Local artist debuts exhibit chronicling life's work

Ryan Cooke
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SUMMERSIDE – Lise Genova walked around the room, with dozens of art enthusiasts following her every step and listening in as she explained each piece of canvas hanging from the walls.

 

Local artist Lise Genova debuted her art exhibit, 'Then and Now,' on Sunday afternoon at Eptek Centre in Summerside. The showing features 35 works that span across her entire life.

“This piece is from a darker time in my life,” she explains, as the crowd narrows its gaze upon a canvas of swirling dark blues blooming into aquatic greens. “At this time, my marriage was falling apart… but over here, you can see it starts looking up again.”

Genova debuted her show at the Eptek Centre on Sunday afternoon, a collection of paintings from all styles, across all eras of her life. Paintings dated back to the 1950s, right up to current works.

“I tried to take one from each year, and each style that I was into at the time,” she said. “There are all kinds of different styles, different directions. I tried to capture that.”

As the showing went on, and Genova moved from painting to painting, the audience grew larger. People chatted amongst themselves, picking out their favourites and marveling at the differences in works. Some showcased nature scenes, with auburn autumn wooded trails leading into hazes of sunlight. Others were abstract pieces, filled with different deep blues and silhouetted circles. Each wall featured a mix of acrylic, watercolour and oil paintings.

Art has been a large part of Genova’s life since she was a child, starting off at the age of two with her mother’s lipstick as a brush and the wallpaper as a canvas. While in boarding school, she got more serious, taking lessons from an English nun. From there, art would remain an integral part of her life, even while spending 36 years as a flight attendant with Air Canada.

Looking at the blend of deep and rich hues on the wall, it is not surprising to hear what the muse for her creativity is.

“Colours are my first inspiration,” she said. “The subject most often comes along later, as I make it up. But the colours are what speak to me.”

After her career came to a close, Genova looked towards P.E.I. to bring her new passion and inspiration.

“I came here to the Island a couple of times on vacation. I wanted a change from the big city. I wanted to be calm, and take in the beautiful scenery, and enjoy the nice people.”

It’s been five years, and she hasn’t changed her mind.

“There’s more here than at first look around the Island,” she said. “The people, the folklore, the nature… that’s what I see now as I get into it more.”

Her work is a welcome addition to the Eptek Centre, said site director Paula Kenny.

“She’s a local artist, and her work is fantastic,” she said. “It’s so great to have her work on display here, especially throughout these winter months.”

The exhibit, titled “Then and Now,” will be open until Feb. 14, from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. from Tuesday to Friday, and from noon to 4 p.m. on Sundays.

Organizations: Eptek Centre, Air Canada

Geographic location: Iceland, P.E.I.

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