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I am so happy to be here and to have met such wonderful artists this season. I would like to thank them for their amazing dedication and art work which has only helped to strengthen the fabric of our Gallery space. With every new piece that graces our walls or floor space, comes a deeper meaning and essence to the soul of the Gallery. This past season we were able to have a mixture of solo and group exhibitions highlighting local artists, representing the city we live in and the creative minds that help keep it vibrant.
With every new exhibit, I always find it hard to take down the older one. And as we have progressed through this season, the fond memories of each exhibition's completion lingers in my mind. Starting off this past season with a strong group show for Proud, we moved swiftly into Andrew King's solo exhibit, Crosswinds, which showcased some of the community’s historical buildings in Andrew’s unique style and was a hit over all.
In November, the group exhibition of Desdemona and Juliet brought to the gallery a few new faces, exhibiting the work of local artists Alisdar MacRae, Claudia Gutierrez, Janet K. MacKay, Suzan Mandla and Reid McLachlan. The works evoked the strength of both Desdemona and Juliet as it relates to their characters in the original plays of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet and Othello, their characters in Anne-Marie Macdonald’s Goodnight Desdemona, (Good Morning Juliet), and how these characters have embodied themselves in the gender politics of contemporary culture. The paintings, sculpture and photographs from this exhibition portray a sense of reclaimed female agency, looking to the themes of love, personal image and gender politics.
In February, The Fritzi was proud to be part of TD Canada Trust's Then and Now Series for Black History month, with a well received group exhibition titled, Merci Pour Les Souvenirs. The exhibition portrayed the work of local artist Jane Ladan, Marjorie Lubin, Evelyn Duberry, Dominique Dennery and Prea Zwarych, whose art explored the idea and celebration of memory. The works ranged from acrylic paintings to digital photography to bronze works to glass bead work to colourful paper clay sculptures and jewelry, all addressing the individual journey and the collective memory we all hold. The exhibition was wonderfully reviewed by The Ottawa University Journal and also had an interview segment on Roger’s Television’s RegArts.
In March were all Dancing with Rage, as Mary Walsh flooded the stage with her many characters for a very comedic evening. We were all very happy when Mary along with many others were able to join the artist and myself for our opening night. Artist Janet K MacKay joined us again displaying her bronze sculpture Dancing in the Rain, which played partner to artist Rosemary Breault-Landry's bronze work Devil in the Kitchen, a piece inspired by Ashley McIsaac and the Chieftains. In this exhibition we are also able to delve into Csaba Kertesz's photo collage acrylic paintings, his series titled Night Visions. We were also enveloped by Allan Andre's sensual oil painting, Eromatic, equipped with swirling reds and fabulous movement.
The artists that were chosen to accompany to play The Burden of Self-Awareness took on the task with profound thought and deep meanings. The paintings, photographs and bronze work address the notion of wealth and the culture that forms around it.
Local artist Virginia Dupuis, Rashmi Rehka, Barbara Cuerden, Zainab Hussain, Elbagir Osman and Janet K. MacKay focused on a literal, economic interpretation of the financial condition; and a psychological inquiry into the affects of the pursuit of comfort and security. The exhibit challenges the visitor to look and explore the subject matter not only as a polarizing condition but also as a process, a continuum that includes nothing, and everything. The works here document the diversity among people and comment on the gap between rich and poor, looking to notions of altruism, class and desire.
Even though I have fallen in love with what had come before, I am always excited for what will come next! This summer we will wrap up the season with a solo exhibition by local artist Paul Schibli. This joint exhibition with Cube Gallery will showcase Paul's work from very early on in his career up until his more recent paintings. Depicting images of Ottawa and the surrounding areas, these landscapes and floralscapes will capture the essence of land and form, bringing the garden and the countryside into the Gallery. Please join us for the Vernissage of Paul Schibli, Retrospective, opening on July 17, 2014 at 6 PM. I hope to see you there!
Visit us on our Fritzi Webpage at gctc.ca/your-visit/lorraine-fritzi-gallery, friend us on our Fritzi Gallery Facebook page or follow the Twitter account @Fritzi_Gallery to keep informed about the exhibits, see pictures and videos of the artists and their work.