Jeff Hartbower, Bill Friesen, Marci Katz and Ed Varney will share the spotlight at the next Gallery @Weird Church exhibition. Photo by Ali Rodham

Jeff Hartbower, Bill Friesen, Marci Katz and Ed Varney will share the spotlight at the next Gallery @Weird Church exhibition. Photo by Ali Rodham

Cumberland art exhibit bringing together the work of four friends

Artist Ed Varney reflects, “Everyone is a stranger to everyone else, really, and sometimes we are even a stranger to ourselves, so this allows a kind of existential element to creep in.”

Strangers, the newest exhibit at The Gallery @ Weird Church is a collection of the works of four close friends who cherish and celebrate their relationship one another’s art.

Ed Varney has a MA degree and a strong background in the printing industry including writing, publishing, and intermedia art.

His style is eclectic with his drawing skills emerging as the strongest element. He uses social comment, humour, and whimsy as key elements in his work.

Varney is also a poet and has published numerous books and chapbooks of his poetry including DRIFT: Poems and Poets of the Comox Valley (co-edited with Dan Kirk) and DADA zine, an ongoing compilation of art and ideas by many artists from around the world.

Jeff Hartbower has been working with wood for as long as he can remember, from being a shipbuilder in Quatsino, to building furniture in Vancouver.

Retirement has allowed him the time to focus on his artistic woodwork, which is sculptural. Hartbower uses local woods for his creations, including sitka spruce, red cedar, Douglas fir and alder. Cartoonish humour with a satiric edge permeates his work.

Bill Friesen attended the University of Manitoba’s School of Art and continued to make art during his career with the police. Friesen’s work for the show features both drawings and sculptures, including recycled steel and marine canvas. Friesen led a giant puppet-making workshop at Weird Church so he is familiar with the space and is complimentary about the outreach to the community that is a feature of the ministry.

Marci Katz makes art with various media including charcoal, pastel and mixed media. Her series of small drawings called My Life Story will appeal to women of all ages. Katz is pleased to be showing her work with that of her friends and appreciates Weird Church as a significant cultural venue.

Strangers opens May 7 from 2-5 p.m. Music for the opening will be performed by Kybor Tylor.

The Gallery @ Weird Church is located at 2688 Penrith Avenue, Cumberland.

Viewing hours are Thursdays and Fridays from 4-6 p.m. and Saturdays from 2-5 p.m.,, whenever the Gallery sign is displayed.

Shows at The Gallery @ Weird Church are curated by Cumberland resident Joan Udell, whose experience includes a career in teaching at the high school level, a position in regional arts administration and board experience at both local and provincial levels, including serving as Chair of the Alberta Foundation for the Arts. For more information please contact Udell directly at udell.joan@gmail.com or 1-780-817-6428, or visit www.weirdchurchcumberland.com

art exhibitComox ValleyCumberland

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