Relationship and Emotion exhibition open at UpTown Gallery in Waterloo


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Located in the heart of Uptown Waterloo, the UpTown Gallery is currently featuring its newest exhibition, Relationship and Emotion, until Sept. 18th

At 75 King St S in Waterloo Town Square, you’ll find a captivating art gallery only minutes away from Laurier’s Waterloo campus. UpTown Gallery began in 2006 and has been a local gem in Waterloo ever since. The Gallery made it their mission to “bring art to our community and promote local artists.” 

Not only does the UpTown Gallery feature diverse and professional work, but they also offer an engaging setting with an artist present during open hours. They can often be seen creating their art in real-time, welcoming questions about their work and artistic journey. Whether you are an aspiring artist, gallery viewing enthusiast, or simply looking to explore, the UpTown Gallery has something for you. 

For the more artistically inclined among us or those who simply want to hone their skills, some artists collaborating with UpTown Gallery host workshops for the public.

These workshops are generally available for all ages and skill sets, featuring a variety of mediums such as Adobe Photoshop, Lightroom and drawing. In addition, there are also workshops where patrons can learn how to make stained and fused glass. Currently, the Gallery is presenting its newest exhibition, Relationship and Emotion, which runs from July 19th to Sept. 18th.

This exhibition features the works of Michael Manchoi Chow, Amy Stickney and Ida Tong. It showcases works of photography, paintings, mixed media, glass, botanical art, pottery, jewelry, felt and mosaic art. 

The UpTown Gallery Chair, Jane Bayne, encourages everyone to hear from the artists face to face – but briefly described the featured artists to me: 

“Manchoi Chow is a photographer who pushes the limits of exposure and materials to achieve an unusual emotional view of the landscape. His personal hope is to have the chance to interact with the viewer,” Bayne said.

“Amy Stickney is an abstract expressionist painter who works with mood and paint to direct the pieces she creates which are very textural and utilizes natural materials to achieve neutrally coloured abstracts. Ida Tong’s focus is using art as a visual language to tell stories about our human experiences and evolution,” she added.

“In her conceptual but surrealistic paintings about evolution from the apes up to society’s brink of dependence on artificial intelligence, she attempts to show how we have the choice in shaping AI and how it can be used for the advancement of peace and serenity for the human race.” 

Upon my visit to Relationship and Emotion, I was greeted by Julie Krahule, an artist with UpTown Gallery. She was warm, welcoming and passionate about the pieces on display. The artwork featured in Relationship and Emotion was stunning and thought-provoking.

The pieces that initially grabbed my attention from the exhibition were that of Ida Tong, which seemed to explore the theme of humanity’s relationship with artificial intelligence and technology. In their own words, Ida’s greatest inspiration comes from “using art as a visual language to tell stories about our human experiences and evolution.”  

The other exhibition pieces captured various emotions, especially through the chosen colours, style and mediums. Amy Stickney’s process shines through her work, as she “paints with no set goal or image in mind but instead works with how mood and the paint direct her.”

Manchoi Chow was also interesting in his use of landscapes and environment to vividly connect with “the artist-within-you in the viewer.” Although titled Relationship and Emotion, my experience of the exhibition seemed to reflect on our relationship with emotion, and what it is to be human.  

The Gallery is open Tuesday to Saturday from 11am to 6pm and Sundays 12pm to 4pm in Waterloo Town Square. 

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