Artist Statement : I love to create art … I use all different mediums such as oil paints, acrylic, water colour, clay hand built sculptures etc. Usually my choice of medium depends on what I want to depict and how. As I pondered what medium to create this series of artworks “Family Portraits” I decided to use chalk pastels. I love the softness of the pastels and the hand blending techniques : chalk pastels were perfect for such personal artwork creations. I create larger scale portrait drawings using chalk pastel on vellum surface paper or pastel paper. I work from photographs that have struck a chord in my heart and have begged to be reproduced by my hand. “Family Portraits” will become timeless treasures : a moment in time captured forever on paper with chalk pastel. When I work on each piece my thoughts are about one I am drawing… it almost seems like I get lost in creating with the one I am depicting : it is a very good place to be. – Mary Wood – McNeil
Bio : Born in Manitou, Manitoba, Mary is a multi disciplined artist: she grew up in rural Manitoba on a mixed farm in the Pembina Valley. As a child she was continually drawing and sketching her world as she has seen it: visually depicting the scenic beauty, animals, and family that surrounded her. She is a painter and sculptor who loves to create : it is the subject matter that dictates the medium most suitable in depicting what is coming from her heart. She favours painting and hand building sculptures with clay, although recently has acquired a love of chalk pastels.
Although Mary is basically a self taught artist, her art has developed professionally over a period of 30 years through University courses as well as working along side many talented acclaimed artists. Mary sites the Canadian Group of Seven as her first inspiration for creating art: over the years many artists have made an influence on her personal art style. However it has become clear to her that the true inspiration for her art work comes from God. He dictates what to create and who it is for: her art is considered prophetic art that has a purpose.
Her work has won awards for advancement and recognition and has been exhibited in art shows in Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and North Dakota. Her art is in private collections across Canada.
Mary recently retired from Parkwest school division, where she taught high school art, and facilitated government programs such as ArtSmarts and Arts Education Access throughout the division . She has taught many adults and students art classes from her studio in Russell, Manitoba. Her and her husband have moved to Somerset, Manitoba where Mary continues to create art and love art !
ELAINE O’KEEFE & LIAM TOMS
March & April
“All About Trees”
Photography & Woodcarvings
Artist statement : All about trees is a collection of fine art photography and hand-carved wood spirits. In centuries past, travelers assured their safety through forests by carving wood spirits on walking sticks or pieces of wood and bark. These carvings appeased the spirits thus the traveler was allowed to enter and leave the forest without difficulty. Capturing a glimpse of a wood spirit in the forest was said to be lucky, it guaranteed health, happiness, and good fortune. Trees represent harmony, unity and connections between heaven and Earth, the past and the present, death and rebirth. Being amongst the trees may evoke a feeling of mindfulness, leading us to more aware and compassionate toward our surroundings. As you wander through the exhibit, we hope that you are inspired to explore your surroundings to find beauty amongst the trees and forests.
Elaine O’Keeffe : Elaine feels at peace when surrounded by trees and is drawn to their beauty. Exploring forests, or any areas with a lot of trees, is like being hugged by nature. Whether capturing a seasonal moment, or revealing a hidden treasure, Elaine’s goal is to reveal each tree’s spirit and beauty, as well as the emotion that they evoke.
Elaine is a member of the Winnipeg South Photo Club and served as President for the 2012-13 year. She served as the clubs Exhibit Coordinator during 2016 – 2018, coordinating seven exhibits for the club.
Elaine is on the planning committee for Manitoba Photo Events. This team represents three photo clubs in Winnipeg – Manitoba Camera Club, Manitoba Foto Friends and Winnipeg South Photo Club. The clubs have come together to bring photography speakers that educate and inspire the local photographic community in Manitoba. The speaker for 2019 is Michelle Valberg. Past speakers have been Andre Gallant, David DuChemin, Paul Zizka, Dave Brosha, Andre Gallant, Darwin Wiggett/Samantha Chrysanthou, David DuChemin, Dave Brosha and Paul Zizka.
Liam Toms : An emerging artist, Liam has always been drawn to the outdoors. While exploring in nature, he discovers pieces of wood which seem to have a spirit that is waiting to be revealed. An avid illustrator and carver, Liam has a talent for bringing to life the character and essence within. His art reveals itself chip by chip, first to the artist and then to the viewer.
