Landscape, wildlife join at Willock & Sax
One paints landscape, the other wildlife, but their shared passion for both oil painting and wild spaces and its inhabitants is proving to be a perfect combination for a shared show.
Willock & Sax Gallery in Banff is joining the work of artists Mitchell Fenton and Dwayne Harty as part of the grand opening of its new gallery at 210 Bear Street Saturday (June 16) from 2–4 p.m. Both Fenton and Harty will be at the opening.
Susan Sax-Willock said the show features the plein air and studio paintings of Fenton, an instructor at the Ontario College of Art and Design and an introductory view into the work of Wyoming-based artist Dwayne Harty, whose work is a prominent part of Yellowstone to Yukon: The Journey of Wildlife and Art opening at the Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies Saturday, as well.
“There’s concern for environment with both of them,” Sax-Willock said June 7. “There’s an involvement with their work entirely; they are both full time in art in some form and so it just seemed to make sense.
“We felt these two artists had a lot of common interests and a general interest to let people know about the environment and about the landscape and the love of the landscape and a love of the animals.
“All of that that is increasingly important to put in front of people.”
Fenton, whose paintings for this show celebrate the Lake O’Hara region, has an ability to capture colour and light through his striking and luminous large-scale paintings, Sax-Willock said.
While inspired by the likes of the Group of Seven and the California plein air artists that were part of an impressionist movement in California in the 20th Century, she added that the Manitoba-born Fenton also those styles, movements or inspirations his own, giving him a unique perspective.
“With the larger studio pieces there’s a lot of abstraction that happens because of that narrowing down into an intimate view of a certain spot, which he is good at as well. He can do those large dramatic panoramic pieces as well and make it feel like you’re walking into the scene,” Sax-Willock said.
Harty, who was born in Saskatchewan and now lives in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, was commissioned by the Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative to paint from one end of the Y2Y region to the other, capturing the distinct areas and the wildlife within that larger region.
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