Gallery IS: new location for new show

The newly relocated Gallery IS is featuring the works of an artist who can’t bear to throw anything away.

Left: Muddy Boots is a mixed media piece in artist Brent Felzien’s show Basement Beauties currently on at Gallery IS.

The newly relocated Gallery IS is featuring the works of an artist who can’t bear to throw anything away.

Red Deer College graduate Brent Felzien has created colourful art from scraps of wood, a used filter, fruit juice bottle and Plexiglas.

His expressionistic portraits on particle board are haphazardly covered with acrylic sealer and wood chips for an unexpectedly rough effect.

It’s the textures that Felzien wants viewers to notice in his Basement Beauties show, which runs to May 26 at the gallery now located on Alexander Way at 5123 48th St.

The electronic world has become so sterile that the Edmonton-based artist believes people are losing connection to the tangible. His art is meant to reflect the “heavy, gritty reality of the object.”

One of his portraits of a cigar-smoking fellow named Buck, is juxtaposed next to an embedded car filter. A portrait of a cherubic young girl is painted on top of masking tape stripes.

All the people depicted in Felzien’s representational works are treated as objects. He’s stated he is mostly fascinated by the application of the medium to unrefined surfaces.

Gallery IS co-owner Jeri-Lynn Ing said the use of various recycled materials is important to Felzien’s art — and is also what viewers like about it.

For instance, the sealer poured on top of a clear Plexiglas surface creates a bubbly, irregular shadow on the wall that becomes part of the textural art work. “I think that’s the most interesting part,” said Ing.

Gallery IS had attracted attention at its former Ross Street location. But clients numbers had plateaued of late, so the owners hope to draw more new faces to the new site, which is a couple doors down from McBain Camera and next to a comics and collectibles shop.

The lower rent doesn’t hurt, and Alexander Way is pegged by city planners to become a pedestrian-friendly artsy street, added Ing, who noted there’s already a creative vibe from surrounding shops and area residences.

The gallery regularly displays works by about 15 Central Alberta artists and also carries unique, handmade jewelry.

For more information about Gallery IS, call 403-341-4641.

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