A car rental dealership in the South Shore town of Châteauguay is the newest location for a contemporary art gallery featuring a well-known international artist.
Dazzling, eye-catching oil paintings and thought-provoking sculptures now hang in the Enterprise Rent-A-Car store off St-Jean Boulevard.
For a little over a week, international artist Detlef Gotzens has transformed the small space used as a waiting room into a colourful art gallery.
“You would not bring these two things together. In most people’s minds they are quite alien,” Gotzens said.
“We didn’t know this was going to work but we realized, in my art, I juxtapose many odd things. In many ways, metaphorically speaking, this is the same thing.”
The idea for sharing the business space came out of necessity and an opening to fill a void in the Enterprise building, Julius Zavodni, owner of Enterprise Châteauguay, said.
“It’s a wonderful opportunity to share the space with as many people as possible,” Zavodni said.
The space was originally planned for another type of business but because of the COVID-19 crisis, the venture never materialized
Zavodni and Gotzens are friends and decided to be partners, agreeing the small, white walls would be the perfect backdrop for art.
The striking pieces are a pleasant surprise for many clients who are caught off guard.
“Art is an international language. Twenty people with different nationalities can be in the same room and everybody can speak the same language through the art,” Zavodni said.
Gotzens says he has witnessed on several occasions, clients and even workers at the car rental store take a minute out of their day to examine the art and focus on the painting.
“We are living way too fast in so many ways and art will slow you down and bring you back to your ground, ” Gotzens said.
“Life presents you with opportunities that form new ideas and new ways,” Gotzens said.
Specializing in the restoration and conservation of historic stained glass, Gotzens has a long career in the arts.
The most prominent project was the restoration of the Peace Tower windows on Parliament Hill in 2001.
He has participated in many group and solo shows in Canada and the U.S. as well as in Europe, especially in his native country of Germany.
Gotzens and Zavodni say they have grand plans for the space.
“We are always rotating the artwork. We might do events to bring in people and to fuse the space into people’s mind that this is a car rental business but also a cultural entity,” Gotzen said.
Gotzen says his artwork will always be on display for people to see and looks forward to speaking to residents of Châateauguay about it.
The art is for sale but Gotzens says that is not the ultimate purpose behind this venture.
He will be onsite on Wednesdays and Fridays from noon to 5 p.m.
© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.
ARTS AROUND: Last chance to view children’s exhibit at Rollin Art Centre – Alberni Valley News
This week is your last chance to view an art exhibit featuring local Port Alberni children.
“Moments in Time” is the current art exhibit at the Rollin Art Centre. It is a collaboration of children’s art organized by the Early Childhood Educators of B.C. Port Alberni branch, which looks at the world through children’s eyes.
The exhibit runs until May 20. The Rollin Art Centre is open Tuesday to Saturday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., and is located at the corner of Eighth Avenue and Argyle Street.
“SPRING – Seasonal Imagery” is the title of the next art exhibit at the Rollin Art Centre. This exhibit will reflect the gentle changes of the season and create a unique mood and feeling associated with this season based on your interpersonal reflection.
Join us in the gallery on Saturday, May 28 for refreshments and an opportunity to meet with some of the featured artists: Janice Sheehan, Mae LaBlanc, Joan Akerman, Jayant Chaudhary, Cathy Stewart, Cynthia Bonesky, Mary Ann McGrath, Cheryl Frehlich, Dodie Manifold, Patrick Larose and Karen Poirier. The exhibit open May 25.
Two-Day Watercolour Workshop at Rollin Art Centre — June 1 and 2 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. — Ionne McCauley is an accomplished artist, quilter, and author, currently living in Qualicum Beach, who has taught colour workshops for more than 25 years. Next month, she will teach the basics of colour theory and pigments during a watercolour workshop in Port Alberni. In this workshop, you will learn about value, hue, tone, shade and saturation. Explore the learnable magic of watercolour paints, how to achieve glowing colours and how to choose (and use) pigments for exciting colour combinations.
Workshop Fee is $150 and supply fee (paid to the instructor) is $20. Register at the Rollin Art Centre: 250-724-3412. Numbers are limited.
