ARTS ON THE EDGE : THE GALA RECEPTION – Adjudicated Open Exhibitions for Established and Emerging Artists, Centre 64 from August 8th to September 1st, 2012. The Gala event was held on Friday, August 10, 2012.
Ticket sales had not been brisk so when so many last minute patrons started crowding into the gallery the organizers were caught a little off guard. There was plenty of food but with the number of artists and patrons in the downstairs and upstairs gallery space it quickly became evident that a supply run for liquid refreshments was required. Not to worry, with super efficiency this was soon taken care of. The evening was a brilliant success with 22 established artists and 17 emerging artists exhibiting upwards to 80 pieces of art covering all aspects of the visual arts. The organizers had a field day with giving out of awards.The members of the jazz group, The Jazz Council (Laurel Ralston on trumpet; Tim Plait on piano, Bernie Primbs on Baritone sax, Sven Heyde on drums and Joel Kroeker on bass) had lodged them selves on the upper gallery and their music floating down on the patrons more than enhanced the Gala atmosphere of the reception. With the huge number of patrons the galleries did get a little warm but that was a convenient excuse for patrons to spill out into the garden. To contribute to the “edgeness” of Arts on the Edge I submitted a piece called “Death of Down Jacket” I don’t know if I should have been embarrassed but one patron actually remembered me wearing this jacket on the ski hill many, many years ago. (click on the images for larger views)
ARTS ON THE EDGE: THE CONCERT IN THE PARK – Coronation Park, Kimberley, August 11, 2012, 1 pm to 7:30 pm
Without a word of doubt this must be the best musical bang for the buck on the planet. $5 per head or $10 for a family for an out door concert on a beautiful August sunny day. Situated in Coronation Park within 5 minutes walking distance of down town Kimberley it is a great setting on a great day and, best of all, with lots of great music and entertainment. While there was a sprinkling of out of town performers (Holly and Jon from the Slocan, Kiki the Eco Elf from Vernon and The Kings of Kitchener from Creston) local musicians had ample opportunities to win new fans. The opening act for the afternoon was 60 Hertz (James Neve vocals & guitar; Rob Young lead guitar; Dave Birch on bass; Marty Musser drums). This well known local band is a vehicle for the song writing talents of James Neve, the smooth lead guitar work of Rob Young and the tight ensemble vocals and arrangements of the band. As always this was a classy act that was further enhanced by Ray Gareau’s masterful balancing of the sound. The all time favourites were there (“These Old Shoes”, “Deep Water”, “Virtuality” – with that wonderful descending bass run) as well as the newer songs “Cry for You” and “Living in the Sun”. I missed not hearing “Rainland” but, as always, it is the old story of “so many tunes and so little time”
While the next band was setting up The Off Centre Players, with a little help from the young folks in audience set out to prove that The Wolf in the three little pigs story was framed. The Wolf proved too scary for one young performer who went screaming from the scene. The script, “The Wolf – I was Framed”, was from the pen of Joanne Wilkinson.Heather Gemmell and the Peaks (Heather – guitar and vocals; Paul Bouchard – drums; Ray Gareau – bass) came together for last year`s CD release concert of Heather`s recording THE ROAD. I suspect that they had been jamming and rehearsing prior to that gig. Heather still has a healthy solo career but yearns for the “edgyness“ of a full on band. That has it`s pluses but it is a shame that her great guitar riffs and voice tend to get buried in the overly amplified mix. In the meantime Bill Henriksen is over there on the edge Spinning his Yarn (literally)
And then it was time for “a little country” with Tucks Troubadours (Larry Tuck – ukelele bass, Dave Carlson – Mandolin, Bud Decose – lead guitar and Doug Simpson on rhythm guitar) The set included songs and tunes by George Straight, Tom T. Hall, Bob Wills (“Faded Love”), Rodney Foster (“Just call me Lonesome”) and the very un-country composer Duke Ellington (“Don’t Get Around Much any more”). There was lots of great ensemble work by the band with mandolin and lead guitar solos by Dave Carlson and Bud Decose.
Jon Burden and his daughter Holly have been touring and performing in this area for over a dozen years. Holly was not much more than a teenager when I first saw her perform and, of course, over the years things have changed. Originally they toured as Jon and Holly. Jon was the mentor and Holly the protege. Now Holly is all grown up, a mother and a mature artist in her own right so, naturally they are now billed as Holly and Jon. Their music is saturated in a blues tradition that goes way back to Bessie Smith with all stops in between. Although they have been coming to Kimberley for many years every performance is fresh and vibrant. They have a new recording under their belt and Arts on the Edge festival was an opportunity to show case the blues and original material on that disc. Jon has always done a superb job on Robert Johnston’s “Better Come In My Kitchen” but this year it was over the top with Jon’s perfectly controlled slide work, Holly’s bass and Holly’s voice soaring over the top in a spine chilling arrangement. For the young female performers in the area Holly is the role model they should all be looking to emulate. She has a great voice, stage presence, superb bass playing and a professional demeanour that should be a bench mark. As always it was a great performance. “As the sun started sinking slowly in the west” PT THE CLOWN was still busy with the kids as The Kings of Kitchener took to the stage with their special brand of quirky rock and roll. The band, from Creston, featured Mike Mitchell on suite case percussion, Ted Bryant on Guitar and Neil “O” (Ostafichuk) on bass guitar. I have a special affection for this band. Mike’s kick bass drum trunk originally came all the way from Australia with me and my family over thirty years ago. I love their weird instrumentation and off the wall interpretations of music we all know but have never really heard it played this way. This is truly Art on the Edge.
For the published review of last year’s ARTS ON EDGE 2011 go to the JOURNALISM tab in this blog.