Ivan Wheale featured at Perivale Gallery opening

Artists Christi Best Pearson and Kerry Butler flank artist emeritis Ivan Wheale during the spring opening of the Perivale Gallery.

PERIVALE—A steady stream of patrons of the arts began to stream in the doors of the Perivale Gallery even before the official opening time, racing each other to secure their favourite piece by some of Canada’s finest artists on display.

It has become a rite of passion for Island art lovers to stop in at the Perivale Gallery for its spring opening and central to that opening for many years has been the unveiling of the latest works of Ivan Wheale. Each season brings slight nuances to the work Mr. Wheale has completed over the course of the previous winter, and this year his wonderfully detailed works still focus closely on the delights of the Georgian Bay region.

“It has a lot to do with what the landscape is doing,” chuckled Mr. Wheale, who suggested that a lot of luck goes into capturing the images in his mind he so deftly transfers onto canvas. “There has been a lot of fog lately,” he said, describing a view he came across the previous day where the fog and light came together with a reflection on the surface of a pond that sparkled. “I am truly blessed to be able to hold that vision in my mind’s eye,” he admitted. The talent of rendering that vision onto canvas is nothing to sneeze at either.

As Mr. Wheale greeted the many friends and fans of his work coming into the gallery, people who return each year to see what is in his latest collection, the genuine warmth and good humour of the popular artist shone a clear light on why he is regarded as Manitoulin’s most popular artistic mentor.

“I am really excited about this season,” said Perivale Gallery curator Shannon McMullan, who noted that her gallery has a number of new artists, both well-established and up-and-coming ready for people to discover.

Among those artists are Martin Foley, artist of distinction at last year’s La Cloche Art Show, painter Lisa Mace, photographer Kerry Butler and painter Christie Best Pearson. There is a wonderful collection of jewellery, the creations of Mindemoya artist Monique Hunse, the gypsy potter Liz Brownrig and Nancy Paul (sister of Little Current textile artist Judy Martin).

Mindemoya’s jewellery artist Monique Hunse and artist Linda Williamson were at the spring opening of the Perivale Gallery.
Mindemoya’s jewellery artist Monique Hunse and artist Linda Williamson were at the spring opening of the Perivale Gallery.

“This is my first time being featured at the gallery,” said artist Linda Williamson, herself a regular contributor to the La Cloche Art Show as well. “I am pretty excited about it.”

Ms. McMullan noted that in addition to the Perivale Gallery’s series of 10 art workshops on offer this season, with instructors such as the redoubtable Mr. Wheale, Barry Bowerman, Ruth Reid, Cathy Boyd, Carenie Little, Diane Godwin-Sheridan, Carol Owen, Linda Finn and Cathy Boyd.

New for this year at the gallery will be a two-week show running from July 25 entitled ‘In the Spirit of the Group of Seven,’ which will feature art inspired by that most iconic group of Canadian artists of that name.

“I am really excited by the news that Charles Pachter (yes, he of Queen on Moose fame) is taking part in the show,” said Ms. McMullan. Mr. Pachter is acknowledged as one of the leading lights of the Canadian contemporary art scene. His pop art images have attracted a whole new generation to the appreciation of Canadian art. “It is going to be a great season,” said Ms. McMullan. “Come see for yourself.”