Old School House Art Gallery

This week our local art gallery “Old School House Art Gallery” opens for the season. We have a very exciting season plan for our neighbors and visitors on Cortes Island B.C. We start the season off with a solo art installation by Loni Rene Taylor this Friday June 15 and is open for 2 weeks including being featured during the art studio and garden tour on the 16th.

With 2 members show one representing our digital artist called “All Things Digital” which I have a couple pieces in and for the first time sharing the video from “Senses That Sin” show casing 3 art dolls, my live doll that comes alive Namchi Bazaar, and accordin player Del Riviera from Powell River, I am excited to share the walls with many other talented artist for this show.

We also have the membership show which I am the curator for and still accepting submissions for until July 14. It’s been a great experience so far meeting and seeing the submissions that my fellow artist have been preparing for this show, I can’t wait to hang this show on the walls and share it with you. This years theme is “Space” and I also have my biggest painting to date in the show.

Look out for more info on the rest of the season coming up at Old School House Art Gallery and don’t forget ever Friday is Gallery Nite from 6-9pm with either an opening, performance or artist talks. I love art show season on Cortes Island it’s so inspiring to see all the talent I live amongst meet the artists and learn there process.

We also have art shows happening at The Coop Cafe, Hunt & Gather, Hollyhock retreat centre all in Manson’s Landing, The Coop Craft Shop In Squirrel Cove.

Wink!

Here is another installment of my Wink! project. Today I share the next 4 pages of the 365-day art challenge I set myself a the beginning of the year! I am still going strong and enjoying every day but the meaning of the word “challenge” has become crystal for me because there is only so many hours in one day. Sometimes there is more time to dedicate to my new art installation, and on others, not so much! I am happy to report, however, that I make time for a tarot card and a sketch every day!

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Over the last month, as spring has sprung and the gardening season entered its full swing, I must admit that it has taken more effort to keep up with this project than during the winter months when I could devote 3 hours a day to it. At the moment, I’ve had to cut this time in half, but once the garden is all planted I am sure it will be easier to set a little more time aside and continue moving forward with Wink! Mind you, I like to work with many art media on a daily basis, so I am still putting in a good five to eight hours of art a day. To see more of my 365-day art challenge please check out my previous blog posts!

The Elephant Family

Meet the family! Beatrice, Hugo and their son Hugh. Their creation was inspired by our love for the largest land animal to roam our planet and as a sad reminder that they are on the brink of becoming endangered. Elephants are widely respected for forming close-knit matriarchal clans and their loyalty to each other and the humans they love – a point made famous in 2012 when elephants mourned the passing of Lawrence Anthony, known as the Elephant Whisperer, by holding a vigil around his house for two days. Their unique beauty, deep wisdom and kind hearts – along with their fierceness in defending their young and protecting their herds – are all reasons why we chose to portray an elephant family in this art project.

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The Elephant Family

When Nola McPhail and I found out about summer’s annual members art show, at The Old School House Art Gallery on Cortes Island “The Colour of Our Muse”, we could not resist the opportunity of collaborating to contribute a piece. So we dedicated the month of June to creating The Elephant Family. Nola McPhail has been joining me for my Creative Sessions for the last year and we have explored many media and techniques together. When we chose to collaborate for this show, we opted to create a piece using many of the different media we have explored together as a way to push our creative boundaries, learn from each other, as well as have a lot of fun creating art together!

The Elephant Family art project consists of 3 elements:

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Hugh

Hugh, the son, is a collaboratively-created piece crafted from 3 recycled wood panels – each painted separately with acrylic paint and kroma crackle. His tail is made from braided wool sourced from Cortes Islander Joy Shipway. His face is made with polymer clay and finished with acrylic paint, kroma crackle, glass eyes, and false eye lashes; his trunk, tusks and ears are made from hand-sewn canvas.

The other two elements consist of individually-created art dolls – since those have been one of the strong focuses of their Creative Sessions.

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Beatrice by  Nola McPhail

Nola McPhail opted to make the proud mother Beatrice using polymer clay, recycled textiles from an old skirt of hers, and false eyelashes; the piece was then mounted on a piece of yellow cedar.

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Hugo by Laura Balducci

I created Hugo, the hard-working father, out of polymer clay, recycled textiles, wool, and a found hat; he is also mounted on yellow cedar.

We look forward to continuing our Creative Sessions starting in the next month or so and doing more work together.

Every Friday is Gallery Nite

Summer is here and that means a lot of art to see and experience on Cortes Island, since we happen to live surrounded by an abundance of talent. I am so grateful to live here and have the opportunity to engage with all the amazing local artists and feast my eyes all season long – whether it be at the weekly  markets, one of our many events, or at our wonderful little gallery (where everyone can become a member and all our visitors/guests of the community are more than welcome to visit). The Old School House Gallery, which is run by volunteers and donations, puts on a minimum of 8 shows every summer. Hours are Fridays from 6pm to 9pm, and Saturdays & Sundays from 2pm to 6pm.

We started the season off on Friday June 30th with a beautiful show featuring 2 weavers and one textile artist… and trust me when I say that it is stunning. Here are a few of my favourite pieces! For more info please check out the link www.cortesisland.com

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P.S. There is a saying here on Cortes Island, “Every Friday is Gallery Night” – all season long @ The Old School House Gallery, there is either a vernissage or an artist talk – come join us!!!

Meet Indigo

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Indigo

Indigo is one of the art dolls from my new multidisciplinary art installation “Senses That Sin”. I drew my inspiration for this exotic/erotic experience from flowers and their lush surroundings that can tickle our senses when we allow ourselves to fully enjoy their offering. She is the art doll that is brought to life by my live doll, Namchi Bazar, who performs in the video below with musician Del Riviera. The body of the doll is made with polymer clay, her hair is black merino wool, and I recycled some material to craft her skirt and then added lace accents and Ostrich feathers. I also  recycled a lamp shade to create the skirt hoop and her sidekick mini Roxy the Rabbit is made with textile, fabric paint, wool, and polymer clay for her eyes.

