Until Sat., Apr. 21 / Presence by Jim Visser / Bugera Matheson Gallery
Opening Sat., Apr. 7 (12 – 4 pm), artist in attendance
“Ours is the presence of the temporary,” says Edmonton artist Jim Visser. “Who am I in the realm so palpable, so fierce?”
Now hitting his 20th show since he began painting over 40 years ago, the retired seed potato farmer from Holland has made a prolific name for himself. Spending a majority of his life learning to coax the land and work with nature’s rhythm, rather than against it, Visser has always been inspired by the natural world.
Beginning his training at the University of Alberta’s Fine Arts Extension faculty, Visser started taking classes in drawing during his seasonal time off from the farm. He then moved into water colour, which he still enjoys for its ease and flexibility when travelling the back roads of Alberta. It wasn’t until much later that he took up oil, a medium in which he became well-known, alongside grand canvases.
Visser brilliantly captures the converging lines of canola fields, rolling fences, still waters, and tall poplars that so embody the prairies with technical precision and an appreciation for the natural world. One can look at any of Visser’s pieces to see evidence of his decades of work and practice, which allow him to effectively create realist landscapes that draw viewers in.
He now lives on an acreage that sits on the same land his family still farms, allowing him just enough time for his art. This newest exhibition (Presence) at the Bugera Matheson Gallery was created over the past two years to showcase Alberta’s vast landscapes topped by blue, sometimes stormy, skies.
Fri., May. 4 & Sat., May. 5 (7:30) /
The Balance by Christina Estillore / Studio Theatre, ATB Financial Arts Barns
Local playwright Christina Estillore brings a female take on the typical man-makes-it-big-but-stands-to-lose-it-all plot. The Balance should be ripe with character twists as well as surprises like a convertible dress and a dog or two.
With a cast of local talent, including award-winning lead actress Emily Pole (Kelly) and Maya Molly (Solange, Kelly’s BFF) the show is full of females in prominent roles on stage and off stage.
The story of Kelly, a young mother and dreamer, tells a familiar thread of learning to balance personal commitments with big dreams. After falling in love with Dillon (played by Peter Jollimore), she finds the confidence to set her career sights on the film industry but finds herself off-balance as a result.
The Balance is sure to stir emotions and perhaps a few tears, but also some laughs thanks to Richard Barthel’s Will & Grace-style humour as Donny.
Scored with relevant music and lighting design that will make you feel like you’re in a movie, The Balance’s short two-day run only has 80 seats per night—so act fast.