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At the Galleries: 5 rare E.J. Hughes canvases on display in Victoria

Artists with international roots fill galleries this spring

Madrona Gallery offers its annual exhibition of important historic and post-war Canadian art March 19 to April 2.

This year’s exhibition has a special focus on E.J. Hughes with five rare canvases available. Building on Madrona Gallery’s sold out works on paper show, the gallery has been discreetly sourcing a selection of exceptional paintings for this exhibition. Author and Hughes biographer, Robert Amos will provide in-depth research on these works.

Other artists featured in Historic & Post-War Canadian Art include leading figures from around the country including Alexander Colville, David Blackwood, Paul-Emile Borduas, Marcel Ferron, Lise Gervais, Jean-Paul Riopelle, members of the Group of Seven, William Kurelek, William Perehudoff, Emily Carr, Takao Tanabe, Gordon Smith, Jack Shadbolt.

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Shinah Lee, Maria Josenhans and Maarten Schaddelee take the spotlight at The Avenue Gallery this month.

Lee demonstrated much aptitude in art at a very young age, knowing art would be a big part of her life.

Originally from South Korea, Lee pursued art in the art program at Dawson College and furthered those with graphic design at the University of Quebec in Montreal in 2002. Following the death of her father, her paintings suddenly took on an emotional dimension. Flowers became an iconography for a representation of her emotional world, a metaphor for the endless carousel between life, love and death.

Lee begins her work on the floor, using the happy accidents of pigments as a backdrop. Then she rotates her canvas on the wall until she is satisfied with its composition and vitality. As a final touch, she adds colours in very fast and instinctive gestures.

U.S. artist Josenhans was born and raised in New England and brings her innate aesthetic to the west coast she now calls home. Josenhans considers the landscape as her garden, a place of connecting with beauty that gives rise to something new and reaches beyond daily concerns.

“Not long ago, as I was painting on location, I can recall being lost in the moment as my eyes and hands worked quickly to bring the feeling and emotion of the natural beauty that surrounded me to my canvas. These moments of awareness are quite often when the unexpected things really get noticed, like the sudden crash of a wave or the gentle caress of a warm breeze, or the most unimaginable pink on a cloud. These new small paintings are born of these moments,” Josenhans said in a statement.

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Whether it is a grand vista or an intimate pool by a stream, her aim is not to have the viewer experience what she sees and feels, but to create a space that shares a tender tribute to the ordinary.

His enthusiasm bursts through Schaddelee’s work, which depicts the west coast beauty of coexistence with nature. Born in Soest, Holland in 1947, Schaddelee emigrated in 1955 with his family to Victoria, where the family opened The Dutch Bakery and Coffee Shop. Schaddelee trained as a baker and master cake decorator, working with the family for 28 years.

After several years of carving in his spare time, in 1991 Schaddelee shifted focus full-time to his art.

He now lives and works from Maarnada, his oceanfront home and sculpture garden overlooking Haro Strait.

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West End Gallery offers the premier Victoria exhibition of Elena Henderson at its Broad Street gallery. Henderson came to Canada from Moscow in 1996. She has since graduated from the International Academy of Design and Technology in Toronto with a degree in design and currently lives and works as a full-time artist in Orangeville, Ontario.

“I became an artist to translate the surrounding world into my own language. I transform my emotions into an art piece that can say about me more than anything else. The only time I am truly content is when I have a chance to create,” she said in a statement.

Henderson has created a series of abstract floral paintings that utilize an elegant and sophisticated colour palette that emphasizes her organic shapes and brushwork using a variety of textured acrylic paint and mixed media.

“My paintings are an emotional manifesto, which emphasizes the ultimate visual impact. My uncontrolled imagination is a crucial part of my work and the greatest formation of my visual language. I use my brush as a powerful tool of self-expression. I transform simple and refined shapes into the dramatic scenery of graceful forms, brilliant colours and texture. This is where they all together become a true reflection of forever changing world.”

Elena Henderson Premiere Victoria Exhibition runs March 19 to 31.

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