Prairie winter landscapes usher in the fall in Greater Victoria galleries

Peter Shostak’s “This was our hockey rink,” a 22- by 35-inch oil on canvas, is showing Oct. 3 in the West End Gallery downtown. (Peter Shostak Image)
Patty Ripley’s Moving Stillness is a larger sized canvas, 54 by 48 inches, and is selling for $4,400 at The Avenue Gallery in Oak Bay this month. (Pitty Ripley Image)
Glass blower Lisa Samphire’s Smarty Vase, which is 12 inches high and 12 inches wide, is showing in The Avenue Gallery this month. (Image by The Avenue Gallery)
“City Lights” by William Liao is an unframed acrylic on canvas, 48 by 36 inches, showing at The Avenue Gallery this month. (William Liao Image)

West End Gallery is celebrating the fall with a cool-weather exhibition by Peter Shostak.

The 77-year-old artist’s collection of 25 new paintings is called This Was Our Childhood and it runs Oct. 3 to 15. The show captures the essence of life and seasons on the Prairies, said Amy Boyle of West End Gallery.

“His paintings depict children cavorting in snow, the endless and endlessly rewarding toil and ritual of prairie life and highlights traditional Ukrainian heritage [in the Prairies].”

For Shostak, little has changed on the land and in the hearts of those descendants of the first hardy settlers in the west.

Shostak was born to Ukrainian immigrant parents in 1943 in Bonnyville, Alta. He was raised working on the family farm but also playing pond hockey with his brothers. When the time came, he left home to earn a master’s degree in education from the University of Alberta. He found his calling as a painter, and since 1979, Shostak has been working as a professional artist painting vignettes reminiscent of Alberta’s past and present.

This Was Our Childhood is the second major solo exhibition in Victoria for Shostak, who received the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal in 2003.

Shostak recalled players using store-bought or home-made hockey sticks, and playing with or without skates.

“[Hockey] was played by many on countless frozen ponds, farms and schoolyard rinks,” Shostak recalled. “These hockey players played in the daytime, by the light of the low winter sun, and in the evenings, by the light of the bright moon and stars.”

READ ALSO: Gage Gallery in Oak Bay showcases community art created during COVID-19 crisis

Shostak will be present for the West End Gallery opening reception from 1 to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 3 (hours that day are 10 to 5 p.m.)

This month the Avenue Gallery in Oak Bay will feature works by glass blower Lisa Samphire, acrylics by William Liao, and paintings by Patty Ripley.

Samphire has been glass blowing since 1985 and brings a new vitality and approach to the medium from an ongoing education at The Pilchuk School and The Corning Glass Museum.

“Glass is the medium I have chosen to express and explore my interests in making art,” Samphire said. “It is the resolution of interrelated esthetic and technical problems that makes glass an exciting and challenging medium in which to work.”

Liao’s art is a “sonata of an urban romance.” Liao was raised in Beijing, where he was surrounded by classical Chinese culture as well as new European art. In 2017, he won the Art Battle Vancouver, received the Silver Medal at the Signature Medal Show at Federation Gallery, as well as first place in the Acrylics in Action show.

READ ALSO: National drive-by art show rolls through Victoria

Ripley was raised in the San Francisco bay area and is well studied, including studying at the University of British Columbia and Emily Carr University of Art and Design.

Last year Ripley trekked through the Himalayas and has captured the imagery of the majestic calm and vitality of the mountains in her work.

“Or… how about the feeling of the vast, deep ocean under you when paddling in the kayak and exploring rocky shores,” Ripley said. “So many ways to feed our inspiration which is about seeking out and doing what you love.”

reporter@oakbaynews.com

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