Opportunities arise for local artist in residence

Amy MacKenzie
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NEW GLASGOW – One of New Glasgow’s artists-in-residence will not only be featured in the upcoming opening exhibition at the new Margaret George Gallery in the Celtic Circle, but will also be the first artist to have a solo show in it this September.

Jimy Sloan is a painter who recently graduated from Nova Scotia College of Art and Design in Halifax, from which he came to New Glasgow for the College’s Community and Studio Residency Program.

“I’m starting to develop my practice as a professional painter. I’ve been fortunate enough to sell paintings in Halifax at few galleries and I just got a grant to fund future paintings until the end of the residency,” he said. “So, I’m making a ton of paintings and they’re big. I’m going large scale right now because I have the space and it’s kind of an opportunity that I may not always have.”

Sloan said he’s been painting since he was a child and attending NSCAD allowed him to expand the scope of his art. Right now, he’s focusing on creating seven- by five-foot semi-abstract paintings using mixed media of charcoal and acrylic.

His paintings deal with many subjects “from architecture to people and animals to shapes and colours and lines, and they all kind of break down and interweave, that’s kind of the interesting thing for me, when things start to interweave together,” Sloan said.  

Sloan said his interests are varied and his paintings reflect that.

“I used to go tree planting in the summer so coming from the mountains and walking through that to downtown Toronto is a very striking experience,” he said. “It was a challenge for me to try to represent that, so that’s what led me to deal with architecture and dealing with animals maybe from personal experience and maybe from mythologies. I’m just interested in everything.”

He said he chose to paint large-scale after a conversation with one of his professors at NSCAD while he was doing a series of small-scale bridge paintings.

“He was saying that although you’re describing the thing, you’re not using the language of it. So that was an interesting thing,” he said. “He recommended painting bridges on a human scale at least. Then he got me to step up to this format, which is on a gallery scale, to go in a large spaces,” he said. “To work on that scale puts you right in the middle of it. As opposed to looking at the thing, you’re surrounded by it in your visual frame so it creates a different experience and I find that very interesting.”

Sloan will show two seven- by five-foot paintings at the opening exhibition of the Margaret George Gallery, one of architecture and one of a lupine.

“They contrast and I think it will be an interesting dynamic,” he said. “I want to have the best work that I have in there.”

Sloan was contacted by one of the gallery’s co-founders, Joan Krawczyk, who wanted him to be the first solo artist in the space. Sloan happily took her up on the offer and will create 10 new pieces for that exhibition with a grant he recently received.

“It deals specifically with the north shore region of Nova Scotia: the different people who have lived here, the different groups of people with different symbols, shapes, ideas they had and relating that to today and what’s come in between,” he said of the next 10 paintings he will create. “My painting can do that where it’s a ton of imagery packed into it. So I’m creating 10 more works plus the five that I have here and that will be the solo show.”

Sloan said he is honoured to be the first artist to have a solo show in the new gallery and is excited to have his work shown in a venue that hosts interesting concerts and events.

“To be the first person to have a solo show in that space that has quality acts like Amelia Curran and the people going there to respond to the music will see my paintings, maybe they’ll relate to them, maybe not, but at least they can go in and see them and I think that’s kind of amazing.”

The opening exhibition of the Margaret George Gallery in the Celtic Circle on Forbes Street, New Glasgow, will take place April 14 from 1 to 4 p.m. and will feature the works of 10 local artists.


 HYPERLINK "mailto:amackenzie@ngnews.ca" amackenzie@ngnews.ca

On Twitter: @NGNewsAmy

Organizations: Nova Scotia College of Art and Design

Geographic location: NEW GLASGOW, Halifax, Toronto Nova Scotia Forbes Street

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