Wanda Koop Viewmaster Exhibition - Media Release

October 26, 2005

Exhibit of new works by internationally acclaimed artist Wanda Koop opens at Mayberry Fine Art.


Renowned Canadian artist Wanda Koop will unveil her latest series of work entitled Viewmaster on November 3 at Mayberry Fine Art, 212 McDermot Avenue, in Winnipeg’s historic Exchange District. The exhibit, featuring 29 landscape paintings, continues through November 19.

The collection of acrylic paintings -- 28”x 36” and 30” x 40” -- reflects Koop’s visual impressions from her global journeys, over the span of four decades, across Asia, Europe and the Americas. The edges of the works are rounded to give the viewer the sense of looking at the images through a Viewmaster, the apparatus which transports viewers to other worlds through its 3-D images.

The Viewmaster series is the first body of work that Koop has completed since relocating her studio to a turn-of-the-last-century commercial building in the edgy, northern fringe of Winnipeg’s East Exchange neighbourhood just over a year ago.

In painting Viewmaster, Koop mentally revisited landmarks and landscapes in France and Italy, islands in the North China Sea, canals in The Netherlands, deserts in the U.S. southwest, and the wilderness of Canada. Also included are images from her travels to India, Hungary, Ukraine, and Shanghai.

Commenting on her new works, Koop, whose contemporary paintings reside in museums and private collections around the world, said, “This is the end and the beginning -- my new studio, my new life, a new start. It’s highly personal. I’m using landscape to mirror a certain place in my life. These paintings are not so much about the image, but what one feels when they look at them.

“In the past, (the creation of) a body of work would go on for three, five or 10 years. This work I did in one summer, yet it encapsulates my whole past,” Koop added.

Shaun Mayberry, co-owner of Mayberry Fine Art which represents Koop in Manitoba, describes Koop’s latest work as “her most autobiographical yet.”

Mayberry said, “In the process of relocating her studio after 25years, Wanda as been re-organizing and cataloguing her earlier work. Her vocabulary as an artist is immense. This body of work references earlier pieces and brings them into a contemporary context.”

The paintings are priced at $8,000 and $10,000.

The Viewmaster series is also being published in a book which includes essays about the work by art curator and critic Robin Laurence and University of Manitoba professor of architecture Terry Fuglem.

In the book, Laurence writes: “Koop’s most recent series of acrylic paintings on canvas represent a kind of summation – a conclusion that is also an introduction – a circular journey that loops between the known and the unknown. It is as if she has intuitively organized a mid-career retrospective in the gallery of her mind -- reviewing, reassessing and reinvestigating landscape images that had advanced and retreated through four decades of her art making.”

Laurence adds, “Landscape is understood here not only as a place where nature and culture interface but also as a screen upon which we project our emotions and desires.”

Koop, a long-time, inner-city resident has worked towards urban renewal of her West Broadway neighbourhood for many years. She founded the very successful Art City there -- to give at-risk youth the chance to work with professional artists -- and has already begun to enhance her new neighbourhood, as well. Koop’s new, 6000-square-foot studio and office space -- across from Argyle High School at the north end of  Waterfront Drive --  was originally a blacksmith’s shop and supply store built around 1906.

Mayberry Fine Art opened in January, 2003, in the century-old Lake of the Woods Milling Co. building in Winnipeg’s Exchange District. Committed to the revitalization of the City's downtown core, the Mayberry family restored their two-story, red-brick building to its former splendor.

The officially-designated heritage building turned art gallery represents a select group of contemporary Canadian artists such as Winnipeg’s Don Proch, Surrey’s Robert Genn, Regina’s Joe Fafard and Ottawa’s Rose-Aimée Bélanger. Among its historical Canadian, European and American works are paintings by Emily Carr, Cornelius Kreighoff and members of the Group of Seven.

Gallery hours are: Tues., Wed., Fri. 10-6; Thursdays until Christmas 10-8; Sat. 9-5.

To learn more about Wanda Koop and the Mayberry gallery, visit www.mayberryfineart.com