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About Art: Local artist appreciates the unique possibilities art offers


George Halverson is a multi-media artist who lives in an idyllic beach studio home he designed and built in Brule.

He worked as an exhibit designer and curator of special projects at the Nova Scotia Museum of Natural History. He has exhibited in various art galleries in Halifax and surrounding area and his work can be found in many private collections across Canada and United States and in the Permanent Collection of Nova Scotian Art.

He is best known as an assemblage artist, one who uses fragmentary or discarded objects to create sculptural art, although he also paints.

What inspires you?

I get a lot of my inspiration from other artists' work that I find on the Internet. The amount and variety is endless.

What has been a seminal experience?

My number one art-related seminal experience occurred in my final days of high school. A teacher, John Mercer, was thoughtful enough to ask me about my future plans. I had been thinking about the Air Force, but nothing definite. He suggested I apply for a scholarship to the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, which I did and won. I continued my art education there in Halifax and at the Vancouver School of Art in the early 60s. That two-minute conversation I had with Mr. Mercer set me on a path that I will be forever grateful. I owe that teacher more than words can possibly express.

Which artist has inspired you the most?

There were many subsequent influences that resulted from my exposure to the world of art, but I would have to pick an American assemblage artist, Robert Rauchenberg, as the most inspiring. I also strongly admire the work of the abstract expressionists of the 1950s and favour abstraction over representational styles.

What work do you most enjoy doing?

I find assemblage to be the most enjoyable art form, although I have tried others from time to time. The thing I like about doing my work is the process of transforming something into a brand new object or objet d'art . It is like giving it a new life, and sometimes, if I am lucky, even wings to fly, so to speak.

What is an artistic outlook on life?

For me, an artistic outlook on life means having a sense of curiosity, appreciation, exploration, creativity, and being able to enjoy and use whatever imaginative capabilities one has been granted.

How do you know when a work is finished?

When it "comes together", that is to say, when I have reached the point in execution where I believe everything is in a pleasing relationship, nothing needs to be added, removed or changed. That "point" can turn out to be permanent, or short-lived, depending on my subsequent readings of the particular work. Adjustments sometimes follow as a result of setting work aside and later seeing it afresh.

What are you working on at the moment?

I am working on a series based on finding ways to incorporate the corner sections of a variety of different picture frames into abstract, semi-sculptural wall-hung assemblages. The frame sections I use are from discarded corner samples thankfully provided by the Raven Gallery, where the finished works are on exhibit as well as those found within my studio home.

Where do you sell your work?

The Raven Gallery, 267 Main Street in Tatamagouche, 902-657-0350, www.ravengallery.ca.

Janice Guinan is a local artist who passionately believes in the importance of visual art. Her About Art column appears each week in the Truro Daily News. Guinan also writes a weekly column for the Colchester Weekly News. Both can be viewed online at www.trurodaily.com. Contact her at janice@janiceguinan.com.

He worked as an exhibit designer and curator of special projects at the Nova Scotia Museum of Natural History. He has exhibited in various art galleries in Halifax and surrounding area and his work can be found in many private collections across Canada and United States and in the Permanent Collection of Nova Scotian Art.

He is best known as an assemblage artist, one who uses fragmentary or discarded objects to create sculptural art, although he also paints.

What inspires you?

I get a lot of my inspiration from other artists' work that I find on the Internet. The amount and variety is endless.

What has been a seminal experience?

My number one art-related seminal experience occurred in my final days of high school. A teacher, John Mercer, was thoughtful enough to ask me about my future plans. I had been thinking about the Air Force, but nothing definite. He suggested I apply for a scholarship to the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, which I did and won. I continued my art education there in Halifax and at the Vancouver School of Art in the early 60s. That two-minute conversation I had with Mr. Mercer set me on a path that I will be forever grateful. I owe that teacher more than words can possibly express.

Which artist has inspired you the most?

There were many subsequent influences that resulted from my exposure to the world of art, but I would have to pick an American assemblage artist, Robert Rauchenberg, as the most inspiring. I also strongly admire the work of the abstract expressionists of the 1950s and favour abstraction over representational styles.

What work do you most enjoy doing?

I find assemblage to be the most enjoyable art form, although I have tried others from time to time. The thing I like about doing my work is the process of transforming something into a brand new object or objet d'art . It is like giving it a new life, and sometimes, if I am lucky, even wings to fly, so to speak.

What is an artistic outlook on life?

For me, an artistic outlook on life means having a sense of curiosity, appreciation, exploration, creativity, and being able to enjoy and use whatever imaginative capabilities one has been granted.

How do you know when a work is finished?

When it "comes together", that is to say, when I have reached the point in execution where I believe everything is in a pleasing relationship, nothing needs to be added, removed or changed. That "point" can turn out to be permanent, or short-lived, depending on my subsequent readings of the particular work. Adjustments sometimes follow as a result of setting work aside and later seeing it afresh.

What are you working on at the moment?

I am working on a series based on finding ways to incorporate the corner sections of a variety of different picture frames into abstract, semi-sculptural wall-hung assemblages. The frame sections I use are from discarded corner samples thankfully provided by the Raven Gallery, where the finished works are on exhibit as well as those found within my studio home.

Where do you sell your work?

The Raven Gallery, 267 Main Street in Tatamagouche, 902-657-0350, www.ravengallery.ca.

Janice Guinan is a local artist who passionately believes in the importance of visual art. Her About Art column appears each week in the Truro Daily News. Guinan also writes a weekly column for the Colchester Weekly News. Both can be viewed online at www.trurodaily.com. Contact her at janice@janiceguinan.com.

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