The Last Night at the Albert Street Motel / Amber Lee Williams / Sat 23 Nov 2016

The Last Night at the Albert Street Motel
A solo exhibition of Photographic work created in the darkroom by Amber Lee Williams
Saturday 26 November 7PM

The works are presented in three segments. 

1. The Last Night at the Albert Street Motel: A body of work consisting of 13 photographs and blind contour drawings captured in a single evening to explore themes of identity, time, and place. 

2. Family portraits: Photographs of distant and unknown relatives (100+years and found in a family album) double exposed and hand painted to create and discover relationships within the family (past and present). 

3. Books: Double exposures of my mother and daughter, two areas of my life that will never meet. Altering books to encase these personal and precious “memories”. To open the book is to accept the invitation to look. To close the book is to accept reality. 

Amber Lee Williams is a St. Catharines based artist and a student at the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts. For 7 years she has worked with encaustic paint, combining other mediums such as; sculpture, collage, oil sticks, etc. Within the past 2 years Amber has become interested in creating blind contour drawings of people she encounters in her life. Her recent work is experimental analog photography. The photographs are hand manipulated in and outside the darkroom. Through both figurative and abstract work, some of the themes she explores are; identity, family relationships, birth and death, etc.

devolve: wayne corlis + amber lee williams


Wayne Corlis + Amber Lee Williams

Join us for a special night of Art and Music! 

Opening Reception
Performance by THUNDERCLAP from 9 to 10pm

Devolve is a series of abstract works created by St. Catharines based artists Amber Lee Williams and Wayne Corlis. Exploration of various disciplines across art genres has resulted in this body of work; where both artists reject direct representation as a means of rekindling their love for the simple act of creation through colour, movement and fluidity. This series calls into question the evolution in art – has representation evolved from abstract, or vice versa? Or have the figurative and the abstract veins splintered from something else – some mixture of the two, where the lines are blurred between what is something and what is not…

The show will hang from August 6th to the 20th.

Wayne’s artwork is driven from both a love to paint and an interest in philosophy. In his work, Wayne aims to explore the potential for colour and texture to translate into sensation, and questions the relationships between representation, romanticism, and meaning making. Wayne holds both an Honour’s degree in Visual Arts and a Master’s degree in Comparative Literature and the Arts from Brock University, as well as a diploma in graphic design from Niagara College.  

Painting with a blow torch, Amber creates her works with the beeswax-based medium known as encaustic. She embraces the fluidity and unpredictability of the medium, allowing the paint to guide her creations. Drawing from a wealth of real life experiences and hard-earned lessons, her work explores themes of identity, family relationships, birth, death, and chance. Following the birth of her daughter, Amber decided overnight to return to school and is currently completing an undergraduate degree in Visual Arts at the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts. Other areas of art that Amber explores are drawing and analog photography, which she also approaches with strong concepts, but a loose set of controls, in an attempt to find meaning in randomness.

Relaxing and Rehearsing: Rare Photographs and Film of Duke Ellington: Thurs 28 July 2016 7:30PM

Relaxing and Rehearsing: 
Rare Photographs and Film of Duke Ellington
In the Dennis Tourbin Gallery and on the Thomas Craig Oliver Terrace
Thursday 28 July Opening Reception 7:30 pm / Film Screening 9:00 pm

Photographs on display from Saturday 23 July – Saturday 6 August 2016

By Claude Miles

In conjunction with the Niagara Jazz Fest, the Niagara Artists Centre (NAC) is pleased to announce the opening of an exhibition of photographs taken of Duke Ellington during a visit to CBC studios in Toronto in September 1964. Taken by Claude Miles for the now-defunct Toronto Telegram, the pictures show an infrequently seen side of Duke Ellington, a man known for his polish and panache. This black and white documentary photo-essay presents unique insights into an Ellington rehearsal including the inner workings of Ellington’s renowned orchestra, as well as rare glimpses of the bandleader in relaxed dress and manner.

Claude Miles was born in 1922 and discovered the art of photography while processing prints for shipmates on merchant navy tankers during WWII. He went on to study journalism at Ryerson University and worked as a journalist for several newspapers. Introduced to jazz as a twelve-year-old through a Louis Armstrong concert at Shea’s Hippodrome, Toronto’s major vaudeville theatre, Miles became devoted to this musical genre. Miles’ approach to photography is both candid and intimate, while presenting access to a rarely seen side of Duke Ellington’s persona.

A Documentary Screening (60 min)

One Time Only! Thursday 28 July
Screening begins at 9:00PM on the Thomas Craig Oliver Terrace at NAC

In collaboration with Niagara Jazz Fest, NAC invites you to enjoy a free public screening of a rarely seen 1965 CBC documentary entitled The Duke. Shot at the CBC television studios after the September 1964 rehearsals that Claude Miles photographed, this documentary highlights Duke Ellington at the piano (at one point playing the very first song he wrote), as well as demonstrates the tremendous synchronistic talents of his big band. Aired only a couple of times since its production, this documentary screening presents an opportunity to see footage of one of the most elegant piano players and significant musical visionaries of the 20th century in the beautiful open air setting of NAC’s rooftop terrace. Don’t miss this chance to catch this one-time only screening.

Refreshments at the reception and screening will be provided by Mahtay Café.

