In the presence of art, we may experience inspiration, wonder, and even hope; it can spark our imagination, creativity, and thinking. Our internal awareness and capacity for transformation can expand through experiences with art.
When in front of an artwork, we are connected to the artist and to others who have experienced it. And connection, to ourselves and others, is at the core of art and healing.
Healing isn’t a destination with a fixed timeline or endpoint but rather a path, or many paths. Just like each visit with a favorite work of art is a new experience with new insights, healing is a journey with possibilities stretching out in all directions.
- edited from an online MoMa article by Jackie Armstrong; Associate Educator, Visitor Research and Experience
Bev Brenna is a visual artist, freelance writer and editor living in Saskatoon.
Two of her 16 books—The Girl with the Cat (illustrated by Brooke Kerrigan; Red Deer Press, 2020) and The White Bicycle (Red Deer Press, 2012) deal with real and fictional art and artists.
Bev’s poetry has been published in a number of anthologies and journals. She is a professor emerita from the University of Saskatchewan. Bev recently exhibited paintings in a group show with the Iris art collective at the Crossmount Cheese Boutique; she has another solo exhibition this year—“Prairie Space”— at the Last Mountain Lake Cultural Centre/Elsie Scherle Gallery. For additional information, see: http://www.beverleybrenna.com
For further information or purchase requests, please contact the artist at email@example.com.
Acknowledgments: I recognize as a guest on this land that I am connected to the Treaty Territories and Métis Homelands where I have created artistic work. I pay my respects to the First Nations and Métis ancestors of these places.
Thank you to Paul Buffel, Trevor Morag, and the others on the Broadway Health Collective team for this exhibition opportunity. Special thanks to Dandelion Art Framing, Saskatoon—owner Kathryn Dueck and framer Sue Faul worked diligently to complete all of the framing for this show. This exhibition is framed in sleek blond maple with natural finish and conservation clear glass. Gratitude also to Iris—my art group; Stobbe Photography, Saskatoon; all my awesome friends who inspire and support; and my wonderful family, especially Dwayne whose encouragement has brought this show to life.
…painting allows me to hold and experience the outdoors: land, water, and sky.
My watercolours express and interpret prairie and coastal landscapes and are shaped by impressionism and existential philosophy. I am inspired by settings that brim with small variations in colour, intensity of figure and ground, wind and light. I generally use a large, round brush, and mix colours from 3 – 6 primaries.
Early influences include Saskatoon painters Millicent Bardwell, Reta Cowley, and Dorothy Knowles.
I have appreciated the support of University of Saskatchewan Community Arts and other community classes in finding my voice, including support from teachers Myra Clarke, Robin Adair, Pat Katz, and Alison Montgomery.
breathing room was chosen as the exhibition title because it represents my experience of painting outdoors, whether it be en plein air or from original photos caught and brought to my home studio. Each of the paintings in this exhibition was completed in thankfulness for the natural spaces I have viewed, and I hope that this show will bring audiences peaceful pause.
breathing room • december 16, 2023 - march, 2024
Red Deer Press, 2020
Children’s Picture Book • ages 4 and up
A narrative non-fiction picture book written by Bev Brenna and illustrated by Brooke Kerrigan, this story is based on a true event that champions the power of art as well as the impact of a child’s voice.
Nine-year-old Caroline Markham visits the local art gallery and makes an extraordinary discovery. In one corner there is something even more compelling than the paintings. It’s a bronze sculpture of a girl named Nina, with a cat on her lap, sitting in a rocking chair. It is the only piece of art in the gallery that children can touch. Then one day a sign appears on the sculpture: Moving Soon. It’s a heart breaker. Here begins the inspiring story of one girl’s successful fight to save Saskatoon’s famous Mendel Gallery “Arthur Price” sculpture, rallying a city to her side, proving that one person can really make a difference.
Caroline was a real girl. And the sculpture is still here, now at the Remai Modern. Author Beverley Brenna worked in schools with Caroline, who became a school counsellor. Bev has written the story with the endorsement of the late Caroline Markham Zelizney’s family. Illustrations by Brooke Kerrigan catch the magic.
Red Deer Press, 2012
Young Adult Novel ages 12 and up
This is the third stand-alone novel in Bev Brenna’s trilogy that centres on the fictional coming-of-age story of Taylor Jane Simon, a teenage girl on the autism spectrum who is seeking independence. The story is narrated through Taylor’s own unique voice and the setting is Lourmarin, France—a breathtakingly beautiful place that supports a friendship between Taylor and Adelaide, an elderly female artist Taylor meets by the sea and whose words of wisdom energize Taylor’s journey forward.
Thanks to the Canada Council for supporting Bev’s travel to this location in 2011.
ORIGINAL, FRAMEABLE CARDS
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