Red Deer artist Lana Michelin explores the human journey in her first solo exhibit.
Michelin’s exhibit Passages, which features 28 acrylic paintings, opens at the Kiwanis Gallery in the Red Deer Public Library’s downtown branch Tuesday.
“It’s inspired by life,” said Michelin, who has a 17-year-old daughter and 20-year-old son. “You see accelerated life when you have children. You see them grow from small kids to adults in a relatively short time.”
“There’s something fleeting about the experience of watching kids grow up that inspired me.”
Michelin uses her paintings to examine the environment as a metaphor for life.
“Whenever we pass through nature, we’re there for the moment and then we’re gone. Nature doesn’t really miss us when we’re not there – sometimes it swallows up the traces we were there,” she said.
One of the paintings in the exhibit features her children walking down a quiet road.
“I thought of my kids trudging down this road and I thought about how we’re all on this road and … you’re walking it alone, even if someone’s in front of you.
“The idea was to use the road of a metaphor – a passage,” she said.
Michelin, a reporter at the Red Deer Advocate, said seeing a museum exhibit by late Red Deer artist James Agrell Smith inspired her.
“I admired him so much because he wasn’t an artist during the day. I don’t remember what his day job was, but he came home and made these beautiful prints.
“To have that motivation after a day a work to come home in the dark … and have the energy and passion for art is inspiring. I hope my exhibit can inspire other people. You can have a day job and do art, whatever your form of art may be,” she said.
The opening reception for Passages is Nov. 2 from 6-8:30 p.m. The exhibit will be open until Nov. 18.