Future. Thinking. Planning. Daydreaming. Fantasizing. Well, it's here now.
Even though Lenny had some large scale commissions under his belt, like this one, and this one, and this one, he still didn't consider himself a "real artist". It wasn't until he was awarded a creation grant from Innovation PEI in January of this year that he was able to dedicate two whole months to create a full art show that he felt his work could be respected on a professional level. And it is Here. Now.
Lenny will be displaying four pieces as part of a group exhibit held at The Guild in Charlottetown, PEI, from August 8 - September 3, 2018. He will be displaying his work along side these talented artists: Donnalee Downe, Kelly Caseley, Alexander Reuss, A Powerful Machine (Monica Lacey & Devon Ross), Carina Phillips, and Millefiore Clarkes.
The four pieces are from the larger show titled The Cost of Living. Lenny and I came up with this idea for an art collection about 3 years ago. I remember sitting in our sun porch having that kind of brainstorming session where each person keeps building on the other person's last statement until it grows into this beautiful idea. You know the type of conversation I mean? It happens often when a friend has a funny concept/joke and it keeps spiralling until you're all laughing so hard you are crying.
So here is the idea we had and the art show that now exists:
The Cost of Living
This visual arts collection, titled The Cost of Living, shifts the viewers’ awareness away from art as aesthetic, to art as livelihood. It does this by using its pricing/value to reflect monthly bills. Each monthly bill will be displayed alongside the art piece, as its price. A regional element will also be included, comparing the monthly cost of living for the artist, in Prince Edward Island, to that of a working individual in Edmonton, Alberta.
The outmigration of PEI’s youth is an on going concern of our island communities and economy. I want to create a visual representation of the differences in the cost of living from one individual living on PEI to one individual in Alberta. This comparison will display the difference of the monthly production of art necessary for each person to live. The artwork's size, complexity, and aesthetic will be the indicator of value. It is difficult to comprehend, for example, an office manager’s monthly workload. This will symbolize that workload as visual art. I selected Edmonton, Alberta, because I lived there for about 10 years. It is not meant to summarize regionals incomes with any scientific accuracy, but rather a comparison of one individual to another, living in different places with different occupations. I had a random facebook friend volunteer their actual bills for this concept.
My abstract designs are influenced by my natural surroundings from my past or present: landscapes influenced by the ocean, forests, mountains, and cityscapes. The Cost of Living collection will compare imagery between PEI and Edmonton, Alberta. Imagery representing each “cost” or "bill" will also be in each design. For example, the “Mortgage/Rent” art piece will evoke a sense of shelter and/or home. And the “electricity” bill will remark on power or electrical current.
We are working out the details with a hip new venue in Charlottetown, PE, to display this show in its entirety. But in the meantime, we hope you can view the four pieces on display at the Guild from August 8 - September 3, 2018. The opening reception will be held August 8th from 7-9pm. The selected pieces from the show will represent two household payments for each place: Mortgage and Home Heating.
Thanks to This Town is Small, more real artist things are happening! Lenny was able to have pieces of his artwork critiqued by other professional artists as part of their "Crit Nights" to foster creative growth. And he has been awarded the opportunity to mentor with professional artist Jessica Winton as she creates her work titled "Waterline" to be exhibited at Art in the Open this August 25, 4pm - midnight.