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POWERBOXES at Godfrey Dean Gallery through August

Show uses walls as canvases for art pieces.
art 2
Dave Stonhouse art at the Godfrey Dean Gallery in Yorkton.

YORKTON - For summer time viewing the Godfrey Dean Gallery in Yorkton offers the show POWERBOXES by David Stonhouse on display until Aug. 28.  

“It's a playful take on modernist painting that mimics industrial fabrication and buildings' exteriors,” said the artist who was born in Red Deer and now resides in Saskatoon. 

“It's an epic colourful installation: instead of works on a wall in a room, the whole room is a work of art. I painted a huge mural that mimics building exteriors that have my sculptural paintings hung on. You'll see some paintings that look like industrial units, filled with strange textures and optical effects. It's a lot of fun.” 

With such an unusual show, does the artist have a favoured piece? 

“It's hard to pick a single favourite piece but I think the yellow section of the gallery is my favourite,” said Stonhouse, who a visual artist, curator and educator working in the programming department at the Remai Modern Art Museum.  

“I have been in love with the multiple shades of yellow recently so I love the palette that I used and the mural combined with the artworks I think is really successful.” 

For Stonhouse doing something a little different really circles back to what it was that drew him to art in the first place. 

“I have always had a wild imagination,” he told Yorkton This Week. “As a kid I created make-believe worlds and drew incessantly. Most of my art back then was based around world creating derived in comics, cartoons and fantasy stories. There was a brief moment in my life that I was alienated from art because of formal, academic teachers trying to control my creativity but I found a way.” 

Perhaps as rebellion against the teachers, Stonhouse said much of what he has learned about art has been self-generated, although formal training remains an asset too. 

“I have been making art my whole life, most of it self-taught, but I did receive a formal art education through the University of Saskatchewan BFA program,” he said. “While getting a formal education isn't necessary for all artists, it did a lot for me. Getting my fine art degree pushed me to expand my concepts around art while forcing me to grow and evolve my practice in ways that wouldn't have happened otherwise.” 

Today, he focuses on painting, with added flourishes. 

“I have a mixed media approach to art that is rooted in painting,” said Stonhouse. “I love working with paint and having conversations with the art history of painting with my work.  

 As for the show at the Godfrey Dean Stonhouse said, “there's multiple areas of inspiration for this exhibit.  

“The series started during a CARFAC mentorship program with furniture designer Arthur Perlett where I was learning new skills in woodworking and upholstery that these works sprang out of.  

“I am inspired by art history and these amazing artists connected to the Emma Lake Workshop: Eli Bornstein, Bob Christy, Kenneth Noland, Donald Judd, Frank Stella as well as local Saskatoon artists that are killin’ it; Tammy Campbell and Clint Neufeld.  

“Seeing the world through a formalist art lens I found compositions on buildings that could be modern abstract paintings that are filtered through my brain making connections to surreal worlds of video games and cartoons.”