• Nick Zacharias

Art show to benefit local palliative care residence


Ellen Shizgal, seen here showcasing two of her late mother Buddy Abrams Shizgal’s paintings in front of the Vaudreuil-Soulanges Palliative Care Residence, will be hosting a one-day show of approximately 30 of Buddy’s works at 2 Barn Owls in Hudson October 19 to benefit the residence.

The artwork of Buddy Abrams Shizgal will be exhibited in a one-person show in support of the Vaudreuil-Soulanges Palliative Care Residence, where she spent her last days receiving tender and compassionate care 19 years ago.

“She was treated so well there, we really could not have asked for better, and this is a way of giving something back,” says her daughter Ellen Shizgal, who is organizing the show.

The work spans decades, beginning in the 1950s, when, after suffering a brain aneurysm, she began to draw to curb the boredom of a six-month recovery. During the 1960s and ’70s, her approach was strongly influenced by courses with Seymour Segal and by a teacher-training program she completed with Arthur Lismer at le Musée des beaux-arts de Montréal. At Concordia University she studied with Guido Molinari among others, and graduated with a BFA in 1981 at the age of 56. She continued to make art until the millennium, when illness left her unable to do what she so loved.

Buddy exhibited in Montreal and Ottawa; her art can be found in both private and public collections. Her early work was figurative. But as her vision evolved, her pieces began to reflect the complexity of natural processes. On one canvas she might paint, glue, tear, scrub and scratch the surface until a textured, layered, multi-toned image emerged. The drawers in her studio were filled with things she had collected – onion skins, bark, worn material, newspaper, bits of shell, scraps of old discarded canvases – everything had a place somewhere in her art. She recycled before it was in vogue.

“It’s bittersweet going through it all,” continued Shizgal on organizing the show. “Of course it’s sad, but it also brings up so many good memories; going through her different periods of work was like travelling with a time machine.”

The one-day show of approximately 30 works will take place at 2 Barn Owls, 420 Main Road (in the barn), in Hudson on Saturday, October 19 from 10 a.m. until 7 p.m.

All proceeds will benefit the Vaudreuil-Solanges Palliative Care Residence Foundation. In addition, Nancy Farnum and Mavis Martin, the two accomplished artists who own 2 Barn Owls, have generously offered to donate 10 per cent of the proceeds from their own works sold on the day of the show.

Says Buddy’s daughter, “I just wish she could see this happening. I wanted her works to find a way to homes where they’ll be enjoyed, and this way we can do that, and help others too by raising money for such a deserving cause.”

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