by David Moscrop
JUST A DECADE ago, in 1991, a then-recent graduate of the University of Ottawa wandered by a former bread factory and noticed a sign that read "For Rent". This conjured an idea that would lead to the creation of one of Ottawa's most original art studios. The Enriched Bread Artists was soon formed. Taking their name from the building, the old Standard Bread Factory that was built in 1924, the artists had to renovate the building to suit their needs. Walls were built, personal studios and common space was designed and so too was common space where the group could show their work together. The first Enriched Bread Artists Open Studio was held in 1992.
On Thursday, Oct. 23 from 6 to 9 p.m., interested minds have an opportunity to visit the 11th Annual Open Studio and explore the artists' works. The Open Studio gives viewers an opportunity to meet the artists, speak with them, and discover their working spaces and view their work.
Along with the Open Studio, there will also be special events that include a debut film, 14,000 Days, by Marika Jemma on Oct 24 at 7:30 p.m.; a performance of Fruit and Fibre, by Carl Stewart on Sunday, Oct. 26 at 4 p.m.; an artist talk with John R. Barkley on Oct. 31 at 7:30 p.m.; and an artist talk and performance by Kenneth Emig on Nov. 1 at 1 p.m.
The EBA Open Studio will include works from a multitude of artists who use diverse media and include many different styles and approaches. The pieces shown range from Svetlana Swinimer and Jean Halstead's dialectical approach towards art, in which they construct sculptures, deconstruct them with photography, and reconstruct them by intricate arrangement of the images, to Jean-Marie Bélanger's depiction of the pear and the boat as the male scrotum and phallus.
Other interesting approaches include: Julie McDonald's nature-inspired exploration of how spaces change over time and how they are affected by human encroachment; Gayle Kells' use of the image of the dress to express the female form; Kenneth Emig's exploration of sound, light, optics and kinetics as expression; Hedda Siddla Monner's intuitive expression of perspectives of places traveled; John R. Barkley's abstract "existential paintings" that challenge viewers to understand what is expressed in the paint itself; and Collette Gréco-Riddle's texture based, mixed-media etches and paintings.
The works displayed at the show are challenging and thoughtful pieces, cutting across traditional artistic lines, and are sure to resonate with viewers. The artists transform the dilapidated factory setting into a sort of Dickens-esque Louvre, exhibiting their work on the bright white walls, which contrast with an otherwise shadowy industrial atmosphere.
The exhibition will continue on Fridays, from 6 to 9 p.m.; Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and Sundays from 11am-5pm at 951 Gladstone Ave.
For more information, visit the EBA Web site at www.artengine.ca/eba.