Niagara Arts Showcase is proud to present the Spotlighted Artists for the 2017 Carmel Fine Art and Music Festival:
(click each one for their websites)
Writer, doodler, painter; lover of all things creative. A self-taught artist who experiments with different subjects and mediums, straddling the line between logical thinking and creative chaos.
Ashley Marazzo is an eclectic creature who can usually be found in her shiny and sage infused workshop creating one of a kind musings which declare they must exist outside her cranium.
She is inspired by History, mythology, nature and every day events.
The art of bringing pieces into life with historical ,mythological or fairy tale references is something which brings great joy. To show that things are not always as they first appear and with patience and determination one can accomplish anything.
The challenge of creating pieces out of wire, stone and bone is great. After many learning curves it provides a deep satisfaction in that final moment when a piece comes together.
The goal is always to inspire others and to create pieces which provoke thoughts that the link between the past and present is great and also just maybe, fairy tales can exist if you believe hard enough and are open to new possibilities.
Born in Scotland and raised in Niagara, Barry Smith has always had a flair for humour and wit. Without any formal training, he has found his own unique photography style using natural light.
Architecture and poverty are his 2 soft spots to focus on. The photographs come to life like a fresh painting on canvas. A past St. Catharines Art Award nominee, Barry’s pictures can be found on display throughout Niagara at various art shows and galleries.
Sandor Bacso creates Aluminism: A process that utilizes specialized elements topped with a high-gloss finish. Light penetrates through the layers of colour and refracts off the aluminium to create a stunning illusion.
Born in Flensburg Germany in 1947, Birgie immigrated to Canada in 1952 when she was five. She became a Commercial Artist in 1966 after taking a correspondence course with Art Instruction Schools, while still in high school. For the last fifty years she was a professional artist, creating makes her happy. She operates under the name of Albirg Creations.
As an artist, my goal is to create a feeling in a painting that echoes an expression of moods, emotions and artistic individuality and to rely on the viewer to complete the visual interpretation. Cathy operates under the name of Shoreline Art Studio.
Cindy’s passion is creating contemporary/abstract nature paintings. Currently she is working on a series of nature based mixed media abstract paintings rich in colour and texture. Past works include a series of watercolour paintings featuring North American birds and pre-historic cave art paintings
Debra lives in St.Catharines Ontario where she is actively involved in the local art scene. She paints with oils and acrylics, and occasionally adds mixed media to her work. She paints what she loves, finding inspiration all around her, including her many travel destinations around the world. Debra attended Brock University and has been teaching French in Southern Ontario schools for 20 years.
She studied art with many gifted local artists. While at Rodman Hall she took drawing, oil painting and watercolour classes. In recent years, she has traveled to Italy to study plein air painting. She has also taken courses with Flora Bowley and Gwen Fox to refine her skills in abstract painting.
Debra has exhibited in solo and group shows in Ontario, British Columbia and Italy, was featured in the Port Dalhousie Peer newspaper, and was interviewed for an artist segment with CBC Radio Canada television, as well as CBC Art Circuit in Ottawa.
Growing up in the family sawmill gave me a great introduction to the wood industry in Ontario. Sweeping the floors as a teenager helped set down the roots to my passion for wood. I spent 12 years as head sawyer learning to open the log in that special way that would release what nature had provided within. The thousands of logs that passed in front of me taught me how to recognize the subtle hints that the bark would give as to what lay beneath. This was in the day before debarkers and computer scanners that have taken away the need for highly skilled and intuitive craftsmen.
I spent many hours walking bush lots with my father and thanks to his expertise, learned most of what there was to know about buying standing timber. Whether a tree grew on a hill or in a gully could make all the difference in the quality of the lumber it would yield. Even the type of soil that the tree grew in made a huge difference to the natural colour of the wood. I now use all this experience to help my wood turnings be the best they can be.
I have enjoyed woodturnings for over 35 years and created unique gifts for friends and family; when I retired 4 years ago, I began Wooden Treasures by George. I strive to make my hand-crafted woodturnings speak to and for the people who buy them. We are inundated with computer manufactured décor items today that have no heart and it shows. I take great pride in what I do and hand-sign every piece that allows me space. When creating a piece, I try to use as much imagination as I can and have been pleasantly surprised at the varied uses people put them to.
