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"I think sometimes I am a closet graffiti artist that is angry but loves to laugh a lot." -- Susan Jephcott

Jephcott On & Off the Wall at the Arbor Gallery

“I hope you will come away from my exhibition with some new angles of thought…that you might see the hidden beauty and power of ordinary things.
That they may be a portal to a new unknown world. Peace be with you.”
Susan Jephcott, October 2021

The Arbor Gallery Cultural Centre welcomes renowned local artist Susan Jephcott for its November exhibition, beginning with a meet-the-artist session this Sunday, October 31, from noon to 4 p.m.

A true legend in her art-loving community of Vankleek Hill and surrounding area, Jephcott is an artist to the core, who infuses her art with profound reflection and powerful statements.

This new exhibition, titled ‘Jephcott On & Off the Wall’, is no exception. It represents the artist’s inspired approach to artistic expression and messages.

“This group of paintings began in 2020 after my exhibition ‘Horizons Etc.’, held in Ottawa in 2019,” Jephcott explains. “I had a hiatus from painting, as during the winter I finished writing my second book ‘The Whiskey Cat – More Almost True Stories’. “The launch was to be in April, but in March, my Whiskey Cat died and for him I painted the large 48×48 canvas ‘Across Oceans and Time’.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Jephcott’s book launch was canceled, but the artist says this did not deter her.

“I embraced the isolation and started painting full-time, reacting to violence that was on the horizon – which now was simmering across the country. But blips of kindness happened every now and then.”

The artist notes that viewers of her work will discover rainbows of redemption and glimmers of anger, and “things we may not want to see but must face… things that go bump in the night. The veil is thin. Our dreams may be the step between, but we can’t always know; a glimpse of the past, the future or hidden desires?”

“In my paintings I like to reduce the truth to simple forms that express the immediate emotions and the hidden emotions we feel. Emotions that we sometimes deny,” she continues.

Jephcott completes her visual artwork with whimsical 3D installations instilled with a wry twist of humour. Using recycled objects and found treasures, she hopes to bring the observer to appreciate the hidden beauty and power of ordinary things. Her pieces are often provocative and charged with the intent to bring out change and reflection in the viewers.

Journey of a world class artist

Born in Hudson and of Scottish ancestry, Jephcott has painted since childhood. Her artistic journey has taken her artwork from highly figurative portrait work to hard-edged symbolism, using and integrating classical techniques to the service of stark storytelling.

“For me, what connects my work is an ongoing battle between primitive human impulses and an unmovable destiny of myth and spirituality that forces the untamed or unwilling to do its bidding,” Jephcott says. “In my world, the spirit always wins and woe to those who choose folly or greed, conflict and arrogance.”

Susan Jephcott’s art has been exhibited in different places and can be found in various collections in Canada, The United States of America, the West-Indies, France and England. She has also written two books ‘The Tangerine Cat’ and ‘The Whiskey Cat – More Almost True Stories’ – both whimsical narratives of the artist’s journey in day-to-day life.

November at the Arbor Gallery

‘Jephcott On & Off the Wall’ opens October 27 and will run until Sunday, November 21. Meet the artist on Sunday, October 31, from noon to 4 p.m. at the Arbor Gallery Cultural Centre, 36 Home Avenue in Vankleek Hill. Reservations recommended – proof of vaccination required. For reservations, [email protected]

The Arbor Gallery Cultural Centre is open Wednesday to Sunday, from noon to 4 p.m.

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