Sarah Hillock majored in drawing and painting at the Ontario College of Art and Design in Toronto, Ontario. It was here that she received the Libby Steinbeck Alterger Award in Figurative Studies. Her work has been exhibited in galleries across Canada and is part of the permanent collection at the Rooms Provincial Art Gallery.
Sarah is interested in challenging the apathy surrounding the everyday encounter, whether it is with humans or animals. Sarah is able is to explore these interactions between humans and animals by mixing a minimal yet impressionistic background to draw attention to the realistically painted animals. The minimalist background also asks the viewer to complete the picture and to feel the painting rather than just see it. Sarah seeks out her subject matter in fields, farms, and other remote areas. For Sarah the animals she depicts are from fond childhood memories where she grew up in rural Ontario.
The subject matter that Sarah captures are not out of the ordinary. She makes her work captivating by merging various types of artistic styles such as impressionism and realism. Sarah uses bold, bright, colours with strong brushstrokes to add structure and form to her works. The final product is a unique aesthetic that creates an enticing experience for the viewer.
Sheila Davis’ work exposes the raw and natural Canadian landscape. Most of her work explores the forces of nature by looking at the contrasts between light, space, and texture, as well as how these elements come together to bring life and vibrancy to what many might consider mundane subject matter. For Sheila, the untouched Ontario landscape is something that speaks to her on an emotional level, adding depth and resonance to her paintings. Sheila’s work also has noticeable influence from West Coast subject matter, making her paintings resonate with audiences across the country. This often-overlooked landscape is something that Sheila is able to showcase the beauty of in all its light, texture, and vibrancy.
Sheila produces mid to large scale paintings that are expressive and gestural with saturated colours and a sense of dynamism. The resulting paintings are captivating and draw the viewer into the wild landscape. The natural elements of her paintings carry a real sense of movement and energy, often making the viewer feel as if they are seeing the landscape first hand, instead of in a gallery. Sheila creates her works by quickly applying transparent layers of colour, then combines this with splattered and dripped paint. She finishes her works by reworking each of the layers with opaque brushwork and calligraphy.
Sheila Davis is a self-taught artist who has been painting professionally for 23 years and is exhibiting some of her work in the upcoming exhibition, "In the Heart of the Wild". Sheila is represented by galleries across Canada and much of her work can be found in both private and corporate collections around the world.
There are so many types and techniques when it comes to the world of printmaking. We are lucky to have so many experienced educators introducing young students to printmaking in London. The exhibition contains work from teachers, professors and instructors including Helmut Becker, Ron Milton, Ray Jackson, Jen Hamilton and Ralph Heather.
London artist Ray Jackson is currently the printmaking and sculpture instructor at Bealart. He has been teaching for 14 years including time at Fanshawe College and Mount Allison University. He continues to be a practicing artist alongside his teaching position.
Helmut Becker, professor emeritus at Western University obtained education in Art & Art History at University of Saskatchewan as well as printmaking and drawing at University of Wisconsin. Helmut has taught Printmaking, Papermaking, Hand Papermaking, and Fibre Flax & Hemp Research at Nova Scotia College of Art, University of Calgary and University of Western Ontario.
Born in London Ontario, Ron Milton was head of printmaking at Bealart during his career. He studied at H. B. Beal himself and then at Mount Allison University in New Brunswick. He has exhibited throughout Ontario and the East Coast of Canada.
In printmaking, sculpting, and painting Ron draws on imagery from books, museums, nature, technology and history. All are portrayed with a narrative feel and often with humour.
This exhibition also touches on the history of this diverse medium. In the front room of the gallery, Ralph Heather and Jen Hamilton’s work are hung in stark contrast to one another; representing both tradition and experimentation in printmaking.
Ralph Heather is a visual artist living in Paris, Ontario. He studied at OCAD where he first encountered printmaking and life drawing which remain strong influences for Ralph. During his career in graphic design, Ralph continued to pursue his artistic interests and now focuses full time on his artistic practice and teaching occasionally at Dundas Valley School of Art.
Printmaking has played an important role in art and culture historically and continues to be explored in new and exciting ways by many contemporary artists. The exhibition continues until July 7th.
Meredith attended her first opening when she was a few weeks old and she grew up drawing and colouring across the desk from her artist father. After the Bealart program, she continued her education at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design University (NSCAD) in Halifax and was awarded a Bachelor of Fine Art in Film and Art History. She has recently returned to the London area and is employed by The Art Exchange and Attic Books. Meredith is currently renewing her own art practice in printmaking and watercolour. Meredith’s other love is animals, particularly horses. During high school she completed over 500 hours of volunteer service at the Special Abilities Riding Institute.
Domestic Postpartum is a series of over 2000 small houses and domestic structures that range in size from 1.5” to 12” tall and wide. I constructed them using materials from my archive of several years of art making, including drawings, paintings, etchings, screen prints and writings. I tore, ripped, shredded and cut into pieces past work to create new objects, thus, Domestic Postpartum was born from creative destruction.
In this work I explore, critique and visualize themes of “creating a home” and “domesticated duties.” Showing sacrifice as a tool in art making as well in life, these small sculptures and prints are a response to the struggle of my entering motherhood while trying to maintain an art practice. The monotony of my every day life includes repetition, familiar motions and the desire for recognizable outcomes. The fact that printmaking weaselled its way into this project is fitting, for these motions and outcomes are anticipated within its practice. With this work, I am interested in visually challenging the difference between loss and change, shifts in plans, loneliness and over crowding. I am also exploring what it means to be an artist, feminist and mother and the pre-constructed roles that are given to each.
He was born in Canada and educated there (B.A. with distinction, U. of Sask., 1954), as well as in the United States (U. of Wisconsin, M.S., Art Ed., 1955), in the Netherlands (Academy of Fine Arts, The Hague, Holland, 1956) and travel in Europe. He is a Professor Emeritus at the University of Western Ontario, in London, Canada. His research involves the cultivation and harvesting methods of hemp and fibre flax at Environmental Sciences Western. He has a particular interest in the development of alternatives to trees as a source for papermaking. Currently, he is experimenting with ancient processing techniques on hemp for papermaking and sculptural applications.
A couple of Helmut's woodcut blocks are included in the new group exhibition at Westland Gallery running from June 19th - July 7th.
Megan Milton attended the bealart program at H.B. Beal Secondary School in London. She started her post-secondary training at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design University (NSCAD) in Halifax and then transferred to the Studio Art Program at McMaster University. She completed an Applied Humanities placement at the St. Thomas-Elgin Art Centre last year and then headed to a printmaking residency at Spark Box Studio to finish her degree.
Meg is currently a part-time sales associate at Curry’s Artists’ Materials and also works at the 4Cats Arts Studio in Byron.