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echoes of the past
Connor Smith

Saturday 23 August – Friday 5 September
Opening Reception Saturday 23 August 8PM-10PM

Connor Smith is a Visual Artist currently based out of Toronto ON.

Kokedama: The Fragmented Garden
Installation by Paul Chartrand

Beginning Sunday 3 August 2014
NAC’s Flea Market Gallery – 46 Turner Cres, St Catharines
Open each Sunday 9am-3pm

Kokedama is a form of bonsai which originated in Japan during the 1600s. A bonsai tree would be grown inside a pot until the root ball was tight enough that it could be removed and displayed without the vessel. Eventually moss became part of the style, covering the root ball with green growth, to be shown on a plate or bowl. This style has been appropriated by a growing number of artists and gardeners in a new format of hanging gardens, where the roots are wrapped with string before being hung in the air. These suspended plants are unique microcosms of larger ecosystems, taking fragmented elements and uniting them into delicate living orbs.

These common plants such as ferns, moss and vines have been brought indoors to encourage a tactile and sensory experience which is normally taken for granted. Despite their mundane appearances, they are all components in a greater living framework which supports and drives the biosphere. The installation is connected through a central support system reminiscent of a tree’s structure. This main trunk branches out and supports all of the smaller kokedama balls, representing the reactionary efforts of people to reverse the growing problem of ecosystem fragmentation. These gardens require the careful observation and maintenance provided by the artist and the support apparatus, or they risk dying off one by one, like the green spaces of southwestern Ontario and beyond.

Paul Chartrand is an artist living and working in Dunnville, Ontario. He recently graduated from the University of Guelph with a BA major in Studio Art and a Geography minor. He consistently investigates the combination of natural and man-made aesthetics in his works, resulting in sculptural and representational hybrids. Social Practice and live plants are used as metaphors for a range of environmental and cultural issues; both are elements that Paul has been exploring since his final year at Guelph in 2013.

Travel Assistance for Professional Visual, Media, and Craft Artists
Deadline for Submissions: Wednesday 10 September at 5PM

Regan Peacock Fung took tremendous joy in the world around her. Her courageous spirit, keen judgment and infectious laughter enriched the lives of those who knew her. Regan’s passing in September 2011, from Chronic Lymphatic Leukemia, was a devastating loss.

Regan had a love of art since kindergarten, when her drawing was published in the children’s section of our newspaper. She pursued her interest in high school and then attended Concordia University, earning a degree in studio art and art history. She had a studio at home and spent her free time, when possible, painting large canvasses. When she became ill, it was her painting that gave her focus and solace. Her art hangs on the walls of family and friends, proof of its enduring importance. We cannot think of a better way to honour her life than through an endowment for Niagara Artists Centre.

– Claudia Peacock

The Regan Peacock Fung Memorial Fund has been established by Regan’s parents, Bob and Claudia, and brother, Erik, to honour her memory and two of the passions that enriched her life: art and travel. Money raised through the fund will provide assistance to professional visual, media and craft artists living in Niagara. Annually, an artist will be awarded $1000 toward their travel expenses artist in Canada or abroad to attend, or participate in, activities related to their work as an artist.


Call for Submissions

Deadline for proposals:
Saturday 6 September at MIDNIGHT

The Niagara Artists Centre seeks creations that transform the human body.
We are looking for pieces that astound audiences and push boundaries. STRUTT is a challenge to create evocative, fantastic, and one-of-a-kind works of art for the human body.
For info and to apply online click HERE

Deadline for Proposals – Saturday 6 September at MIDNIGHT
Notification of Successful Entries – Saturday 13 September
Deadline for FINISHED Art Work* – Saturday 25 October