28 August 2017

Creative Participant Black Sheep Gallery

Creative Participant Black Sheep Gallery
Black Sheep Gallery
Folk Artists & Outsider Artists

Black Sheep Gallery
Black Sheep Gallery

What is our creative back-story?
(click on any photo to start slideshow)

Black Sheep Gallery:
 Featuring folk, self-taught and outsider art from the U.S. and Canada, with an emphasis on the works of Nova Scotia folk artists past and present. The Black Sheep gallery was opened in 2000 and it is situated in a converted 1200 square foot fish plant on the shore of Jeddore Harbour. It is located less than one hour east of Halifax. The work of over 40 Nova Scotia folk artists past and present are featured, as well as a selection of folk art from Ontario, Quebec, Saskatchewan and the U.S.

Art by Maud Lewis
Art by Maud Lewis

MAUD LEWIS  (1901 - 1970)

Maud Lewis was born in Nova Scotia and endured many hardships in her early life. As a teenager, she started to experience deformities of her face and hands as a result of a childhood disease. Maud married Everett Lewis, and together they lived in a small one room house with sleeping loft, without the benefit of electricity or plumbing. Although she suffered from physical handicaps, she made hand drawn Christmas cards and later, small brightly coloured paintings, which she sold to help overcome their poverty. She also painted birds, flowers and butterflies on various parts of the tiny house in which they lived, and many articles within the house. In later years, her husband Everett also began to paint.

Examples of Maud's art can be found in the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, which has reconstructed her house and installed it in the gallery as part of a permanent Maud Lewis exhibit. Her work can also be found in the Canadian Museum of Civilization. She is the subject of a book, "The Illuminated Life of Maud Lewis", and a stage play has been written about her life. She is also the subject of two National Film Board of Canada documentaries, "Maud Lewis - A World Without Shadows" (1997), and"The Illuminated Life of Maud Lewis" (1998).

Maudie the movie is now in theatres in the U.S. and Canada. Critics have praised Sally Hawkins' Oscar-worthy performance.The following synopsis can be found on the Mongrel Media web site. "MAUDIE, based on a true story, is an unlikely romance in which the reclusive Everett Lewis (Ethan Hawke) hires a fragile yet determined woman named Maudie (Sally Hawkins) to be his housekeeper. Maudie, bright-eyed but hunched with crippled hands, yearns to be independent, to live away from her protective family and she also yearns, passionately, to create art. Unexpectedly, Everett finds himself falling in love. MAUDIE charts Everett’s efforts to protect himself from being hurt, Maudie’s deep and abiding love for this difficult man and her surprising rise to fame as a folk painter."


Art by Everett Lewis
Art by Everett Lewis

EVERETT LEWIS  (1893-1979)

Husband of Maud Lewis, Everett worked as a farm laborer and fish peddler in his early years. After marrying Maud Dowley in 1938, he went to work as a night watchman at the Marshalltown Poor Farm.

It was Everett who encouraged Maud to paint and he bought her her first set of oils. Because of Maud Lewis' rheumatoid arthritis, she was unable to do the housework. Everett took care of the house and Maud brought in money from her paintings. As Maud got older and her physical condition deteriorated and her hands got worse, her popularity grew and demands on her to produce work were at their greatest. To facilitate productivity, Everett got her to draw oxen on cardboard and cut out templates for her to use in her paintings. After his retirement, he made his own horse templates and began to paint maritime scenes and landscapes with animals and other subjects.

Everett was killed when a burglar murdered him during an attempted robbery at the house in 1979.


Art by David Stephens
Art by David Stephens

DAVID STEPHENS  (1955 – )

David Stephens has worked at a wide range of jobs, ranging from marine rigger to logging foreman. David was a co-founder, along with Lorne Reid, of a folk art studio/gallery in Cheticamp, Nova Scotia, and was instrumental in supporting and promoting some of the first wave of folk artists from Cape Breton. He is also a co-founder of the Nova Scotia Folk Art Festival. He has painted since childhood and has been at it full time since 1984. He has become one of Nova Scotia's most popular folk artists. Along with his paintings on board, he has also completed two "art car" projects, in which he decorated a 1984 Chevrolet Camaro Z28 and a 1981 Chevette using paint, marbles, coins, found objects and broken mirror glass. One of his painted Volkswagon doors was selected for the McCain traveling exhibit of Maritime Art in 2002 and was later purchased by the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia for its permanent collection. One of David's works was selected for the 2005 poster for the Nova Scotia Folk Art Festival, and he was featured in "Saltscapes" magazine. He was also featured on Wayne Rostad's "On The Road Again" television program in the fall of 2005.


