Andrea Rizzuti uses art for self-examination. (Photo by LANA MICHELIN/Advocate staff).

Red Deer’s First Friday gallery openings include an exhibit about self-discovery

Special Olympians, winter sports and nature are themes of other shows

The life-long process of self-discovery is explored in an art exhibit at Red Deer’s Harris-Warke Gallery.

The mysterious self-portraits in Reflections, by Calgary artist Andrea Rizzuti, either bleed off the page, or appear obscured by a scrim of white paint. Many of Rizzuti’s artworks offer only a portion of the face — a glimpse of some lips or just eyes and nose.

Rizzuti, who studied visual arts at the University of Calgary, uses portraiture as a way of delving into self-identity. The question she’s asking is: Do we ever really know ourselves?

“The process of defining oneself is a lifelong, ever-changing experience, therefore the sense of self that I seek to depict… can be described as ephemeral, transparent, mysterious, and undefined,” Rizzuti says in her artistic statement.

“My work predominantly focuses on themes of the human figure and the portrait, with the intention of portraying the subject as concealed; lacking a clear identity.

She sees the creative process as meditative, contemplative and introspective. “I feel best when I spend this calming time alone, as it allows me to connect more with myself, which is relevant to my self portraiture work and exploration of my own sense of identity.”

Reflections continues to Feb. 9, when a closing reception will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. The gallery, upstairs at Sunworks on Ross Street, will also be open until 8 p.m. on First Friday, Feb. 1.

Other First Friday gallery openings are:

– Celebrating our local Special Olympians, photos, stories and medals, at The Hub on Ross. First Friday reception goes from 1 to 3 p.m.

– Points of Interest, pen and ink pointillism by Amanda Frost, at A+ Art Gallery, 4919-49th St. to Feb. 28. First Friday reception from 4 to 6 p.m.

– Through My Window, paintings by Margriet Hogue, at the Kiwanis Gallery in the Red Deer Public Library. Musician Jaydin Vonkeman will perform at the First Friday reception from 6 to 8 p.m., presented by the Red Deer Arts Council.

– Hiding in Plain Sight: Discovering the Métis Nation is on at the Red Deer Museum and Art Gallery. The First Friday opening is 5 to 8 p.m., with guided tour at 6 p.m.

Other exhibits (without Friday receptions) are: Metal and Whimsy, metal sculptures by Lyle Keewatin Richards, at the Marjorie Wood Gallery in the Kerry Wood Nature Centre; Alberta Winter Sports photography in the Corridor Gallery in the Red Deer Recreation Centre; and a joint exhibit at the Viewpoint Gallery in the Red Deer Cultural Services Centre.

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