Water and ice

Steve Driscoll, Lisa Lebofsky open shows at the James Baird Gallery this weekend

Published on July 9, 2014

When New York-based painter Lisa Lebofsky and local gallery owner James Baird couldn’t find a reasonable quote for getting Lebofsky’s pieces shipped here for a show, she did what she had to do: packed them in her car and hit the highway.

She’ll arrive at the gallery in time for Saturday, when she will open her first Canadian solo exhibition, featuring a series of oil-on-aluminum and oil-on-canvas paintings inspired by residencies she completed in Newfoundland and the Far North.

With a particular focus on water, ice and light, Lebofsky travels around the world, seeking out places that are under threat by climate change.

With her high-realism paintings, she aims to present viewers with awareness and sympathy for landscapes facing extinction, she says.

Baird met Lebofsky a couple of years ago, after her residency in Terra Nova National Park.

“We loved her use of aluminum to depict Newfoundland’s terrain,” he said. “This will be her first Canadian solo exhibition and we hope it will be the first of many. She is a delightful can-do person.”

Also opening at Baird’s gallery Saturday is a show by artist and longtime visitor to Newfoundland Steve Driscoll, who has exhibited at the gallery every year since 2008. This is his largest show in this province, both in terms of painting size and number of works.

Driscoll, based in Toronto, is one of very few artists who paints with toxic urethane — a technique which took him years to perfect — resulting in popping colours and panels with texture you can feel just by looking.

Driscoll’s specialty is water, and he’s adept at bringing its unpredictability to life.

“Excitement is not the word,” Baird said of Driscoll’s show.

Both shows will open at the James Baird Gallery in Pouch Cove Saturday, with a reception from 2-5 p.m. Driscoll’s exhibit will run until July 30, while Lebofsky’s will end Aug. 1.

Baird is preparing to host a solo exhibition for Argentine artist Federico Colletta next month.


Twitter: @tara_bradbury