March 9, 2012

It was a full-house at Bowmanville’s Visual Art Centre last week for the opening of Sean McQuay’s solo exhibition playfully titled Lingeresque. It really was a “linger fest.” Gallery visitors, students and McQuay fans stuck around the gallery long after gallery hours last Sunday to chat with Sean. This was no surprise given Sean’s long-standing profile as an artist and educator in Durham Region. Whitby’s very own son has maintained a studio and teaching practice in the area since graduating from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design. He’s a professor at Durham College’s ever-expanding Fine Art and Design programme.

McQuay and I compare ties

Sean’s conceptual and artistic exuberance is infectious. Year after year, he passes this positive energy to his students. This collaborative spirit weaves through his Bowmanville show. I’m sure he’ll speak more about this during his artist talk scheduled for Sunday, April 1st. No foolin’!

I really enjoyed seeing the wide-breadth of the artist’s production ranging from paintings, artefacts from his performances, conceptual pieces and lens-based media. His acetate-filled light-boxes are amazing studies in depth perception. But to get a real perspective on the depth of Sean’s career, there’s a video interview of the bearded artist from the early eighties. Thirty years later, the beard may be gone, but Sean’s art is going strong!  

McQuay back in the day, c. 1980