Kingston has recently begun its annual artignite festival once again, and is now hosting its fourth year of this artistic showcase. Artignite is a yearly display of creative pursuits by local talent: visual arts, music, comedy, dance, theatre, and much more. The event began in 2009 when the city came together with the university, the college, and a number of galleries in order to promote cultural events that don’t always get due coverage. Now, artignite is so large that it spans more than two weeks and includes dozens of events.
This year, the Kingston Glass Studio and Gallery is getting involved by hosting two special events in particular. The first event is an exhibition by Kingston-based artist Sharon Thompson. Entitled “Colouring Space.” This playful title is especially appropriate to Thompson’s youthful sensibilities and lighthearted style. Thompson revamps the still life genre with abstract form and multiple perspectives. Though not simplistic, her pieces have a wistfulness and innocence to them. Simple titles, such as “Vessels and Plant” or “Plant and Orange,” are deceptive in their straightforwardness. Thompson’s work is anything but. Thomspon herself is a graduate of Queen’s University and has received accolades from both the Ontario Arts Council as well as the Society of Canadian Artists. A gala reception for her exhibit was held at the Kingston Glass Studio and Gallery on January 26th.
Her work is complemented by the glass pieces of Alexi Hunter, whose work is also currently on display at the gallery. Hunter’s vases and bowls use bright colours in a similar way to Thompson; Alexi’s work channels a playful energy. For admirers of the glasswork in the studio, another artignite event may be of particular interest. The studio is hosting a workshop in which participants can design and create their own paperweight. They are able to select their own colours and stencils and then observe as an artisan glassblower brings their idea to life. The paperweights can also be designed in a heart shape to make a perfect Valentine’s Day gift for that special someone. The workshop is available for $35 and past courses of a similar nature have proven very popular. Be sure to call ahead to book your spot: 613-547-9149. A visit to this colourful studio is sure to lift your spirits.
The paperweight workshop is being held on February 9th between 10 am and 4 pm. Sharon Thompson’s “Colouring Space” will be on display until February 10th. For more of their upcoming events, be sure to visit the studio’s website.