AGN | Michael J. Kuczer Exhibit

ABSTRACT ARRANGEMENTS

JULY 9 – SEPTEMBER 4, 2022

ART GALLERY NORTHUMBERLAND, COBOURG

If you are an art lover in the Northumberland County area this summer, be sure to plan a trip to the “Art Gallery Northumberland” located in the Town Hall, down town Cobourg, Ontario.

This exhibit did not disappoint. How I have never heard of Michael J. Kuczer sooner is beyond me. I have a few new favourite paintings now (the four in the collage above!), and as an artist this show touched me deeply.

Inspired by my fellow creator Jessica Outram, I sat in the gallery with my journal, and let words flow through me as I absorbed the beauty around me… (You can read her poem too, on the AGN website: Exhibitions.)

When you see your shirt matches the art…

(Journal Entry Excerpt)

Friday, July 22, 2022

Michael Kuczer. Genius. Beautiful and bold abstractions.

His early years show bold and UNFORGIVING masses of contrast… rough lines… emotion. The middle years show a bit more restraint, hints of hidden florals, a touch of nature within harder panels of paint. Did he know Georgia O’keeffe, I wonder? I could see some influence… they speak a similar language of visual sound… His later years are my favourite, he has mastered his geometry and sharp/crisp lines. There’s a containment that I find very visually satisfying. Calming. Relatable?

What is his work teaching me?

  • Don’t be afraid to be messy
  • to colour outside the lines
  • leave gaps (raw canvas)
  • it doesn’t have to be perfect
  • perfection might come with age:
  • with practice
  • with desire
  • with wisdom
  • Use tape! Use your tools. Get those crisp lines in the right places.
  • be bold
  • have fun
  • hold hope

I feel like I’m being told: Life is short. Full of loss. So what? What will you do next?

Mash up worlds. Mash up extremes. Mash up nature and industry. Metal flowers, factory forests, see the machine at the center of the flower, and the flower in the center of the machine. It doesn’t have to make sense. We live in a world of duality. Embrace it all… misery and love.

Just create. Be big. Be bold. Be YOU.

Here’s a peak at the exhibition – all in one room! What is your first impression? If you saw the show, what speaks to you the most?

Spirit of the Hills | Warkworth

Spirit of the Hills, members exhibition show
Trent Hills Public Library, Warkworth Branch

Saturday, June 25, 2022 to Saturday, December 10, 2022

I currently have two pieces of art hanging in this exhibition, I hope you will drop in to view all the amazing talent in this sweet little village (not just at the library); Warkworth is a “Designated Arts Community” and you can feel it’s artistic vibe through the whole downtown core!

Friday, September 23rd, they also host a “Gallery Hop” from 10am – 5pm. There will be an additional show at the library called “Foot by Foot” … a collection of 12×12 inch canvases! A great opportunity to invest in some affordable original art.

Want to learn more about Warkworth? Watch this sweet little episode of “Still Standing“… it will inspire you to get in your car and drive (just make sure you have a map and a GPS)!

Sneak Peak! Go see for yourself!

National Indigenous History Month

May 5th was “Red Dress Day.” The Red Dress Project was an art installation by Metis Artist Jaime Black, which she created to bring attention to the (still very real) crisis of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls. This crisis continues, and it is important for us as a nation to remember this cannot just be about honouring those missing one day a year; changes and progress need to be made to prevent and stop these crimes from continuing in the future.

In Canada, June is National Indigenous History Month. This is a good time to start learning more about our history beyond what was written in old text books, or from outdated information of the past. Canada is rich in First Nations history, and it is vital we start listening and learning directly from those communities. How? Google is a good start, information is at our finger tips these days (I am also sharing links below). However, you might prefer to get out of the house and visit galleries or sacred sites in your area. I have been fortunate to explore the Whetung Gallery, Petroglyphs Provincial Park, and am looking forward to visiting the Alderville Oak Sivana when it opens. When possible, attend talks or lectures given by First Nations Peoples, or read their books, learn their stories and perspectives. Have compassion.

Last year, in celebration of many talented First Nations artists, I shared a variety of profiles on Instagram (Christi Belcourt, Kent Monkman, Freddy Taylor, Maxine Noel, Rick Beaver, Jennifer Trefiak, Jessie Bachanan, Michael Robinson, David Beaucage Johnson, Annie Pootoogook, and the Whetung Gallery). As you know I am very passionate about supporting the arts.

During that month of June (2021) there was also devastating news released, that 215 unmarked graves were discovered at a previous indian residential school in British Columbia. Since then more of these schools across the country have been investigated, and the number of children’s unmarked graves continues to climb (closer to 2000 currently, and will likely be many more). Want to learn more? I recommend these articles and websites:

“Call To Action” binder – sent to parliment

This devastating news brought a wave of (temporary?) action across the country – now that these truths were being uncovered people were finally standing with First Nations demanding accountability from the government. Locally we collected letters from our community to send to parliament (Marc Miller, the Minister of Indigenous Services Canada). The binder I sent had 36 letters, most of them calling on the Government of Canada to follow through on the 94 Calls To Action in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada. The binder was sent, and received, but had no direct response from the honourable Marc Miller, or anyone from parliament.

As we approach June 2022, I feel like June 2021 was a life time ago. Like all of this happened so long ago, and still no changes seem to be made. Very little progress, no more news updates on the investigations, and the anger and motivation of people has subsided as we all returned to the groove of our daily lives…

For me, this is ongoing learning. It’s not about one day, or one month, or the next event. But I do appreciate these things, as a reminder to honour those before us, and to do what I can to help make a better future for everyone. Life long learning, listening, sharing, and growing. Remember, we are all treaty people.

Attention Northumberland Artists!

The Northumberland Arts Gallery and Shop is looking to book 2-3 artists from August 15 to the end of November. Interested? Contact Alexandra by emailing olenka.kucharczyk@gmail.com or phone call to 416-819-4188.

This quaint gallery and shop is located down town Port Hope, at 8 Queen Street. Shop hours are Thursday to Saturday 11-5, Sunday 1-4. They showcase innovative works by numerous Northumberland County artists. Two and three dimensional art, textiles, jewellery, wood, pottery, candles and more! Volunteer run, this is a not for profit organization. Artwork is on consignment.

You can follow them on Facebook: Northumberland Arts Gallery and Shop page or explore their website: Northumberland Arts Gallery and Shop.

What’s New In The Studio?

It has been three months since I published a blog. Yikes. I thought it might be time to show my face again:

Hi There!! I’m alive!

I’ve been busy, but have lots of art brewing in the background of my life.

I’ve started re-creating my children’s book. I have been slowly layering my large canvas from the “call me home” collection (it should be done soon!)… and I am getting ready to apply for a juried show coming up in May. Wish me luck!

I want to remind everyone I have a newsletter you can register for “Artist Notes” that will be going out soon, and it will have information on an upcoming “give away.” Otherwise, make sure you are following me on Instagram. Stay in touch, I always love and appreciate feedback on my work!