Celebrating 50 years of art with a Kiss: "A Life Well-Travelled" at Avens Gallery
February 08, 2018 06:00 am by Jordan Small
Feature article by: Rocky Mountain Outlook Newspaper
An art exhibit a half-century in the making has the artist of the hour wondering, “Wow, where did the time go?”
Canmore’s Avens Gallery hosts Celebrating 50 Years – Andrew Kiss: A Life Well Travelled, beginning Friday (Feb. 9) at 5 p.m. and running until Feb. 16.
A master of oil and canvas projects, the Calgary-based artist specializes in documenting outdoor landscapes such as the mountainous Kananaskis Country wild.
“Really, some of it is luck and a lot of it is hard work,” Kiss said, who’s career has spanned five decades.
“It’s been very, very amazing to have a career in the arts this long. The arts have taken me to a lot of different places and it’s been quite a great way to see the world.”
At Kiss’ milestone exhibit, the award-winning artist [introduced] about two dozen new and bright pieces, for which [he was] in attendance to discuss at the Main Street gallery opening over the weekend.
The artist has had a decade-long relationship with the Canmore gallery, filling its walls with untouched scenes of the Bow Valley and beyond, and staff planned on having an exhibit to honour Kiss’ storied career.
“I had done 50 paintings (11 by 14 inch) from travels over the last five years from all over the world,” Kiss said. “Then I was told of this (Avens) project (and thought the paintings) would be a great idea for the opening at the show.”
Avens Gallery manager Betti Irwin said it’s a privilege to have such a varied and incredible catalogue of artwork available at the gallery.
“His ability to connect people with memories of locations, wildlife and landscapes make his work a must-have for any serious collector,” wrote Irwin in a press release.
Born in Hungary in the mid 1940s, Kiss and his family immigrated to Canada in 1957 and the young man, who’s always carried artistic talent with him, began with an oil brush in his hand at 21 years old.
The self-taught artist used oils and painted his surrounding landscape. A move to the interior of British Columbia with the snow-peaked mountains, lakes, and wildlife drew more inspiration out of the artist. By the time the 1980s came, Kiss was selling his work at local shows and galleries.
In 2005, Kiss relocated to Calgary and has shared a longstanding relationship with Avens Gallery for the past 10 years or so.
As an artist who’s made a five-decade long career out of a passion, Kiss offered some advice to the next generation of artists.
“As a young artist, it’s important to develop thick skin and get used to a lot of criticism,” he said.
“You’re putting yourself out there and there will be negative things said to young artists to detour them from a chosen career. Then it really is a tough road. My advice is basically work hard and get your work out to as many people as you can show it to.”
We are a tourist and fine art destination gallery. At Avens Gallery, you will experience 45 Western Canadian artists within a warm and authentic environment. Incredible, lifelike bronze sculptures and stunning artwork guide you through the gallery, creating stories and inspiration. Our collection is a feast for your eyes as well as your soul.
We are conveniently located on Main Street, in the Heart of Canmore, Alberta, Canada. Artwork includes bronze and stone sculpture, original paintings, photography and mixed media pieces. This year marks our 32nd year in the heart of Canmore!