Remaining calm to stay healthy is a priority now for artist Barry Strasbourg-Thompson.
The words calm and calmer can even be found within one of his paintings to be featured in an upcoming art show along with Gail Holland.
The healing powers of art have never meant more to Strasbourg-Thompson than they do now. New works by Strasbourg-Thompson and Holland will be showcased during their second regular monthly show Saturday, Oct. 2 and Sunday, Oct. 3 from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. at the St. Joseph’s Art Studio Gallery. Signs will direct visitors to the gallery’s entrance on the side of the building.
The exhibition theme is Art Promotes Wellness, a reflection of Strasbourg-Thompson’s road to recovery.
He had a trying month this summer with a hernia operation on June 8 followed by a stroke June 20 and then the unhealthy heat wave hit the area in the latter part of June.
“I’m lucky, I’m doing well,” Strasbourg-Thompson said. “My job is to start creating a calm life now. Artwork is the best way to do that.”
“You haven’t missed a beat there,” Holland praised of her show partner.
Strasbourg-Thompson is one of the original artists at the St. Joseph’s site while Holland came on board later.
“I just started sharing the studio with Barry in January,” she said. “I’ve known Barry for a few years. I was taking classes with him.”
The pair held an inaugural show in September and will continue with additional shows in November and December during the first weekend of each month. It’s also just been announced the artists will remain on the premises until at least the end of June next year while the Cowichan Valley Intentional Recovery Community Society that purchased the building continues to work through the removal of all conditions.
They have some time, but are still putting out feelers for future premises to do their art.
“If anyone knows of a building for our group to move to, we’re putting the word out to everybody,” noted Strasbourg-Thompson.
In the meantime, the shows must go on. Both Strasbourg-Thompson and Holland are looking forward to this one.
The exhibition series includes examples of artworks created in a way that takes the artist and the viewer into a deep sense of promoting wellness within, explained Strasbourg-Thompson.
“An art practice is a meditative activity that creates an environment of ‘no time’, otherwise known as being in the zone,” he added.
Writers and athletes or anyone who allows themselves into their most passionate activity know all about the concept of timeless space of the zone or ‘no time’.
“This ‘no time’ space is experienced as a profound sense of wellness,” Strasbourg-Thompson indicated. “The more we spend in ‘no time’, the more we provide a safe space for wellness to occur and grow.”
Holland will have a wide range of art in the exhibit, including two pieces inspired from the St. Joseph’s property itself and surrounding area.
One is the famous Hermit’s Trail.
“It is such a magical little spot,” said Holland. “It’s somehow comforting. It’s like a visit with an old friend.”
The second one, she added, “is at the back of St. Joseph’s. The building is a transplant of a building I liked on Salt Spring.”
Seeing all of Holland’s and Strasbourg-Thompson’s work is believing.
Art students can also find their own sense of wellness from Strasbourg-Thompson’s expert fine art classes, available at St. Joseph’s for all levels from beginner to experienced. The next class is Saturday, Oct. 9 from 1-4 p.m. and there are four classes per month for $100.
More information is available from Strasbourg-Thompson at 250-210-2237 or at Hbarryst@gmail.com.