Category Archives: be cre8ive

Jordan Miller: At Home in the ‘Hall’

Hobnobbing with the Hobos at Piano Nobile. . .

Finding Home — Jordan Miller
Finding Home Searching Self

MONDAYS IN MARCH are usually long and arduous, but this one ended in a very pleasant fashion with a trip downtown to Winnipeg’s Centennial Concert Hall to view the latest paintings by Jordan Miller.

The paintings were fun to look at, but mixing with the crowd of fans, friends, and family made the entire evening extremely enjoyable. Kudos to the friendly and efficient bartender, and all the other volunteers who refreshed the finger foods right ’til the end. Whoever provided each cube of cheese with its own toothpick, and the dips to accompany them — delicious genius!

Judging by the red dots the show is a huge success so far, with six weeks remaining. (exhibition ends on May 6) Two of the larger canvases (canvasses, canvi?) sold early for respectable prices, including ‘A Place to Hang My Hat,’ one of the signature pieces of the show.

A Place to Hang My Hat — Jordan Miller
A Place to Hang My Hat

My favorite pieces would be the newer landscapes, with their powerful simplicity and built-up textures that create energy and motion, as they flow smoothly into colourful background compositions. ‘Golden Hour’ and ‘St. Boniface’ were both sold for far less than what they were worth, in my opinion.

Professional photographer and musician Dave Swiecicki dropped his camera long enough to put the ‘piano’ back into Piano Nobile, sitting down at the keys for three solo performances, with Scott Hinkson filling the interludes on acoustic guitar. The music was a perfect complement to the visuals, rounding out the overall experience to the best ‘Free Art Show’ I’ve attended in recent memory.

Two Things to Love About This Venue

  •  Excellent ambience. Spacious and gracious, easily holds a fun crowd.
  • Promoting local art to patrons of art. A great gig, if you can get it.

Two Other Things About This Venue

  •  The lighting is atrocious. Too subtle for highlighting any type of art, and possibly designed to make old folks simply look younger, or hide the gravy stains on neckties of the past. Seriously, if this venue is serious about showcasing art — how hard could it be to install some proper directional fixtures and low watt halogen bulbs?
  •  Accessibility is limited. This one Monday evening — in the middle of a two-month exhibition — is/was the only occasion when members of the public could walk in and view the art without tickets to a different show. So unless you’re planning to go see Cats, or attend the Symphony in April, you’re out of luck. Volunteer Curator Justin Waterman will assist with making appointments, and can be contacted at the Concert Hall Website, but in my opinion the gallery should be available to the viewing (and buying) public during the daytime whenever their event schedule permits.

Finding Home, Searching Self: An Exhibition by Jordan Leigh Miller

February 28 – May 6, 2012, Centennial Concert Hall

Visit Jordan at the cre8ery website.


Tribute to Graydon Dyck

Graydon Dyck, 1946 – 2011. . .

Graydon Dyck — Circa 1965FAREWELL TO A DEAR FRIEND AND TALENTED ARTIST. Later today many of us will be attending the funeral of one of Winnipeg’s most talented (and least known) artists. I met Graydon for the first time ten years ago, in Winnipeg during the spring of 2001. At that time, all I knew about the man was that he made the dreamiest pictures of jazz singers and movie stars.

The first and only time I walked into his apartment, I knew that he was both a gentleman and an artist. Truth be told, I only saw him maybe once or twice a year over the last decade of his life, but everytime we met, Graydon spoke to me as if we’d known each other for years, and I’ll always feel grateful for the inspirational head-bobs and tobacco-stained handshakes we shared. And seriously, didn’t he look exactly like a movie star himself back in the sixties?

Rest in Peace Graydon. Those who knew you will never forget your humility and good humour — and those fortunate enough see your work will admire your passion and visual genius for years to come.

Read the Obituary. View the Work.

Featured Artist — Winter 2011

Michael Joyal — Before I Sleep. . .

Michael Joyal — 365 Days — February 19, 2011
365 days of work — after work — one sketch every day for a whole year.

That year of constant drawing is over now, but I’ve been told that Michael’s still working very diligently on the project, as each one of those sketches will be carefully matted, then mounted onto large boards depicting the progression of the project, month-by-month.

Michael spent the entire last year documenting an astonishing range of images inside his head, onto the pages of several 4 x 6 sketchpads — using graphite, watercolour, acrylic, inks, and whatever else he found in his pockets it seems. The results are nothing short of charming, with images depicting everything from apocalyptic mayhem, to casual portraits, to humorous takes on everyday experience. My favourites are the animals, which are well drawn in a loose informal style that gives each subject a unique personality.

Sneak Preview

The showing is scheduled at the cre8ery gallery, with an opening reception on Friday February 10, 2012, from 7 – 11 pm.

Sit back and enjoy the slideshow — and contact Michael for pre-buys when you see the drawing you want to add to your collection!

Check out the Free Press video interview with Michael.