September 23, 2020

KEArtlover2BY KATRINA EDLEFSEN

If someone is a talented artist it is easy for him or her to take a naturally beautiful scene and turn it into an equally beautiful piece of art, but it is much harder to take something completely normal and, through paint, turn it into something wonderful.

On Jan. 11, the Preston branch of the Cambridge Libraries and Galleries began playing host to one such art exhibit.

The show, titled Outskirts: Robert Achtemichuk, is a series of paintings created by Kitchener-based artist Robert Achtemichuk.
For this particular series of paintings, Achtemichuk was inspired by the appearance of his inner city neighbourhood throughout different seasons and weather. In his written statement about the piece, Achtemichuk explained that he wanted a form of repetition in his pieces.

“My backyard stoop offers a place where I sometimes experience deep emotion,” Achtemichuk said. “The reflection of a moment becomes paint and process.”

All of the pieces are painted in either watercolour or gouache, a type of paint similar to watercolour but much more opaque.

Fellow Kitchener-based new media artist and writer, Isabella Stefanescu, was instrumental in getting Achtemichuk’s work into the gallery and was excited to see the exhibit come together and the work the artist put into it.

“In the case of Robert Achtemichuk, this subject is what he sees out of his window, or his back door: his gardens, neighbourhood, city,” Stefanescu said. “The subjects are humble and ordinary, but his attentive scrutiny finds poetry in places that others would overlook.”

Stefanescu also went on to express her opinion on the gallery, which was shared by the exhibit’s curator, Iga Janik.

“He teaches us to look at the places we live in, to pay attention, and find beauty in the ordinary things of our own lives,” Stefanescu said. “We look at the sky, the streetlight, the fence and the tree in our neighbourhood – and we feel grateful that somebody has pointed their beauty out to us.”

The show’s official opening was held on Jan. 15 and the exhibit will run until March 2.

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