April 2nd Event: Artist Invites Public to Closing of show "The Lights and Shadows of Gatineau Park" | Unpublished

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Unpublished Opinions

Jean-Paul Murray's picture
Chelsea, Quebec
About the author

A writer, certified/literary translator and communications specialist with nearly 25 years experience working on Parliament Hill. In 2015, Ekstasis Editions published his translation of Robert Lalonde's Little Eagle With a White Head, winner of the 1994 Governor General's Award for French Fiction, and the 1995 France-Québec Prize. He is the former managing editor and English translation coordinator for the magazine Cité libre, founded by Pierre Elliott Trudeau in 1950. From April to November 2015, he was French language translator for the Office of the Leader of the Liberal Party of Canada. His latest translation, Robert Lalonde's The Heart is What Dies Last, has just been published. Ekstasis will be releasing his translation of Robert Lalonde's The World on the Side of a Trout in the coming months. Email: jp.murray@live.com

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April 2nd Event: Artist Invites Public to Closing of show "The Lights and Shadows of Gatineau Park"

April 1, 2017

Champagne and snacks will be served at the closing of John F. Marok's successful exihibit "The Lights and Shadows of Gatineau Park." Photo caption: "The Meech Lake Monster House," oil on canvas 24” x 36” by John F. Marok.


Painter John F. Marok is inviting the general public to attend the closing of his art exhibit The Lights and Shadows of Gatineau Park, which Ottawa Magazine has called "superb," "haunting," "one of the best ever held by La Fab."

The finissage will take place on Sunday, April 2nd, 2:00-5:00 p.m., at La Fab, 1–212 Old Chelsea Road.

Not only are reviewers and critics raving over the exhibit, but some Meech Lake residents are even said to be having fits. Says the artist: “I'm delighted to host a 'finissage' and celebrate the first days of spring and the end of an exhibition that received a few reviews, a few sales and a few threats...”

The threats implied came in the form of an email a Meech Lake resident sent to La Fab gallery officials, chastising Mr. Marok over the content of signage accompanying each painting, and suggesting that such criticism of widespread environmental degradation and residential proliferation at Meech lake could jeopardize support the gallery gets politically and financially.

It’s worth noting that, in 2013 and 2015, the municipality of Chelsea performed inspections of the Meech Lake shoreline confirming that 119 structures had been built without permits, 79 of them on the lakebed. As well, the massive new home of the Meech Lake resident who sent the email in question to gallery officials,  was itself the subject of a July 28, 2008 Ottawa Citizen article titled “Group fears new homes are muddying Meech,” Jean-François Bertrand, Ottawa Citizen, July 28, 2008, p. C-1.

The Ottawa Sun and other media also mentioned that he was the subject of a Fisheries and Oceans investigation: “Too much Meech mud,” by Laura Czekaj, The Ottawa Sun, July 29, 2008, p. 4; “Federal investigation launched into environmental damage at Meech Lake,” Canadian Press Wire, July 29, 2008; “Feds investigate Meech Lake damage: Lake treated like ‘garbage’ can – coalition,” North Bay Nugget, July 29, p. A4.

A year later, in 2009, Meech Lake had to be closed because of blue-green algae. As it had been two years earlier.

Perhaps the Meech Lake resident who sent the email suggesting the gallery not speak of the environmental degradation at Meech Lake was taking exception to words drawn from the artist’s catalogue: “Gatineau Park is filled with contradictions, with lights and shadows… No one can doubt that Meech Lake is the show piece of Gatineau Park for its sheer natural beauty; yet, who can possibly turn a blind eye to the massive homes being built in what is called “the Capital’s ‘Conservation’ Park?”

Proof positive the arts can lift the veil on hidden truths... So don’t miss the finissage, on Sunday, April 2nd, 2:00-5:00 p.m., at La Fab, 1–212 chemin Old Chelsea, right beside St. Stephen’s Catholic Church. Cheese, crackers and champagne will be served. Consult La Fab’s web site through the following link: http://culturechelsea.ca/en