Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Contemplating Excellence in Manitoba Fine Craft

A recent visit to the SOFA Chicago show (Sculptural Objects Functional Art and Design) caused some contemplation of the richness, quality and diversity in craft that we have here in this province.

The show is a prominent one, showcasing galleries from across North America, Europe, Australia and New Zealand offering fine craft, sculpture, furniture, and jewelry in a variety of mediums.  There are many lectures and expert panels, focusing on aspects of the advancement of craft, issues specific to mediums, to collectors, to aesthetics itself.  It was truly fascinating to both observe and participate, and listen to discussion about sloppy craft, postmodern craft, fine craft, technologically based craft, craft made by fabricators supervised by the artist, and on and on.  The level of the discussion was impressive, as was the relative sophistication of the audience, and their apparent ability to contemplate the deservedly high price of the objects at the show--often reaching many, many thousands of dollars.

A quick tour through Pulse Gallery here in Winnipeg, our small gallery focusing exclusively on Manitoba art and fine craft, reveals an astonishing diversity of offerings at a variety of accessible price points, and a level of craftsmanship and artistry that is worthy of pride.  SOFA was wonderful, but it served as a strong reminder that our own Manitoba makers work at a very high level, with admirable artistic concept and skill.

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Visit us next weekend!

We are proud to participate once again in Culture Days Manitoba!

For the fifth year, Culture Days invites everyone to explore, discover and participate in arts and culture in every community across the country!  Last year, attendance across the country topped 1.7 million Canadians.

Pulse Gallery will be opening the gallery to demonstrations by our artists and artisans on Saturday September 27 and Sunday, September 28, from 1 - 4 pm.   You can watch them create, and ask questions about their processes.

September 27, Saturday, 1-4 pm:  painting, sculpting, and mosaic demos
September 28, Sunday, 1-4 pm:  painting, sculpting and chainmail demos  

Plan a visit to the Forks and create/participate/celebrate at a variety of venues!

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Spotlight on...Dale Turner

Dale has been a foundation artist of Pulse Gallery since its opening.  While her subject matter and techniques are diverse, her style is always identifiable.  Painting allows Dale to create and express her own beliefs and values for others to both enjoy and interpret according to their own individual tastes and understanding.  Art, for Dale, is a never-ending experience about life, our inner self, and the development of our individual expression.

"Roots Matter", acrylic on canvas, 24"x48"
Dale's strong and confident use of limited colour palettes is a signature aspect of her work, whether it be a neutrally-toned abstract with metallics as above, or one of her striking poppy series.

Recently, Dale has been producing abstract pieces with powerful themes referencing the power that music has in our lives.  Once again, she limits her colour palette with striking results, and the piece is at once accessible and thought-provoking.

"Sentimental Jazz", acrylic, 24"x36"

Her "Winnipeg Icons" pieces are strikingly modern, and bring to life Winnipeg's new Canadian Human Rights Museum and the Esplanade Riel, with the backdrop of the often-overlooked urban beauty of Winnipeg's downtown.  Her sophisticated use of colour gives these more representational works a strongly contemporary power.

"Winnipeg Icons", framed acrylic, 20"x40"

"Winnipeg Icons", acrylic on canvas, 20"x60"

Dale has reproduced a few of her works in a series of high-quality blank greeting cards and small framed prints, both of which are a very popular item here at Pulse.

Selection of blank greeting cards with reproductions of paintings by artist Dale Turner

Thursday, 22 May 2014

Spotlight on...Garry Budyk

Garry is a nature photographer, birder and amateur naturalist from Winnipeg Manitoba, and his photos of Manitoba's beauty are a favourite of many of our customers, both locals and visitors.  His attention to detail, professional presentation, commitment to customer service, and meticulous cataloguing combine with his artistry to make him the artist of choice for people looking for scenes from a particular area in the province, or for those trying to capture a certain memory. 

In Garry's own words, "I strive to create images that take a step beyond being simply “beautiful pictures” (and I daresay there are unlimited opportunities to find said beauty in Manitoba!).  What I attempt to create are images that catch the viewer's eye, draws them into the scene and makes a connection to their own life experience.  Smiles and good memories of sitting by a rushing waterfall … Grandpa's old barn … hearing the crunch of the leaves as you walked that path through the forest … that little owl you found roosting in your backyard.  Beautiful photos yes--but hopefully so much more."

As a young man, Garry became fascinated with the view through the lens.  Working mostly in black and white, he spent several years learning the basics of composition, lighting and exposure, and in the process exposing many thousands of frames.  Black and white led to colour, and the rich vibrant hues of Kodachrome.  Seeing the world anew in full glorious colour led Garry to embrace the brilliance and clarity of colour work.  This can clearly be seen in his work right to this day.

However, black and white continues to be an important part of Garry's work.  Architectural gems in the Exchange District, historic prairie elevators and monochromatic renderings of the natural world are some of the main themes Garry chooses to present in black and white.

