Hobnobbing with the Hobos at Piano Nobile. . .
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.
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