What happens when you read a good book?
The Wayne Arthur Gallery, located at 186 Provencher Blvd., is currently hosting It Came from a Book I Read: The Annual Group Show. The exhibit, which showcases 50 artists from across the province, will run until Fri., Dec. 27.
The gallery’s owner and manager, St. Boniface resident Bev Morton, said she invited the artists to enter the show with a work of art related to a book they have read. She also asked the artists to submit a story. Typically, she will issue a call for entries in mid-August and the show is usually full within 24 hours on a first-come, first-served basis.
"I personally believe all shows featuring local artists are significant, which is why I show only Manitoba artists," said Morton, who is also exhibiting in the show. "The group shows are very popular and well attended."
Despite this, Morton believes the recent cold snap has affected foot traffic so far this year.
"I like to have group shows to bring more people out. Although a lot of people came to the recent opening, I think the cold weather is keeping people away," she said.
Exhibiting artist Elizabeth Delgatty said the show should offer something for everyone.
"Each artist was free to interpret any book which they had read in a manner that moved them in a medium of their choice," said Delgatty, who lives in Elmwood.
"There are paintings in oil, watercolour, acrylic and encaustic. There are photographs, sculpture, pottery, ceramics and fabric art. It is a wonderfully varied collection of the artists’ ingenuity, creativeness and talent."
For the show, Delgatty chose to do a small watercolour painting inspired by the book Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte.
"It’s purported to be a love story, but is really a story of revenge. My painting shows a solitary, barren tree on the heath symbolizing one of the novel’s main characters, Heathcliff, who is a lonely, vengeful man casting his shadow over the other residents," Delgatty said, noting there is another painting inspired by the same book in the show.
"That painting is as different from mine as any other piece of art in the show based on other books. This difference shows how books can cause completely different emotional responses in different people."
Artist Gloria De Neve, whose smoke-fired clay sculpture was inspired by Yann Martel’s The Life of Pi, said the show helps bring artists together and foster a sense of community.
"Local artists all live together in this very real world and we are always searching for awareness and personal expression that makes sense of the world," said De Neve, who lives in River Heights.
"Human beings need to continue to search for personal beliefs. The intent of the artist is to delve deeper, express and then share their beliefs with the rest of humanity."
"The Wayne Arthur Gallery continues to support local artists in creative ways that support the personal and professional growth of the artist and the art."
Norwood Flats resident Gary Ganes is usually surprised by the show’s themes and inspired by the challenge.
"My exhibit, the Mad Hatter, is unique for me, as I used metal epoxy putty on wire mesh to form his face," Ganes said. "Also, I had other serious ideas, but I knew, in the end, I wanted visitors to be taken aback and to smile."
For more information, visit www.waynearthurgallery.com