The Art Gallery Osoyoos is bringing back its “Driven to Abstraction” exhibition in January for the second year in a row, but the registration deadline for artists is this Friday.
The show is open to Osoyoos and area artists who would like to display their abstract creation, in any medium such as painting, pottery, quilting, wood carving or photography, among others.
“It was a real big hit,” said Sue Whittaker, gallery curator, referring to the first ‘Driven to Abstraction’ last year. “It involved a lot of people in the community and that’s what we’re trying to do. So we’re going to give it another try.”
Whittaker said last year’s participants brought metalwork, fibre art, glasswork and jewelry in addition to the more common media such as painting and pottery.
“We’re thinking maybe some encaustic this year, pen and ink and pencil – things that we haven’t had before – just to suggest to people that you don’t have to be a painter,” said Whittaker.
Although the gallery had been considering an abstract show prior to last year’s exhibition, Whittaker said the title just popped into her head one morning.
“It just came into my mind one morning when I woke up,” she said. “My mother always said, ‘You guys are driving me to distraction.’ I woke up thinking ‘Driven to Abstraction’ would be kind of a play on words.”
Registration to participate in the show is $10 per artist and forms should be submitted to the gallery by this Friday, Dec. 15.
Whittaker acknowledges that the deadline has come quickly and some people weren’t aware of it, so efforts will be made to accommodate those who submit their applications a bit late.
Although pre-registration is required, the work doesn’t need to be completed until shortly before the show.
Preregistration gives the gallery a sense of how many people are interested in participating so it can be determined how many pieces an artist will be able to display.
Whittaker differentiates abstract art from figurative art, which shows recognizable features and shapes.
“Abstract design is really painting to a feeling that you have, for instance a possible title for an abstract painting might be happiness or sorrow,” she said. “The colours and content might lead you to those feelings and might make me understand why the painter painted it.”
An abstract work might include figurative elements, she said, but they are less obvious and require the viewer to figure it out.
“It’s not right there in front of your eyes,” she said.
For example, Whittaker showed an abstract watercolour painting she did that was inspired by a northern flicker appearing in her window. The shape of the bird isn’t obvious, but it is discernible.
Whittaker said the show is open to local art lovers who may not have enough work for a full show and it’s open to amateurs as well as seasoned artists.
There is no formal jurying process, but the gallery reserves the right to choose art that fits its guidelines.
Forms can be downloaded from the gallery’s website at osoyoosarts.com/groups/osoyoos-art-gallery/ or they can be picked up from the gallery at 8713 Main Street.
The show runs from Jan. 13 to Feb. 3.