Ruby Bute’s art group to exhibit

Local artist Bute has assembled a group of artists to show their collective work at an exhibition to be held on the evening of July 1 at Sheer Restaurant, on Front Street in Philipsburg.

The art exhibition coincides with the Emancipation Day celebrations on that day. Sheer Restaurant has named the exhibition “Emancipating East, West, North, South,” to reflect the origins of the artists from Canada, England, Africa, France, New York, and the Caribbean.

The idea for this first group exhibition stems from Ruby Bute’s group painting sessions held every Wednesday at her Silk Cotton Gallery home in Friars Bay – sessions that she names “Ruby Wednesdays.”

The group started modestly with Ruby and Stephanie Tihanyi but now has close to a dozen artists who find inspiration in the peace and tranquillity of Ruby’s spacious garden.

“It was a mentor of mine, Claudia Post, who three years ago suggested we form a group to paint together, share ideas, techniques and evaluate each other’s work,” Ruby explains. “It’s very therapeutic; a lovely group. We’re very excited about it.”

The artists exhibiting on July 1 are Sylvie Karcher, who signs her acrylic work “Sylka;” surrealist Stephanie Tihanyi; Brenda Simmons from the Hamptons, New York, who joins the group every time she vacations in St. Martin; former owner of Get Wet Beach Bar Lyne Parsons, who paints in acrylics; Canadian Larry McGill; Valerie Daux and Ruby Bute.

Ricardo Mardenborough, a former student of Ruby Bute’s is also part of the Wednesday painting sessions but will not exhibit at this show on July 1, but will contribute to future shows.

Lately, the group has been introduced to the “Misch” technique by Stephanie Tihanyi, a revival of the painting style favoured by the old Renaissance painters. Stephanie followed a workshop on the technique in Austria last year and has been sharing her knowledge with the group members who are incorporating the technique into their work.

But she stresses that the Misch technique is not the focal point of the group and it will not be featured in the exhibition.

“For the exhibition, everybody will be doing their own individual thing, choosing their own subjects, style and technique,” Stephanie clarifies. “We don’t worry about who is professional or amateur, it’s nothing like that. We are just a friendly group that came together for the love of art.”

“Misch is not known here, but it is making a comeback,” she adds. “Realism is becoming more fashionable as conceptualism disappears. The art world is going back to more traditional painting.”

Said Sylvie Karcher: “We are really looking forward to the exhibition. It’s difficult to put an exhibition together on your own, but when a group puts it together, it’s easier. It’s an opportunity for each one of us.”

Ruby is encouraging the schools, collectors, and the general public to see the exhibition.

The opening will be from 6:30 to 9:00pm on July 1. The restaurant will also be open for its patrons as usual. The exhibition will remain on display for viewing until July 31.