It was an absolutely glorious sunshine day today, and after finding a parking spot, didn't get any painting done. It was just too busy. I maybe got 15 minutes of painting. The rest of the time, I was on the floor going from one great conversation to another. The park was alive with people, and with the nicer weather, we were able to keep the front door open for easier access to people as they saw the paintings while walking by.
Too many points to remember from all the conversations. As an overview, the main points are,
- how people are amazed with the detail and realism,
- how the wood comes through
- how they look sculpted
- how they draw you in (or reach out to you)
- the opportunity for me to explain my relationship to totems and my approach to this series
- and just an overall sense of wonder and joy.
Having had this wonderful experience of being onsite for this exhibition, I've come to see just how important these conversations are and I growing become concerned that I can't be onsite for the Parksville exhibition in March. But distant and cost are too prohibitive. Someone recommended that I prepare a list of talking points for the volunteers, but they generally run the entrance to the three galleries in the centre and can't be with the exhibition. I'll try to prepare a different kind of handout as an option. But it will feel odd 'leaving the kids on their own' for the month of March.
From the entire time I've been there, I've only had maybe 3 or 4 more pointed inquiries about my not being Aboriginal, but I was prepared for that. After all, the totems are so present in the room. And I feel that, after having those honest dialogs, all left reassured and with a better understanding of my respect and sincerity in the project.
I must also add that I've been so thankful to have found 3 - 4 CDs of Aboriginal Flute music. It makes such a difference to have more appropriate and serene background music for the totems.
After the last day at Silk Purse on Sunday, Feb. 22nd, the show will be packed up and headed to Parksville on March 1st, for setting up on march 2nd. I will doing a round trip ferry crossing to deliver the paintings, returning home that same day. The show opens March 3rd. I then return for the March 7th Opening Reception a, catching a return ferry again the same day. When it closes after March 29th, I return to haul the paintings back to North Vancouver. Lots of ferry crossing costs. I so wish that I could stay for the first week, up until the reception, but the costs are prohibitive.
Once the Parksville show opens, I will be starting on a centenary icon commission for the Archdiosece of Winnipeg which is planned for completion by April 28th. It will require a bit of adjusting the refocus the mindset from the totem series to an icon. And once the icon is completed, making that transition once again back to the totems, and getting ready for the next solo exhibition in Port Moody in August.
So it is a busy time, and hopefully, there is will be enough sales along the way to cover home front expenses.
Andre Prevost, began his work in theatre in the late 70s after completing his studies at the Banff School of Fine Arts, and in his iconography in 1980, and having a large body of work in each. He has since been based in Western Canada; North Vancouver, Edmonton, Winnipeg, and now back on the West Coast.