The Art At Large Collective will serve as a bridge between the more established artists of Pictou County and newer artists – that is the hope of Todd Vassallo, and artists like Joan Krawczyk and Carolyn Ritchie Bedford.
“Some people find art and galleries intimidating, so we want to give them exposure with people who are more experienced – that way people who usually come in to see the work of more familiar artists will see what’s new and upcoming,” said Vassallo, who initiated the collective, gathering local artists and art to feature in exhibits at the Museum of Industry.
Vassallo said Art At Large is the product of his desire to show the abundance of artistic talent in Pictou County.
“There will be no solo shows,” Vassallo noted, adding that the aim is to always have a mix, with the art of newer and more familiar artists side by side to keep things interesting.
The three artists were busy on Thursday, setting up the plethora of local artwork that will soon be on display at the Museum of Industry.
“Todd knows so many people who don’t consider themselves artists, but who do amazing work,” said Krawczyk, taking a break from putting paintings up on a wall at the Stellarton museum. “He loves collaboration, and is good at convincing people to participate.”
Ritchie Bedford said it was Todd’s encouragement that made her decide to contribute her watercolour paintings, and try creating art in a new medium – welded metal.
The first exhibit of Art At Large will be a series of local artists’ paintings, said Krawczyk, whose portraiture will also be on display next week.
The exhibit will feature an assortment of art styles, such as manipulated photos; watercolour paintings; portraiture and bas-relief work. Other artists whose work will be featured in the exhibit include Jeff Turnbull, Watson Inglis and Denise Lynch.
“Hopefully, we’ll have something for everyone. We’re not going to have just one style, so that people can find something that engages them,” said Vassallo.
The exhibits of Art At Large at the Museum of Industry are the first step in what its members hope will trigger a more active, diverse art community in Pictou County.
“There’s a tremendous amount of talent, but it’s hidden,” said Vassallo. “We want to pull people out, to give them exposure and make their work more relevant to the community.”
The first exhibit of Art At Large will be open to the public at from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Nov. 6. The exhibit will be open from Monday to Friday.