Fort Gallery artists invite visitors to step into the salon

Fort Gallery artist Leanne Sjodin makes an adjustment to one of the paintings which will be on display in the Salon Show. The exhibit, feature work by 16 of the gallery
Fort Gallery artist Leanne Sjodin makes an adjustment to one of the paintings which will be on display in the Salon Show. The exhibit, feature work by 16 of the gallery's 18 member artists will hang for the next three weeks.
— image credit: Brenda ANDERSON/Langley Times

The Fort Gallery artists co-operative will give new meaning to the term “packed house” when they introduce their next exhibit on Aug. 24.

For the first time (aside from their annual Christmas show) the gallery artists’ exhibit will be hung “salon style,” meaning every available piece of wall space in the small gallery will be put to use, with artwork hanging from floor to ceiling, and grouped to co-ordinate colour and tone, theme, style and size.

Visitors can expect to find a gamut of ideas and subject matter, running from traditional to contemporary, with landscape, still life, figurative, and abstract work.

The show will consist of a selection of affordable, mostly small original works displayed in the traditional salon manner, stacked one above another to allow the greatest number of paintings possible to be shown.

“There will be dozens of pieces to view,” said participating artist Susan Falk, adding most of the works will measure 12” x 16” or smaller.

“Some (artists) are doing a small series, and that can look very strong,” she added.

A tradition that started in France in the 17th century, art salons were organized by “academies,” which were akin to professional guilds, ensuring quality in the profession.

The salons served as a means to show member-artists’ work on a yearly or biannual basis. There was fierce competition for the best hanging spots since the works were shown in what has become known as “salon style” with the paintings filling the walls, close up to the ceiling. The higher a work was placed, the more difficult it might be to see it.

At eye-level the placement ensured an artist a very successful career.

These salons existed in much the same format until the early 20th century, and then gave way to different kinds of shows, like the major art fairs of our time, as a result of rogue shows organized by groups like the Impressionists.

All 18 of the small gallery’s member artists are participating in the Summer Salon, which opens Aug. 24. Two artists receptions will be held — the first on Aug. 26, from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. and the second on Aug. 27, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.

The Fort Gallery is located at 9048 Glover Rd. Call 604-888-7411. Email info@fortgallery.ca for more details. Gallery hours are Wednesday to Sunday, noon to 5 p.m.

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