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How the forest can harken our best memories theme of new exhibit

Elora Centre for the Arts' exhibition by Russian Canadian artist Vera Kisseleva opens with reception May 28

Have you ever experienced a moment when an unfamiliar or new place looks and feels so familiar?

Artist Vera Kisseleva explores the essence of familiarity and its intangible and magical way of bringing us back to happy memories.

“Sometimes I’m walking in nature and the way the light is filtering through the upper tree branches triggers a memory for me – usually it reminds me of camping with my family or that quiet peace that comes with the setting sun,” says Kisseleva, a Russian-born Canadian artist now living and working in her studio in Fergus. 

Kisseleva’s bold and vibrant paintings focus on trees and the changing seasons.

“I am fascinated with the drastic differences between the Canadian seasons,” she says. “Each season brings something extraordinary to our lives and affects our feelings, emotions and well-being”.

In Kisseleva’s new exhibition at the Elora Centre for the Arts, ‘Making the Unfamiliar Familiar’, the artist represents the seasons and hopes you will see glimpses from your own experiences and memories within her work.

“Spring teaches us to hope, summer reminds us to be outside and feel alive, winter encourages us to slow down and reflect,” says Kisseleva.

“I believe that autumn is the most spectacular time of year, the quiet whisper in the breeze, the rustle of dry leaves and the beautiful view of the reflection in an autumn lake – it evokes such nostalgia of our best and brightest memories, as summer comes to a close and a new chapter begins” she explains. 

Vera Kisseleva is an established award-winning artist best known for her paintings inspired by the Canadian landscape. She is also a member of the annual Elora Fergus Studio Tour and Elora Plein Air Festival. Her pieces are in collections all across the globe. 

An opening reception for the exhibition will be held on Sunday, May 28 from 2 to 4 p.m. in the gallery at the Elora Centre for the Arts. Everyone is welcome to meet and mingle with the artist as the exhibition launches. Admission is free. 

Making the Unfamiliar Familiar’ is part of a summer exhibition series presented by the Elora Mill Hotel & Spa.

“Our partnership with the Mill is important because we share the belief that the experience of art and creativity is integral to our community,” said Lianne Carter, executive director at the Elora Centre for the Arts. “It helps us uplift our artists, and in turn, encourage all those who visit the gallery to see how art can nurture your soul”. 

‘Making the Unfamiliar Familiar’ will run in the gallery at the Elora Centre for the Arts until July 9. For more information about the exhibition and the artist, visit the website.