Aeolian summer art show
London Community News
By Sean Meyer/London Community News/Twitter: Newswriter22
What began as a hobby six years ago has become something of a full time job for Wayne Smith.
Smith has been unemployed since October 2011 when the factory he worked at for 30 years closed its doors. But in that time, he has spent the better part of eight hours a day working on the wood art creations he makes, often painstakingly polished and shaped by small tools, one piece at a time.
Intarsia is a form of wood inlaying where, in a nutshell, images are created with different pieces of wood.
It is a form of art Smith has fallen in love with.
“I really find it very relaxing; I’ve always loved it,” Smith said. “I’ve always loved working with wood, carpentry, but this has taken it to a different level. And I love looking at them too.”
It is no surprise Smith enjoys looking at his finished pieces. He uses different colours and grains of wood, relying on natural colours as much as possible. And with over 50 different types of wood tucked into his studio (including ones that are yellow and even purple in colour), Smith said his biggest challenge is often finding which pieces of wood to use in a given piece.
Smith will be bringing 15 different works with him when he joins four other local artists as participants in the Aeolian Summer Art Show and Sale. The show runs from Aug. 1 until Sept. 9, at Aeolian Hall.
The show will feature the original artwork of five London artists who work in a variety of media. The artists in the show include Smith (wood), Sarah Cowling and Dorothy Macfarlane (paint), Rick Sturgeon (metal) and Leanne Dickson (textiles).
Mary-Ann Jack-Bleach, Aeolian Art Shows volunteer curator, and a wood carver and painter since 1979, said it was last August when Clark Bryan, executive director of the Aeolian Hall Musical Arts Association, asked her to pull together a more consistent art show.
“We used to have an August show and it didn’t do very well because there wasn’t a real push for the art. Last year, Clark said he wanted to combine the visual with performing arts,” Jack-Bleach said. “So people can come to a performance and also purchase a piece of art if something catches their eye. And the hall looks absolutely incredible when it is full of artwork; it is really magical.”
The art in the show is available for viewing during all events at Aeolian Hall. Additional gallery hours are from Monday to Friday between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. The public is asked to come to the Dundas Street office for access during those hours.
“This is my first show. I had thought of doing the booths, the craft shows. But when this came up,” Smith said. “I thought, ‘Everyone has always had good things to say about my work, so what do I have to lose?’ And it raises money for a great cause; this is a wonderful building.”
The cause that Smith refers to is Aeolian Hall itself. When paintings sell, 20 per cent of the sale goes going directly to the Aeolian Hall Projects Fund. Patrons may take the artwork home as soon as it is paid for.
As much as he wants to help support Aeolian Hall, Smith admits to being more than a little excited about having the opportunity to share his work with the public. Smith said he would be brining 15 pieces to the show of varying sizes.
“Typical size ranges from 20 X 20 to one I am bring to the show that is 42 X 35, it has over 800 pieces of wood in it,” Smith said. “To do the whole thing, one of the smaller ones, start to finish, once I have created a pattern for it, I would say I can be finished in three days. It is a lot of fun.”
In addition to raising funds for the hall, Jack-Bleach said the Aeolian is committed to promoting and supporting local and/or new artists in the community. “We have really tried to focus on new artists and promote local artists. We moved to more multi-artist shows because we wanted more variety.”
An Opening reception will be held on Wednesday, Aug. 1, from 6-8 p.m. at Aeolian Hall (795 Dundas Street E.). For more information on the exhibit and for artists bios, visit: http://aeolianhall.ca/aeolian-summer-art-exhibition-sale.
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