Art by Patricia Promaine
Art by Patricia Promaine

PATRICIA PROMAINE  (1918 - 2012)

Patricia Promaine or “Grams” as her family and friends called her continued to paint until she passed away in 2012. She lived on a farm near Waterloo, Ontario. Patricia became acquainted with the Mennonite and Amish neighbours and often included scenes from their community in her paintings.

Most of her scenes are fascinating portraits of clapboard houses, fences and fields, humorous strokes of barn raisings, harvests and hearty outdoor lunches. They document the bustling work and social activities of rural happenings such as Amish children chasing chickens, women hanging quilts or their Sunday best (whites, blues, and black) on the clothes line and little faces looking out of the rear of a horse drawn buggy. Each acrylic piece reads more like a really good book. Look long enough and you can almost feel a warm, summer breeze sweeping across the busy yards and country lanes.

As she put her inspirations and images on canvas she started showing her work in well-known galleries in places such as North Hatley, Toronto, Ottawa, and Montreal. She only painted three to four paintings a year. Patricia Promaines’ original paintings number less than 200 and are not reproduced.


  Art by Ransford Naugler
Art by Ransford Naugler

RANSFORD NAUGLER  (1953 – )

Ransford Naugler began carving in 1988, after having worked at a number of jobs including deck hand on a fishing boat, carpenter, and maintenance work, "doing whatever I could get and giving it my best". He has been featured on several television shows, and in two documentaries, "In the Genes" and "Folk Art Found Me". His brothers Leo and Bradford are also well known Nova Scotia Folk artists. Ransford is represented in many private and public collections, including the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, The Canadian Museum of Civilization, The Canadian Consulate (Boston, Mass.) and the personal collection of Her Excellency, The Governor General of Canada. His work includes many life size figures.


Art by Gilbert Desrochers
Art by Gilbert Desrochers

GILBERT DESROCHERS  (1926 - 1990)

Gilbert Desrochers was born in Tiny Township on the southern end of Georgian Bay. He only attended school for two years and went to work with his father and brothers on the family farm until he was twenty-five when he began to wander and only returned when the work or money ran out. At one point he was incarcerated at the federal penitentiary in Kingston for stealing a barge. There he worked for a while in the carpentry shop, until he became paranoid and uncontrollable and was put into solitary confinement. He spent two years in Kingston and it was there that he had his first religious experience, when God appeared to him on the walls.

In 1975 he was working in Toronto and while looking in the garbage in an alley something struck him from behind. When he turned around no one was there. He concluded it must have been God. After his religious experience in Toronto, Gilbert moved to his brother’s farm near Perkinsfield, where he lived in a small trailer and attended church regularly. “I promised myself that never would they catch me again to lock me up. That’s why now I’m always alone.” It was here that Gilbert started to carve. He continued to have visions and said that he began making sculpture because God came to him in a dream and told him that he had to make something, then gave him visions of things to make. This dream recurred, and after the third time, Gilbert started making carvings.
During the period that he was active, Gilbert created hand carved depictions of the people, animals, and events from Christian bible stories. He would often harden the high gloss paint, used to colour and give the necessary details to his sculptures, by heating his workshop, located in the same trailer that he slept, to 120 degrees F. All of his work was created for installation in and around his living space, or on his tractor.

Gilbert was discovered by artist John Hartman in 1980 when Hartman noticed one of his angels on the front lawn of Gilbert’s brother’s farmhouse. Hartman began to visit regularly and to document Gilbert’s work and his life. A solo exhibition of Gilbert Desrochers work was held at the McMichael Canadian Art Gallery from November 3, 1991 to March 1, 1992.


Address for the Open Studio Tour:
1689 W Jeddore Rd, Jeddore, N.S.

Contact:
audrey@blacksheepart.com
www.blacksheepart.com
www.facebook.com/BlackSheepFolkArt

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