Welcome to Lush!
In response to a difficult passage, Lush evolved in 2018. I attempted reverse psychology and induced a plethora of colour to remove me from extreme darkness. These 16 works are offered on a “Pay as You Can” basis, the proceeds of which will go to Cool Aid’s relatively new Community Arts Program. The making of art can be extremely therapeutic and it is for this reason - to help alleviate suffering and to unleash talent - that I’ve decided to do this.
You may wish to know before making an offer that the larger works have a valuation of $600 each and the smaller Lush images $200; the cost of framing $150/per work.
I hope you will choose to take one or more of the works on the basis of delight only and offer what you can reasonably afford.
Beyond doing the ‘work work’ of the show, as I call it - there is a whole other level to mounting an exhibition that requires the efforts of many people.
In this regard, I have some very important colleagues to thank which I want to do today on my first anniversary at this gem of a gallery called the Gage. Heather Midori Yamada and Margo Cooper, thank you for admitting me into the fold! I toast you today and wish to say how much I appreciate your collegiality - and that of all the other members as well. My sincere thanks to Heather and Aengus MacIntosh who curated and hung Lush for me over several hours.
Artist, Frances Beckow, our longest-standing Gage member, told me when I joined that we all improve as artists at the Gage as we are continually exposed to new visual dialogues of other artists. She is wise. During this past year I have been in four shows; 3 group shows and now this solo. I urge you to visit often and treasure this amazing gallery, now into its 6th year. Exhibitions change every three weeks and there are always nuggets in the small works gallery at the back.
Greg Glover who designed the amazing large poster in the window and other promotional items for my show and those of other Gagers must be acknowledged. We claim him as ‘our’ design guru -a treasure and a pleasure to work with.
Art journalist extraordinaire, Kate Cino went way, way beyond the call of duty in promoting Lush. It is humbling to receive such attention...(Please look for her latest 2 articles in this recent Focus Magazine). Along with Kate come the members of Gage’s stellar publicity team - Gabriela Hirt, Tanya Bub, Jane Michiel, Martina Edmondson, Karen Kaiser, Jonathan Craven and Jessica Freedman - my oh my you are superstars, saving me from Twitter, Instagram and Hash Tags!
If at any time you are hungry or thirsty, by the way, please see my friend Christine Seaville at the back...thank you C. for looking after everyone today.
Joanna Pettit, thank you for hopefully taking many Pay as You Can sales today on behalf of Cool Aid’s Community Art Program. You will hear more about this in a few moments. This segues nicely into mentioning Kathy Stinson, Head of Cool Aid whom I have known for over 10 years. She’s a person of integrity and vision and has grown Cool Aid to what it is today...
Cool Aid has developed a successful reputation by creating accessible, affordable and alternative housing programs and holistic health and wellness services for people who need it the most. Representing Kathy who is on holidays is Lori Ferguson, Manager of Support Services and Lori Angelini, Manager of Development. Lori Ferguson will say a few words about the Community Arts Program where the proceeds of all sales made are being directed.
Before I ‘pass the mic’ I would like to express my gratitude to Gerry Smeltzer and Linda Saunders to whom this exhibition is dedicated. And finally, a profound ‘thank you’ to all who have so far invested in these works.
Above all I hope you can connect with the work and enjoy it.
Again, if one (or more) of the works delight, please take it/them home thereby doubling your enjoyment of giving and receiving.
Thank you for visiting the show and for being with me today!
And now over to Lori Ferguson.