After a hiatus to address some construction issues, Valerie Kent’s art gallery and school is back in business in Cavan. An energetic artist, teacher and art journalist, Kent continues to apply her extensive experience across the township and beyond, offering art classes for children and adults, hosting painting evenings at local venues, writing for reputable art journals and operating her gallery in the studio behind her home just north of the four corners of Cavan. Kent’s enthusiasm for art is apparent in her many efforts to reach out to the community to engage them in artistic endeavours; she wants us to not only appreciate the art of others but to also find the artists in ourselves.
Kent is also an energetic entrepreneur. This is the woman who single handedly organized the first Outdoor Painting Festival last fall, which attracted more than 75 amateur and professional artists for a competition where they completed works inspired by scenes in the township. More recently, this community-minded artist partnered with Cavan Monaghan Libraries fundraising event for new chairs last month by delivering a chair-painting workshop at the library.
She is glad to be back in business in Cavan, and her gallery the walls are covered with a variety of works in different media, including pieces of Esperanca Melo and some of Kent’s own work, all offered for sale at very reasonable prices.
One of her featured artists is Lucy Manley of Peterborough. A graduate of fine arts studies at Fleming College and Trent University, Manley also spent a summer as the Artist in Residence at Bon Echo Provincial Park at Cloyne, Ontario. She is a dedicated en plein air painter whose inspiration comes from traditional landscape, rural life and the wilderness. She paints outdoors almost every day, and always outside on location, in all seasons and in all kinds of weather. You may come across her at work along the highways and byways in her mobile studio- her jeep.
In another outreach effort, Kent is hosting a painting workshop on November 11th at the Cavan Art Gallery that runs from 9 am to 4 pm. Manley will be leading the event, demonstrating how to portray structures in the landscape such as a shed or a barn. Demonstrating her trademark expressionistic style, Manley will share her techniques using vibrant colour and active brushstrokes of oil and acrylic. Participants in this limited enrolment event will receive personal attention from the artist who will provide a critique of each piece at the conclusion of the workshop.
Another workshop at the gallery on November 26th will feature Ontario Plein Air Association President Keith Thirgood who will deliver a workshop on the portrayal of buildings in the landscape.
Cavan Art Gallery and Art School is the result of Valerie Kent’s desire to offer an art experience that runs from a passive admiration to an active participation. At Cavan Art Gallery and Academy, art is accessible, whether it begins with a social evening of dabbling at one of her paint nights, a dive into a workshop on watercolour technique, or a browse through the gallery to see a variety of styles, subjects and techniques, nurturing a love of art is the objective behind all of Kent’s efforts.
To learn more, drop into the gallery located at 1535 County Rd. 10 from 11 am to 6 pm or visit www.cavanartgallery.com. KG