at the Gage Gallery March 3-21, 2020
Opening reception Sunday March 8, 2-5 pm.
"Art makes a gift from the heart"
Silverman’s background in community service comes forward in her solo Lush exhibition. Each of the sixteen works at Gage Gallery are offered to customers on a “Pay as You Can” basis. Proceeds go to the Cool Aid Community Arts Program, a weekly drop-in hosted at 755 Pandora Street. Meet Jo-Anne at the opening: March 8, 2-5pm.
Detail: Lush #3, Mixed media on white Arches paper, 14x20 in, 2019.
Lush is a wonderful word that evokes a myriad of meanings. There are lush sounds, lush colours, richly textured gardens, burgeoning tide pools and verdant green fields. Providing great sensory pleasure, full to overflowing, lush describes moments of grace and gratitude in our lives. Lush is also the title of Jo-Anne Silverman’s March 2020 solo show at the Gage Gallery. Her mixed media artworks merge flowing colours, ambiguous shapes and precise pen-work.
These inner landscapes team with unusual life forms and invite investigation. Looking closer, we perceive patterns and passageways, coded messages in script. An aerial view of an alien world? These enigmatic images unfold during the painting process, arising like stories from the printed pages.
“Art is a visual language, Silverman says, “which conveys meaning without words.”
Silverman’s artistic process employs a variety of materials, including gouache, watercolour, pen and pencil. The artist is a skilled colourist who presents each painting in this show with a blended palette, including blue, green, purple and fuchsia. She adds accents of bright colour for visual interest. Some shapes are given subtle forms through colour shading.The juxtaposition of light and dark adds spatial recession. For example, in Lush #3 (the banner detail) bright florescent yellow contrasts with adjacent ochre/rust washes in the central area. The bright yellow pops forward, defining borders and shapes, allowing the rusty areas to recede. To create these ever-evolving artworks, Silverman has to dig deep and overcome her inner critic.
“My goals are self-discovery,” she says, “and to produce meaningful artwork.”
Mark-making is an important ingredient of her process. The sharp points of neon, felt and metallic markers make tracks, spirals, loops and outlines. These give each small area a distinct focus, texture and life of its own. Our mind follows the dots and makes connections: we see a clam shell, a landing strip, a tortoise, a flower, a face, an oceanic bath.
Jo-Anne Silverman was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba. She grew up in a family connected with the cultural community. Her mother painted and sculpted; her father played piano. From an early age, her artistic talents were nurtured. She was gifted
an exquisitely hand-crafted easel by her uncle at age seven. Visiting her mother’s artist friends opened her eyes to the possibilities of paint at an early age.
While taking her Fine Art degree at the University of Manitoba, she studied under Ivan Eyre, Don Reichardt, Arnold Saper and scholar George Swinton. Silverman worked for many years in Toronto, Thunder Bay, and Victoria doing research and development for corporations and not-for-profit organizations including the CBC. During her 20 years in Thunder Bay, she shared a spacious studio with two other artists. “My exchanges with these artists were very important and kept my vision strong.”
Jo-Anne Silverman is pleased to be sharing time and space with the Gage team of 19 artists. She’s excited about the diverse talents of the eclectic mix. “I really appreciate our mutual support and collaboration,” she says. Membership in the Gage Gallery has kept her engaged meeting deadlines for upcoming shows. “The work is the thing,” she says, “producing and sharing artwork with others, come what may, is paramount to me.”
Jo-Anne Silverman welcomes interest in her work and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Gage Gallery Arts Collective, 2031 Oak Bay Ave, Victoria, V8R 1E5
250 592-2760 Gallery Hours: Tuesday - Saturday 11am - 5pm.