Janet Strayer

Perishable Goods

Janet Strayer, a friend and past member of the Art Institute, Printmaking at Capilano College (later University) has a large solo exhibition of her paintings, etchings, and mixed media works on display at the Enigma Restaurant in Vancouver during March-April (and possibly extending until June 15). I was very sorry to miss her opening that she so delightfully called “an art-warming event”, held this past Tuesday evening while we were traveling home from our little holiday.

Janet has kindly allowed me to post a few images of some of the work in her show. (Copyright is hers) Please visit her brand-new website to view more.

Grief & Enigma

She says, My artwork has in the past accompanied my career as a university professor and psychology researcher, writer and consultant — somewhat in the way an incorrigibly curious, energetic, and adventuresome younger child accompanies a grown-up. Now, my artwork and explorations into art have themselves become a vital sustaining force that seeks to be known on its own terms. My workplace, Insights Studio on Saturna Island, is a magical place for inspiration and dedication to a process of artmaking that integrates imagination and observed realities. My artwork is both introspective and expansive. It explores the strange and human, adores color, and plays with form, line, memory and visual poetics. I hope that it also communicates the wonder and range of feeling that comes with being human and alive in a living world.

Checkered Frame

To me, much of Janet’s work has captured the magic, the mystery and that little quiver of something a bit scary that exists in the world of fairy tales. I asked her about this and she replied:

For some of my work, I deliberately roam into “the deepest, darkest, part of the forest” (as is a major motif in fairy tales) and I usually trust in something (strange little creatures: things not being what they seem) to see me safely through. In this sense, much of my work has a fairy-tale/mythic motif. But in only some of the work (Hansel & Gretel, for example) do I actually “think” of fairy-tales in any “whimsical” way. I would hope that the body of the work suggests more than fairytale or mythic themes — I am very interested in psychology and psychological development, as you know, and in being human and what that individually means. But, as you noted, this is certainly one stream that runs through it.

The Enigma Restaurant is at 4397 10th Avenue at Trimble, Vancouver. Open from 11am to 1am. Janet says this is a very cordial restaurant and bar, that serves both good cuisine and drinks at moderate prices, and it is hosted in a very personal manner by a lovely family from South Africa.

Update: Went to see it on March 11th – looking good!

March 3, 2005 in Art Exhibitions, Art Institute (Printmaking), Other artists by Marja-Leena