Local Gallery Reopens to Public

By Sara Sadeghi Aval

“These are the things you don’t plan. I guess that’s why you call it chaotic. I like to call this exhibit chaotic synergy,” says David Karasiewicz, executive artistic director of Definitely Superior Art Gallery, during the walkthrough of their newest exhibit. The local gallery had its 33rd birthday on October 8 and 9 as part of their annual gala opening.

Wall mural by Vicki Nerino, ceramic sculpture by Nathan Cross

Karasiewicz is standing at the entrance of the exhibit, where the first piece that catches the eye is a three-part piece by Patrick Doyle. The shapes on the canvas emerge as if by natural discovery, and each canvas tells a short story with people and their surroundings. Michel Dumont, an artist in residence at the gallery, stands with fans, taking pictures next to his ceramic bear sculpture that literally sticks out of the gallery wall. The work of Martin King, Candace Twance, and Sebastian Hardy adorns the room. There is embroidery, clay sculptures, and oil paintings blended to absolute perfection and collages depicting the past few years as apocalyptic. The smaller showcase room is dedicated to the Die Active collective, with spray paint and mixed media canvases surrounding a sculpture that changes depending on your position in the room.

In the basement, the old theatre is showing a continuous stream of digital art films depicting the use of sound and imagery to create visual experiences for the audience. The contrast between the historic theatre building and the modern tech on screen is a unique experience.

“The diversity of the show is usually pretty extreme, so we have everything and different levels of artistic excellence,” explains Karasiewicz, as the metal worked canoe hanging from the ceiling sways above us, mimicking waves on the lake. “The juxtaposition between young artists like boy Roland next to established artists like [award-winning children’s book illustrator] Duncan Weller is incredible,” says the director.

Karasiewicz feels good about seeing 33 up on the wall. “Most galleries that have been hit during the pandemic have unfortunately had to close,” he says. “Major institutions. Canadian Art magazine is gone. I’m happy that our art community has remained. The reason we have been able to continue is that our work happens mostly out in the community. We don’t stop at the gallery.”

Visit definitelysuperior.com for more information.