Salvaged Sackville materials inspire local exhibit

Steve deBruyn makes Struts ‘round’

If you like your art bright, sustainable, local and textural, you will enjoy “Make it Round” by Canadian artist Steve deBruyn at Struts Gallery and Faucet Media Arts Centre. The show features sculptures and paintings made using materials found around Sackville.

The pieces are playful with eye-catching colors and shapes, but also ethical in their creation, as the recycled items that are given new life as parts of the artwork in this show. The entire exhibit was made with materials from the Sackville area, making it a truly community-inspired project.

DeBruyn is from London, Ont. and received his Bachelor of Fine Arts in Halifax at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design. He has created solo exhibitions like this one in other parts of Canada this year, in places like Kamloops, B.C., North Bay, Ont., London, Ont. and Trois-Rivières, Que.. DeBruyn’s artistic vision for the exhibition was to have “the process [become] the focal point and the finished product a remnant of these actions.” Work on “Make it Round began this summer after another Struts event, the Ok.Quoi?! Contemporary Arts Festival. DeBruyn came to Sackville to participate in the festival for one week, and the next week was spent creating the art installations now seen at Struts Gallery.

One truly striking piece in the exhibition takes up a corner of the gallery. It included squares of painted wood, almost like shingles, arranged to form a building facade on the wall. The panels of wood created a base for the structural squares. Behind this textural element was red paint spun into circles, loops and ovals over a green background. The base of this piece extended from the wall and outwards towards the observer. The piece had a graffiti style to its painting, and the mixing and matching of the different painted patterns made the piece stand out. One truly unique element of the exhibition that really made it cohesive was the chaos of the painted wood and the way the different designs clashed while they worked together.

The “Make it Round” exhibition fits well into Struts Gallery and takes advantage of its space. The pieces frame the front gallery space by filling in corners of the room, hanging from the ceiling and walls, and simply sitting in the centre of the room. The exhibition as a whole has an immersive quality to it, with the some of the pieces extending into the room from their place on the walls.

DeBruyn is known for creating pieces that are inspired by skateboarding culture. He currently has another similar installation at the Centre d’exposition L’imagier in Gatineau, Que. titled Rendre Ronde, which uses an array of ramp-like sculptures that invoke an image of this recreational activity.

The exhibition will be displayed until Sept. 21, so there is still plenty of time to check out this truly Sackville-inspired art showing. Struts Gallery and Faucet Media Arts Centre is located at 7 Lorne Street and is open from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. every day. The pieces in Make it Round are rich, layered and definitely worth a trip over to take a look of your own.

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