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  • HUB @ 302

    Location: CALGARY, AB

    The Alberta Society of Artists invites all juried members, associate and non-members to..
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  • Open Call for 2020 exhibitions

    Location: Vernon, BC

    We are an artist run gallery seeking submissions from emerging artists for our..
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  • Beacon Original Art Fall Show & Sale

    Location: Calgary, AB

    Saturday October 19, 2019 from 10am - 4pm. Featuring more than 30 artists..
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  • Open Call:

    Location: Vancouver, BC

    The Federation of Canadian Artists (FCA) is having an open exhibition for members..
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  • Open Call: All 10

    Location: Vancouver, BC

    Calling all Canadian Artists! This is an open submission call for a lightly..
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  • Earth

    Location: CALGARY, AB

    The Alberta Society of Artists invites all Juried, Life, Student, Associate Members and..
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  • Reza Rezaï / Mehmoon

    Location: Calgary, AB

    TRUCK Contemporary Art is pleased to present Mehmoon by Reza Rezaï. Through the..
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  • Outside, In

    Location: Lethbridge, AB

    Opening reception September 28th 7-9pm for the Allied Art Council's Gallery Stroll! OUTSIDE,..
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  • National Oil and Acrylic Painters Society 2019 Fall Online International Exhibition

    Location: Windsor, ON

    The National Oil & Acrylic Painters’ Society (NOAPS) invites oil and acrylic painters..
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  • “Motion” International Call - Art & Literature Journal - Deadline October 31, 2019

    Location: Toronto, ON

    | Theme: Moving or being moved. Shifting, stirring, changing places. The rise and..
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  • Beaver Sheppard: Solo Exhibition

    Location: Montreal, QC

    Archive Contemporary presents a comprehensive solo exhibition of Beaver Sheppard’s artistic canon, for..
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  • ANCESTRAL MINDSCAPES

    Location: Toronto, ON

    Ancestral Mindscapes is an autobiographical collaboration using video, sound and photography to explore..
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  • Clay Tile Workshop

    Location: Edmonton, AB

    Participants will be working with clay to hand-build tiles using a variety of..
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  • Edible and Medicinal Gardening Lecture

    Location: Edmonton, AB

    Ukrainian settlers brought with them a wide range of traditional knowledge and practices,..
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  • Acrylic Painting for Beginners

    Location: Edmonton, AB

    Do you want to create a bright & beautiful acrylic landscape in one..
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  • Willow Heart Weaving Workshop

    Location: Edmonton, AB

    Willow Heart Weaving Workshop In this workshop, participants will learn how to trim and..
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  • New Craft Coalition: Call to Artists

    Location: Calgary, AB

    New Craft Coalition, invites applications from all mid-career and professional artists to be..
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  • Invisible by PAINTER8

    Location: Edmonton, AB

    Please join us at PAINTER8, and other Edmonton art lovers alike, for the..
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  • 19th Annual Stouffville Studio Tour

    Location: Town of Whitchurch-Stouffville, ON

    The 19th Annual Stouffville Studio Tour is an event you don’t want to..
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  • Wheat Centrepiece Workshop

    Location: Edmonton, AB

    Join this class to learn how to make a didukh-style centrepiece that can..
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  • Radio Silence

    Location: Quebec city, QC

    Québec, August 19, 2019 – Folie/Culture invites all those who express themselves through..
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  • LOOK AGAIN!

    Location: Saskatoon, SK

    LOOK AGAIN! PAINTINGS BY KATHLEEN SLAVIN AND GAIL PRPICK AT UNIVERSITY..
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  • Watercolour Workshop with Frank Townsley

    Location: Vancouver, BC

    Sunday 22nd September 10.00 AM - 5.00 PM ..
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  • Figureworks 2019

    Location: Ottawa, ON

    Figureworks 2019 Call for Artists The call for submissions to the 10th annual juried..
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  • Quasi-Nature

    Location: Montreal, QC

    Archive Contemporary Art Gallery is pleased to present Quasi-Nature, a group exhibition curated..
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  • National Oil and Acrylic Painters Society 2019 Fall Online International Exhibition

    Location: Windsor, ON

    The National Oil & Acrylic Painters’ Society (NOAPS) invites oil and acrylic painters..
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  • Unsettling Nature

    Location: Toronto, ON

    An Exhibition at: The Garage Gallery Benmiller with Artists Jill Price, Leslie Putnam, Morag Webster..
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  • Through the Eyes of a Child

    Location: CALGARY, AB

    Artists Statement: Ed Flanagan My wife had a career as an elementary school..
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  • Exposition solo Lac-Mégantic

    Location: Lac-Mégantic, QC

    L'eau, une mine d'Art du 8 juillet au 8 septembre 2019..
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  • Sustainable Fashion Designer Looking for Studio Space in Mississauga

    Location: Mississauga, ON

    Hi, I'm Amanda, I am an emerging fashion designer starting my business designing..
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  • 32 Points- 32 Voices: A Compass of Peace

    Location: Toronto, ON

    32 Points - 32 Voices: A Compass of Peace International Exhibition September 6-27, 2019 Cedar Ridge..
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Who Is Andre Bieler?

