A vibrant, sun-drenched exhibition of work by Bowen Island artist Gregg Simpson treats viewers to a taste of the Mediterranean at Coastal Patterns Gallery in Artisan Square. Called A New Arcadia, the inaugural exhibition opens on Sunday, April 3 with a reception from noon to 5 p.m.
A prolific painter for almost five decades, Simpson will share an amazing collection of paintings and drawings. "We plan to feature a different exhibition every three or four weeks from now until September," says Carol Cram, Gregg's partner in life and in their new venture. "The first exhibition is called A New Arcadia and features paintings and drawings inspired by family trips to France, Spain, and Italy over the past 20 years."
Simpson describes Arcadia as the ancient Greek vision of paradise - a utopia where the world was pastoral and welcoming. A New Arcadia refers to the landscape of the New World, specifically our little part of it out on the west coast of British Columbia. Old World and the New World are joined through the power of the landscape to heal and inspire.
Many of Simpson's titles provide clues to the locations where he created them: Garden in Provence, Antibes Plage, Bathers Near Juan-les Pins, In the Midi, A la Plage all speak of long hot days lazing in the sun overlooking the blue Mediterranean. One of the signature pieces in the exhibition is Path to the Mountain. The painting draws the viewer into a green and lavender landscape along a curving red road. Far away the peak of a mountain appears sleek and inviting in bands of color-lavender, palest Spring green, and finally the light yellow that reflects the strong southern sun.
A New Arcadia at Coastal Patterns Gallery runs until April 23. For a perfect Bowen Sunday, enjoy a gourmet brunch, grab an ice cream cone, and then stroll from gallery to gallery to enjoy the wealth of creativity the island inspires.