Douglas College alumni return with art exhibit about memories
By Cheryl Minns, Columnist
There’s no place like home for artists Louise A. DeGagné and Gregg Steffensen, Douglas College alumni who graduated from the stagecraft program years ago but recently returned with their art exhibit, this part remains with me, in the Amelia Douglas Gallery. They presented a one-hour talk about their artwork to students and members of the public in the gallery on September 9.
The exhibit focused on memories, and how certain images can stay with a person for many years. The exhibit contained two types of works: 4 of their older pieces, and 10 new pieces designed specifically for the conceptual show.
The new pieces involved some of DeGagné and Steffensen’s old memories, such as a mixed media portrait of DeGagné’s grandfather called “steady” and Steffensen’s mixed media piece, “a perception: of youth,” that features a baby photo of him.
The centrepiece of the exhibit was DeGagné’s and Steffensen’s two 24” x 48” mixed-media panels that were hung beside each other on the wall to make a combined 48” x 48” piece. DeGagné’s panel, “expectation,” featured a large paper doll dress with tabs on the side and top. Steffensen’s panel, “the constant,” featured a large red vertical stripe on the right, a thinner grey stripe on the left and smaller images of his other new works in the exhibit. DeGagné nicknamed the piece “the table of contents” because it includes the images from Steffensen’s other works.
The colour scheme for the exhibit was red, with each of the new paintings containing various amounts of red to tie the works together.
“We wanted a binding element, and red is a life force colour,” Steffensen said. “We played around with the palette and found a colour that we both liked and enjoyed.”
“Neither of us really use red in our pieces, so it was also a challenge to step a little bit outside of our comfort zone as far as colour,” DeGagné said.
“It was also something new when everything here is old memories,” Steffensen said. “To take something outside of that and use it on a painting represents the present. It shows there’s a little bit of present in everything.”
To see more of their works, check out their websites at GreggSteffensen.net and LouiseADeGagne.com.
The next exhibit coming to the Amelia Douglas Gallery is Stefanie Denz’s The End of the Affair, which will have an opening reception in the gallery at 4:30 p.m. on September 15.
Denz will be speaking about her exhibit at 10 a.m. on September 16 in the Amelia Douglas Gallery on the fourth floor of the Douglas College New Westminster campus.