Local artist part of ‘Elusive Utopia’ exhibition

'Winter Light' also begins, debuting at First Friday at Judith & Norman Alix Art Gallery

Lambton County Warden Bill Weber, left, with artist Ian McLean. They are in front of one of McLean's paintings, Storm Over Lake Huron, which is on display at the Judith & Norman Alix Art Gallery starting today, Friday, Feb. 3.

The Judith & Norman Alix Art Gallery is welcoming two new exhibitions which open to the public on First Friday, February 3.

On until May 7, Elusive Utopia features the work of Sarnia artist Ian McLean as well as prominent Canadian artists Matthew Carver, Renée Van Halm, and Kevin Yates. The exhibition explores how man-made environment can influence and reflect our deepest desires.

“McLean is a well-known and respected artist in Lambton County and across Ontario,” said Lisa Daniels, curator at the Judith & Norman Alix Art Gallery. “Taking his inspiration from 1960s architecture and furnishings, his paintings of upper middle class, single-dwelling, suburban homes are steeped in nostalgia and deep social questions.”

Elusive Utopia is a bright and colourful exhibition that is both seductive and harsh. Oscillating between aesthetically beautiful art works and gnawing economic and social questions, the exhibition blurs the line between the built environment as a site of comfort and as a site of unease.  Together, the work by these four artists raises questions surrounding the link between social status and spatial dominance.

McLean and Carver will be present for the exhibition’s opening from 6 – 9 p.m., Friday, February 3.

The exhibition Winter Light will also be on view at the gallery from Friday, February 3 to Sunday, May 28. Winter Light is a series of poetic, still life videos by Petrolia artist Jane Austin which celebrate the play of light and shadow on everyday objects.

For more information about Elusive Utopia or Winter Light and related programming, visit www.jnaag.ca.

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