art

‘Poetry and art for mental health’

Adriel Brandt reads his poem “The Crow” at the May 3, 2018, “Art and Poetry for Mental Health” reception in Abbotsford. In the background is the photograph by Dale Klippenstein (sitting behind Brandt) accompanying the work. Communitas Supportive Care Society sponsored the art exhibit, focusing on mental health issues. (Photo by Amy Dueckman)

Poet Robert Martens shares his work at the Hear and See: Art and Poetry for Mental Health event in Abbotsford, B.C., on May 3, 2018. The exhibit, sponsored by the Communitas Supportive Care Society, gave voice to mental health issues. (Photo by Amy Dueckman)

Depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts and eating disorders may not sound like subjects for art, but a recent exhibit at the Reach gallery proved that art is a powerful medium for educating and talking about mental illness.

Not a ‘mirage’

David MacGregor, a Grade 11 student in Alan Sapp’s drama class, performs his version of ‘The Shoes.’ Multiple performances were offered by different students, each one a different interpretation using only the same pair of boots. (Photo by Dave Rogalsky)

Lei Tian, an international student from China, shows off his industrial design project. Using parts ordered online and a 3D printer, his project is for a face recognition bike locking station. A Grade 12 student, Tian has been accepted into the prestigious Central Saint Martins, a constituent college of the University of the Arts in London, England. (Photo by Dave Rogalsky)

The works of Grace Kim focus on the theme of perceptions, using reflections to explore reality. Notice that in the painting of puddles the figure only appears in the reflection, not in reality. The artist is the daughter of Kyong-Jung Kim, the former director of the Korean Anabaptist Center who is now studying at Conrad Grebel University College in Waterloo, and Ellen Kim. (Photo by Dave Rogalsky)

The work of Grace Kim focuses on the theme of perceptions, using reflections to explore reality. (Photo by Dave Rogalsky)

Karen Scott Booth, head of Rockway Mennonite Collegiate’s Grade 10-12 visual arts program, exudes pride in the work of her students.

“Mirage: An exhibition of visual art,” held at the school on April 24, 2018, showed why.

‘Just doing my best’

Grace Kang has made art since she was a child. (Photo by Aaron Epp)

Grace Kang’s installation at Bethel Mennonite Church in Winnipeg consisted of 400 prints depicting different pairs of feet suspended in the air using twine and surrounding a large ceramic bowl. (Photo by Aaron Epp)

‘Suffering will always be a part of my art, because it’s such a big part of being human,’ Grace Kang says. (Photo by Gabrielle Touchette)

‘I wanted people to face the places they had been and realize . . . Jesus wants to meet us where we’re at,’ Grace Kang says of her installation at Bethel Mennonite Church in Winnipeg. (Photo by Aaton Epp)

Grace Kang isn’t sure what her future holds, but she knows it will include making art. (Photo by Calvin Strong)

Grace Kang can’t remember a time when she wasn’t making art.

As a child, “I was always drawing, I was always writing stories,” the 22-year-old says. When she learned that art is not something everyone does or is interested in, “I realized it was a unique way I could contribute to the world.”

‘That’s the Spirit’

Paper bead and found materials walk across the table, or form birds that will talk. (Photo by Dave Rogalsky)

Carolyn Good ‘lights up’ one of her sculptures of found materials and paper beads. (Photo by Dave Rogalsky)

Not your grandmother’s apple doll, this one is doing yoga to stay supple. (Photo by Dave Rogalsky)

Paper and rose petal beads form this walking sculpture. (Photo by Dave Rogalsky)

Talking birds, paper and rose petal beads, walking jewellery, found-art sculptures. With these and other works, Carolyn Good’s recent show at the WalterFedy-Architecture, Engineering, Construction offices on Queen Street in Kitchener showed off her Mennonite roots of reusing and recycling.

The Anthrocene revisited

‘Death and Life.’ A stump rotting away at Hidden Acres Mennonite Camp speaks of a life well lived and a death creating new life. (Photo by Canadian Mennonite)

Annemarie Rogalsky’s Waterloo ‘Hinterland’ paintings, a four-season cycle, at her solo show ‘The Anthrocene Revisited’ at the Minto Gallery in Harriston, Ont., in February. (Photo by Canadian Mennonite)

Annemarie Rogalsky presents her artist’s statement at the opening of her solo show ‘The Anthrocene Revisited’ at the Minto Gallery in Harriston, Ont., on Feb. 4. (Photo by Canadian Mennonite)

‘Hope Realized.’ This painting focusses on a swamp at Rondeau Provincial Park in southern Ontario. Of no intrinsic value, it harbours the only Canadian nesting site of the Prothonotary warbler. Reflecting on this scene begs the question about hierarchies of values. (Photo by Canadian Mennonite)

‘The Case for Persons.’ This painting commemorates the 1929 British Privy Council decision that, in spite of male wording in the British North America Act, women were indeed persons. (Photo by Canadian Mennonite)

Annemarie Rogalsky, a member of First Mennonite Church in Kitchener, Ont., had a solo show of her landscapes at the Minto Gallery in Harriston during the month of February. Of her images, she says:

‘Along the Road to Freedom’ exhibit tours Alberta

Tim Wiebe-Neufeld stands beside the Ray Dirks painting that tells the story of Maria Friesen Neufeld, his great grandmother, one of the courageous Mennonite women who brought their families out of the hardships and terror of the Soviet Union in the early 1900s. (Photo by Donita Wiebe-Neufeld)

Nettie Dueck, one of four Along the Road to Freedom committee members, travelled from Winnipeg to Edmonton to be at the opening program at King’s University in Edmonton. Dueck is standing beside the Ray Dirks painting that tells her mother’s story. (Photo by Donita Wiebe-Neufeld)

Dave Toews, left, Edmonton exhibition and Alberta tour organizer for the Along the Road to Freedom exhibit, meets Lois Mitchell, Alberta’s lieutenant governor, right, at a private viewing and discussion at King’s University on Dec. 3, 2017. (Photo by Donita Wiebe-Neufeld)

On Dec. 2, 2017, more than a hundred people gathered at Edmonton’s King’s University for the opening of the Along the Road to Freedom art exhibit. This was the first of three stops in Alberta that will end in the spring. 

'Along the Road to Freedom'

Artist Ray Dirks, seated, and Hans (John) Funk looking over his easel. (Photo by Evelyn Petkau)

Seeking to honour the faith of Mennonite mothers who single-handedly brought their families through difficult and challenging experiences to safety, Winnipeg artist Ray Dirks has created “Along the Road to Freedom,” a travelling exhibit currently on display at Conrad Grebel University College’s new gallery in Waterloo, Ont.

Salt in the Fire

Over the last year or so, I've appreciated the paintings, poetry, and musings of Jan Richardson on her blog, paintedprayerbook.com. Recently, one post caught my attention, "Salted with Fire." In a space of transition and waiting in my life, with many uncertainties as to what life will look like even a year from now, her description of salt in a potters' fire resonated with me. 

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