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New artists showcase diverse themes in holiday show at Leyton Gallery


There’s a feeling gallery owner Bonnie Leyton gets when she looks at certain pieces of art, something “yummy,” she says, like fudge or a good liquor.

“Whatever it is, it just grabs my attention,” she says, her eyes sparkling.

Leyton is opening her annual Christmas show at her gallery in downtown St. John’s tonight, displaying work by about 20 artists, including a handful she has just taken on: Marcus Gosse, Teresa Kachanoski, Virginia Mak, Meghan Musseau, Maria Mercer and Virginia Mitford.

Gosse is a visual artist, teacher and member of the Qalipu Mi’kmaq First Nation Band living in Happy Valley-Goose Bay, whose work focuses on aboriginal culture and his spiritual identity.

For his first Leyton show, Gosse is exhibiting “Soup Cans,” a take on Andy Warhol’s “Campbell’s Soup Cans,” in varying flavours relevant to his culture: moose, rabbit, partridge and trout among them.

Mak has contributed a series of dream-like minimalist photography, while Musseau has done a number of pen and ink landscape pieces, very precise with not a mark wasted.

Mercer’s floral piece is reminiscent of a glorious detail from a botany textbook, while Mitford’s photographs, taken from video stills and developed with photopolymer plates, have a soft touch.

“When she lived in the Yukon with her family, they had a huge flood in their house and she videotaped the flood and the cleaning up, and these are the beautiful images,” Leyton explains.

Kachanoski, a relatively new resident of Newfoundland, has executed a large painting in a turquoise palette called “Supply Vessel,” which ranges from realist in her depiction of the vessel on the horizon, to quite painterly in the foreground, when it comes to her images of broken ice floating on the water.

Leyton says she actively seeks out new talent to represent, through various means.

“I’m so lucky,” she says. “I found some of them in (local literary journal) Riddle Fence. I was looking at some of the art in there and I was thinking, my God, some of this art is so beautiful, so I wrote them.”

Other times she inquires with friends teaching in the fine arts programs at MUN’s Grenfell College about newly graduated students with promising talent, or she checks out the work of printshop scholarship and emerging artist award winners.

Other artists taking part in Leyton’s Christmas show include Leyton herself, Iakov Afanassiev, Malin Enstrom, Anita Singh, Michael Pittman, Andrea Pottyondy and Tia Connolly.

Connolly’s piece is a lone wee bird done in pastel on a unique, hand-dyed paper.

“It started with coffee and then over the summer on our holidays we were collecting little rusty objects on the beach,” Connolly says. “I just laid them to make marks on the paper. It was so fun to dye because you never know what kind of shapes you’re going to get.”

The Leyton Gallery’s annual Christmas show opens with a reception tonight from 5-7 p.m., and runs until Dec. 30.

tbradbury@thetelegram.com

Twitter: @tara_bradbury

“Whatever it is, it just grabs my attention,” she says, her eyes sparkling.

Leyton is opening her annual Christmas show at her gallery in downtown St. John’s tonight, displaying work by about 20 artists, including a handful she has just taken on: Marcus Gosse, Teresa Kachanoski, Virginia Mak, Meghan Musseau, Maria Mercer and Virginia Mitford.

Gosse is a visual artist, teacher and member of the Qalipu Mi’kmaq First Nation Band living in Happy Valley-Goose Bay, whose work focuses on aboriginal culture and his spiritual identity.

For his first Leyton show, Gosse is exhibiting “Soup Cans,” a take on Andy Warhol’s “Campbell’s Soup Cans,” in varying flavours relevant to his culture: moose, rabbit, partridge and trout among them.

Mak has contributed a series of dream-like minimalist photography, while Musseau has done a number of pen and ink landscape pieces, very precise with not a mark wasted.

Mercer’s floral piece is reminiscent of a glorious detail from a botany textbook, while Mitford’s photographs, taken from video stills and developed with photopolymer plates, have a soft touch.

“When she lived in the Yukon with her family, they had a huge flood in their house and she videotaped the flood and the cleaning up, and these are the beautiful images,” Leyton explains.

Kachanoski, a relatively new resident of Newfoundland, has executed a large painting in a turquoise palette called “Supply Vessel,” which ranges from realist in her depiction of the vessel on the horizon, to quite painterly in the foreground, when it comes to her images of broken ice floating on the water.

Leyton says she actively seeks out new talent to represent, through various means.

“I’m so lucky,” she says. “I found some of them in (local literary journal) Riddle Fence. I was looking at some of the art in there and I was thinking, my God, some of this art is so beautiful, so I wrote them.”

Other times she inquires with friends teaching in the fine arts programs at MUN’s Grenfell College about newly graduated students with promising talent, or she checks out the work of printshop scholarship and emerging artist award winners.

Other artists taking part in Leyton’s Christmas show include Leyton herself, Iakov Afanassiev, Malin Enstrom, Anita Singh, Michael Pittman, Andrea Pottyondy and Tia Connolly.

Connolly’s piece is a lone wee bird done in pastel on a unique, hand-dyed paper.

“It started with coffee and then over the summer on our holidays we were collecting little rusty objects on the beach,” Connolly says. “I just laid them to make marks on the paper. It was so fun to dye because you never know what kind of shapes you’re going to get.”

The Leyton Gallery’s annual Christmas show opens with a reception tonight from 5-7 p.m., and runs until Dec. 30.

tbradbury@thetelegram.com

Twitter: @tara_bradbury

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