I create solid wood bowls, segmented bowls (segmented bowls are made of many individual pieces glued up to form a larger turning), vases and vessels, pens and a variety of small pieces. I also love to experiment with new ideas; some of my recent pieces have taken more than 50 hours to complete. I use no stains at all, only hand rubbed oil finishes with numerous coats of wax, which highlights the natural beauty of the wood.
A new kind of clothing company created by Niagara resident Jennifer Armstrong. After her career designing womenswear for notable companies, Jennifer decided it was time to take a leap and create her own collection; ecolove was born.
All our products are hand dyed, preshunk and made from plant based GOTS certified fabrics. Manufactured and designed proudly in Canada.
Our natural collection is un-dyed garments perfect for those looking for natural unprocessed clothing, or have skin sensitivities. No added chemicals or bleach!
Our hand dyed collection is all dyed in our studio with low impact dyes and low water dye methods.
All our garments are easily machine washed on a gentle cycle and hung to dry. The garments can be ironed or fluffed in the dryer without any risk of shrinkage.
She has been a Wildlife Artist for 16 years, and shows her work internationally, as far away as Russia, Tasmania, and has Galleries in Fuquay-Varina, NC and Geneva IL, as well as Southern Ontario. She exhibits in large Wildlife Shows in Charleston, South Carolina (SEWE)(12 years), and Buckhorn, Ontario (Buckhorn Fine Arts Festival)(12years). McNeil can be found painting in her Halton Hills Wildlife and Nature studio in Glen Williams, ON, or in her Eastern Wildlife Studio, in Brampton, ON.
To McNeil, a painting has to capture the drama and life of the subject. She has learned so much about the natural world since studying wildlife. She has discovered an abundance of wildlife in her own backyard: Deer, Blue Herons, Night Herons, Cardinals, Blue Jays, Red Tailed Hawks, and Owls are just some of them.
Larretta’s Gallery features Abstract Resin Paintings by Lori Papetti Each Painting is created on a Wooden Canvas and all the larger Canvases are hand made with either Birch or Oak. Each Painting is unique and a one of a kind.
Early on, artist Lorenda Harder received her BFA/BEd at the University of Manitoba but was drawn to settle in the Niagara region where she continues to explore her wide range of interests to capture fleeting beauty through her expressionistic style using dynamic lines and colour contrasts, often with abstracted yet figurative themes.
She has worked as an educator, artist and entrepreneur and enjoys using a variety of media, from poetry to painting, depending upon how the subject speaks to her.
My return to art has been one of happenstance. Despite having canvas and paint at any given time in my life, painting what I wanted to paint got sidelined as life got in the way. Although I had painted before, my previous experience was mostly within the field of graphic art and print ads. From the inspirational ocean coastlines and forests of Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, I journeyed up the Gulf of St. Lawrence into the “fleuve” to the historic city of Quebec, and finally made my way along the St. Lawrence Seaway and into the Great Lakes to my current location in the beautiful Niagara region. With these experiences I continue to paint what I love most, water and trees. Stormy seas and rippled lakes are inspiration enough for any artist, however, add the reticent personality of a tree or the intoxicating solitude of a forest and the choices are endless.
Simplicity in design and application appeals to me. I always start with a colour combination that is more felt than seen, and working wet on wet with a pallet knife I create the background first. It’s not odd for my foregrounds to be mostly silhouette, although lately I prefer multiple layers of colour and texture. Acrylic paint is my preference because I am patient and yet impatient, meaning I will work endlessly to get the painting just the way I want it, but I have no patience for paint to dry.
I want my art to catch your eye. If you can explain why you like it then I have been successful and if you can’t, then I have been successful as well.
I’m an International artist with a passion for Wildlife. My inspiration for my art work starts with my photographs and continues with my scratchboard art that I continue to challenge myself with. Tread Carefully as your Imprint affects Mother Nature.
