2014 Exhibits

Town & Country Exhibit

January 11th to March 9th, 2014

Gala Event and Walk and Talkabout – January 16th at 7 pm

The exhibit includes the works of Fabio Gasbarri, Cathy Groulx, Kathryn Hogg, Aliki Mikulich & Kim DiFrancesco

This exhibition is a tribute to Brant County regionalism. The artists live in Brantford, Waterford, Cambridge and Woodstock, and four —  Gasbarri, Groulx, Mikulich, DiFrancesco  — have zeroed in on their nearby,  natural surroundings.  Kathryn Hogg’s  work in the fireplace room is anomalous to this grouping;  her  paintings of people and people-like figures in urban settings, and her  ceramic shields seem to be set off  from the thematic path, but they’re a  symbolic core from which the works by the other artists radiate.

On the walls of the Cockshutt  house,  Hogg’s  quasi-heraldic shields are, at once, reminders of fusty heritage  and disquieting, entomological  emblems.  The over-sized body parts of grasshoppers, photo[1]made to conform to the shields’ symmetrical configurations,  coax us to think about the unnaturalness of that.  Hogg’s paintings are fresh takes on human relationships, and, like the grasshopper shields, they’re both whimsical and weighty.  Her audience standing to stretch at intermission, man forcefully restraining aggressive boys, robot shaking hands with a human, people spending idle time in a park … reflect a fascination for people-watching, and  an empathetic  turn of mind. There’s a  spryness to them, and a visual openness that balances the self-contained and legacy-laden implications of the wall sculptures.

The eleven small, oil paintings by Fabio Gasbarri done on site in Cambridge are masterfully spare combinations of technique and intuitive response.  Quickly brushed-in patches of colour seem to photo[8] copycoalesce into clouds, fields, foliage and shadows right in front of us.  We can sense the muted light changing, the scene moving.  The fluidity is stabilized only by fixed indicators such as trees, or bridges.  What’s impressive is Gasbarri’s decisiveness and restraint.  He expects viewers to bring their eyes to the table.  His respect for art history and traditional practice leads us to consider antecedents such as the bridge paintings of Claude Monet.  For Brant County dwellers, though, Gasbarri’s bridges have more reverberation; they’re relevant.


Cathy Groulx, too, adopts a traditional approach to art-making.  She paints in oils, and works up her scenes with a series of walnut-oil glazes over a peach–coloured ground.  It’s a mid-tone colour that sends up photo[8]warmth to the surface of the painting. And the peachiness is visible here and there between the insistent brushstrokes. There’s an overall impression of sun-drenched languor.  Groulx’s  river-bank paintings are active, full-bodied  works. They consistently display her adeptness at painting still and flowing water, and the harmonious melding of the surrounding woods, shore plants and debris with their reflections.


 is  an interwoven series of paintings by Aliki Mikulich and Kim DiFranceso.  By conferring a title and definition, the artists emphasize the purpose and method of their project.  The paintings take on that exploratory mandate; we can imagine the shifts of attention and sustained periods of quiet absorption that occurred during their excursions along the river.photo[8] copy 3

photo[8] copy 4The details of their findings, however, yield to their innate generalizing styles – both artists seem to prize contour and rhythm. The landscapes are design and colourizing opportunities, and there are unnatural glows and hues in some of the paintings which give the landscape convention an energy kick.

Milkulich’s silhouettes of leafless trees, and winter chickadees and geese
in flight are icons of Brant County fall and winter.  DiFrancesco’s  rivers and roads are viscous  masses that seem more felt than observed. These paintings convey sensations — they  lead us on a path Mikulich and DiFrancesco  know very well.    Bryce Kanbara  (13/1/14)

Artworks in order of appearance:  Photo 1: Sister and Brother-in-arms, Subterranean, Green Shield, Emblem of Honour, Artworks by Kathryn Hogg.  Photo 2:  Field and Sky, Artwork by Fabio Gasbarri. Photo 3: April Reflections, Artwork by Cathy Groulx. Photo 4: Nuthatch – Fall, Artwork by Aliki Mikulich.  Photo 5:  Winding Through the Forest with Emily – Fall, Artwork by Kim DiFrancesco.




works from the Permanent Collection

March 15 to April 26, 2014