Arts Place Gallery

the heART of Port Colborne

Artist captures nature on the canvas

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Greg Davies exhibit “Bestiary” at arts place gallery will feature renditions of extinct and endangered animals over the next month at Arts Place Gallery. – Steve Henschel/Metroland


PORT COLBORNE — Greg Davies hopes that those who take in his paintings might be spurred into action, to perhaps do their part to save another species from going the way of the dodo.

A painting of a dodo can be found amongst the images being presented by the Thorold painter for his upcoming exhibit at Arts Place Gallery entitled “Bestiary.” The exhibit features a selection of works from two series Davies has been working on since 2015. All of the images, be they in pastel, graphite, watercolour, oils or silverpoint, depict animals that are extinct or on their way with endangered or at-risk status.

“I grew up in a household very oriented toward nature conservancy,” said 52-year-old Davies, who works as an arts administrator at the Dundas Valley Carnegie Gallery. He’s been painting and drawing since he was 10, although there have been some sizeable hiatuses in his life due to the pressures of family and work.

He taught for many years at the University of Toronto and McMaster University. Upon leaving teaching he picked back up where he left off.

“I was able to pick up the brush again,” said Davies, who soon found himself painting animals, both extinct and present, drawing on his life-long affair with nature conservancy.

“It’s something I grew up with,” he said, adding that creatures of the wild just attract him as subjects.

“I just find them fascinating,” he said. Davies went on to explain he hopes the exhibit will encourage viewers to protect the environment with its images of manatees, sea turtles, pigmy three toed sloth and more.

“There are less than 100 of these little guys left,” said Davies, referring to the sloth in his painting.

The exhibit runs from May 7 to June 18 at the King Street gallery, Thursday through Sunday, 12n – 4:30PM


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May 11, 2017 at 5:04 pm

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Greg Davie’s “Bestiary”

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Sunday, May 7 – Sunday, June 18
Opening Reception Sunday, May 7, 2 – 4 pm

Bestiary is an exhibition of select paintings and drawings from two series of works by the Niagara-based artist, Greg Davies.  Silverpoint, watercolour and pastel paintings and drawings from his Sanibel series (2015) – depicting animal subjects native to the Florida Gulf Coast island identified in the title – draw upon the 19th-century visual style of John James Audubon and Martin Johnson Heade, as well as first-hand observation.

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Oil paintings from the artist’s Memento Mori series (2015 – present) add a counterpoint, taking inspiration largely from the art of the Baroque and Romantic periods. The animals depicted in these paintings represent threatened, endangered or extinct species: victims of environmental damage, poaching, hunting, finning and whaling. The works exhibit traces of 17th-century tenebrist painting and the influence of 18th– and 19th-century compositions by Francisco Goya and John Singleton Copley, amongst others. In this respect, they recall works which were contrived to move the viewer to reflect upon matters both spiritual and sublime. As the title declares they are ‘reminders of death’: not only reminders of the passing of those species we threaten, but of our own mortality and the loss we inflict upon ourselves through our troubled relationship with the natural world.

About the Artist

Greg Davies is figurative artist who works with oil on canvas, watercolours, graphite, silverpoint, pastels and mixed media on paper. He produces works in series in order to explore subjects thematically and stylistically:

“In my work I draw upon historic styles and past modes of representation as a means of presenting and interpreting contemporary subject matter. This impulse stems, in part, from a belief in the sustainability of old styles. The visual references in my paintings and drawings are equally informed by my background in the field of art history.”

Currently the administrator of the Carnegie Gallery in Dundas, Ontario, Greg Davies holds an MA in art history from the University of Toronto where he has also taught courses in Renaissance and Baroque art. From 2002 – 2014 he taught art history at McMaster University as both a lecturer and assistant professor. His past courses have also included Renaissance and Baroque classes conducted in Florence, Venice, Siena and Rome.

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May 1, 2017 at 2:55 pm

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New Exhibition: “Let There Be Light”

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Oil Paintings by Sharon Macsai
March 4 – April 16

Meet the Artist Sunday, March 5, 2 – 4 pm
gallery hours:  Thursday – Sunday, 12n – 4:30pm

Sharon has always had the need express her feelings through art. As a self taught artist she has her own unique way of putting thoughts to canvas. She is mesmerized by the play of light on water, the spray of sunshine on nature and also the effects of street lights illuminating the darkness. With the use of oils, bringing that light to canvas has a special appeal for her. She brings a feeling of warmth to her work with the use of colour and the layering of paint to achieve the desired effect of light and shadow which draws the viewer into her creations. There is a serene yet whimsical approach to her work with a story to unfold.


Born and raised in Welland in a time when children spent most of their time playing outdoors, Sharon was observing the wonderful splendor nature has to offer. The need to put those findings to paper or canvas came at an early age. She also expresses herself through gardening and decorating. An empty flowerbed is a canvas waiting to be filled and nurtured to fruition.


