Discover Burlington Ontario

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Golden Milestone Celebrated with Unique Bateman & Art Exhibitions

by Pam Belgrade

Burlington Fine Arts Association 50th Anniversary at the Art Gallery of Burlington(AGB)

Hitting a 50 year milestone is certainly something to celebrate, especially for volunteer organizations such as the Burlington Fine Arts Association (BFAA).  On a rainy spring evening this week I joined hundreds of artists and art lovers at the 50th anniversary reception where they unveiled 3 exciting new exhibits as part of their celebrations.

So how did this all come about?  A group of Burlingtonians art enthusasts got together in 1966 to establish BFAA.  In 1975 this grassroots group helped build a permanent home at the Burlington Cultural Centre (now AGB) and have been offering workshops, discussion groups and exhibits ever since.  Focusing on the areas of painting, pastels, sketching, print-making and collage this group is better known as the Painters Guild.

Progress by Robert Bateman

Progress is a critique on what Mr. Bateman calls “The Instant Pudding World,” lamenting the destruction of the landscapes he captures in his paintings. This piece speaks about the balance between urban and rural, entirely fitting for this show.

Art Gallery of Burlington Kaleidoscope

Art Gallery of Burlington Kaleidoscope

When I am at a gallery, I usually gravitate to watercolour paintings with their soft hues and romantic feel.  Although hopeless at drawing, I believe that this medium may be more forgiving(??) and I keep promising myself that I will take a class.  I love the idea of Plein Air painting where painters visit various picturesque locations in the area and paint outside.  Add this to the list for next spring/summer must dos!

Now 50 years is a long time ago, so if you are not a boomer like me you may not know it was the year that Star Trek premiered, when the other Sound of Music won an Oscar and here in Burlington renowned artist Robert Bateman was an art teacher at Nelson High School.  When BFAA started planning their 50th birthday bash it was only fitting that Robert Bateman be included in their plans. He has produced a special piece just for this show that is quite a departure from his usual subject matter and style.

3 New Exhibitions – 1 Stop!

Burlington Urban & Rural
June 16 – September 5, 2016 – Lee-Chin Family Gallery

Feathers for the Fallen by Teresa Seaton

Feathers for the Fallen by Teresa Seaton

Apparently the idea for this exhibition came from a sustainability report that indicated that Burlington is 50% Urban and 50% Rural. Having such a rich environment gave the artists of BFAA great inspiration and I thoroughly enjoyed the variety of pieces and the artist’s individual takes on this theme.  Since many depict some uniquely Burlington landmarks, I would love to see them displayed after this exhibit closes in community locations.  Maybe we could feature one here at the Visitor Information Centre?

paintings, AGB

Power of Passion Exhibit

Power of Passion
June 16 – August 14, 2016 – RBC Community Gallery

This exhibition features the work of BFAA artists, past and present, who had solo gallery shows at the Art Gallery of Burlington.  Just off the front entrance to AGB and across from the gallery gift shop this space has an eclectic mix of pieces including charcoal, mixed media and batik paintings.

painting, AGB

Walter Reading by Vera Uss

Presidents’ Wall
June 1 – July 25, 2016 – Fireside Lounge

Featuring the works of past Presidents of the Burlington Fine Arts Association.  These pieces ranged from current day back as far as 1986 with this pensive portrait Walter Reading by Vera Uss. I enjoyed seeing how the works have evolved through the decades and thought this was a great way to pay tribute to those individuals who provided leadership to BFAA over the years.

AGB, Courtyard, exhibition

AGB Courtyard – Murder of Crows Exhibition

I am a visitor at the Gallery frequently and I always leave feeling inspired and somehow lighter.  I love to browse the gift shop even if I am not picking up gifts for visitors or VIP’s.  I try to make a little trip through the Conservatory to smell the heavenly scents of the flowering vines (especially in winter when I miss seeing green).  If you haven’t visited the AGB recently or have not had this pleasure plan to stop in this summer and take in these exhibits, it is well worth the trip.

More Information

The Art Gallery of Burlington is a public art gallery and community art centre located at 1333 Lakeshore Rd. just steps from downtown and the waterfront. They stage 20 regional, national and international exhibitions a year, and are home to the world’s largest collection of Canadian contemporary ceramics and seven art and fine craft guilds. Their 44,000 sq.ft. space boasts seven fully equipped studios, three galleries, a one of a kind gift shop (my favorite), a sculpture courtyard and year-round conservatory. For more information visit.

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