Association of Representational Artists pay homage to the War of 1812 Bicentennial

By Ron Giofu, Amherstburg Echo

Monday, July 16, 2012 7:40:55 EDT PM

Gibson Gallery board member Dave Cozens, dressed in War of 1812 period attire, sits beside a painting of a soldier created by artist Susan Duxter. The Association of Representational Artists have their 1812-exhibit on display at the Gibson Gallery through Aug. 12.

Gibson Gallery board member Dave Cozens, dressed in War of 1812 period attire, sits beside a painting of a soldier created by artist Susan Duxter. The Association of Representational Artists have their 1812-exhibit on display at the Gibson Gallery through Aug. 12.

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AMHERSTBURG — The Association of Representational Artists (ARA) are the latest group to pay homage to the War of 1812 Bicentennial.

The works of the ARA are the subject of the latest art exhibit at the Gibson Gallery with an opening reception held Friday night. The theme of the current show is the War of 1812 with 22 artists participating with 36 paintings submitted.

Project co-ordinator Trudy Dempsey said the Gibson Gallery asked for a War of 1812 Bicentennial show from the ARA over a year ago and the group’s artists responded.

“We challenged our artists at a meeting over a year ago,” Dempsey explained.

Dempsey, an Amherstburg resident, said there were “all kinds of different depictions” of the War of 1812 period and that artists used oils, acrylics or water colors to create what they wanted in relation to the war.

“They could interpret it any way they wanted,” she said.

This exhibit was “not like a regular show,” she added. Artists were challenged in a different way with many having to do research and make trips to places like Fort Malden National Historic Site so they could envision what to paint.

“It was very significant,” Dempsey said of the exhibit. “It was a big challenge since it was difficult to do since there were no photographs from that era.”

The exhibit runs until Aug. 12.

The ARA has been in existence since 1978 and features artists from around Windsor-Essex County. Dempsey explained representational art as pieces that people would be able to recognize immediately once a person looks at it.

“When you look at a painting and you don’t know what it is, it’s not representational art,” said Dempsey. “You have to recognize what it is.”

The Gibson Gallery is located at 140 Richmond St. and the hours are 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday.

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