New beginnings for Kanata gallery members
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Feb 20, 2013  |  Vote 0    0

New beginnings for Kanata gallery members

Ottawa East News

The latest show at the Kanata Civic Art Gallery is shining the spotlight on seven new juried artists.

The art gallery is welcoming its recently added members with the “New Beginnings” exhibit, which runs until March 10 at the Mlacak Centre.

Judy Cerigo, Lauren Henry, Wendy Quirt, Wendy Russell, Anne Remmer Thompson, Fran Swift and Suzanne Moxon offer a “whole new variety of works,” said Judi Miller, an embroidery artist who’s been a member of the art gallery for more than a decade.

“They’re all pretty jazzed, which is great.”

The artists offer works in different styles, techniques and use of colour, said Miller.

“I think the gallery’s getting better,” she said. “They bring lots of fresh new ideas.”


Anne Remmer Thompson was one of the original jurors back when the Kanata art gallery first opened, and said becoming a member herself is “like coming home.”

The Glebe resident is an elected member of the Canadian Society of Painters in Watercolour, has taught numerous art classes and was a member of Art Lending of Ottawa before it shut its doors last June.

“I needed to be part of something,” said Remmer Thompson about submitting her work. “I love seeing people come in (the gallery) and start exploring.”

Remmer Thompson paints mostly with acrylics and watercolours and enjoys capturing the tranquility of oceans and the serenity of small European villages.

“The sea is my big (love),” she said. “I want quiet subject matter that brings peace.”


Wendy Quirt uses acrylic paints to bring the natural world to life on the canvas.

The Katimavik resident studies wildlife in its natural habitat and uses what she learns to capture creatures in paint.

“There’s always been a connection for me from an early age,” said Quirt, who’s been painting since she was a child.

Quirt quit the high-tech industry in 2006 and began training with wildlife painters Robert Bateman and Terry Isaac in 2007.

“Taking one course took 10 years off my development,” she said. “If you share your knowledge you can pass it on to the next generation.”

With three young children at home, Quirt usually paints at night, but she’s also working to foster a love of art and nature in her children. They choose an animal and then learn how to draw it, she said.

“They’re very arts and animal oriented.”


Beaverbrook resident Lauren Henry enjoys using oils and acrylics to capture her favoured subject matter of rocky shores.

Growing up near Killarney Park in northern Ontario, “I’m drawn to the sacred in nature,” she said.

Henry has been painting on and off for the past 30 years but recently devoted herself to the craft in the last few years after leaving the field of graphic arts.

“I’m thrilled; I’m awed by the calibre and the range of the artists,” she said about becoming a member of the gallery. “I feel sort of complete.”


In the past, Suzanne Moxon would visit the gallery and admire the works hanging on the walls.

The veteran of 25 years in graphic design decided to shift her focus to fine arts and submitted her own work during the call for artists – then held her breath.

“Ecstatic” is the word she uses to describe her feelings on becoming a member.

“When I started in graphic design it wasn’t done on computers, it was by hand,” said the Katimavik woman.

After leaving the field, she tried her hand at coloured pencils and pastels and is looking at breaking into mixed media.

“To be part of a gallery, you get inspiring show themes and (you get to) meet people,” she said.


Wendy Russell enjoys picking out the details in her subject matter, such as the veins running through a leaf.

“I can look at a tree and I can see every detail,” said the Katimavik resident, who works in acrylics. “I generally like to do close-up details.

“That’s when it comes alive.”

After taking up painting about six years ago in Dartmouth, N.S., Russell said she saw the call for artists at the Kanata gallery and decided “the time is now” to submit her work and see what happened.

“I’m excited to be part of this,” said Russell. “The doors it has opened already … it’s so helpful.”


Morgan’s Grant resident Fran Swift worked in graphic design for a number of years and decided to make the switch to fine arts.

“I really enjoy working in watercolour,” said Swift, who showed off a colourful piece of flowers and blossoms.

She said it was “absolutely fabulous” to find out she was juried into the Kanata art gallery.

“This is the first gallery I’ve had the chance to join,” she said. “It’s awesome.”

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