Friends tell tales of their artist journeys

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Former Petrolia resident Ariel Lyons is teaming up with an old friend to give a woman’s perspective in the latest show at the Gallery in the Grove.

Lyons and Heidi Berger’s works comprise the show “Tales of Two Women” which is on until June 27.

Lyons, who now makes her home in the Ottawa area, says both she and Berger were once board members of the gallery and have recently moved away. That opened up an opportunity to have a show together. (Gallery in the Grove board members are permitted from showing at the gallery while on the board.) Berger at one time lived in Wyoming.

“We’ve been friends for a lot of years,” says Lyons of Berger adding every year she travels to Barbados where Berger spends a lot of her time and teaches art with her.

“We both have different styles but we work well together.”

Lyons says they both travel extensively and have chosen works to showcase women. “It’s really about the stores that go on behind the paintings ,” she says. This series includes paintings inspired by her travels to Myanmar, Cuba and Barbados.  Her portraits illustrate how they fit into the environment with reference to places and statues.

“My “tales’ revolve around two events; a trip around the world in 2010, and my life in Barbados;” says Berger in an email to The Independent. “In both cases I am interested in people, and it is their portraits are that shown.”

One portrait that doesn’t fit that mould is a self-portrait called a “Work in Progress” which is on display. “This is an almost life sized self portrait, which has been painted on a collage of letters saved over the past 40 years. It is almost an “archeological portrait” in that if you “excavated” the collaged foundation of the painting, my whole life would be revealed,” says Berger.

The Tale of Two Women is on display at the Gallery in the Grove until June 27.