Russ Paquette – Poems of our Land
February 10 – March 2, 2018

When art becomes poetry. This February, Applecrate Galleries will be hosting a brief show of select works from Ottawa artist Russ Paquette. Russ lives and works as a painter in Ottawa, Canada, and has been involved in group and solo art shows in Ontario and Nova Scotia. Russ was born in Ottawa, but spent his formative years in St. John’s, Newfoundland where his mother is from. His Newfoundland grandmother’s house was on a steep hill that led down to the waterfront. From her back pantry he could see and smell the ocean passageway that leading to the harbour. These early maritime years have had a profound effect on him, both artistically and spiritually.

When he was a teenager, Russ returned to Ottawa with his family. While growing up, he always loved to sketch, paint and create art, but his formal art training took place when he studied and graduated from the Commercial Art & Design program at Algonquin College. Years later he went back to school and obtained a degree in religion and became an inner-city clergyman, pastoring in Vanier and the west end of Ottawa. During the past few years, Russ has been busy transitioning to focus completely on his paintings, and he admits to loving those times of sitting down in his studio with canvas and paint, great music and a hot beverage, and a multitude of creative ideas. For many years, he and his wife have travelled to Nova Scotia during the summers to vacation, to paint, and to connect with the South Shore community. He has always been intrigued by nature—by the ocean especially—but also by the people and the places they create for themselves. He is inspired by the infinite treasures that are all living things.

Russ generally focuses on acrylic painting, but he loves and is proficient with detailed graphite drawings. His art is often taken from the point of view of someone standing at the edge of life and time looking in. There is a spiritual aspect to everything he paints and this allows him to perceive things in quiet gentle lines, colours and gradations.

“My work reflects the peace I seek to experience for myself. It is my prayer that my art becomes a respite from the hectic pace of modernity. I often ponder the complexity of our human existence. I look for, and paint the details that exist in and behind everything. I find elements of the sacred in common everyday events. I invite you to view my work, and to see with me a beauty that expresses itself in the depth and detail of contemplative mystery.”
— Russ Paquette

Poetry has always been an integral part of who Russ is. His series of Ottawa Poetry is inspired by Canadian Confederation poet, Archibald Lampman, who lived and worked as a public servant in Ottawa in the late 1800’s. He has tried to capture the mood of the Ottawa Poet’s pathway, and Lampman’s wanderings around Beechwood Cemetery during the harsh Ottawa winter months. This celebrated writer expressed beauty in each season, and Russ strives to emulate this in his paintings.

Come join us on February 10, 2018 from 6–9pm to meet Russ and experience a truly poetic and spiritual display. The vernissage is open to everyone. We will be serving complimentary refreshments throughout the evening.

The exhibition will be showing until March 2, 2018.

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