For the second time ever in Penticton, the Lloyd Gallery is hosting an esteemed, equine guest.
Is That a Horse in the Gallery? II features the latest work from internationally acclaimed Canadian artist Shannon Ford.
She is debuting her new collection of contemporary, original acrylic and gemstone paintings Sept. 24 with Dawn and Ken MacRae of D-Bar-K Ranch in Oliver and their special guest — Quarter Horse, Smokin Lynx Olena, who lent his hoof print of a approval to his portrait.
Ford was given a chance to bring in a horse to the Lloyd Gallery for the first time two years ago, calling it a “dream come true.”
“It’s an extension of my art and almost going into performance art,” Ford said. “It was fabulous.”
It marks the last show where Ford is living in the Okanagan, as she is moving to Denman Island.
“It’s amazing to have a supportive gallery like that who say ‘yeah, let’s do it, we’ll figure out a way,’” Ford said.
Ford incorporates diamond dust, pipestone, rainbow moonstones and mother of pearl into her paintings. Horse-based art is a longtime love affair for Ford. She has been drawn to them since she was young.
“It was the way I used to express myself when I was a teenager I used to draw horses,” Ford said.
The meaning behind the art delves deeper than her own personal fasciation.
“They represent so many things in our civilization. Not to mention what they mean to me personally,” Ford said. “I think it’s cool that one of the first things we drew as humankind was horses on the walls of caves.”
She added beyond the majesty, power and symbolism of horses they are still finding new ways humans and horses can coexist. Ford noted the increasing use of horses in therapy and treatment for those suffering from PTSD and those with developmental disabilities.
“They’re a domestic animal that has a real important place in our life, even though they’re not necessarily transportation or horsepower anymore,”Ford said.
She recalled the first time her work brought a horse to the gallery as a unique experience.
“Bringing that powerful, beautiful animal into a confined space of an art gallery and having it enjoy itself with everybody and having not only art lovers but people jus there to see the horse join in and celebrate was really a huge, heart-opening moment for me,” Ford said. “When I think about what led up to it. Just a little dream of having a horse in a gallery and almost having the horse in as a participant was really cool.”
The collection is on display from Sept. 24 to Oct. 12 at The Lloyd Gallery, marking her third solo exhibition there.
The official opening takes place Sept. 24 from 2 to 5 p.m. at the gallery. For more information vist www.lloydgallery.com or call 250-492-4484.