preceding three weeks while their artists worked on them.
The exhibition of their process added another layer to the usual structure of an art show. Shannon Moynagh (curator), James Flux, and other staff members welcomed attendees, engaged with artists, and helped connect both groups, further blurring the border between artist and spectator; in fact, the crossing, blurring, and obliterating of borders was a common topic weaving throughout the work on display, as well as the structure of the show itself, a fact reinforced by a local musician named Tam who played acoustic guitar on a bench next to the front desk during the reception.
“I was challenged by this process last year,” Crystal Lori Boyd said of the recurring show. “As I typically create my work in one session, my creative process has truly evolved since then, as I now have several pieces that are in progress. It also allows the audience insight into the step-by-step development of your art.” One of Crystal’s pieces across from the front desk used thick applications of paint to lift her ideas off the canvas in animation of the interplay between deep shades of black and bold gold paint applied in abstract shapes.
Aaron Mouland, another artist with work on display (a mixed media collaboration with Warren Nickels), stressed an elemental link between the real, natural world and the abstract formations of the psychological plain with his observation that “abstract is nature.”
Other select works around the gallery blurred borders with a variety of techniques other than just displaying the individual or collective process of the artists involved. One piece by Kayleigh Allen displayed a woman with blue hair and a floral crown holding her eyes shut in peace, contemplation, or restraint, all while an attached group of vines and flowers hung down from the canvas in a gentle V-shaped inwards curve, as if vegetation had somehow grown from the cross-pollination of ideas in the paint and out into the physical dimension of the room itself.
Reflecting on the experience of being in the show, Kayleigh found added opportunities for learning, reflection, and growth in the presence of the other works of art accompanying her own. “It’s cool to see how other artists work on their stuff, because you get caught up in your own world so often [that] it’s fascinating to see what other artists are doing and how they create their work,” she said.
Across from Kayleigh’s work hung a framed piece by Lauraine Paradis where a collection of text, logos, paint, and photographs made the piece perform a dance among genres, moving easily between collage, auto-biography, painting, and found-art.
“It’s not a painting until you’ve spilled coffee on it,” observed local artist Nathan Wilson while working on a painting in the corner of the workshop which comprises the back half of the building. The off-white walls there bear the proud scars of countless previous displays behind he stored easels, bookshelves, tables, stacked chairs, and deep, paint-stained sinks lining the space’s perimeter. Armed with a paper plate palate and brush, Mr. Wilson brought the wispy form of a white dragon out of a rich black background, complimenting Crystal’s previously described work as both pieces created a vibrant dialogue between layers of black and contrasting shades/colours.
“I thought the idea was really interesting, the idea of bringing in something that wasn’t complete, that was barely there, and having a three week time period while it was on display where you can finish it,” said Art Battle veteran Amanda Busby about the show. “I had a lot of people coming in from outside, knocking on the [front] window saying things looked really good. It was interesting to see people walking by, acknowledging what you’re working on, and enjoying it”.
Please explore the attached photographs of other work in the show as well as the attendees/artists who celebrated this great exhibit!