Bringing ‘Ordinary Magic’ to the Old Schoolhouse Art Gallery

Jane Newman calls her exhibition ‘Ordinary Magic.” It will be coming to the Old Schoolhouse Art Gallery on Friday July 1.

“What I find that I’m trying to do, since I’ve been living on Cortes for the last five years, is express the energy of the land, or the energy of nature. I’m very much connected to the leaves and the birds and the ocean and even the underworld of the ocean. I’m trying to see it, feel it, hear it, sense it — in every way. I really try to re-express that. It’s  very challenging. I don’t feel like I’d ever express it as beautifully as it is,” she began. 

“I’m trying to breathe new life into forgotten, overlooked and discarded items. I’ve got a vast collection of rusty metal and wire and some natural objects from the land like shells and tree branches and stones and  all manner of detritus that I found in junk stores or at dump sites and things like that.  With that work, I really feel like I’m just trying to sort of resurface the magic of these ordinary things that have been overlooked and discarded and give them a new life.”  

Newman has been working on this current exhibition for the past two or three years. It was originally scheduled for the gallery’s 2020 season, then cancelled because of the pandemic. 

She and her partner Brian live on a two acre property, where Newman has been collecting rusty metal for years. 

Brian helped her rehandle some of the garden tools used in this exhibit. 

Images of artwork in ‘Ordinary Magic’ All photo courtesy Jane Newman

Newman also developed a new mixed media technique.  She reformatted some of her paintings and printed them on art media paper. Then she reworked the images with stitching, paint, water crayons or pastel—, etc. Newman also incorporated natural objects, like leaves from the garden — photographing, printing and reworking them. 

She is very excited about the gallery once again hosting receptions. 

“I was worried that maybe even this year, I would not be able to have an opening reception. It’s such an important part of the process for artists, but also such a lovely occasion to showcase the work in a celebratory fashion,” said Newman.

The day she started setting up the exhibit, three people dropped by the gallery to ask ‘What’s going on?’ 

“People are really looking for things to go to and things to experience here on Cortes,” exclaimed Newman. 

All photos courtesy Jane Newman

There will be finger food and non-alcoholic beverages at the reception but Newman will be charging $4 for a glass of wine. 

The Old Schoolhouse Art Gallery is now an incorporated society.

“This year for the first time, and for my opening, we’re required to apply for a $100 permit and actually have this training, which is another $20, to have a server. We have to have a cordoned off area where alcohol can be consumed out of doors,” she explained.  

“Putting on an exhibition is a relatively expensive endeavour, which I totally am embracing and love. The process is fantastic, but I decided it would be really helpful for me if I could recoup some of the costs of the permit.”

The Gallery is open from 6 to 9 PM on Fridays  and from 2 to 6 PM on Saturdays and Sundays.

Ordinary Magic will run until Sunday, July 10. 

Click here for ‘The Old Schoolhouse Art Gallery 2022 season’

The next reception will be Friday, July 15, when KIra Macduffee and Majie Lavergne bring ‘Sacred Dreamscapes’ to the Old Schoolhouse Art Gallery. 

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