Gallery welcomes new exhibit
Merritt artists Cindilla Trent and John Yellowlees are teaming up for their second joint exhibit at the Courthouse Art Gallery with a public reception on Saturday.
Trent, a multimedia artist, and Yellowlees, a freeform sculptor, paired up in 2010 for a show, and are back with Earth, Fire and Fibre 2.
“The idea behind the title is earth being the clay, fire being the mosaic and fibre being the quilt,” John Yellowlees said. “This time we added tradition with innovation because all of our work is very traditional. How much more traditional can you get than clay? Same with the quilt, but it’s all pretty innovative.”
Yellowlees said Trent initially approached him about the exhibit, and although they see each other periodically, he was surprised at the cohesion between their collections.
“She came over and saw the studio, saw what I was doing and just invited me,” Yellowlees said. “I thought that was really nice, and it’s been good ever since.”
Courthouse Curator Kathi Dahlquist-Gray said the success of the 2010 show made hosting them an easy choice.
“I had no hesitation with bringing them in for another show,” Dahlquist-Gray said. “It was one of the best attended shows and it was certainly the highest selling show we ever had. There’s a lot of really good talent here in the Valley.”
Yellowlees spent a month in Medicine Hat, Alta. as artist-in-residence at the Shaw International Centre for Contemporary Ceramics where he takes the pieces he prepares at his home studio over winter and spring to be fired in a soda kiln in the summer. Soda firing is the nontoxic counterpart to salt firing, and is less controllable by the artist, resulting in enhanced natural inconsistencies and varied texture.
“You do nothing but work with clay from six o’clock in the morning until midnight, then you go home, then you’re back again,” Yellowlees said. “There are people from all over the world, so you’re being exposed to all different kinds of processes. It was very eye-opening, stimulating and the energy in that studio was just phenomenal.”
Yellowlees’ sculptures and Trent’s pieces are on display and available for purchase at the Courthouse Art Gallery until Dec. 7. The artists will also be at the gallery reception on Saturday between 6 and 8 p.m.