Upcoming Ladysmith art show inspired by the humorous and the dramatic

The Last Laugh and a Kind of Drama will run Jan. 7-29 at the Ladysmith Waterfront Art Gallery.

Yellowpoint artist Grant Leier is the guest speaker at the opening gala of the Ladysmith Waterfront Gallery's upcoming art show Jan. 7.

The Ladysmith Waterfront Art Gallery will ring in the new year with a new art show that’s all about interpretation.

The Last Laugh and a Kind of Drama will run Jan. 7-29 and will feature works by artists who “look obliquely at life and find the edge.”

The Ladysmith and District Arts Council is encouraging people to “come experience an art collective that is inspired by the humourous and the dramatic” with this show.

Kathy Holmes, president of the Ladysmith and District Arts Council, describes the show as an interpretation of both “the last laugh” and “a kind of drama.”

“It could be fun, serious or dramatic; it’s up to the artist,” she said. “We don’t really know until they bring in their art. It’s kind of a fun topic, and it gives the artist lots to think about. The last laugh could be just sharing a laugh together, or it could be evil, and there’s everything in between. All sorts of things sort of pop into my mind.

“It really leaves it wide open for the artist to use their imagination, and usually when that happens, it’s pretty exciting.”

The art show runs from Jan. 7-29 at the Ladysmith Waterfront Art Gallery at 610 Oyster Bay Dr.

There will be a gala opening Jan. 7 at 7 p.m. Yellowpoint artist Grant Leier will be the guest speaker.

Born in Lloydminster, Sask., in 1956, Leier studied at the Alberta College of Art before honing his skills further at the Illustrator’s Workshop in New York. It was here that he became fascinated with pattern and decoration, according to his biography.

Leier feels a need to create intense color, pattern, and a sense of celebration into everything he paints and wants his images to evoke feelings of well being and goodnes, he states on his website.

Combining found objects, odd photographs and other imagery with a symphony of patterns and designs, Leier collages his images and ideas by both painting and drawing them together into a story-like setting. Leier works in bold, bright acrylics with festive and decorative colours, often framing the works with patterns of ornamental designs.

These works are flamboyant expressions of fabricated realities, states Leier’s biography. These often-sentimental recreations can elicit nostalgia in the viewer and sometimes embellish memories of times gone by.

Leier and his wife, Nixie Barton, who is also a well-known artist, run the Barton and Leier Gallery and share a studio and large garden in Yellowpoint.

“Grant is an amazing artist,” said Holmes. “He’s iconic in Canada. He’s the most generous human being you’d want to meet, generous with his time and his caring and his mentorship, and we’re very excited to have him come and speak.”

Holmes says they usually leave the topic up to the artist, but Leier will likely speak about his life in art.

“I love his philosophy about life,” she said. “He and his wife, Nixie, really believe in living every day to the fullest, and I think that’s a wonderful way to live your life.”

For more information about the upcoming art show and gala opening, visit www.ladysmithwaterfrontgallery.com.

***

January will be a busy and exciting month for the Ladysmith and District Arts Council.

Local artists will be picking up chairs on Jan. 14, and they will turn those chairs into works of art.

Artists will take a chair home and paint it, and the chairs will be auctioned off July 1 at the ampitheatre.

Later in the month, the Ladysmith and District Arts Council will unveil its new logo.

The logo was created by one of the council’s artists, and it will be launched Jan. 21.

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