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#balanceforbetter: Ariane Beauchamp, Alex Chowaniec, Sharon Kelly, Lori Richards + Marjolyn Van Der Hart

Join us in celebrating the work of five incredibly talented artists, Ariane Beauchamp (Ottawa), Alex Chowaniec (Bushwick, NYC), Sharon Kelly (Ottawa), Lori Richards (Kingston), and Marjolyn Van Der Hart (Toronto). This exhibition celebrates International Women’s Day 2019 and its theme of #balanceforbetter.

Show dates: March 8 - 30, 2019
Artist Reception:
Friday, March 8, 5:30-7:30pm

This year’s theme for #balanceforbetter turns our gaze inward at the fine arts industry on both a global and a local level.

Read on about the artists

Ariane Beauchamp,  Heron and Fungi  (detail), ink and watercolour with paper collage

Ariane Beauchamp, Heron and Fungi (detail), ink and watercolour with paper collage

Ariane Beauchamp is a multi-disciplinary artists based in Ottawa, Ontario. Her works explore her relationship to the cycle of life and death and fascination with the natural world. Inspired in particular by the ornithological work of John James Audubon and her own experience foraging, Beauchamp melds detailed paper and ink sculptures of birds with surrealist twists. While we lack the ability to speak to these birds, the inky abstractions in her work add an emotive layer to the paper which acts like a Rosetta Stone, linking our thoughts and feelings to those dripping from the birds themselves.

Beauchamp holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Ottawa University, and has been featured across the region in collaboration with musicians and poets, including the animation for Claude Munson’s video “Driftwood” (2012).

Alex Chowaniec ,  Peonies (Organ) , oil on canvas

Alex Chowaniec, Peonies (Organ), oil on canvas

This body of work explores the intertwining of pattern and meaning. Alex Chowaniec uses recurring patterns and imagery of organs, flora and other natural matter to show the similarities in performance, impermanence, and decay these things share. Dialogue on, and the acceptance of, mortality are ways in which the artist strives for balance in her interpretations of life as she experiences it. Reflections on the self as a social construct, and examinations of the gendered body are further themes the artist explores.

Alex Chowaniec is an artist based in Brooklyn, NY and Co Founder of Chowaniec Projects, visualizing climate action through art. Chowaniec has exhibited internationally, and holds an MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute, graduating with the Irene Pijoan Memorial Painting Award, and Joan Mitchell Foundation, Headlands Centre for the Arts, and SECA Award (SFMOMA) nominations. She received her BFA Honors from Queen’s University, in Canada.

Sharon   Kelly,  Sky Blushes , mixed media on panel

Sharon Kelly, Sky Blushes, mixed media on panel

Sharon Kelly is based in Ottawa, where she works full time as an artist and interior designer. Kelly seeks balance and meditative qualities from her paintings. She achieves this through pulling in the ebb and flow of bodies of water and their calming effects on the body and mind, achieved through a refined colour palette of sun-bleached yellows and crackling blues.

Lori Richards,  Pop Garden , acrylic on panel

Lori Richards, Pop Garden, acrylic on panel

Lori Richards studio practice is based out of Kingston, Ontario. She says of her work, “It is a portal to the interior world of memory and desire, time and place, longing and surrender — illuminating narrative and emotion. In the end there must be an emotional connection to the final painting, for me and for the viewer.

I want my paintings to create an emotional response or connection and bring awareness to the beauty and fragility of the planet." 

Marjolyn Van Der Hart,  Bonnie Babe,  mixed media on panel

Marjolyn Van Der Hart, Bonnie Babe, mixed media on panel

Marjolyn Van Der Hart paints the futures she wants to see and the pasts she’s experienced in her layered and narrative mixed media artworks. Using countless layers of wallpaper or tissues, paints, found objects, photo transfers, and text, Van Der Hart recounts the ambitions, accomplishments and confinements women have have over the ages. With her dynamic paintings she stands up and says “no way” to the idea that “there have been no great women artists”.

*Thank you to everyone who attended our March 8th opening reception. We are proud to announce we helped raise $200 for our charity partner for #balanceforbetter, iSisters Technology Mentoring! iSisters is a local charity whose mission it is to create and deliver technology programs at no cost to learners because they believe in equipping women with the skills and confidence to participate fully in their community.  Thank you to Elizabeth Kilvert of The Unrefined Olive for making delicious cocktails!