“Four Friends: Four Perspectives”

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The Deep River Library Arts Committee is pleased to present this show September 23 to October 5.

The Four Friends are local artists Mary Lynn Benz, glass fusion, Eva Gallagher, pottery, Laura Mayo, fabric art & ceramic trivets, and Anne Seck, watercolour paintings & found art sculpture.

Mary Lynn Benz had worked in stained glass until 10 years ago when she discovered glass fusion. Through hours of experimenting in her own studio as well as through workshops and courses, Mary Lynn has become proficient in producing colourful, original designs in both functional and decorative pieces. Fusing involves the use of sheet glass, stringers, glass frit and powders which are combined and fused together in a kiln at high temperatures and then slowly cooled to anneal them. This ensures the durability of the pieces and the brilliance of the colours .

The results of her work may be seen here at the Artisan’s Co-op Gallery and have been shown in several juried shows in Ontario including the Bata Shoe Museum in Toronto. The combination of new designs, techniques, temperatures and colours in this fascinating medium is an exciting challenge for Mary Lynn and she is glad to be able to share her recent work at this show.

Laura Mayo has been a fibre artist since 1999. Like Mary Lynn, she is largely self-taught through experimentation, research and, in her words, “happy accidents”. Recently, her stencil and tie-dyed designs have been surpassed by her new techniques of Sun and Ice-dyeing.

Heliographic Art captures the exact image of leaves, ferns etc on sillk scarves and home decor. When sun, wind and cloud conditions are perfect, the results are spectacular with brilliant colours and soft leaf forms.

Sun-dyeing is a seasonal occupation and as “neccessity is the mother of invention”, Laura started to work with ice as a medium for manipulating the dyes, a slow two day process. The silk she uses exclusively with this method ensures vivid colour and flowing designs.
Forever searching to grow as an artist and find new ways of using colour & pattern, Laura is now applying alcohol inks to ceramic tiles to make stunning coasters and trivets, each with a bright, unique,abstract design.

Eva Gallagher is a well established local potter whose work will be on display at this next Library Art show. Originally from Prague, in the Czech Republic, Eva grew up in Montreal before marrying, and then moving to Deep River in 1967. in 1968, the cancellation of a painting course organised by The  Deep River Recreation Department led Eva to their alternative, a raku pottery class. In ceramics she discovered a greater potential for creative expression and through The Deep River Potter’s Guild, workshops and courses, Eva refined her craft. Through the 1970s and early 1980s she worked with stoneware clay and electric kilns, selling her work through galleries and craft fairs in the Ottawa Valley.

After a 15 year haitus, she returned to pottery in 2002 with renewed vigor to explore the possibilities of the Guild’s new gas kiln and its rich glazes. Her dream to build a wood-burning kiln was fullfilled in 2007 when she built one on their abandoned farm in Newfoundout in the Opeongo Hills. The degree to which the potter can control the movement of flames throughout the kiln and the deposit of ash on the pots for the required effects ensure that wood firing is a life-time challenge with unique colour and texture

Eva aims to combine good design, function and decoration. Her applique decorations can be traced back to childhood stories which the teacher illustrated with felt-boards and paper cut-outs. It is now Eva’s turn to tell stories using clay, glazes and her artistic expression and she hopes you will enjoy the results.

Anne Seck – Some of Anne’s earliest memories of growing up in England are of drawing, painting and “making stuff” with whatever materials were available. She emigrated to Canada in 1967 arriving in Deep River in 1971 continuing to explore her creative side with a variety of media.  After working full-time as a potter for 25 years she needed a new challenge and recently took water-colour lessons with local artist Olga Nazarkina.

Although she draws inspiration from the local woods where she loves to walk and snowshoe, Anne aims to recreate the mood of the  landscape rather than a specific location. The distant hills, the ever changing light in the river and the seasonal colours of the trees are a  continual fascination and challenge. In painting with water-colours, Anne has discovered the visual textures created by the flow of water and pigment on the paper and enjoys allowing for this freedom of expression.

In a completely different direction, she is also making “Found Art Sculptures”. Her “Magical Menagerie” consists of playful,imaginary creatures made from scrap metal, (often car parts) and discarded household items. Brightly coloured and whimsical, they will hopefully bring a smile to the viewer.

” Four Friends:Four Perspectives” has given Anne an added incentive to further develop her two new art forms and she is looking forward to sharing them.

All four artists are enjoying the challenges that a show brings and welcome visitors to see their new creations in The Library Program Room. The opening reception with coffee and dessert is Monday September 23rd, 7-9.00pm and “Four Friends:Four Perspectives” continues to October 5th. Visitors to the show will be eligible to win one of several door prizes, each hand-made by the artists!