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Trio of artists exhibiting artwork at Nanaimo's Art 10 Gallery

Exhibit runs at Nanaimo's Art 10 Gallery until the end of February.
Glass artist Hollie Benoit

Three artists are collaborating on an exhibit being displayed this February at Art 10 Gallery.

Glass artist Hollie Benoit, painter Patricia Mansell and gold and silversmith Karin Schieber are showcasing their work during the Slate Silver Sand exhibit. The three are collaborating on the exhibit because their work is three-dimensional.

Benoit creates fused glass art and scenery pieces that use frit, which is glass sand. She's been working in the medium for about six years. She took one course in fused glass and was hooked.

"It just clicked and I just knew I like this and this is a lot of fun. I want to make more," said Benoit. "It was like putting together a jigsaw puzzle, which I liked. There is no masterpiece to look at to see what it was supposed to look like, so it was all in your imagination."

Benoit said sometimes pieces don't turn out how she first envisions them. She is guided by the shapes of cut glass pieces she uses in her art. She is hoping to explore creating blown glass pieces in the future.

"Blown glass is a whole other ballgame. You are working with different equipment and natural gas," said Benoit.

Mansell has been painting since 1994. She was drawn to wildlife painting, with a special interest in endangered wildlife. Mansell works on canvass and also paints on slate. Her slate works are being displayed during this exhibit.

"What attracted me to doing this work is it is a way of actually bringing the animals to a setting that is other than a painting hanging on the wall. The rock itself takes the paint very, very nicely," said Mansell.

Mansell said working on slate is entirely different than working on canvass because when working with a flat blank canvass there are no surprises but when you are working with a piece of rock there are certain restrictions she has to work around. She has to take into consideration fault lines in the stone, edges and the weight of a piece of slate and how it will rest in the stand.

She only paints the animals on top of the slate, no backgrounds. This allows the viewer to see the natural mineral lines and colouring of the rock.

Schieber trained as a gold and silversmith in Germany. She has been creating jewelry for more than 40 years.

"I only do one-of-a-kind. I only make one piece of each. I never repeat anything so it's all original work and all hand crafted," said Schieber.

She alloys her own metals and cuts many of her own stones.

"I love working with my hands. It's just like creating something out of nothing and then making it into something really beautiful," said Schieber. "It brings me joy. I love doing it. I never feel like I'm working."

There is an opening reception Saturday (Feb. 11) starting at 2 p.m. and the exhibit runs until the end of February.

For more information about the exhibit or Art 10 Gallery, which is located in Nanaimo North Town Centre, please call 250-756-6136.