Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Painter showing art at the Moose Jaw Cultural Centre,
where he took his 'first professional step'

Andrew Meredith talks about two of his paintings,
"The Sask II" and "Sask. Lighthouse,"
currently on display at the
Moose Jaw Cultural Centre.
Andrew Meredith sees his first art show, at the Moose Jaw Cultural Centre in 2007, as an essential stepping stone in his career as an artist.
   “This is where it all started, really,” said Meredith as he gestured at the walls of the Mosaic Gallery in the Cultural Centre on which the paintings of his latest show are displayed.
   “If I didn’t have that first show back in 2007, who knows what I’d be doing now? It was the first professional step, a key building block to where I am now.
   "It's great to be back showing my art in this space."
   When Meredith first showed his paintings at the Cultural Centre in 2007, he was working and painting.
   Now he is working on his art full time.
   “I’m painting and marketing my art full time. It’s a lot better now, not having the extra pressure of another job. When I was working I’d really have to push myself to be creative and paint, but now I have more freedom that way.”
   Since 2007, Meredith’s art has been shown in two other Saskatchewan art galleries, and his work is on sale at several locations.
   He spends most of his time in Imperial, Sask., painting and marketing, but for a couple months in the year he heads to Nova Scotia to gather inspiration.
   Meredith, 27, grew up in Great Village, N.S. His family moved to Coronach, Sask., in his last year of high school. When he graduated, he moved to Moose Jaw to work and paint for five years.
   His art, painted in a folk style of bold colors and shapes, most often depicts landscape scenes in Nova Scotia, particularly fishing villages such as Peggy’s Cove.
   Viewers of his paintings can see boats, lobster traps and lighthouses.
   But Saskatchewan informs his artwork, too.
   “The Sask II” shows a schooner sailing through a wheat field. It’s a play on the famous Bluenose II racing schooner from Nova Scotia.
   “Sask. Lighthouse” shows a grain elevator with waves across it – a beacon of light in an ocean of prairie.
Andrew Meredith's "The Grape Escape," was
chosen as a wine label.

   “When I was painting for this show in Nova Scotia, I started to miss Saskatchewan again, as you can see by these paintings,” Meredith said, laughing.
   Part of the show at the Cultural Centre features Meredith’s newest foray into object depiction: Volkswagen Beetles. The cars are painted on a black background on a small square piece of canvas.
   “Bugs all have different, vibrant colours, which is why I like to paint them,” said Meredith.
   The first time he painted a Beetle was for a contest to design a wine label for a Nova Scotia winery.
   Meredith chose to paint a couple in a Beetle which had a cluster of grapes on top tied on like luggage. He called it “The Grape Escape.”
   The wine label was one of five selected by the winery.
   Meredith is looking forward to seeing a bottle with his label on it.

Click to see Andrew Meredith's art in his online gallery.

Andrew Meredith’s collection of paintings, My Folk Life, is on display in the Mosaic Gallery in the Moose Jaw Cultural Centre until May 28, 2011. A "meet the artist" event will be held on Sat., May 14 from 2 to 4 p.m. Admission is free.

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