This past year Sharon has exhibited at the Welland Rose Festival Show at the arena, Day in the Park and the Rose Festival Art Show at the Seaway Mall in which she was awarded 2nd place for the People’s Choice Award. In 2015 Sharon placed first in Welland Rose Festival People’s Choice Award and has also displayed her work at the Welland Civic Centre’s Wall of Art. In 2015 she participated in the SPARC revitalization program working with students to create a mural for Fitch Street School which took first place in the People’s Choice Award.

Read Niagara This Week’s Steve Henschel’s interview with Sharon.

See more of Sharon’s work at

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March 1, 2017 at 4:32 pm

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New Exhibition: France Duff

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Decor Style: A Portfolio of Classic Interior Designs
January 20 – February 22, 2017
Meet the Artist Sunday, January 22, 2 – 4pm

cane-chairThe work that will be featured is from the course requirements for an interior designer, done by France when she was a student at Niagara College, which gave her skills that she used throughout her career as a local designer.  In those days, before computers and CAD, all drawings were done by hand, relying on tools like rulers and French curves.  Proposals for customers were drawn and presented by the designer, and included both perspective and elevation drawings, as well as samples and vignettes.  Frequently, the customer purchased the drawings as well as the furniture, accessories and decor services being presented.

The portfolio of work being presented shows the depth and breadth of this approach, rendered in different decor styles, such as Louis XIV, Queen Anne, and Modern, in a variety of colours and media. The exhibit shows the technical and creative skills necessary in the interior design profession, and also harks back to a day when computers were not so omnipresent in our lives.

Gallery Winter Hours:  Saturday & Sunday, 12n – 4pm

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January 13, 2017 at 4:24 pm

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New Exhibition: Tiny Treasures

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Recent Work by Gallery Members
December 2 – January 15
reception December 4, 2 – 4 pm
Gallery Hours
through Sunday, December 18
Thursday – Sunday , Noon – 4 pm
Gallery Open December 30, 2 – 4 pm
Gallery Hours starting January 7
Saturday & Sunday, 12 – 4 pm
watercolour by Cathy Peters


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December 3, 2016 at 7:49 pm

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New Exhibition: “Common Ground”

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Art Place Gallery’s new show, “Common Ground”, features paintings by two long-time friends and colleagues, Jane Marshall and Sonja Gabalis Mortimer.  Former visual arts educators from the Peel District School Board, they paint our landscapes, whether land or water, and the interaction between human endeavor and the natural world, and the constant friction between natural beauty and the constructed environment.

Acton-based Mortimer says, “My art is landscape re-interpreted, altered or transformed.  Momentary glimpses of natural settings, and colour and light effect that I see in my travels are a constant source of inspiration.”  Her work features structured man-made spaces as well as the randomness of more natural scenes.

Welland artist Marshall has long been fascinated by the properties of transparency, translucence and reflection, and interpretations of these qualities always find their way into her work. Whether water, glass or sunlight streaming through a windowpane: all of these draw her attention and she recreates them in a dynamic and expressive manner.

“The study of water characterizes my work in this exhibition.  Water moving, and water still: water free to choose its own path, and water imprisoned in containers: all of these variations are the many ways in which water presents itself,” she says.  “A transparent medium that can assume any colour, that can move in different ways, that changes and distorts its surroundings, that transforms itself from liquid to vapour and to solid—all of these wonderful qualities make it a fascinating subject.”


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These beautiful paintings filled with environmental meaning were shown at the Williams Mill Visual Arts Centre, Glen Williams, ON during the month of September, and are coming to Arts Place Gallery, 714 King Street, Port Colborne from October 20 to November 27.  Arts Place invites visitors to meet the artists on Sunday, October 23 from 2 – 4 p.m.

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October 20, 2016 at 4:14 pm

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Doug Carter’s Juke Joint Drawings

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fabtbirds web

September 2 – October 16, Arts Place Gallery, 714 King Street, Port Colborne
Gallery Hours: Thursday – Sunday, 12n – 4:30 pm
Or by appointment: text or leave a message at 289.783.2075

The drawings in this exhibition were sketched inside some of the various bars and pubs I played and drank in throughout my musical career in the Hammer aka Hamilton.  The Kenilworth House.  The Moosehead.   The International.  The Colonial.  Gliders.  And more.  Most are all gone now except the Kenilworth.  And especially Kilroy’s (formerly the Park House and currently Rolle’s Rockets).  And some dance halls around town too. And more recently at Flyers / Readers Café in Dunnville.  I sketch with oil based china markers (similar to pastels) which can be smudged or made into washes with a bit of thinners. They are very compatible with oil paints which I also occasionally use.  Some sketches I complete on the spot but mostly I collect information and work on them as necessary at home.  And from the original sketches some have been turned into black and white woodcuts. The above image is of the Fabulous Thunderbirds at Wentworth House, McMaster University.

Written by Arts Place Gallery

September 2, 2016 at 4:40 pm

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