CALAGRY – For most of November, the work of two Chestermere artists was on display at the Resolution Art Gallery, in Calgary’s trendy downtown neighborhood of Kensington.
Tommy Fleger, who reupholsters chairs, and Lesley Bergen, who hooks rugs, along with Kellie Krueger of East Coulee near Drumheller who does glass art, had their pieces shown in the “Lost and Found” exhibit.
The show was aimed toward challenging visitors to reconsider the potential value of objects often viewed in society as trash, as most of the materials in the show were second hand or recycled. Fleger uses mostly second hand clothing and other items to reupholster his chairs, while Bergen uses mostly old clothes and other fabrics to complete her hooked rugs. Kreuger too uses recycled glass to make her mosaic windows, with most of the pieces coming from glass that miners had discarded in dumping areas near Drumheller almost 100 years ago.
The gallery was set up with Bergen and Kreuger’s work lining the walls, with Fleger’s chairs placed in different corners around the quaint, upper-floor gallery.
Fleger said that it felt good to see the gallery come together for all three artists, and that he enjoyed being able to organize and be part it.
“I received a lot of positive feedback from people who went to take a look,” he said. “I personally gained numerous opportunities directly from the show, mostly from people wanting things reupholstered.”
Fleger said that the most memorable part of the experience was meeting new and interesting people, and seeing that people were interested in his work.
He said that they weren’t sure of how much traffic the gallery actually saw in November, but that some media coverage brought in some new faces to Resolution Art Gallery in the very least.
Bergen said that her favorite part of the experience was just getting to have my work out in the public on display where people could enjoy it.
“I would love it if someone saw my work and got inspired to be creative themselves,: she said. “That would be great.”
Like Fleger, this was the first first gallery show that Bergen has ever participated in, and both said they learned a lot. Bergen even sold two of her rugs.
As for the future, Fleger said that he is learning how to tan hides in a traditional way to later use on his chairs, continuing in an eco-friendly fashion for his next project.
“A lot of people who hunt just throw away the hides as they are too expensive or too much work to do anything with,” he said. “The techniques I use are environmentally friendly, instead of the modern way which uses a lot of chemicals.”
Bergen said she will continue working on what she loves the most, which is painting.
“I’m working on two portrait commissions in my abstract style,” she said. “I’m also planning on doing some collage work with painted papers I am pretty excited about those.
“I have lots of ideas for future pieces.”
Resolution Art Gallery is located on the upper-floor of the Eleven : Eleven Boutique, at 233 10 St NW in Calgary.