A collection of paintings in Trail’s downtown art gallery is opening just in time to add some colour to these grey winter days.
Jared Betts, an abstract expressionist painter hailing from New Brunswick, landed in Trail just before the new year and is showing his latest one-of-a kind pieces at the VISAC gallery until Valentine’s Day.
Through the magic of colour, the 30-yearold Betts creates vibrant and thought provoking paintings, six of which are currently on display in a Paris art gallery.
“Through abstraction, I explore the metaphysical by using bright colours,” said Betts. “With optical illusions and bold gestures to grasp attention from the viewer like a candy shop to a child.”
Following graduation from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design in 2009, Betts has been globetrotting from Canada’s east coast as an artist-in-residence, to exotic locales including the deep rainforest of Costa Rica and a remote fishing village in northern Iceland,
Foreign countries brought new adventures and added dimension to his collection. However, Betts feels most inspired when at home in New Brunswick with friends.
“A lot of my inspiration comes from nature,” he explained. “When I am back home I hike with my friends to different waterfalls and use that energy,” said Betts. “I try to recreate that feeling of a joyous and almost spiritual connection with nature, so when I am in the studio I am excited about the colours of different compositions.”
Getting started on a new piece can be slow going, and often Betts will stare at a blank canvas until the inspiration wells up from within.
“Sometimes I have a colour scheme in mind but it can take awhile to begin,” he said. “But I just start thinking and like a techno-scheme everything starts to fit in place.”
VISAC is launching Betts’ show of 10 original pieces Friday from 6-8 p.m. with the artist on hand to discuss his multi-layered and textured paintings.
Once his exhibition draws to a close, Betts will pack his bags and snowboard, and fly across country with hopes of landing a studio space and home in Montreal.
“My artist residencies in different countries has helped me on my path as a working artist,” said Betts. “Because in artist school they teach you to draw and paint but they don’t teach you the business end of it. It’s a learning curve but now I am ready to set up my own place.”
Betts is represented by Ingrid Mueller Art + Concepts in Fredericton, NB, with 40 paintings in the gallery’s art bank.