At the Galleries: Rockland walnut tree returns as plethora of art

Steven Armstrong’s Now and Again is at West End Gallery from Nov. 18 to 30.

A West Coast painter, Steven Armstrong endeavours to create a sense of place in his paintings instead of mere interpretations. By visiting an inspiring location several times he’s able to expand his connection and familiarity to it and layer the painting accordingly. “I approach painting as a form of communicating an ever-changing relationship with place.” His drive to pick up on the human connection and experience with the natural landscape is shared within his paintings. These cherished landscapes are invitingly suggestive and beckon the viewer to let the eye wonder through the painting and fill in the details according to their own personal experiences, thus creating an additional layer of appreciation and connection.

The opening reception is Saturday, Nov. 18 with artist in attendance from 1 to 4 p.m.

West End Gallery, 1203 Broad St., is open daily. Learn more at westendgalleryltd.com

The Robert Bateman Centre hosts its oneTree 2017 exhibit Nov. 16 to Jan. 31. The centre’s largest exhibit of the year features 53 local artists all making art from a single salvaged walnut tree that came down from St. Charles St. in Rockland.

Following the success of oneTree 2015, the Robert Bateman Centre and Live Edge Design partnered again, offering a chance for the public to experience the work of locals galvanized by the story of a gnarly old tree. This collaborative project demonstrates the large potential economic impact from artisanal use of small amounts of salvaged wood, merging art with skilled craftsmanship and an appreciation for the natural world. These Canadian artists have created over $100,000 in value-added art, with diverse pieces ranging from nine musical instruments, 23 pieces of furniture, two doors, 11 sculptures, six bowls, five lights, and even a gnome home.

For over a century, this black walnut bore witness to the everyday life of the Rockland neighbourhood. It spread great gnarly limbs over St Charles Manor, a heritage home that became an elderly care facility. The tree started growing roots into the soil as the world went to war, not once, but twice. The walnut’s leafy canopy became part of the character of the house and local neighbourhood. Slowly, a crack began to form and spread inside the tree. In 2016, the decision was made to take down the tree for safety reasons, and now it is being transformed by 53 artists into one-of-a-kind pieces of art.

The celebration of the oneTree and its history will inspire people to explore the importance of appreciating, protecting and maximizing the use of our local trees. In addition, this exhibit will also showcase the breadth and talent of Canadian artists and their entrepreneurial spirit.

Pieces will be on display at the oneTree 2017 exhibit at the Robert Bateman Centre from Nov. 17 to Jan. 31, 2018. Each piece will be available for purchase with proceeds benefiting the Bateman Foundation, a not-for-profit organization focused on art and nature education. For more information on the exhibit and the 53 selected artists, please visit www.theonetreeproject.ca. Media are invited to a special media preview November 15th from 5pm to 7pm at the Robert Bateman Centre.

Linda Darby’s City Light is on display at Gage Gallery to Nov. 18.

The Victoria artist’s new painting exhibition looks at the way high density growth has altered our way of seeing light in an ever-changing city landscape. Starting with the elemental forms inherent in urban buildings and skyscrapers, Linda experiments with arrangements of hard–edged forms and shifting planes. She paints using a tonal palette that reflects heightened illumination to evoke a range of meanings and associations of city living. To Linda, painting is about the relationship between image, memory and place. “City Light” offers fresh perspectives, awakening viewers to the beauty of light in our urban location.

Gage Gallery shifts to Marilyn Chapman works from Nov. 21 to Dec. 9 with Thundereggs. The inspiration for this captivating new series of paintings are magical geode-like rock structures with rhyolite shells and nodules filled with agate, jasper and crystals, formed years ago in bubbles created by volcanic activity. Cut and polished, their unique beauty is revealed. As portrayed in these paintings, no two thundereggs are alike in colour, pattern and design.

According to west coast native legend, these strange agate-filled stones were missiles thrown and scattered by the angry “thunder spirits” who dwelt in the Cascade Mountains. Marvels of nature, Thundereggs are eagerly sought by rock-hounds the world over. For more information about the artist visit marilynchapman.ca. Join the artist for an opening reception on Thursday, Nov. 23 from 6 to 8 p.m.

Bi Yuan Cheng’s Coastal Reflections comes to The Avenue Gallery Nov. 16 to 27.

It is Bi Yuan Cheng’s fifth solo exhibition at the Oak Bay gallery. In this series, Yuan Cheng continues to capture the beauty of the Canadian landscape with calligraphic brushwork, mastery of light and refined use of colour. Yuan Cheng was born in 1957 and raised in Jinan, China. Under the guidance and encouragement of his father, he began practicing art at age five. At age eleven, Cheng was mentored by one of China’s most prestigious art professors who further developed Cheng’s skills in oil and watercolour. Cheng’s rigorous training continued at ZiangXi Art University. Upon graduation, Cheng worked as a sculptor and painted large-scale murals. In 1987, Cheng was recognized with the title of “Chinese Art Master” and two years later he was accepted into the prestigious Chinese Encyclopedia of Art. Cheng has lived in Canada since 1990.

Enjoy an artist reception on Saturday, Nov. 18 from 1 to 3 p.m. at The Avenue Gallery, 2184 Oak Bay Ave. Visit www.theavenuegallery.com for more information.

editor@oakbaynews.com

 

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