Exhibit explores Human/Nature


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An art exhibit exploring the interaction between the human world and nature will be the final show of the season at the Steinbach Arts Council.

Human/Nature is a series of paintings, photographs, and mixed media that depict this interaction in a comical way. This is the first professional showing of artist Nicolas Narvaez’s work.

“It’s so exciting. It’s like having a kid for the first time. It’s been a long time and the first exhibition where I’m officially an artist,” he said, noting it was only last year that he fully committed to being a professional artist.

SVJETLANA MLINAREVIC THE CARILLON Ste Genevive mixed media artist Nicolas Narvaez sits in his studio working on a painting. Narvaez will hold his first exhibit Human/Nature at the Steinbach Arts Council on May 12 running until June 23.

Originally from Jinotepe, Nicaragua, Narvaez has been producing art since his childhood where he would get into trouble in school for drawing instead of listening to the teacher. He also would observe his family members creating things out of wood, metal, or cloth. He said his mother was an influence as he would watch her sew or make crafts.

“I’ve always been very curious since I was little. So, when I come across a new medium I want to try it. For example, we used to live next to a farmer that had sheep and he gave me a big bag of wool and that’s when I started playing with needle felting,” he said.

In 2009, Narvaez moved to Canada where he studied art at the Emily Carr University of Art and Design and Guilford College. His artwork incorporates blacksmithing, woodworking, acrylic painting, needle felting, printmaking, and illustration. He moved to Manitoba in 2021 and currently lives in Ste Genevieve.

For the show, Narvaez’s artwork shows the comical intersection of the human world and nature, such as a robin pulling on a shoestring out of the ground instead of a worm or a murder of crows using bottle caps as crowns.

“Art is a big part of my life… It’s been with me and I think it’s been my way to express myself, my feelings, my emotions. In general, it’s a way to communicate from the artist to the world and because art is about what you gather. Sometimes it’s not so much about what the artist wants to do, it’s about what people observe and what they want to interpret about it… It’s about expression and being expressive and seeing life in a different way.

Currently, as the weather warms, Narvaez is back to blacksmithing. He’s creating useful art such as metal keychains, fireplace tools, and other useful household items, which he plans on selling at farmer’s markets.

“(Blacksmithing) is my favourite thing to do. It’s something romantic and nostalgic about it. The noise, the smell of the coal, and creating something out of metal. Make something organic and beautiful and something very satisfying about it. (I also like wood carving too). Mixing wood and metal is my new favourite thing to do,” he said with a smile.

The Human/Nature exhibit will run until June 23 and can be viewed in person or online at steinbacharts.ca.

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