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Jasper artists gather at Meeting of the Waters

FullSizeRenderA new exhibit opens in the lower gallery at the Jasper Art Gallery on March 10, and a river runs through it.

Curated by Greg Deagle, Meeting of the Waters represents the only time this winter that work by multiple members with the artist’s guild will be on display together.

“When we have a group show, we like to determine a specific theme so there is a continuity and consistency in the subject matter and the overall energy,” Deagle said earlier this week.

The exhibit’s name is a take on the nearby confluence of the Athabasca and Whirlpool rivers.

“Noticeably different in colour, the waters of these two rivers mix and mingle to form a new colour as they flow towards the ocean gaining size and momentum as they absorb new tributaries along the way,” Deagle explained. “By extension, rivers symbolize the interconnectedness of life as our bodies, minds and self-identities pass through phases based on human experience and the effects and influences of the people we meet along the journey.”

The exhibit’s roots extend from what was going to be a joint project with Jasper Pride in conjunction with the festival, but a formal connection between the two was cast asunder by the ravages of logistics and scheduling.

“That’s why there is an inclusivity theme,” Deagle said. “A couple of the members took it upon themselves to consider diversity in their submissions since the festival will be going on at the same time as the show.”

Selections of Deagle’s own work that will be on display represent a departure from his usual landscape paintings, an obvious choice for a park-dwelling artist, into abstractionism.

“An artist should try to paint scenes that confront them when they walk out the front door,” he mused. “It’s about painting the world around you, not to prevent experimentation, but as a matter of discipline. Work with what you’ve got. I live in Jasper, so that’s what I get to paint.”

Two-thirds of the musical trio Deagle normally plays guitar with, Brian Lackey and Sylvia Lariviere, will be performing at the opening gala starting at 7 p.m. on March 10. The exhibit runs until April 13.

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