New Art Guild exhibition explores the minimalist views that surround us

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“Minimalism is by definition, in my experience, often present on more simplified landscapes. They exist in mountainous areas but I have found them easier to find in rural landscapes, in farming communities. I think a lot of people watch them and relate to the themes they see in front of them.

CANMORE – A new month means a new round of artwork on display at the Canmore Art Guild.

From September 29 to October 30, the featured artist of the exhibition is Kevin McCormick, whose photography focuses on landscapes and wildlife, but he has recently explored the minimalist aspects of these subjects.

“I’ve always had an interest in the minimalist and I’ve gone back and looked at my images, from five, six, seven years ago, and they have a minimalist approach,” McCormick said. “I’ve been chasing it a bit more over the past year. I thought I had enough pieces to use as the theme for the show.

McCormick worked as a wildlife biologist before retiring, which now gives him more opportunities to pursue his hobby, photography.

“Photography is the perfect excuse to get you out,” McCormick said. “There are other reasons as well, as it helps you relive some of the attractive scenes you come across. It also means sharing these experiences with others.

With her background as a biologist, McCormick sees the inherent beauty of the natural world, but looks deeper into areas that most people don’t tend to notice on a quick drive through the mountains.

“I’m of the opinion that the natural world has a lot of inherent beauty,” McCormick said. “I think a lot of people appreciate it on some level, but don’t see all it has to offer. If you don’t stop to think about it, to fully appreciate it, you risk overlooking the beauty that is there before your eyes.

McCormick isn’t the only artist working at the guild this month. Brenda Heine’s glass mosaics, Dana Roman’s felt landscapes, and Karen Freeman’s wood and copper collages are on display. In addition, drawings and paintings by Claudia Schellenberg and Jannis Allan Hare are featured.

“Some of the work from the members of the Canmore Art Guild, who have been members for quite a while, showed quite unique and different work from what they had been doing before,” said Art Guild member Heather Wood.

Speaking of McCormick, Wood said he brings something very different from his past photographs to this month’s exhibition.

“They’re all quite different from the work he’s shown before,” Wood said. “He’s an incredible photographer. Much of his work in the gallery is very minimalist in its use of color and black and white with subtle shading.

Overall, Wood is excited about the October exhibit, which mixes a wide variety of styles from local artists.

“It combines in a quirky and random way. I’m amazed at how amazing the show is because everything happens randomly,” Wood said. “Over the last eight months the variety of work has been amazing and everything has gone well.”

As for McCormick, he hopes his photography will help people appreciate what might be considered mundane in the landscape and see what’s in front of them.

“Minimalism is by definition, in my experience, often found on more simplified landscapes,” McCormick said. “They exist in mountainous areas but I have found them easier to find in rural landscapes, in farming communities. I think a lot of people watch them and relate to the themes they see in front of them.

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