Sat 9 July 2016


Opening Reception
Saturday 9 July 7PM


My primary source of inspiration for the vibrant and diverse subject matter for ’15 YEARS’ – Photos in Paint, comes from photographs of images that I have taken that capture my interest and challenge my abilities as an artist. My love for detail in shadows cast by sunlight and reflections found in architecture, nature and everyday images are what I’m drawn to emulate.


DIG: William Griffiths


William Griffiths
Dennis Tourbin Members Gallery at NAC
Opening Reception Saturday 18 June at 7PM
On display until Friday 8 July 2016


Artist Statement 
My art straddles two worlds: photography and painting. My inspiration, consciously or subconsciously, comes from the environment, and the allure found within. I am intrigued by the beauty in the natural world (landscapes, trees, rocks), as well as the beauty in man’s manufactured masses (metal, deteriorating structures, forgotten dwellings). I photograph overlooked objects, and use them as inspiration for abstract work. I strive to recreate the moment, and express what I see. 

I use unorthodox materials, and experiment with different mediums to emulate the surfaces I see. I am constantly challenging myself, and inventing new ways to relate what I see. I search for methods outside the norm to express myself. I take the medium into unfamiliar practices, and push it to create a new language for itself. Colour, texture and depth are the tools I use to bridge unconventional and traditional acts of painting. By merging abstract and representational methods, I work to create mood and beauty through transformation, similar to nature’s regeneration and structural decay. Leaving myself open to chance and mistakes gives way to new ideas, and this creative process is most important to me, regardless of the work’s final outcome. 

William Griffiths
William was born and raised in St. Catharines, and he currently lives in Niagara Falls. Although he is a graduate of Sheridan College, in the Illustration program, he is a self-taught painter, and photographer. His work has been showcased in solo and group exhibitions, in Toronto, Montreal, Kelowna, San Francisco, and Madrid. He has also participated in several International Art Fairs. His work displays prominently in private and corporate collections.

Passage and Recall / Krys Kaczkan / Sat 21 May 7PM

Passage and Recall
Krys Kaczkan
Dennis Tourbin Members Gallery at NAC
Opening Reception Saturday 21 May 2016 7PM
On display until Friday 3 June

As a child growing up in Niagara, I spent seemingly endless summers at my grandparents’ farm, at first watching my parents and grandparents toil in the orchards and vineyards and later working there myself. That farm no longer exists, having been swallowed up by urban sprawl, but the recollection of that ever changing landscape, the emotions it evoked, and the hardship it created remains with me to this day.

I left Niagara intending to never return; First traveling to western Europe, then to western Canada, and finally, to the east coast. For some reason, I have always been drawn back to this place, and its haunting rhythmic landscape. The paintings in this exhibition, while inspired by specific sites within Niagara, are not imitations of those locations, but rather “recollections.” They are moments, edited by memory, filtered by recall and transformed by the passage of time. Through the years, I have chosen to explore other mediums and subject matter, both figuratively and conceptually, but each time I return to the Niagara landscape looking for more than the mere sum of form, colour and texture. The landscape has become a measure of growth for me. It has become my meter.

– Krys Kaczkan

Case Closed / Katie Mazi, Jenn Judson, Alex Muresan, and Matt Caldwell / Friday 13 May 2016

Four Artists / Four Mediums
Opening Reception Friday 13 May 7-9PM
On display until 20 May


Katie Mazi
Jenn Judson
Alex Muresan
Matt Caldwell

Puppet-A-Go-Go / Sat 23 April – Fri 6 May

Puppet-A-Go-Go Art Show
Opening Party Saturday 23 April, 7PM-10PM
Show runs 23 April through 6 May
NAC’s Dennis Tourbin Members Gallery

Installations and works by artists Christine Cosby, Alexa Fraser, Trisha Lavoie, and Clelia Scala

Plus the “Wall of 1000 Finger Puppets” from contributors far and wide

Puppet-A-Go-Go’s goal is to bring puppets to the people and people to the puppets.  Join us for our inaugural show!

Check out what inspires us – visit our blog / follow us on facebook.



Bananaganza / Kristin Stalhman / 19 March-1 April 2016

Dennis Tourbin Members Gallery at NAC
On display from Sat 19 March – Fri 1 April 2016

Bananaganza is an exhibit of banana peel photos collected in collaboration since 2014. Inspiration commenced one evening upon visiting a movie theatre. In the parking spot next to mine it appeared as if all four passengers of the now-gone car had woofed down a banana each, leaving the peels by their respective car doors. The decomposed peels looked like a strange creatures: bats, geese, turtles, birds….I was compelled to snap a photo.

Being an avid walker I began noticing banana peels nearly everywhere and stopped to snap a photo of each. Eventually I posted the small collection on social media, where my friends joined in. Soon the random tossed banana peel photo collection expanded to include peel photos sent from all over – the furthest sent from Venice, Italy.

Some of the peels appear in clusters – imagine two to three friends sitting down to enjoy a banana together, leaving the peels and walking away – or perhaps the same individual is eating a banana in the same location every day!

Some of the banana peel photos are comical – you wouldn’t believe some of the places that people actually leave banana peels – toy store shelves and even a bathroom stall in Las Vegas! Who eats a banana in the washroom?

Photographers and locations are credited.
Themes for the Bananaganza photos include:

  • Middle of the road
  • Cityscapes
  • Infrastructure peels
  • Grass, pavement, snow and gravel
  • Pets and friends