Friday, 1 March 2013

Creative Energy at the Waterfront

The Baggage Building Arts Centre is off to a good start in the last few months aiming to be “a workshop for new artistic creations” and “an incubator for creative people and organizations.” There are monthly exhibits with artists in residence and a gift gallery. This commercial space, located on the second floor, displays the work of local artists, jewelers, authors, and more.

Currently, exhibiting a show called “A Superior Experience,” the walls of the centre and gift shop are covered with a variety of artists’ work, with about 36 artists displayed. The works are very colourful and represent a good spread of styles, mostly beautiful landscapes and a few surprises. In one corner of the gift shop is a section that features a new artist every month.

For the month of March, accomplished portrait and figurative artist, Anna Jane, will display her drawings and paintings. Anna is a relatively recent graduate of the Lakehead University Fine Arts program. For her young age she is very accomplished and continues to develop an individual professional style. She draws and paints in intricate detail with dramatic and endearing beauty, leaning towards hyperrealism and hinting at the kind of animal and plant symbolism found in the works of the 19th Century Pre-Raphaelites.

It’s clear that Anna loves to play with strong shadows and sharp contrasts. She employs a surreal approach with long swirls of bright colour that stream and splash from the bodies of her subjects, making her work fun and playful, yet asking to be read more deeply.  

A short walk from the Arts Centre, is Gallery 33, across from the excellent Thai Kitchen. This is a commercial art gallery displaying up to 50 local artists’ work. The place is very spacious, so each artist has lots of room to hang more than a sampling. The quality ranges from novice to professional. A large amount of wall space is donated to aspiring students of art. The gallery sells jewelry and books by local authors along with other items. The stairs to the basement leads to The Painted Turtle.

Hannah, the owner of Gallery 33 is looking to complete renovations started when the gallery was called Local Colour. The floor needs some character as it is unfinished. For this, Hannah is asking for donations of pennies as she plans to use them as the decorative material for tiles that she will make for the flooring. She hasn’t figured out entirely the method for doing so, as it could be an expensive endeavour, but the result could be amazing, along with being a historical nod to the year we got rid of the penny. Hannah could be undertaking the most impressive flooring venture in Thunder Bay. So bring in your pennies for the big penny jar and penny bucket.

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