A recent addition to Garry's catalogue of Manitoba scenes has been a selection of focused post-processing work adding a contemporary edge to his already diverse offerings.  Garry has kindly offered us some insight into these new pieces.  "Earlier this year, as an antidote to our already too-long winter , I began experimenting with some extreme alterations of some common and uncommon scenes I have experienced and photographed. My normal modus operandi involves a realistic interpretation , with a comfortable compostion and touch of warmth . The photographs I began working with by no means had “uncomfortable” compositions or lacked warmth but my experiments were designed to see these attributes from a totally different perspective . The result is what I've come to call 'Images of Manitoba … Alternate Realities'."

Garry offers a selection of his work in a variety of sizes and formats in the gallery, and as well is able to work with the customer to customize size and mounting choices within a very reasonable timeframe.  Yet another reason to visit Pulse Gallery!

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Spotlight on...Gail Sawatzky

Gail Sawatzky's passion for painting began at an early age, and her love for texture and luminescent colour came to fruition after her first visit to Mexico.  The colours there radiated with warmth and created feelings of joy, and when she returned home, she began translating those feelings onto canvas using paint and texture.  Working with acrylics, mediums, glazes and encaustics allow her to work quickly, and embed high textural relief in her pieces.  Texture and intense colour are fundamental aspects of Gail's works. 

Gail lives in Altona, Manitoba, and the prairie landscape around her is a strong influence.

In Gail's own words, "Creating art is an endless journey full of adventure and constant learning.  What a great journey it is!"

Here are a few examples of Gail's work that have been shown at Pulse:

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Spotlight on...Joanne Harris

Joanne Harris has been with Pulse Gallery for a number of years, and she continues to delight us with her breathtaking contemporary watercolors of our natural landscape.  We have taken the liberty of quoting some of Joanne's autobiographical notes on her website to highlight her generosity of spirit, and passion for her work.
My love of painting goes back as far as I can remember. I chose to stay at home with my children but once they began to attend school I quickly signed up for watercolor classes given by a local artist. I will always be grateful for the inspiration and mentoring provided to me by this first teacher. Since those early days of painting I have continued my art education attending classes and workshops presented by great national teachers. I have for the past 10 years painted watercolors full time out of my home studio.
Joanne on her home territory

My home is situated in a woodland setting just west of the city of Winnipeg . There is an abundance of natural beauty just outside my windows that allows me breathing space and inspiration for my mostly landscape and floral paintings.

I have always felt a close connection to the prairies living here all my life. My husband and I enjoy traveling the province taking photos of the ever changing beauty that lies in wait for that next painting. I have taught watercolor classes for over 12 years. I currently teach workshops and am available to art clubs and groups.

My work can be found in the collections of several Manitoba Credit Unions, the Winnipeg Foundation, and in many other private offices and homes. My watercolors have traveled around the world carried by tourists who purchase my work from Pulse Gallery at the Forks in Winnipeg where it can be viewed.

David Lauder--From Shield to Fields

Pulse Gallery is featuring David Lauder for the month of April, with the artist reception on Friday April 11 from 7-9 pm.  The gallery will be filled with David's beautiful contemporary images of Manitoba, ranging from beautiful abstract imagery to crisply focused iconic landscapes.

David Lauder is a Winnipeg-based photographer with a life-long interest in travel and landscape photography. His current portfolio of landscapes are taken primarily in Riding Mountain, Eastern Manitoba, Northwest Ontario and southwestern Manitoba.

In David’s own words, “In 2003, I became serious about photography and set out to find my place in the ‘professional’ realm … I love to make beautiful images.  I love everything from broad landscapes right down to fine details and abstractions.  And I love to share them.  What motivates me is the look on someone’s face when they see one of my images that really resonates with them.  I have a personal attachment to almost all of my images, and can remember the feeling and anticipation I had when each of my images was captures.  Hopefully, my images will create similar feelings in you.”   

We hope you can join us for the artist reception to have an opportunity to meet David, discuss his work, and see some of the beautiful work of Manitoba's talented artists.

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Spotlight on...Anthony Steffes

Anthony Steffes has been an artist at Pulse Gallery since it opened.  He is well known as an arts educator as well as an artist, and his work reflects his generous, innovative, and explorative nature.

His new series of matted and framed small works are acrylic on textile, and he has been able to use the surface and sheen of the fabric to embed detail and texture.  These pieces are lovely, and worth viewing in person.  

 In Anthony's own words, 
As an experimental artist I am interested in playing with mediums, found objects, and just about anything that has pattern or texture to develop layered pieces that challenge the imagination of the viewer. Inspiration begins with objects and materials that I must possess. My art process involves purposely creating difficulties, confusing myself and avoiding anything that I can easily control, exactly the opposite of the way I choose to live. Visual references from the performing arts, nature, the garden, and prior art experience, guide my creative process. My pieces intend to inspire fantasy, evoke memories, and tempt the viewer to indulge in something not easily defined.