The artwork of Amanda Preston is featured at Island Mountain Arts in Wells starting in April. (Island Mountain Arts image)

The artwork of Amanda Preston is featured at Island Mountain Arts in Wells starting in April. (Island Mountain Arts image)

No art to see here in Wells, come look

IMA hosts Amanda Preston art exhibit

If the irony doesn’t grab you, the arresting visuals will.

Popular regional artist Amanda Preston will take the spotlight at Island Mountain Arts (IMA) starting on April 20. It’s an exhibition she calls no art to see here, a title that sizzles with hope and possibility as much as coyly pretends to wave the viewer away.

“Art fills the cracks of meaning that tangible things leave behind,” said the curatorial assessment of the new show.

It is a chance to meet a whole collection of Preston’s work, for those who are used to only dribs and drabs of her work. She is a longtime creator of the Wells area, but isn’t constantly in the social spotlight. Her art has been in group shows, and she has led feature conversations in the creative Cariboo village in Quesnel’s backyard. This time, she commands the whole room.

“As a child, Amanda Preston’s sketchbook went everywhere with her,” said the IMA statement about the upcoming show. “Where words weren’t appropriate, art was. Conversations between the adults around her became colours, and her means of connection were often her drawings: her way of quietly saying ‘I see you.’”

Preston will see everyone in person on opening night. She will give an artist’s talk on the works contained in the exhibition starting at 7 p.m. on April 20. Her work will then hang at IMA until May 21.

“Where colour palate bonds her work together, the pieces explore disconnect to others and to self, as well as the expectations of being: Being alive, being oneself, being surrounded by one another, being alone in a world that is both kind and unkind,” said IMA’s show curator. “Though words convey a lot of meaning, language is limited and meaning is steadily diminished through ambitionless buzz-words that can’t always articulate one’s feelings. As one might reach for metaphors and similes to be the grout that secures true intention, Preston reaches for art to fill, to secure those same misplaced pieces, providing a connection to those leftover bits of emotion that too often go unspoken.”

IMA in Wells is open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday – Sunday, and by appointment in off times.

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