Upcoming Shows 2017 TBA
2014: A look back at a great year for Three Trees Art
This past year continued the "success" trend begun in 2013. Last year's addition of the double-matted decoratives to the product line continues to be the driving force behind the lion's share of this success. After several years of hearing folks request "something in between" the smaller card product and larger, more expensive limited editions, it seems the decoratives were just the right fit. The response to them has been phenomenal and the demand, hard to keep up with, as we have now seen our home on more than a few occasions transformed into an "assembly line factory." Yes, my wife and I physically manufacture and assemble most components of this product ourselves...and they say art is not hard work! Of course, most of this demand is wholesale driven with virtually all of my existing retail carriers coming back in 2014 with even larger orders over the 2013 "test year" for the product. And it is always exciting every year to connect with and establish new business relationships with retail venues, be they small gift shops, boutiques or the larger gallery type settings. This year I was pleased to add the McMichael Canadian Art Gallery to my list of retail supporters. I value these relationships and have learned a lot over the years from my retail carriers. You can see a partial list of these carriers under "venues" in the menu bar.
The year was also a great one on the "exposure" front, with a few noteworthy mentionables. June saw my first major showing as a trade exhibitor at the annual three-day Summer Solstice and Aboriginal Day Festival in Ottawa. The event, on all fronts -- organization, weather, and the interest in my work -- was fantastic and made for a really great weekend! We are looking forward to next year's show.
The last year and a bit has seen Patricia and I become involved in the "pARTners for Wolf Lake" project to help protect the old-growth red pine forest around Wolf Lake, about 50 km northeast of Sudbury. This has involved the production and donation of artwork to a travelling exhibit featuring the works of about 17 artists. The first show was in June in North Bay (and Patricia's submission was one of the first to sell on opening night!), the second was in Hamilton in July and August, and a third showing is now slated for Sudbury in February 2015, at Artists on Elgin. To learn more about the project and the larger issue, please visit "pARTners for Wolf Lake" or the Wolf Lake Coalition. A book was also produced (co-edited by Patricia) and can be seen and purchased at Lulu Publishers. By the way, my piece titled "Sunrise on Ma'iingan" (the original) is my submission to the project and can be seen on the "artwork" tab above, or better yet, purchased! at the Sudbury show since all proceeds will go to this important cause.
In September, both Patricia and I were pleased to have our work shown in the "Adjacent to Odjig" exhibit at the Shaw Studios in Whitby, Ontario. I can't imagine that there will ever be another opportunity for us both to have our work hanging next to the work of the much celebrated Daphne Odjig. Beyond even this though, the showing had a special significance for me personally. It was a Daphne Odjig piece (Arms of Serenity), that graced the cover of the 1977 biography on the now late Verna Patronella Johnston-Sylvester, my great-aunt...."Auntie Vern"! I am pleased to own one of the few still circulating copies of "I am Nokomis, Too."
The June Aboriginal Day show in Ottawa generated an invitation for me to showcase my work at the North American Association for Environmental Education (NAAEE) conference in Ottawa, in early October. I hosted a booth for one day and this event provided some great exposure to a relatively new audience for me as most attendees were visiting from the United States. I am glad to say that my U.S. based "private collectors" now include folks that hail from such locales as Massachusetts and Texas.
Finally, 2014 saw my first foray into the international art scene. The "Chimeria" exhibit is an annual exhibit and festival that takes place in Sedan, France. This was their tenth year and the chosen theme for this year's event was "Nature and Spirituality." Of course, with such a subject matter, the global call for submissions included Indigenous artists, and I was thrilled to be one of only a very few Indigenous artists from Canada to be selected. I was in some lofty company too, including Paul Shilling and Lee Claremont. I had three pieces selected for the exhibit which took place in a castle in Sedan. Due to the complexity of shipping my original art pieces to France, I never could have "pulled it off" without the help and direction of a number of people and/or organizations. Some acknowledgments are definitely in order here: ; The Museum Pros in Toronto, Ontario, for crating my work as well as taking care of the many logistics and legalities involved in such a project; Heather Beecroft of Beecroft Fine Arts in Guelph, Ontario, for introducing me to The Museum Pros; to Orillia-based artist Gaia Orion for her endless patience as the all-important translator and general "go-between" for myself and the exhibit organizers in France; and finally the Ontario Arts Council for their generous financial support under their Exhibition Assistance Grant program. Chi-miigwetch to you all!
That about sums up the major developments on the art front for 2014. As any art-related events and news unfold for 2015, I will do my best to get them posted here so check back regularly for updates. You can also ask to be added to my e-network by contacting me here and check marking the box as indicated. And as for the first news of 2015, well, you're looking at it...early 2015 has seen the launch (finally!) of my website. New territory for Patricia and I both! Please visit her site by clicking here.