Summer arts and entertainment season sees a new growing exhibit take shape at the Kelowna Art Gallery steps from the second Keloha Festival
When Keloha kicks off Friday evening, fans of top Canadian rockers The Trews will be treated to one of their only shows this season.
The Nova Scotia natives will likely spend most of their summer recording a new album and enjoying family—John-Angus MacDonald just got married last September, Jack Syperek had a second baby—with only a handful of festival stops.
The fun part about a Trews album is that no two are ever alike and there’s a chance those hitting the beach for this second shot at the new Keloha festival might get a hint of what’s to come as they are writing and recording this summer.
“It’s still the same four people making the music, but we always try to take it to a new place,” said John-Angus, one of the two MacDonalds in the band.
Sharing the stage with his brother Colin (vocals, guitar, keyboard), cousin Sean Dalton (drums) and friend Jack Syperek—all together since high school—their work is a truly collaborative process, according to John-Angus, who serves as frontman for the group.
They keep the work fresh by moving from producers like Gordie Johnson (Big Sugar), who produced their breakout album House of Ill Fame, to hot-ticket producer Jack Douglas (John Lennon, Alice Cooper, Aerosmith), to Gordie Sinclair of the Tragically Hip.
“It really helps to make us excited again and be in a new creative partnership each time we go out,” John-Angus said.
Needless to say, their decade-plus success story has brought accolades, including Juno nominations, East Coast Music Award wins and Independent Music Award wins; but the unlabelled, almost non-brandable quality that’s made them a success might just as easily have been overlooked by a music industry that hinges on marketability.
“Radio had a lot to do with (our success). Radio really embraced our first album and then it was just the abundance of touring we did,” said John-Angus, noting he wouldn’t have bet on the band from the outset.
They are, nevertheless, among the big headliners at a festival with plenty of top acts this weekend.
Keloha will see Mutemath, MGMT, Shad, Capital Cities and the Arkells, to name but a few, take the stage for a second summer in a row beginning Friday, July 5 and running through Sunday July 7 at Waterfront Park.
Rose coloured glasses for art gallery
The latest installation art piece in the Kelowna Art Gallery’s inner courtyard is coming up roses for one local artists.
Kyle Zsombor has just revealed his new creation and says he’s over the hump of worrying the living display, A Green Desire, will wilt under the weight of inexperience with the materials or lofty design.
“I’m a perfectionist. I look at every single little thing and I make sure I’m okay with it before I let it go,” said Zsombor. “This is about letting go for me.”
It’s also about letting things grow and die off and take unexpected twists and turns and maybe even come out an entirely different colour than listed on the label.
With the Kelowna Art Gallery launching its courtyard garden installation series this spring, Zsombor is the first person in the space to experiment with a living work of art and, as wonderful as this organic, botanical experiment may be, it’s not for the faint of heart or the puritanical gallery enthusiast.
“Usually you’re not supposed to touch the work and you’re certainly not supposed to smell it,” said Zsombor. “So this is really different for a gallery.”
With columns of strawberries rising to a wall of foliage, he’s hoping to see art lovers settle in, grab some fruit to munch on and enjoy a little downtime to talk about what they’ve seen in the gallery.
This is another key difference in this work.
Unlike another installation one might leave in place, Zsombor will be in checking the work, replacing plants, trimming, feeding, and watching the work take shape.
“Never before would I go to the gallery and hang out and just watch how people are reacting. You would never ever do that, it would be so pretentious,” he said.
Zsombor has shown locally at the Ecotone festivals—in all of their various incarnations—at the Vernon Public Art Gallery (a solo show) and he has work in private collections.
Graduating from UBCO with his BFA, one might think his world view limited to the Okanagan, but this show pushed him well outside the box on every front.
Having never even seen a green wall, he researched how to use pvc plastic tubing to build the frame then sheet the project in plastic and chloroplast. Ordinary black sheets of felt from Fabricland are then watered and fertilized to support the plants as the medium for them to grow without dirt.
To catch A Green Desire one can attend the art gallery any time between now and next spring as the show will last a full year, though it will likely be dormant over winter.