SAP: Nurtured

Supplementary Artist Program featuring Stephanie McGregor and Shelley Vanderbyl

June 8 – June 25, 2017

Woodlands Gallery’s SAP returns with two new artists: Shelley Vanderbyl and Stephanie McGregor. To meet your demand for local work from local artists, our Supplementary Artist’s Program features contemporary emerging artists from Manitoba for a limited engagement. This mutual experiment provides artists with gallery exposure and builds on our mandate to support Canadian artists. 

Nurtured, our second SAP exhibition will showcase work created in the context of healing. Nurtured will feature artworks from Shelley Vanderbyl and Stephanie McGregor which relate to their unique and restorative artistic processes. 

McGregor’s paintings are fantastically rendered in acrylic, tenderly addressing her need to nurture beauty in her small world. In Guardians, her loving depictions of animals serve as spiritual inspiration and magical guides. The series was inspired by a reoccurring dream of a bear, prompting her interest in portraying animals that people form strong psychic connections with. McGregor struggles with infertility and her series, Little Lost Ones, are painted with children in mind. She explained how she hopes to convey “how delicate nature is;  that it should be protected and treated with kindness.” McGregor wishes her dear works will adopted and cared for in turn.

Stephanie McGregor holds a Bachelor of Illustration from Sheridan College as well as a Bachelor of Fine Arts and Bachelor of Education from the University of Manitoba. She lives happily with her husband and their pets in a secluded cabin in the woods, close to an idyllic river in Manitoba. She has been inspired by nature from a young age and enjoys sharing the beauty she sees in her world through her creativity. McGregor is self-published illustrator and also illustrated two books by Darla O’Rourke of Lil’ Irish Ventures Inc, which were published by We Communications West Inc. Her paintings are held in private collections. 

Shelley Vanderbyl is an expressive painter currently residing in Winnipeg. Vanderbyl was an inaugural member of Ace Art’s Cartae open school; the program challenges traditional art school paradigms with an emphasis on self teaching and peer-to-peer learning. Her work has been in group and solo exhibitions across Canada, and was recently featured in a solo show in Gstaad, Switzerland. In 2016, the Royal Aviation Museum of Western Canada honoured Vanderbyl by presenting one of her paintings to His Royal Highness Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex. Her work is in corporate and private collections across Canada, Sweden, Austria, the UK, and Switzerland. She works both with paint and plaster in various combinations.  Her pieces beckon the viewer to an absorbing in-person experience – due to either their minuscule size, their surface texture, or the nature of their installation. 

Vanderbyl was inspired to paint Memory Tales while listening to vintage recordings of fairy tales and nursery rhymes after the birth of her eldest daughter. She painted the images as she remembered them from her own childhood. The oil paintings on card stock are antiqued: edges aged and darkened to reflect the age of the story or nursery rhyme.

Vanderbyl’s Medicine Tins or Pocket Paintings express her deep want and need to heal. She imagines them as a respite, paintings meant to inspire relaxation and restoration. Many of the images are inspired by her memories of travelling through Europe, in particular impressions of Switzerland which remains a remembered site of solace for Shelley Vanderbyl. The unique vintage tins are fit with gessoed paper and minutely layered with loose brush strokes, allowing spontaneous landscapes to emerge and coalesce.

Both Vanderbyl and McGregor display a devotion to simple living, to helping and healing people through art as medicine.

Exhibition Artwork