One-Day Acrylic Workshop at Rollin Art Centre — Saturday July 16 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. — When you think of landscapes, you might think “Oh that’s too complicated.” Not so! If you break it down into simple shapes, it becomes easy and fun. In this workshop, Susan Schaefer will guide you through landscapes, discussing what makes a good composition while simplifying your landscape. Schaefer has been a professional artist for the past 20 years and has taken workshops from some of Canada’s finest artists. She has a fun and relaxed way of teaching, working with students at their individual level and ensuring a good learning experience for all.
Workshop Fee is $115 +GST and a supply list is available. Register at the Rollin Art Centre: 250-724-3412. Numbers are limited.
LOOKING FOR ARTISTS
The annual Solstice Arts Festival is back after a two-year hiatus due to COVID-19. Join us Saturday, June 18 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Rollin Art Centre.
Spaces are available for artists and artisans on our terrace or in our two gardens. There is lots of room to spread out and it is a picture-perfect spot to set up an easel or demos of the artwork you create.
If you are interested in displaying at this year’s free family event, call the Rollin Art Centre at 250-724-3412 for more info. Spaces are $25 for the day.
Teas on the Terrace events are back at the Rollin Art Centre. Tickets are now on sale at a cost of $20 for our strawberry teas and $25 for a “High Tea.”
The first tea will take place July 7, with musical guest to be announced.
June 1 and 2 – Workshop – “Watercolour – The Basics of Colour Theory and Pigments”
June 18 – Solstice Arts Festival – Spaces available for artisans
June 22 – July 22 – “Women’s Work” – group exhibit – Sue Thomas, Jillian Mayne, Colleen Clancy, and Ann McIvor
July and August – Teas on the Terrace – Tickets available now
Melissa Martin is the Arts Administrator for the Community Arts Council, at the Rollin Art Centre and writes for the Alberni Valley News. Call 250-724-3412. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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The artwork in the new council chambers at the Jubilee Centre reflects the hopes and beliefs that local First Nation and Métis peoples have for reconciliation.
But Frederick McDonald, an artist from the Fort McKay First Nation commissioned for the paintings, made sure people at an April 25 unveiling ceremony didn’t forget why the artwork was made in the first place.
In a nine-minute poem, McDonald made people at the ceremony confront the legacies of the residential school system, 60s scoop and colonialism have on Indigenous peoples.
He talked about the high rates of homelessness, drug and alcohol addictions, unemployment, food insecurity and suicide found today in Indigenous communities across Canada.
His poem discussed the racism and discrimination inflicted upon Indigenous peoples by some leaders in politics, policing, health care, education, religion and business. He blasted the RCMP’s role in enforcing these policies throughout the years.
Politicians from all levels and parties were skewered. Even racist depictions of Indigenous people in movies and TV shows weren’t spared in his poem. If people listening to his poetry felt uncomfortable, that was his point.
“Have you heard enough? Have you had enough? Do you want to do something? Really, you still want to talk about truth and reconciliation?” he said.
“If you do, let’s talk about healing. Let’s talk about all our pains: there’s, your’s and mine. Let’s talk about the drum’s. Let’s talk about the dance. Let’s talk about celebrations and ceremony, about differences of culture, about understanding and working together. So much to do. So much to do. So let’s begin.”
McDonald’s poem captured the rage felt by so many First Nation, Métis and Inuit people, but his three paintings in the council chambers reflects his optimism in the future. He wanted his art to acknowledge the past but not dwell on pain or anger. This was also insisted upon by an elders council.
“As Aboriginal people, we want to be able to tell our own stories, so that’s what these paintings are all about,” said McDonald. “It’s about us sharing our stories, sharing them in a positive manner, working towards the future together—not side-by-side, not separate—but together going forward.”
A fourth piece is a talking stick, which was created by Elder Shurley Arthurs of the Fort McMurray First Nation 468. It sits at the desk where guest speakers address council. All the pieces were bound by teachings of honesty, love, truth, humility, wisdom, courage and respect.
“We hope relations between all people will continue to flourish. That is my big wish. I pray for that everyday. Because with the world as it is, who knows how much short time we have?” said Arthurs. “Love the people around you. It’s very important.”
Council decided in 2019 that the artwork for the new chambers would be completed by Indigenous artists, following a motion made by Councillor Keith McGrath. A committee was formed that included elders, knowledge keepers and creatives from Indigenous communities in the region.
Mayor Sandy Bowman said the art will remind council of the Indigenous history of this region, which serves “as a constant reminder to unite, and foster change and understanding.”
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