Mary paints in oil, watercolour, acrylic, and pastel, having studied at Sir Sanford Fleming School of Fine Art and Niagara College. She has also studied with many well known Canadian and American Artists.
“By switching media, you get more variety and handle the subjects differently”.
Even though she likes to experiment with different styles and subject matter, you will find that her art is an extension of her garden. Her approach to art is the same as her approach to life; “What you send out in the way of thoughts, energy, love and caring for others always comes back”.
Mary grew up in the Niagara area and presently resides in Fonthill.
Artist and Fashion Designer Narishdath Maraj was born and raised in Trinidad and Tobago. At the age 17, he left home to attend Fashion school in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Then, he worked for Club Med Resorts, where he designed costumes in Florida, Turks and Caicos, Turkey, China and at sea on board the MSV Club Med 2. Now, he is in Toronto and has opened a Visual Arts and Fashion Design company.
If this was all there is to say about Narishdath, HIStory would already be quite remarkable. But like HIS art, there is more to HIStory than meets the eye.
HIS art is like HIS life story: Abstract. Complex. Meandering. Beautiful.
Melissa grew up in Port Colborne, Ontario and currently resides in Niagara Falls, Ontario. She graduated from Niagara College in Fine Art & Design Fundamental – Graphic Design Production, and a Post Graduate Certificate in Interactive Multimedia.
Surrounded by wine and its creation everyday has inspired both the subject matter and more importantly the media of her art. The colouring media (wine) exhibits many practical challenges to all artists but she has used her particular daily environment to her art’s advantage. The winemaker provides her with a number of different lees and natural sediments from the process of wine making for her to employ in her art.
The colours of the wine change as often as her subject matter from landscapes, animals to musicians to fanart. Her artwork has been showcased around the Niagara Region and she has been recognized around the world.
I completed my very first oil painting in 1967 at the age of fourteen. I was hooked. I continued to paint and study painting by attending group and private classes as a teen and it wasn’t until I attended a life drawing class in college that my entire thought process changed. I learned to break down the subject matter to its most simple form, eliminating the chaos and clutter in order to achieve and capture a more defined intensity. Upon graduation I worked and excelled in the fields of Interior Design, Visual Presentation and Graphic Arts and it wasn’t until I migrated back to my roots in the Niagara Peninsula where I was born and raised that I began to paint full time.
I depict the everyday, ordinary and easily ignorable things that everyone takes for granted, emphasizing colour, shape, light and shadow. No secrets here. I paint because I want to and because I can.
Born in Sydney Nova Scotia in 1960, then moving to Ontario he attended school in St Catharine’s. Rob attended Niagara College taking the Visual Creative Art & Design program. Studying under master painter & print maker Ken Cosgrove in the late 70’s early 80’s learning Graphic Arts and Life Painting as well as Silk screening and Drawing. Rob then moved to Brantford and adopting two girls from China and has found a new meaning to life. Changing priorities to the things that really matter, like his family and his art. Getting back to showing in several art exhibitions and selling his paintings and prints, the passion to paint and photograph has been rejuvenated.
While his heart still belongs to the East coast he hopes to retire in Nova Scotia someday and continue his art as a full time obsession. Rob won a Grant for Exhibition from Ontario Art Council in 2012 as well as putting his work in several galleries in Nova Scotia.
Robin Nisbet is an Artist who works across a diverse range of mediums including painting, illustration, photography, sculpture and digital. She lives and works in the Niagara Region of Ontario, Canada.
Sara Lou, avid scribbler, spends her days exploring visual poetry through vivid colours and trying to gracefully capture the world as it dances around her, hand and eye as one.
To Sheila Vander Wier her inspiration comes from the beauty of God’s creation and believes all that we have comes from Him. Her ability to capture this beauty with oil on canvas allows her share this with others.
Vander Wier is an award winning international fine art artist and has been painting full time for seven years. Her works have been accepted into prestigious Open Juried Shows in the GTA and in collections as far away as United States and Europe. She exhibits yearly in the Autumn Art Sale at the McMichael Art Gallery, the Pelham Fine Art Festival, the Carmel Fine Art and Music Festival, and the Buckhorn Fine Art Festival. Vander Wier can be found painting at her home Studio in Brampton and contacted by appointment to view her works.
