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Thorold photographer brings natural style to Rose City’s art wall

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Barry Smith finds beauty everywhere he goes.

The Thorold man, who was born in Scotland and raised in Niagara, has a knack for capturing unique images with his camera lens whether it’s on a trip somewhere, or in his own backyard.

“I always look for things that are unique—something that’s never been seen before,” Smith said.


One such example is a photograph he snapped of a tree trunk filled with hundreds of nails. It was something he had never seen before.

“I was driving and stopped at a red light when I noticed it,” Smith explained, and pulled off to the side of the road.

Another example is a photograph he took when he saw a rubber band lying on the ground in a parking lot.

“Being a music guy, I had to take a picture because the rubber band was in the shape of a treble clef.”

Smith captures a variety of images—everything from landscapes to architecture, some nature shots and things he finds in unusual spaces across Niagara. He prints his images on canvas, which makes them appear more like a painting rather than a photograph.

He only prints about 10 copies of each image, making his work limited.

“So when you buy a photograph, you’re getting a Barry Smith photo that’s unique,” he said, and added that if art enthusiasts are looking for something specific, Smith is happy to help them capture images they are looking for.

Photography lovers can check out his work on display in the Rose City this month. Smith is the latest artist to be featured at the Welland Wall of Art at Welland Civic Square.

With no formal training, Smith picked up all his skills through a lot of trial and error.

When asked to describe his style, Smith said it’s simple.


“I love natural lighting. The majority of my photos are outside and I love to use the natural light that’s there,” he said.

Smith loves selling his work, and said he appreciates when people who purchase his work send him pictures of his work hanging in their new homes.

“I like to see pictures of my work hanging in peoples’ homes and the artwork and other things that hang around it,” he said.

Smith is a member of the St. Catharines Art Association, Niagara Artists Centre and Hamilton Arts Council. He won a Reader’s Choice Award last year and is a contributing photographer to Reveal Magazine with two covers to show for it.

For more information about Smith’s work visit www.barrysmithphotography.ca.

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David Driskell, prominent authority on black art, dies at 88 – Times Colonist

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FALMOUTH, Maine — David Driskell, one of the nation’s most influential African American artists and a leading authority on black art, has died. He was 88.

Driskell was a multimedia artist who used the trees around his Falmouth, Maine, cabin home as a feature in his work. A spokeswoman for the David C. Driskell Center at the University of Maryland said he died on Wednesday. The cause of his death, in a hospital near his home in Hyattsville, Maryland, was not disclosed.

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Driskell went to Maine in the 1950s to study at Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. He was part of a wave of artists who came to the state from New York, the Portland Press Herald reported. He would go on to become the author of several books and more than 40 catalogues, and curated “Two Centuries of Black American Art: 1750-1950” at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in the 1970s. The show was pivotal in paving the way for the study of African American art history.

Driskell once said of Maine: “I dream about it when I’m not there.”

The spokeswoman for the Driskell Center said services are not planned at this time due to concerns about coronavirus, which has disrupted funeral services around the country.

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David Driskell, prominent authority on black art, dies at 88 – Powell River Peak

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FALMOUTH, Maine — David Driskell, one of the nation’s most influential African American artists and a leading authority on black art, has died. He was 88.

Driskell was a multimedia artist who used the trees around his Falmouth, Maine, cabin home as a feature in his work. A spokeswoman for the David C. Driskell Center at the University of Maryland said he died on Wednesday. The cause of his death, in a hospital near his home in Hyattsville, Maryland, was not disclosed.

article continues below

Driskell went to Maine in the 1950s to study at Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. He was part of a wave of artists who came to the state from New York, the Portland Press Herald reported. He would go on to become the author of several books and more than 40 catalogues, and curated “Two Centuries of Black American Art: 1750-1950” at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in the 1970s. The show was pivotal in paving the way for the study of African American art history.

Driskell once said of Maine: “I dream about it when I’m not there.”

The spokeswoman for the Driskell Center said services are not planned at this time due to concerns about coronavirus, which has disrupted funeral services around the country.

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London art galleries find new ways to reach public, promote exhibitions – The London Free Press

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Michael Gibson, owner of the Michael Gibson Gallery on Carling Street. (File photo)


Michael Gibson suspected weeks ago it would be arts and culture on which the public depend to help get them through the COVID-19 pandemic.

Reading, watching movies and television, and listening to music are all helping people occupy their time isolated at home.

And the city’s art galleries have shifted their operations to tap into that reality, going online with podcasts and videos to draw people to their exhibitions, which can be viewed only by appointment while their doors are closed to walk-in traffic during the pandemic.

“The beauty of the website is it’s 24 hours a day, seven days a week and it doesn’t care if it’s raining, snowing or a pandemic,” said Gibson, who was among the vanguard of businesses who tapped the potential of the Internet.

Activity on the gallery’s website (gibsongallery.com) is up 20 per cent over the last month, with people viewing and making inquiries.

“I’d say people clearly have a lot more time on their hands and that leads them to going online and visiting websites,” Gibson said. “As I expected, people have gone to culture to fill their time.

“There’s no sense dwelling on the negative all the time and part of being positive is exploring things that you don’t necessarily do regularly because you don’t have the time.”

Without the usual foot traffic, Gibson admitted sales are “softer.” Some customers continue to buy, but “buying is not necessarily everyone’s priority right now,” he said.

Westland Gallery in Wortley Village launched its first online exhibition, which allows the arts to be viewed and purchased, although private arrangements can be made for viewings.

The new exhibition, titled Off Road, features works by Sheila Davis and Andrew Sookrah. To connect with the public online, the gallery (westlandgallery.ca) has posted videos of interviews, talks and demonstrations by the artists.

Danielle Hoevenaars, the gallery’s associate director, said the gallery has always received “great” support from the Wortley Village community in terms of heavy foot traffic.

“We’ve always had a website and connected by social media, so we thought we’d try and improve the online experience with interviews and videos. And we’ve definitely noticed an increase of traffic on social media, so people are clearly trying to engage that way on their phones and computers,” said Hoevenaars.

“It’s an adjustment for everyone, but I’m certainly enjoying making the videos. It’s different but kind of nice to see that can still be connected.”

Jonathan Bancroft-Snell Gallery, which has grown to one of the country’s most important ceramic art galleries featuring works by more than 120 artists, is also open by appointment only by emailing brian@jonathons.ca or calling 519-859-0682 between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Monday to Friday.

Bancroft-Snell, whose husband Stephen White returned on one of the last flights from Mexico, has been in quarantine for 14 days ending Friday. He has turned to social media to keep connected with the public and friends.

Each day at 3 p.m., Bancroft-Snell has been broadcasting a podcast on his Instagram account, #ceramiclondon, where he talks about politics, life, pandemic and art. Plans to celebrate the gallery’s 20th anniversary this month are hold.

“I’m trying to build a little social distancing community,” said Bancroft-Snell. “We’re in unchartered waters right now and we have to stay afloat.”

A few clients have “made advance purchases, sending me cheques for things they might want to buy in the future knowing things are bad now.” One sale Bancroft-Snell made was to a woman also in quarantine, and another for a piece an artist hasn’t completed.

Bancroft-Snell, whose shop is downtown on Dundas Street just west of Wellington Street, also worries for the homeless people living on the street.

“And I’d like to think this (pandemic) will change how we care for each other,” he said.

”This pandemic should be a major wakeup call for us all. And a lot of artists are, all of a sudden, having major difficulties. They don’t have paycheques. They’re in a real bind.”

jbelanger@postmedia.com

Twitter.com/JoeBatLFPress

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