You may not know what to expect if you visit a current St. Boniface-based art exhibition.
Wayne Arthur Gallery, located at 186 Provencher Blvd., is hosting The Unexpected: The Annual Group Show until Sat., Dec. 29. The gallery’s hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday to Saturday.
Bev Morton, the gallery’s owner and manager, said she invited 50 Manitoba artists to enter the show (49 responded) with a work a work of art that is "unexpected." The St. Boniface resident also asked the artists to submit a story.
"In some cases, the artists endeavoured to work with the theme, and in some cases, not so much. Until either the work or the stories came in, I couldn’t tell if they had. I had advised them they could comply with the theme by what they said in their story," Morton said.
This is Morton’s ninth annual group show, which continues to gain momentum every year. Typically, she will issue a call to artists for entries in mid-August and the show is usually full within 24 hours (on a first-come, first-served basis.)
The show includes new paintings, printmaking, drawings, photographs, mixed media and several three-dimensional works.
In Morton’s case, without giving too much away, she took a poem she wrote in 1969 as the inspiration for her piece titled The Solitude of the Staircase Between the Ninth and Tenth Floors — which proved to be both challenging and rewarding — not least because she didn’t take a photo of the staircase at the Cambridge Towers Condominiums building on Grant Avenue all those years ago.
Artist Gloria De Neve, who lives in River Heights, said her element of the unexpected came because her piece is made of fibre, rather than her usual medium.
"I’m actually a raku and clay artist and specialize in human torsos and have an interest in Byzantine art and body art," said De Neve, a retired teacher who now has her own studio. "But I began to see fibre as a way of sculpting, so fibre is the unexpected."
As part of her process, De Neve "manipulated a sewing machine as I’d use pencil" on silk to help create her exhibit piece titled Byzantium — In Winged Flight.
De Neve credits Morton with working hard to foster and support the local arts community.
"I know (Morton) has devoted a large part of her retirement years to Manitoba artists. I think she’s remained honest and having 49 local artists together with all their media creates an exciting show charged with energy. It’s self-fulfilling energy."
To learn more, visit www.waynearthurgallery.com.