Denman Island Summer Art Gallery Shows

Denman Island Summer Art Gallery Shows

by Trish Suess, published in the Flagstone, August 2019

Glorious midsummer has arrived; visitors are abundant, festivals, travels, picnics, ocean and lake swims, wonderful garden bounty and refreshing life-giving rain have all blessed our island home. For the Summer Art Gallery committee, who has created another successful season of delightful gallery shows, thoughts turn to the three final shows of this 2019 season in the Denman Island Summer Art Gallery. Gallery Hours are Weekdays and Saturdays 11-4 p.m. and Sundays 1-3:45 p.m

The fourth show of the season promises locals and visitors to our island an opportunity to reconnect with a familiar artist.


New Sculpture and Mixed Media
Cynthia Minden
July 25 – August 6th, Denman Island Art Gallery
Opening Night Reception: Thursday, July 25th 7 p.m

Cynthia Minden, has exhibited her work both nationally and internationally since her move to Denman in 1990. Passionate about donkeys and a long-time student of positive reinforcement training, she is currently working towards certification in equine facilitated wellness, where, as a “learning professional,” she intends to combine the wisdom of donkeys with the joy of art making in experiential sessions for people. This new series is a blending of those passions, with the donkeys acting as collaborators by contributing chewed branches and winter hair.

From her comfortable and prolific home studio, gazing out towards the gardens and fields where her donkeys happily live, Cynthia purposefully combines found materials with the eclectic elements of nature under her well-trained and experienced hands. In ANIMA-L, this most recent collection of work; Cynthia has created an exhibition of sculpture and mixed media that explores the relationship of animals and humans based on the inner life force “anima” or “soul” in Latin. The sculptures are both androgynous and animalistic but could also be seen as simplified human form; a “gathering of souls” in waiting or repose, lined up perhaps in migration.
The collection is crafted using a technique called random weave. Randomness and chance play a role, yet there is a structure and intention. Choosing the colors black and white to suggest clarity, polar opposites and simplification perhaps yin and yang, Cynthia at times incorporates vines for their wildness, or the hair of her beloved donkeys in felted balls, made by hand in a rhythmic rolling action that is timeless, and without boundaries.

These sculptural forms, along with art masks constructed from repurposed fly masks, harken back to ancient times and move us forward in the continuum of human and animal relationships. Disguises, rituals, archetypes and ancestral memory are played with and act as metaphors for some of our most unsettling current world events; a glimpse into the consciousness of this talented artist. Please visit for more information.

Our fifth show, once again features the talents of a long time Denman resident.

Dolomite Dreams

Acrylic Paintings
Jane Fawkes
August 8-20th at the Denman Island Art Gallery
Opening Night Reception: Thursday, August 8th 7 p.m.

Jane, although well known to those who are familiar with her work from previous shows on Denman Island; could be considered a bit of a “hidden treasure” as she purposefully divides her time between small island living, her garden, family and her studio. How fortunate that she is once again sharing her artistic talents in this show, a series of recent paintings inspired by two hiking trips with family to the Dolomites, in North Eastern, Italy.

A visit to her bright naturally lit home studio, located down a long driveway in a quiet verdant area of our island, helps one to realize that to be creative, one must allow one’s self to experience stillness. Consciously choosing to live her life well may minimize her artistic marketing now, but for those interested in finding out more about Jane, a visit to her excellent website will no doubt inspire you to visit the gallery show to see firsthand her recent works.

Formally educated at Emily Carr College after years of study in multiple media; Jane begins her process by creating a series of monoprints, each carefully drafted on to glass and then printed and later inked and colored with a technique that produces lightly colored layered effects. From these, she then paints richly colored acrylics on canvas that immediately engage the viewer in their delicate but deliberate shading and interplay of colors. Jane loves experimenting with color density and is fascinated by the interaction of transparency and layering which in many ways echoes her daily meditation practice; an ability to experience reality in layers. Her works echo her perceptions of the material world layering with dreams. The paintings themselves, inspired by memories and photographs take on a new life of fantasy. Her use of color is exquisite.

Curated by Judith Scruton, be prepared to be greeted by a palette inspired by the flowers and warm sunny locations that continue to offer Jane inspiration and meaning in a life well-lived.


And to end the season, why not go big! The final show of this 2019 season promises a diverse show created by a number of Denman’s unique and talented artists; all united by their interest in rocks; whether as the subject or as a unique component of their artistic media.

Inspired by the rocks and rock formations of Denman Island, this clever compilation coincides with the end of summer at the gallery in downtown Denman.


A Collaboration of Art and Geology
Group Show – Denman Island Artists and Rock Lovers
August 22- September 3rd Denman Art Gallery
Opening Night Reception: Thursday August 22, 7 p.m.

Curated by two of the artists, Laurena Fairbairn – a lifelong Denman resident and devoted rock hound and Shannon Ford who has taken the use of rocks in her paintings to new levels, together with Roberta Pagdin; this diverse show presents 14 of Denman’s artists and rock lovers and promises to end the summer season with a display of art in various formats.
More information including the artists participating and a peak at their work will be published in upcoming editions of both the Grapevine and Comox Valley Record.