By Robert Amos December 29, 2003

} Who Is Andre Bieler? By Robert Amos NOTE: This exhibit at the Winchester is no longer running, however they still display a collection of Bieler's work online. Winchester Galleries 1545 Fort Street Victoria, British Columbia 592-2777 I met him while I was a student at Queen¹s University in Kingston, Ontario. Bieler (1896-1989) was the founder of the Art Centre there and was the grand old man of Kingston¹s art world. Had he spent his career in Toronto or Montreal he¹d be more famous, but even so his place is well established in Canadian art history. A show at the Winchester Gallery (1545 Fort Street in Victoria, 592-2777) offered us all the chance to share the inspiration his art provides. Sketch for Gatineau Madonna, 1939, charcoal, 7x10 Image courtesy of the Winchester Galleries Bieler was the child of a Swiss family, and nephew of a famous Swiss painter Ernest Bieler. He came to Canada as a child, but World War One drew him back to Europe. Certainly life - and death - in the trenches at Passchendale, and a searing dose of poison gas, shaped his outlook. After the war he studied art in Woodstock, New York and began his life¹s work. Bieler discovered a way of life on the shores and islands of the St. Lawrence River which continued in an unbroken tradition with the past. Threshing grain and chopping wood went on as they always had; dog carts and out-door bake ovens provided engrossing subject matter for the young artist. Unlike the Group of Seven, who made a Canadian myth of the unpopulated wilderness, Bieler¹s focus was people and their relationship to the land. He was in good company. A. Y. Jackson, Edwin Holgate and Jori Smith were among the artists who also found inspiration on the North Shore and the Ile D¹Orleans. Ethnologist Marius Barbeau was in the region at that time, preserving the rocking chairs and ceintures fleches that Bieler loved to draw. Gunter Heinrich of the Winchester Gallery has made every effort to bring us work from that early period, including many of the small and forceful sketches Bieler made on the spot, drawing incisive lines in his little sketch book and adding massive shading with the side of a charcoal stick. The paintings from this period have become part of the great galleries of this country. Bieler¹s career had only just begun. In 1936 he was invited to teach in Kingston and soon found himself at the centre of a political movement which put art and artists on the national agenda. The Kingston Conference of 1941, which he essentially hosted, led in years to come to the foundation of the Canada Council and much else. In addition to teaching and lecturing in Ontario, Quebec and Banff, Bieler¹s core commitment was to creating. With hands as knobbly as a lump of ginger, he relentless realized his vision in ever more modern styles. Inspired by Cezanne, he delved into the form of things. Like Raoul Dufy, Bieler loved to lay down apparently random patches of colour and then draw over this agitated ground with a sure line of ink. Locally, we have seen Colin Graham engage with the landscape using this same approach, resolving the conflicting aspirations of abstraction and representation. Always, Bieler¹s subject was people. He painted the street life of Europe, the carnivals of Mexico and the time-worn faces of settlers in the Ontario bush. Toward the end of his life, he once again took out his documentary sketchbooks from the early days and depicted the old ways of life on the St. Lawrence in fresh new colours. >Church and Totem, Skeena, 1955, acrylic and ink, 9x12 Image courtesy of the Winchester Galleries The gallery has a video tape produced by Bieler¹s grandson. A collage of old film clips, interviews with the artist, and modern-day visits to the sites and subjects of Bieler¹s work, it presents a vivid meeting with the artist. I recommend that you spend an hour at the gallery and watch it. Through this tape, I feel I had a meeting with this inspiring man. Bieler¹s memory is clear, the experiences of his life are engrossing, and his marvelous voice - still bearing the scars of those gas attacks - is entirely engaging. He is sure in his pronouncements and reveals the creative mind in an old-fashioned way, without irony or doubt. I find Bieler¹s art work to be inspiring in the best way. "Observe, study, sketch," he seems to say. "But don¹t be held back by someone else¹s ideas of realism. Find subject matter which involves you, treat it with respect but express it with every means at your command. Play with the materials, revel in the subject, let it all speak to you. " I left the gallery with his example before me and went out to paint immediately. Many of the art shows I see are cynical in relation to their subject, or simply present a dazzling display of empty technique. Bieler is a humanist who lived the life, did the work and left a record of his joy and adventure. Winchester Galleries is to be commended for bringing these selections from the estate of Andre Bieler to the public. They were gathered from Bieler¹s children - never an easy task for a gallery owner - and it is easy to see they have been carefully selected. Winchester is locally-based but is, in fact, a gallery of national significance. For the convenience of buyers all over the country they maintain a web site and, while we have room to illustrate only two of Bieler¹s works, by visiting www.winchestergalleriesltd.com/ you can view the entire exhibition. Copyright © 2002 Robert Amos Robert Amos is an artist and art writer who lives in Victoria, B. C.. He can be contacted by e-mail and you can view his paintings at www.robertamos.com