I love the play against light and shadow and to capture a moment in time. I am a full time award winning visual artist working in Oils and Acrylic and Aqua Resin on Canvas.
I have created a unique art form combining a 3-dimensional image in a 2-dimensional space, which has increasingly been drawing attention in the art community. It is my conviction that without the human aspect art would not exist; consequently, I incorporate the human form into my art to represent the human spirit. In my work I also love to explore social media issues dealing with real life situations, offering a glimpse into our social structures, interactions, and how modern day technology impacts our lives.
My newer work depicting our landscape and our urban environment also offers situations that will definitely be a conversation piece in your home or at the office.
I am an elected member of the Society of Canadian Artists and a former Director of Exhibitions for the SCA (2012-2014); For a more complete list of my accomplishments and CV please visit my website. My work lends itself to commission work “Be part of the process, be a part of the Art”. You may have seen my work on “Arts in B-Town”, in a program on Rogers Cable, or in magazines and newspaper articles
“Art is food for the soul: as an artist, I want my works to create thought, reflection and feeling”
Photos during various travels and walks inspire my paintings depicting landscapes and situations, small and large.
My ‘Journey in Art’ started on the West Coast of Canada and continues in Southern Ontario since my move here in 2013.
Colour is my guide in each expressive abstract.
Completion is a feeling communicated through the painting.
If a painting can evoke a feeling or memory it makes me smile.
I marvel at the wonders I spy through a window, up a tree, beyond the shore … fleeting glimpses, mist floating, gorgeous skies. Nature that lives and breathes. My paintings – emergent and evanescent – reflect the love and joy I feel for this vast and beautiful world. I welcome you to share them with me.
Born and raised and currently lives in Niagara Falls. Began painting in acrylics, in 1981 Tony discovered his real forte was oil painting, but now into acrylic pouring. In the 80’s he studied under Alfred Capredoni and more recently Maria Klokkou.
While many people see shapes and figures in white puffs of clouds, Tony can find artistic inspiration from everything around him. Then add his own eccentric bent to them.
After a long career in the concrete industry, Ted retired and built a home in a small community in North Frontenac. Seeking a way to express his creative side, Tuscany Concrete was born. His inspiration was driven by nature and concrete soon became an expressive art form. Tuscany Concrete has grown from a hobby to a full time occupation. His wife Sherry and two of their 4 daughters have now joined this artistic endeavor bringing their own talents and perspective to a growing art based business. Jennifer will be the face of Tuscany Concrete at the Carmel Art & Music Festival bringing with her a local presence as well as a young energetic personality.
Vicki McCracken is fascinated by nature and all that it encompasses. She explores nature with camera in hand, gathering reference material for her paintings. Working mainly with oils, Vicki particularly enjoys working on pieces involving fine detail. In this regard, the subject of wildlife lends itself beautifully to the intricacies and patterns in feathers, fur, and fauna, whether it be birds’ feathers, an animal’s eye, or a reedy marsh.
Vicki has received awards at the Buckhorn Fine Arts Festival, The Annual Academy of Arts Show and the Wildlife, Nature, and Native Show at Beaux-Arts Brampton.
Wendy enjoys painting a variety of landscapes from local scenic areas within the Niagara Region (and beyond). She relishes her time outdoors painting on site and whether she is working indoors or outdoors, she embraces the challenge to capture an image that conveys her message. Her works have included simple everyday items such as the illumination of morning light on a tea cup to the more significant landscape of the strong currents of the Niagara River.
Wendy primarily paints in Acrylic and appreciates the vibrancy she can achieve with the medium. She is currently a member of the St. Catharines Art Association and previous member of the Pelham Art Club and her works have been shown in many local art shows in the Niagara Region.
Serge Chriqui is a fine art photographer and abstract artist now based in St. Catharines, Ontario. He is always striving to turn the ordinary into the extraordinary while chasing the light fanstastic! His latest endeavour is his Positive Light Abstract Series.
… More to follow