AMERISTAR GALLERY emerging ARTIST series
The Ameristar Gallery is home to the Foundry Art Centre's Emerging Artist Series.
Artists fresh on the art scene can display their work to introduce their style to the local art community.
June 16 – July 28, 2017
In Scattered Remains, Julie Gautier-Downes captures photographic images of abandoned homes in ghost towns in the Western United States and Central France. The towns pictured were abandoned for a range of reasons. However, regardless of the specific reason, the inhabitants were forced to leave and never look back. In photographs of these long abandoned homes, she questions what can be learned about past inhabitants through the objects left behind and the lingering marks on the land. These haunting images serve as memorials to the lives of these long missing people.
Julie Gautier-Downes’ studio practice is the investigation of somatic traces left in barren landscapes that become artifacts of the past. The domestic vestiges that now haunt these spaces are transformed into a narrative waiting to be deciphered. Her process involves documenting or recreating deserted houses and abandoned items that allude to the home and family. The spaces she records seem to be in a perpetual state of disarray, imbuing the notion that a single event stimulated the need for the inhabitants to leave hastily. Gautier-Downes re-frames each scene into her rendition of the stories each space unveils. The accounts she relays reveal the trauma each housing structure suffers as it slowly decomposes into the environment as well as the physicality of displacement.
August 4 – September 15, 2017
I find that my identity is literally submerged in the beauty and concept of water as it pertains to being a symbol of life. My artistic goal has always been for my art to be an expression that, hopefully, invokes emotion within the viewer. My inspiration comes from personal observations of water and how it reflects beauty while sustaining vast amounts of beauty. As I strive to best represent my own personal character, my mission is to illustrate the beauty of God around us as it is reflected in the presence of water and the many colors of the rainbow. Water is life and color is the promise of such.
For water does not resist. Water flows. When you plunge yourself into it, you must allow yourself to feel its caress. Soak up its playful movement and incredible reflection of color. Such is life and how it should be lived. Water is not solid, so it will not stop you; nor, will life itself. Water truly is Life. And as water goes where it wants to go, so should we. Nothing in the end can
stand against water. It is a miracle of God's own making just as we are. And water is patient. Over time, water can wear away stone. Any one individual has the power of patience, faith and perseverance. Live your life and be who you are…like water.
In addition to water, a great deal of my work involves women, which I believe reflects my grounded sense of strength in the fluidity of the liquid and how it can compare so eloquently to the female gender. As they have always said, "behind every great man is an even greater woman." For God placed upon women the responsibilities of compassion, inspiration and support. And I find that women are better in recognizing expression of emotions, the very thing I am hoping to invoke. The female advantage in emotional recognition becomes even more apparent under conditions of rapid presentation of stimuli. Hence the water and it’s play.
As an artist with the opportunity to exhibit a collection, I always strive to share the power of survival and having the faith to persevere against all odds. I believe that it is up to me, as an artist, to delve beyond just recognizing images and colors to using colors within the images for their inherent qualities, towards a specific end. I choose images with an abstractness and then colors to produce a certain mood or atmosphere; to create space, light, and shadow; or to introduce symbolic associations.