Art exhibit in Delta Bessborough proves to be a hidden gem

KATLYNN BALDERSTONE

Colorful and textured paintings on display at the Delta Bessborough.

Colorful and textured paintings on display at the Delta Bessborough.

It may not be the most obvious place for a fine art exhibit, but the eighth floor of Saskatoon’s Delta Bessborough hides a gallery impressive in both its small size and large scope.

From abstract paintings to detailed and expressive castings, the Bronze Sculpture and Modern Contemporary Art display at the Kehrig Fine Art venue will leave you taken aback at the amount of fantastic art they’ve fit into such an intimate area.

The exhibit features selected works from various local and international artists, each with their own unique style and approach — creating a display that is diverse and appealing on many levels.

Representing the bronze sculpture side of the display are artists like Michel Anthony, who creates smaller and beautifully organic abstract pieces. The appearance of Anthony’s sculptures are smooth and organic, almost fluid-like in contrast to such hard materials. Anthony also uses different mixtures of bronze alloys — including the addition of silver to create white bronze — which functions to improve the finish on his pieces and add colour.

On the opposite end of the spectrum is work from Saskatchewan artist Tom Schultz, whose animal sculptures are packed with very fine and realistic detail. Several of his bronze castings are featured at the display, including a polished animal skull and a small deer in which even the teeth are carved out with skill and care.

As for the contemporary art portion of the exhibit, one can find many abstract paintings from European artist Raphaël Gyllenbjörn. These paintings have a great energy to them — with splatters and strong brushstrokes — but also hold enough care to shape the paint and colours. The strong texture and shape of the paint allows for a fantastic feeling of depth.

The display also features the surreal paintings of Tim Johnson, an American artist with an eye for colour and texture. Johnson’s large painting of a chick shows his care for detail through the expressiveness of his brushstrokes. One wishes the gallery was larger just to see more of his work.

Bridging the gap between paint and sculpture is William Prettie, an artist from Alberta who works using layers of paint and text within heavy resin. The feeling of depth is more than enough to pull the viewer in and search for any hidden meanings. Unfortunately, the lighting of the display space tends to mar the effect. A different set of lighting would allow these works to shine and reveal what lies beneath, but they are still extraordinary to view.

This space was only recently converted to a gallery, in January 2014, though Kehrig Fine Art has existed for some time prior. Functioning as a way to support both the owner’s love of art and the artists themselves, Kehrig allows potential buyers to look through the collected works in order to purchase a piece they find appealing or to select an artist to commission pieces from.

While the floor size is small, the collection of work on display for this exhibit is certainly not. The intimate space allows for a more condensed arrangement that is appealing without being overpowering.

The Bronze Sculpture and Modern Contemporary Art exhibit is on display through Kehrig Fine Art on the eighth floor of the Delta Bessborough. Open Monday to Wednesday from 5 p.m. – 9 p.m. or by appointment, it will be available for viewing until April 30.


Photo: Jordan Dumba/Photo Editor