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AGS exhibit featuring pillows and rocks a commentary on our impact on natural world

Two new exhibits opened at Art Gallery of Sudbury last week

Two new exhibits opened at the Art Gallery of Sudbury last week, and run until March 22. 

One of the exhibits is 21 Pillows, a multi-sensory, interactive and contemplative installation by award-winning Red Lake artist Cheryl Wilson-Smith.

The exhibition is organized and circulated by the Thunder Bay Art Gallery with assistance from the Ontario Arts Council. 

The gallery is lit to simulate dusk and imbued with ambient raven calls, featuring 21 tufted burlap pillows placed on the gallery floor. Ten thousand designed and kiln-fired glass rocks sit on the pillows. 

“As you move through the installation, you are encouraged to select a kiln-fired glass rock from the thousands made by the artist and place them on a pillow that you are drawn to,” Smith said.

“Your interaction and the collective energy of all other participants will shape the development of the installation and provide everyone the opportunity to contemplate the passage of time and the vulnerability of both humanity and the natural world.

“21 Pillows is a reminder of how we affect the natural world over time, and by extension, ourselves.” 

Wilson-Smith lives in Red Lake, surrounded by the boreal forest and the Canadian Shield. 

Also currently on exhibit at the Art Gallery of Sudbury is a showing of paintings by local artist Brigitte Bere.

“The Imaginarium of Brigitte Bere” includes a number of works with focus on shapes, form and vibrant colours. The artist works intuitively in a variety of mediums including acrylic, watercolour, encaustic, collography (print making), pastel, felting, sculpture, high relief works, acrylic collage, acrylic ink, graphite and alcohol ink. 

Over the last few years, Bere has concentrated on her experiments with alcohol inks for its dynamic and exciting colour vibrancy and fluid interactivity during experimentation. 

Bere is a Sudbury-based interdisciplinary visual artist, born in postwar West Germany. She moved to Canada in the late 70s and has resided in Sudbury ever since. She attended Cambrian College in Sudbury during the 80s, where she studied graphic design and sculpture. Over the years she has had the opportunity to expand her knowledge of the arts while taking workshops with Brian Atyeo and Linda Finn. 

The artist creates her work from a wide variety of sources of inspiration and reference materials. Blending memory, images and ideas together with an improvisational approach, her works seem to simply develop from one stroke to the next irrespective of what that first brush stroke may be. 

Painting intuitively, for her, means “To paint from the heart, rather than the head.” In her more complicated paintings, collages, and felted works, she has focused her attention on directing composition and crafting fine detail.  

Admission to both exhibits is free with donation. 

The Art Gallery of Sudbury is located at 251 John St. It's open Tuesday to Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday from noon to 5 pm. Visit or phone 705-675-4871.