VCC presents Head and Shoulders, Knees and Toes



Photos by Kira Paterson. (Back row, from left) Anne Fallis Elliott of Carberry, Lisa Lysack of Brandon, Rosemarie Péloquin of Ste. Rose-du-Lac, Gerry Oliver of Carberry, (front row) Becky Chinn of Brandon, Janet Shaw-Russell of Brandon and Cheryl Orr-Hood of Carberry were the artists who were able to attend the openeing on Apr. 16 at the VCC.

By Kira Paterson

Neepawa Banner/Neepawa Press

On Wednesday, April 6, the Viscount Cultural Centre (VCC) officially opened their new exhibit for the month, called Head and Shoulders, Knees and Toes. The artwork on display in this exhibit is made by about a dozen female artists from western Manitoba, who are all part of an art group called Drawn Together. Seven of these women were able to come to the VCC for the opening to meet anyone from the community attending and to share the stories behind their art pieces.

The artists live in different communities all over the Westman area, including Brandon, Carberry, Ste. Rose-du-Lac, Kenton and Firdale. Drawn Together has been together for about two years, said Gerry Oliver, one of the ladies in the group, who is also a regular art instructor at the VCC. She said that the group formed so that the artists could inspire each other and share ideas to continue developing their art. Within the two years the group has been together, Oliver said she has seen all of the artists’ works evolve as they explore different art forms.

The exhibit includes a multitude of mediums, including sculpture, printmaking, watercolour, needle-felting, acrylic paint and more. Some of the art forms are so unique one wouldn’t even have a name for them. For many of the artists, their work in this exhibit is very different from their regular or preferred styles. 

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Photo on left: Herd of Teapots, Vases and Ewers by Anne Fallis Elliot. She normally makes functional teapots, but these ones aren't. They are meant to vaguely represent animals, including reindeer, seals, musk oxen and walruses. She finds unique pieces of wood while wandering in the woods and brings them home and makes clay shapes to incorporate them. Photo on right: Princess (the cat) and Jade Horse by Gerry Oliver. She finds different obscure shaped pieces and puts them together to make a recognizable shape. This type of art is relatively new to her as she started in photography and fibre art and has since done more painting and printmaking.

The first stop for the exhibit was in Brandon, where Rosmarie Péloquin,another one of the artists, shared her explanation of the group and their exhibit. She explained that a year ago, the group decided to work towards a common goal and create an exhibit together. They chose the theme, Head and Shoulders, Knees and Toes, to tie everything together, but not limit the possibilities. Then, they had about a year to explore and experiment within their broad topic. Some chose to do the body of animals or humans, others body coverings, movement, the mind or feelings. The result was a colourful, textural menagerie of unique pieces, all telling different stories through one theme.

The artists whose pieces are featured in the exhibit are Amy Buehler, Becky Chinn, Lisa Lysack, Chris Reid and Janet Shaw-Russell of Brandon, Anne Fallis Elliott, Gerry Oliver and Cheryl Orr-Hood of Carberry, Susana Danyliuk of Firdale, Mary Lowe of Kenton and Rosmarie Péloquin of Ste. Rose-du-Lac. Short biographies of the artists are up on the door to the Manawaka Gallery in the VCC. 

The exhibit will be on display at the VCC until the end of the month. 

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Photo on left: Bodyspeak by Susana Danyliuk made with acrylic paint. This piece is four canvasses put together to make one large image. Photo on right: The Meeting by Rosemarie Pelaquin made of needle felted bas relief. Needle-felting is a new exploration for her. Her sculpture portraits represent character rather than physical likeness.