Art is often created with the intention of encouraging contemplation, reflection and ultimately change whether on a personal, community or global level.
The exhibitions opening on September 16 at the Kootenay Gallery were created with just such intention. Amy Loewan’s installation Illuminating Peace, showing in the East Gallery makes a powerful statement about her dedication to peace building.
Her work, strongly influenced by her Chinese heritage, uses traditional calligraphy and art materials of rice paper and ink. Large panels of interwoven strips of paper hand written with words in 35 languages depict eight values vital in human relationships: compassion, kindness, respect, understanding, patience, tolerance, gentleness and forgiveness.
Public participation is also a feature of this exhibition in which viewers are invited to explore their own visions of peace and write/draw these onto strips of rice paper and then weave them onto a separate panel that will become part of the installation.
As Loewan states, “In our contemporary society when we are constantly tempted to fear and to despair because of terrorism, global warming, nuclear weapons, depletion of natural resources, rending of social fabric and so on, I strongly believe a message of hope is crucial for our well being.”
In the West Gallery will be an exhibition of paintings by Vivi Harder from Nelson, entitled “Too Still To Move.”
Through the use of consistent minimal shapes, subtle colours and textures Harder invites the viewer to slow down, stop and reflect on the simple beauty that can be found in art and life. The viewer is once again left with a sense of calm and quiet and an appreciation of art for art’s sake.
The opening reception for both these exhibitions will be held on Friday, September 16 at 7 p.m. There is no admission charge and both artists will be in attendance. Amy Loewan will be giving an artist talk discussing her installation and the influences that inform her work.
The Kootenay Gallery is located on Heritage Way adjacent to the Doukhobor Discovery Centre and is open Tuesday to Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. www.kootenaygallery.com