Two accomplished artists open at Sivarulrasa Gallery

Last Sunday June 2, Sivarulrasa Gallery held its vernissage for two accomplished artists, Deborah Arnold and Sherry Park.

I do confess that Deborah Arnold, whose work I have seen frequently, is definitely one of my favourite artists, Deborah has been sculpting stone in Almonte  for over three decades. “I feel a fundamental connection to stone,” she says. “Stone has always been the starting point for my work. As a material it embodies strength and history while possessing an innate grace and power.”

And her sculptures, whether complex or seemingly simple (don’t be fooled – there is nothing simple about the work required to accomplish them) do reveal the inner beauty of stone. One of her recent pieces was made from a stone so beautiful in itself that she simply split it, polished it and put it on revolving base.

Deborah Arnold with her sculpture Duet

In her remarks at the opening, Deborah talked about the joy of feeling the form and texture of stone, like seeing in a different way, with her hands exploring the surface and the quality of a piece. It made her think about touchstones, an ancient technique of testing the quality of certain metals by exposing schist or jasper to the surface of  the metals to identify the type and quality of material. She said that touching stones grounds her and makes her think about their ancient history.

Offerings by Deborah Arnold

A member of the Sculptors Society of Canada, Deborah’s  work has been exhibited in solo and group shows in Ottawa, Almonte, Oshawa, and Toronto, Ontario. In 2001, she completed a public art commission entitled The Power of Three, now installed in Almonte. In 2010, the National Cemetery of Canada acquired her work Inner Egg. In 2022, Canada’s Official Residences Crown Collection acquired her work Purple Fire, now installed at Rideau Hall. In 2023, her sculpture Lanark Sky was installed on the Alameda in Almonte. She also sculpted the bases for the figures in Seven Gifts project at Riverfront Park.

Sherry Park, who resides in Brampton, is an appealing portraitist and landscape artist who took a 15 year break from painting. In addition to being an artist, Sherry is a pharmacy technician and after her break, she said she took up painting again to prove she could. She was born in South Korea, came to Canada in 1976 as a child and graduated from the Ontario College of Art and Design in 1991. This exhibit features her colourful and sensitive portraiture.

Sherry Park

Sherry  has won numerous awards:

  • 2021 Salt Spring National Art Prize Michelle Jacques Juror’s Choice Award
  • 2021 Artworks Oakville 21st Juried Show 2nd Prize
  • 2020 Mary Pratt Crystal Award – Society of Canadian Artist
  • 1996 Ontario Arts Council Grant with Greenthumb Arts Collective1996 Ontario Arts Council Grant with Plural Arts Collective
  • 1992 Elizabeth Greenshield Grant
  • 1990 Elizabeth Forsyth Award
Sherry Park with a portrait of her mother to her left.

The exhibition continues to July 4 and is definitely worth a look.

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