May & June
“Pillagers of Light”
The title and idea for this show was born out of a number of discussions with Mensie DeZeemeermin a number of years ago. I had recently taken and posted a print that I called “Don’t Blame It On The Rain”. Mensie saw the picture and suggested that the concept would make a great poem. My response is that this was not something that I would ever do. In our discussion, she agreed to try to write a poem. I told her that if she did write something, I would post it with the image in my gallery. The two continue to be displayed together on the gallery. After reading the poem I was struck with the possibilities of creating a show that incorporated the more challenging shots. To begin with I knew I wanted to include images that pushed the limits of the medium especially those involving large dynamic ranges. The dynamic range of a scene is the measurable difference between the darkest and the lightest parts of the scene. Our eyes adjust constantly to allow us to see detail in the highlights and shadows so we are generally unaware of the dynamic range of most scenes. The camera however does not have the sophistication of our eyes and is only able to record data in a specific range of light, depending upon how the exposure is set. In brief, if you are in a high dynamic range situation and you set a camera to record highlight detail, you will likely loose shadow detail and visa versa. The goal of my project was to maintain as much detail in the shadowed areas as well as the highlights. This challenge would require very careful exposures and processing. Cameras have the ability to capture the light and dark of a scene in a range of about 7-10 exposure stops. However, even if the camera is able to capture this dynamic range,
many scenes go beyond that and if the image is destined for print in any form, detail loss will occur. The best quality glossy papers can faithfully record about 3 to 5 stops of detail. And if one moves to a canvas medium, the detail loss is even greater.
Apart from dynamic range, I also wanted to demonstrate some of the other technical abilities of the camera and lens. These included things like recording the Milky Way, (Something my mother said could not be done), extreme enlargements, differential focus, large and small depth of field and a few exposures of birds, simply because of the challenge they create with long lenses. The equipment used is varied. Zoom lenses were used in a number of the exposures, like those involving the birds, and the night exposures. But the the most part especially in the last few years a preference was made for prime lenses which are capable of recording the finest levels of detail. -Wayne Benedet
I began taking pictures in 1975 to use as a reference for painting. The challenge of the art form encouraged me to study photography at Confederation College in Thunder Bay, Ontario in 1979/80. Following this I moved back to the prairies and I have lived here ever since.
My prints hang in the Provincial Government Building in Flin Flon, Manitoba and have been displayed at Canadian Mennonite University (CMU) and in the Provincial Legislature in Winnipeg, Manitoba. My first solo show was entitled: “An Old Ride – Classics in the Rough”. It was on tour in Manitoba from December 2008 to the end of May 2012 in fourteen rural provincial galleries. The collection was featured by “More of Uur Canada” Magazine in September 2011. The collection was also featured by “Our Canada” Magazine in their Anniversary Edition. The second collection was called “Voice of the Pioneers”. It toured to ten rural provincial galleries from the fall of 2011 until the summer of 2013. In the final show at the Heritage centre in Steinbach both collections, “An Old Ride – Classics in the Rough” and “Voice of the Pioneer” were shown together. After twenty four shows in five years,I decided to take a break and begin collecting images for another show. “Ridge Road Chevy”, was selected by the Central Juried Art show to tour the Province in from May 12, 2008 to September 30, 2008. “Shroud” was selected by the Central Juried Art show to tour the Province in from May to September 2010. “Beside Peaceful Waters” received an Honourable Mention in 2011 by the World Wide Gala Awards. “Who Has Seen the Wind” won an honourable mention at The World Wide Gala Awards, in the Country Landscape Category 2012. A total of 41 artists were selected from among 282 photographers from 46 countries. 39 were awarded Honorable Mentions from the WPGA’s Jury.
I live in Morden, Manitoba so much of my work is about the beauty, history and pioneering spirit of this area. I teach Photography and Processing at Red River College, Winkler Campus and speak about photography to community groups. Examples of my work can be found on line in a number of galleries and websites by GOOGLING Wayne Benedet.
JELLY ROLLS & FAT QUARTERS QUILTING