Laura Balduci calls herself an artist supporting artists
“I still make my own art. I’m doing a solo show in February 2023, but I also have a little bit of extra energy and I’m not shy. I’m on a mission. The mission is to get as many artists out there, either in person or on the walls to share with the world. I really enjoy working with the artists and trying to get their work out there so that they can maybe spend more time in their studios and make more art to inspire more people,” she explained.
“I help curate, design and put together different art shows or websites. If they want me to curate their website for them, I do that for all their pictures. I’m also a host for the artist. I try to get events or programs where I’m hosting an artist for something on the island, or off the island.”
On June 24, Balducci helped put up Jane Newman’s exhibition ‘Ordinary Magic’ at the Old Schoolhouse Art Gallery.
Then she set off for Lund, where Balducci helped curate Judith William’s exhibition ‘Water/Colour’ at the Tidal Arts Centre.
Returning to Cortes Island, she helped install Lisa Gibbons’ artwork in the Floathouse Restaurant.
“‘Art in the Garden’ is at the museum in the heritage garden every Tuesday, starting July 5th to August 23rd, I have eight artists featured in the garden this summer season,” said Balducci.
“They’ll be working on either a medium inspired by the heritage garden, or a piece that they’re working on in their studio. They’ll be working on that piece from 12 to 3 every Tuesday. Visitors and locals will come and they can interact with the artist. They can bring their sketchbook and work alongside the artist. They can bring their lunch for a picnic in the gardens while the artist is working. And the artist is there to answer any questions.”
Balducci talks about the three artists she most recently worked with in the podcast above:
- Jane Newman is a relatively new resident of Cortes Island and worked at the museum for 4 of the 5 years she has been here. She just retired to work full time on her artwork. While she has shown some of her artwork at Hollyhock, this exhibition at the Old Schoolhouse Gallery is her first solo exhibit on Cortes.
- Judith Willliams has been working on her current show for the past decade. She collected water samples from the Bute Inlet area prior to the recent landslide, and returned to gather more samples after the catastrophe. The resulting imagery, when this water was painted on paper, is striking. There was only room at the Tidal Art Centre for part of her collection, which will be unveiled in its totality at the Old Schoolhouse Gallery on August 26.
- Lisa Gibbons has been an artist all of her life and has a studio in Mansons Landing. “A lot of her work is inspired by the environment. She works mostly, but not exclusively, in acrylic, collage, gold leaf, and sometimes oil paints.” There is a sample at the top of this page.
As regards her own art, Balducci said:
“Right now, I’m working on fiber art. I’ve been making yarn and I would consider my yarn art yarn. It’s very texturized. It’s thin, it’s chunky, it’s everything in between. I’ve been making a lot of yarn. I’ve been designing and kniting items to wear.”
“I’ve also been making buttons recently. I just got into making buttons made out of polymer clay. Each set of buttons is totally different. I have them for sale at the museum and also at the Townsite Public Market in Powell River.
She will be the artist in residence at the Tidal Arts Centre in February, 2023.
“It’s a beautiful location in Fin Bay, Lund. They have a gallery and then many studios for different mediums. One’s a fiber studio, one’s a pottery studio, one’s a painting studio, et cetera. Then they have an apartment on top of the gallery for an artist residence. You can go there for a month, do a whole body of work and then have an opening in the gallery for a week.”
Top photo credit: One of the photos Lisa Gibbons is exhibiting at the Floathouse Restaurant – courtesy Laura Balducci