Beach Arts Scene for Sept. 6, 2016

‘Love Bees, Save Bees, Eat Honey #52’, by Jane Murdoch Adams PHOTO: Submitted

Studio 888 opens its fall season with Queen’s Bees and Trees, a show featuring three area painters reflecting on landscapes and life. From the bees in our backyards to rejuvenating northern wildfires, the work of Gail Williams, Jane Murdoch Adams, and Donna Chudnow offers unique takes on connectivity and wilderness, inspired by scenes at home and across Canada.

Memories of Birdsong, by Gail Williams

Longtime Beach resident Williams said she was inspired by last spring’s Emily Carr show at the AGO, writing that, “it was her images of burned forests that imprinted themselves on me. She called them Screamers, which says it all.”

Williams said that as a child in northern Ontario, she often saw the devastation of forest fires. But “what I have also seen is the rejuvenation of those forests. The new life that cannot be held back,” she said. “I call this series Ghosts in homage to Emily Carr but also as reminder that those trees that are gone are still here in the regrowth. Those ghosts are enriching the soil to give the next generation their strength.”

Bees enrich our lives, believes Winnipeg-born Murdoch Adams, who has not only drawn inspiration from the lively, mysterious insects for her paintings – but will return the creative favour through a donation to the Ontario Beekeepers Association from painting sales.

“The honeybees in these paintings represent, like art, a collective movement of creativity applied to the material of everyday life.  With their dancing bodies and music, they demonstrate a way of living ingeniously and cooperatively,” she said. “In these paintings, the bees are clearly seen as they – mysteriously – swarm from one hive to another, through dynamic, abstracted landscapes.”

Also originally from Winnipeg, Chudnow said her urban childhood was marked with summers spent at wilderness camp. She’s since piqued her imagination with canoe trips to remote areas of the country like northern B.C. and Bowron Lakes Provincial Park, with paintings of those landscapes featured at Studio 888.

“Experiencing nature and its elements is a fantastic and humbling journey,” said Chudnow. “It gives me the opportunity to create, to explore and to work through the uncertainties of not knowing what the end result will look like. The journey of my painting, as it is in life, is that everything is interconnected and who we are is the bold and colorful layering of those experiences.”

Queen’s Bees and Trees runs September 8 through October 2 at Studio 88 gallery at 2359 Queen Street East (at Beech). The hours for the show are Wednesday to Friday 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday 12 p.m. to 4 p.m., with an opening reception Saturday, Sept. 10 from 2 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. For more information: 416-271-3934 or

Retrospective Photo Grid
f8 Photography Retrospective

For its 15th exhibition, f8 Photography is going big with the largest show in the group’s history – a retrospective at the Columbus Centre.

The East End collective aims to celebrate the photographers six years together, highlighting the best of f8 and collective friends with a special group show.

Artists include f8’s Joe Calleja, Maureen Littlewood, Catherine MacKinnon, Michael Maclaverty, Natalia Shields, Felicity Somerset, Rod Trider, and John Wallace. Artists Robert Greatrix, Margit Koivisto, Jude Marion and Selby Shanly add their unique perspectives to the show as guests.

An f8 Retrospective runs Sept. 8 to Oct. 3 at the Joseph D. Carrier Gallery at the Columbus Centre, 901 Lawrence Ave. West (at Dufferin). The exhibit is in the atrium and lower gallery. Hours are weekdays 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is free.

Yellow House Gallery hosts its opening reception for its latest exhibit, Hot Knife, on Friday, Sept. 9 from 6:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.

‘Iris Goes to Fogo 2.0’, by Cortney Stephenson
‘Iris Goes to Fogo 2.0’, by Cortney Stephenson

The show features several emerging and established artists working in the encaustic hot wax technique, a dreamy medium that sees pigment and wax heated, layered, sculpted, polished and manipulated to create artwork with a variety of finishes, oftentimes using a variety of materials.

Participating artists include Vashty Hawkins, who also hosts a workshop on the encaustic hot wax technique on September 25, PH1 Collective, Cortney Stephenson, and Victoria Wallace.

The show runs from September 9 through October 9 at Yellow House, 921 Kingston Rd. The artists will be in attendance for the opening reception, and refreshments will be served.

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