Local artists Paul Wilt and Patricia Johnson have joined forces to display their artwork during the month of December in the Gwen Fox Gallery at The Selkirk Community Arts Center.
Wilt has been seeing the world through the lens of a camera for 50 years and shows no sings of slowing down as he continues to explore the art form.
According to Wilt, his passion for photography began when he started using a German made folding camera. During the early days, he developed his own black and white photos in a darkroom in his basement.
His photography interests include people, landscapes, flowers and food as well as street photography.
“Having the right light and a good understanding of composition are two of the critical factors in creating great images,” Wilt explained.
Two decades after Wilt started to explore the world of photography, he discovered a new found passion for sculpting.
For as many as 30 years, Wilt has been using stones from around the globe to sculpt into works of art. Many of this wonders are on display at the Gwen Fox Gallery.
Wilt explained to The Selkirk Journal on Nov. 30 that he has used stones suchas as African black wonderstone, Italian white alabaster, Colorado pink alabaster and Indian red wonderstone.
Some of his creations featured at the Gwen Fox Gallery include belugas, shark and orca fins.
He noted that ideas for his sculptures come from nature, art galleries, travelling and from other sculptors.
“Shape is key to any sculpture, giving it identity and beauty,” Wilt explained.
Johnson is a self-taught painter and carver who has been involved in the gallery for the past twenty years, and Wilt is a talented photographer and sculptor.
Johnson is from Gimli and has been painting her entire life. Her creativity was shared by both of her parents; her mother is a tailor and seamstress, and her father a skilled carpenter. Being from a small town, Johnson did not have the opportunity to attend an Arts school after high school, as it was not economical to pursue at the time.
She taught herself through workshops and practicing different techniques to become the artist she is today, and her pieces can be found in Germany, France, UK, Japan, Denmark, Australia, USA, and Canada. Johnson now lives in Selkirk and shares her love of art with older adults at the Gordon Howard Center, where she teaches others how to create masterpieces of their own.
Currently, Johnson works with acrylic and water colour mediums for her paintings and carves wood. In the past, she has tried many other forms of art, including weaving.
Her paintings depict various images, such as landscapes, animals, florals, abstracts, and a multi-medium water colour technique she invented herself. Passion and happiness are her goals, and are also the inspiration for many of her pieces.
“I find inspiration in a sunrise or sunset, a squirrel running across a fence, seeing children playing outside, a couple holding hands as they walk, a piece of music, a smiling face; happiness gets me going.”
Johnson stresses how practice is key to perfecting a piece. As Johnson has many forms of art to practice, she leaves her studio set up in her kitchen where she can paint whenever she feels inspired to create a new piece.
For those who have not been to the Gwen Fox Gallery before, it is a non-profit organization located on the corner of Manitoba Avenue and Main Street in Selkirk. It is open Tuesday to Saturday from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m., and admission is free.
The beautiful heritage building is run by volunteers and has offices on the upper floor and a boutique located on the main level, along with monthly exhibits from February to December in the Gallery. For more information, please visit gwenfoxgallery.com or call 204-482-4359.