Artists and art lovers gathered at the Humboldt and District Gallery on Saturday, January 20 for the reception celebrating a pair of vibrant and strikingly contrasting exhibits. “Forever” by Leslie Stadnichuk and “Remembered” by Kathleen Slavin are two starkly different but at the same time complimentary exercises.  

Stadnichuk explained that for her, it was about boldness of colour. Her intricate floral designs pop with graduated colour against an opposing background. She began working in pastels which provided “instant colour,” and that's what attracted her to those vibrant hues. She also began working in watercolour with acrylic during her formative experience. 

One of her first efforts on canvas was an amaryllis. 

 “The reason I painted it was because I wanted a painting for my living room, and I didn’t want an elephant that was crying because that’s what they were selling at the time,” Stadnichuk mused. “I put this painting together, and I was so stunned.” 

The exhibition on the opposing wall examined a very special place on Italy’s southern bootheel. The city of Matera houses the world-renowned remnants of Sassi, one of the oldest permanent settlements in the world. The housing and infrastructure, carved into cliff rocks, demonstrated a sophistication in architecture and infrastructure engineering that continues to be a marvel.  

On a visit to the city, Kathleen Slavin was drawn immediately to the vertical nature of the constructions with winding stairways disappearing into hollowed caverns and the immediate relief on looking across a span of the city. These images all came out in a series of coloured and highly stylized etchings with bold contrasts, and in other paintings with muted “terra cotta” tones and hazy definition.  

Slavin worked from photographs she had taken in 2019. She used a wide variety of tools and media in her creations. 

“I was interested in the ‘up and down,’ and the word that kept coming to me was ‘hodgepodge,” Slavin explained. “I also did try to suggest an old Mediterranean feel for the area and reflected that in my colour scheme.” 

The painters, from the same art group, were unaware they’d be showing together, and both were pleased to find they’d landed on walls under the same roof. The capacity crowd enjoyed a post address chat with the artists along with refreshments. 

The tandem show can be seen during opening hours at the Gallery until February 23.