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 Arts on the Avenue Festival 2023
Guest Artist

Grant Leier 


Showing work across Canada for fifty years, Vancouver Island artist Grant Leier will be our guest artist at this year's Arts on the Avenue Festival.  A new series of bird studies, a variety of sizes and styles with the usual emphasis on colour and pattern will be featured. 

Visit Grant under the big white tent on Sunday August 27 from 10 AM - 4 PM on First Avenue.

Grant studied at the Alberta College of Art in Calgary (1974-78) before honing his skills further at the Illustrator’s Workshop in New York (1978). It was here that Grant became fascinated with pattern and decoration. A proficient painter, he has had numerous solo exhibitions in Canada and California and has been featured in important group exhibitions in public and private galleries. His work is represented in many corporate and private collections including the Alberta Foundation for the Arts, Public Archives Canada and Chevron Canada.


Grant once compared himself to a crow who collects the most beautiful and colourful objects it could find. Viewers are drawn in by his bold and intense colours and patterns which evoke feelings of well being and goodness. His whimsical and wonderful art works are technically perfect and his sense of design complete. Combining found objects, odd photographs and other imagery with a symphony of patterns and designs, Grant collages his images and ideas by both painting and drawing them together into a story-like setting. Monkeys or people or even fruit and flowers are intertwined into a world of both fantasy and reality.  Grant works in bold, bright acrylics with festive and decorative colours often framing the works with patterns of ornamental designs. These works are flamboyant expressions of fabricated realities. Grant's new approach to his works includes leaving some of the underpainting as a finished surface as seen in "Coy Couple".  


"I grew up on the prairies of Western Canada, a rather sparse environment with little colour during the long winter months. The landscape was open and severe, the sky enormous.... Here on Vancouver Island, we are enveloped in a comparative lushness year-round, and the environment tends to swallow you up in its greenness; the sky almost disappears, everything is growing all the time. I am fond of both places, yet I've never been interested in painting the landscape. I feel a need to inject intense colour, pattern, and a sense of celebration into everything I paint. I want the ordinary to be exotic, the black dog to be red, the pears to be blue. My focus has been colour, people, animals and… still life. More than anything, I want my images to evoke a sense of well-being and goodness… I believe that documenting social and political concerns in the visual arts is important, but I feel it is equally important to pursue the creation of work that simply makes you feel good."

"Coy Couple", Acrylic on canvas, 22 x 42 inches. 

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