I had a lot of fun creating this art installation and learned a lot in the process. To experience the full art installation coming to life for yourself, please watch the live performance video featuring Namchi Bazar and Del Riviera!!!

 

Meet Ms. Boutika

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Ms. Boutika

Ms. Boutika is one of the art dolls from my new multidisciplinary art installation “Senses That Sin.” I drew my inspiration for this exotic/erotic experience from flowers and their lush surroundings that can tickle our senses when we allow ourselves to fully enjoy their offering.  Ms. Boutika was created and inspired by the idea of a flower shop. I recycled an old vintage lampshade to craft the skirt, first by gilding it with gold leaf to imbue it with the luxury of being surrounded by flowers; I then used dried flowers from my garden that I pressed myself, placed them on the lamp shade in the hope of creating a beautiful shadow when the light shined through it… and I am glad to say that it worked!

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Her body and her brown boots are made out of polymer clay. Ms. Boutika’s hair was naturally dyed with Queen Anne’s lace from my garden and I made her dreadlocks made from local Cortes Island wool by Joy Shipway. Back in the early 90s I had the opportunity to follow The Grateful Dead for seven shows and during that journey I made a necklace by sewing little red roses together with rose quartz beads; I had kept it all these years and decided that it was very suitable to adorn Ms. Boutika’s hair.

For your own experience of seeing the full art installation come to life, please watch the live performance video featuring Namchi Bazar and Del Riviera!!!

 

 

Expose Yourself – a Complete Success!

It with great pleasure that I report the amazing success the Expose Yourself art festival was last weekend! We had sold out venues, all the workshops were well attended, and everyone had a lot of fun. I want to thank Powell River for the hospitality and all the artists who exhibited their work and contributed their talent and presence to the event. Also a big shout out to all the people who came from near and far to attend and make this event a success. Here is a a sneak peak of my multidisciplinary art installation “Senses That Sin” which I premiered at the Expose Yourself event! This video clip was shot by the talented Claudia Medina and shows Indigo, the living doll,  with her rabbit Roxy as they make their way to the venue – with a little twist at the end!

That said, I want to give everyone a heads up that due to other projects that are drawing me home, I am stepping out of my role of co-producer for Expose Yourself as of now and wish all future events the greatest success. It’s been a riot! Stay tuned for more details on last weekend’s event and my upcoming projects.

Video © Claudia Medina – claudiamedina@enmedia.ca

 

 

Installation 10: Ulfah

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Ulfah  is the 10th installation of 13 from The Other-Side presents That Wall art project. Each installation is unique in its own way and features art on both sides, as well as their own song on a soundtrack that was created to make them all come alive.

Ulfah is a very affectionate person; whenever she meets anyone, she will always greet them with a hug, and possibly even a kiss on the cheek as she loves to spread the love! The affection she feels for this planet we live on together is felt by all, including all 4-legged creatures. She has that something special about her that makes some people mistakenly think she is being too intimate but really, it’s just simple love she exudes and spreads. Ulfah is handmade out of polymer clay; her outfit is naturally dyed with onion skins and her belt with indigo. Her hair has been crafted one piece at a time from many different scraps of wool found at the free store on Cortes Island. The other side of her piece is my interpretation of graffiti art which I created using spray paint, acrylic paint and collage.

Each installation is for sale and comes with its own soundtrack. In order to experience the full effect of the installation, please check out the music video below which will take you on a journey through the full show. You can also read the stellar review the show garnered for a deeper insight into the experience!!! Feel free to share and please, contact me for more info such as availability and pricing.

To read the review from the Cortes Island Tideline, please click here

Photos by David Molyneaux

music video -https://youtu.be/5wvr8m9NZYU

Installation 9: Dolly

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Dolly is the 9th installation of 13 from The Other-Side presents That Wall art project. Each installation is unique in its own way and features art on both sides, as well as their own song on a soundtrack that was created to make them all come alive.

Dolly is as cute as a child; she likes to play games and pick flowers. She does not take much seriously, and even though she is reaching her mid thirty’s, she is still single with no regrets because she has such a rich and innocent inner life. Dolly is handcrafted from polymer clay. Her naturally dyed skirt is beaded from a small collection of beads I bought in Mexico years ago. The other side of her piece is my interpretation of graffiti art which I created using spray paint, acrylic paint and collage.

Each installation is for sale and comes with its own soundtrack. In order to experience the full effect of the installation, please check out the music video below which will take you on a journey through the full show. You can also read the stellar review the show garnered for a deeper insight into the experience!!! Feel free to share and please, contact me for more info such as availability and pricing.

To read the review from the Cortes Island Tideline, please click here

Photos by David Molyneaux

music video -https://youtu.be/5wvr8m9NZYU

Pinky Has Gone MISSING!!!

The Stuffy Collection

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This is a photo of Pinky. Usually, this would be her favourite season because she can’t believe all the beautiful colours fall brings us. It’s such a cozy time of year too. the brisk autumn  air, the crisp sun… and sipping on hot chocolate while sitting on her comfy couch in front of a crackling fire are some of Pinky’s favourite things.

BUT!!! Pinky’s photo has gone AWOL and we are worried about her. If you see it anywhere, or have any information as to its whereabouts, please bring it back to the Co-op Café no questions asked or contact laurabalducciart@gmail.com to arrange her return.
The rest of the collection misses her!

THANK YOU!