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AOE Arts Council’s annual juried art show SELECTIONS is back with another superb collection that will promote 50 Ottawa artists. Once again, the exhibition will feature the work of AOE members, exploring a range of mediums from painting and photography to mixed media. SELECTIONS will take place from September 25 to October 21, 2014 in Salons A and B of the Trinity Art Gallery at the Shenkman Arts Centre.

SELECTIONS is not only a great opportunity for AOE members to share what they have been working on recently, but an occasion to celebrate under one roof the diversity and richness of art practice in our National Capital Region. Ottawa residents can therefore discover local talent and meet the artists on opening night which will be held on September 25, from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.

This year, AOE chose the work of 5 of its members to appear on the SELECTIONS 2014 promotional campaign. Here is a brief overview of these selected artists.

Krystyna Sadej – Fibre Artist

Born in Poland, Krystyna Sadej has been mastering the art of tapestry for more than 30 years. Krystyna loves to experiment with different fiber art mediums, materials, and techniques, but her main focus is on weaving. She uses traditional weaving methods by incorporating recyclable materials such as plastic foil, video tapes, old lamp shades, and fabric scraps. She transforms flat surfaces into three-dimensional abstract art pieces, focusing mainly on colour, shape, and light rather than creating realistic images.

Krystyna’s inspiration comes from her relationships with other people, as well as feelings and thoughts that surround her. She acknowledges that she gained a lot of experience and confidence by entering juried shows, meeting other artists, and participating in art openings. In a continuous search for the new ways of expression, Krystyna’s work is very personal, reflecting her life in Canada, longing for her homeland and loved ones.

Sadej, Krystyna -Transformation (Ugly Duckling)

Sadej, Krystyna -Transformation (Ugly Duckling)

Ruth Dick – Photographer

Ruth Dick decided to pursue a career in photography upon seeing the evocative pictures taken by her talented friends. Ruth agrees with author Kurt Vonnegut, admitting that “there is an enormous reward to creating something, anything”, she says. Ruth describes herself as a spontaneous photographer. She generally does not shoot in a studio; she gets inspired by the natural world around her, using the light that is available. “I am drawn to the beauty and strangeness of ordinarily overlooked subjects such as weeds, gutter puddles, and precipitation on ill-fitting windows.” Ruth likes to play with scale; she uses a macro lens to capture small things and then prints those images in large formats. Attention to detail is a significant part of her work, which makes her photographs all the more unique.

Dick, Ruth - Drift - Study in Blue

Dick, Ruth – Drift – Study in Blue

Marie Paquette – Ceramist & Visual Artist

Marie Paquette is a full-time ceramist and visual artist based in Kars Ontario, where she runs her studio-gallery. Marie had always wanted to become a poet. She explored many art forms before finally, and naturally stumbling upon clay. After years of classes and practicing, she officially decided in 2004 to dedicate herself full-time to the art. Marie approaches clay with attention rather than intention. At the beginning, she only has a vague idea of what the object will look like. “It is by paying attention to how clay responds to manipulations that I can see the new object coming to life, the form suggesting itself through the different stages of the shaping process. I like to think I work in collaboration with clay,” says Marie.

Marie also started exploring the world of acrylic a few years ago, describing her method as free form brush painting. Again, she approaches her white page the same way she does with clay, letting the inspiration come as naturally as it can.

Paquette, Marie - Nuit blanche

Paquette, Marie – Nuit blanche

Laura Kaardal – Visual Artist

Laura Kaardal a visual artist from Vancouver B.C who specializes in drawing and painting realistic portraits and landscapes. “I’ve been selling pencil portraits since I was in high school, and since then I always pictured myself having my own business selling my own paintings”, tells the artist. Laura describes her technique as a simplified realistic style. She always keeps a strong sense of realism by using the proper proportions and perspectives but keeps the realistic details simple to maintain her style. To create her artworks, she uses her own photographs as a reference, enabling her to share with others impressions and feelings about the places that she depicts. Laura considers herself to be patient and a bit of a perfectionist, but in her case, it is most certainly a quality!

Kaardal, Laura - Columbus Avenue Windows

Kaardal, Laura – Columbus Avenue Windows

Mark Stephenson – Visual Artist

Mark Stephenson has been a graphic designer for over 20 years with an ongoing passion for arts. It was only a few years ago that he decided he would dedicate a part of his career to painting. “I always figured I’d be an artist when I retired but decided a few years ago, why wait!” Mark is a relaxed and passionate artist that enjoys working from life, mostly depicting portraits and the human form. “Drawing and painting with live models has really helped me become a keen observer”, says Mark. His unique talent and technique in portraiture even brought him to win the Ottawa Battle of the Art competition in 2013.

Stephenson, Mark -Pondering

Stephenson, Mark -Pondering

SELECTIONS 2014 opening night will be held on September 25 from 7 pm to 9 pm and will provide the public and media with the chance to meet the artists and talk to award recipients. The public is invited to vote for the People’s Choice Award for the duration of the exhibit. The winner will be announced on October 22, and will receive a gift certificate courtesy of DeSerres.

Owned and operated by the City of Ottawa, the Trinity Art Gallery has a contemporary hanging system, professional lighting and uses both Salons A and B for the show. The gallery is open to the public Monday to Sunday from 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m

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