Thursday, July 31, 2014
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First Nations artist draws on childhood

by Janis Warren - The Tri-City News

Good childhood memories of growing up on a farm in Swan Lake, Man., have stayed with painter Ronald G. Straight.

And his appreciation for nature and animals — wild and domesticated — plays heavily into his artwork, of which he’ll display in a new solo show in Coquitlam that opens next month.

“I love the outdoors: the freedom, the solitude” the Surrey resident said. “When I talk to my dog, he understands me.”

Every summer, Straight reconnects with Mother Earth during a week-long visit at a ranch with friends. There, he said he gets more inspiration to continue painting, seeing the colours and shapes in a new light.

A commercial artist by trade, Straight said he has painted for the past three decades, teaching himself how to study subjects and blend oils.

When he was younger, he passed up on post-secondary education “because I didn’t want to be influenced by someone else,” the First Nations artist said. “I like figuring it out for myself.”

For his new exhibit at Place des Arts in Coquitlam, Straight will have 18 pieces in his collection titled Interpreting Nature.

It will be hung in the Mezzanine Gallery at the same time another oil display opens in the Leonore Peyton Salon, called Lay of the Land by Alexandra Edmonds of Kelowna. Her paintings depict a small fishing town in northern Iceland where she lived last summer.

And in the Atrium Gallery, Clay For You has its 10th anniversary show of ceramics, called The Classic Silhouette of Korean Pottery.

• The opening reception for the three exhibits is Thursday, April 3 at 7 p.m. at Place des Arts (1120 Brunette Ave., Coquitlam). The displays end May 3. For more information, call 604-664-1636 or visit placedesarts.ca.

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