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Robert Fee – “Happenstance” – Feb 3 to 28

Robert Fee poster Feb 2016 - webThe Arts Council presents
by New Westminster artist Robert Fee
February 3 to 28
1 to 8pm Wednesday, 1 to 5pm Thursday – Sunday
Opening Reception: Wednesday February 3, 6 – 8pm


In the gallery, Rob will be performing three Sunday Concerts on saxophone with the following jazz artists:
February 7: Jodi Proznick: 2-3pm
February 14: Bill Coon: 2-3pm
February 21: Mike Allen: 2-3pm

Artist Statement

I usually start the work by photographing natural forms. By manipulating the images through collage and sketches, I translate the structures, reflecting a process that alternates between careful deliberation and improvisation.

I have been playing jazz and improvising with the saxophone for over 25 years. Painting has been an ongoing exploration through figurative, narrative and text-based work during that time. I’ve had a breakthrough in the last few years where there has been an overlap between art and music. That is not to say that the paintings are a representation of music, but that my conceptual involvement and compositional processes have followed a similar path between them. The basic idea is to use a structural framework within which to creatively express myself, applying a personal language or series of phrases that are both informed and intuitive.

I’m trying to discover new ways of working that allow the paintings to unfold in a natural way.  Starting loose and quick, establishing the rhythm, incorporating incongruous elements, I then slow the pace to edit. It is my aim to leave an authentic record of my painting experience in each piece; how I accepted or rejected my marks, how I captured or created structure, how I interpreted and translated beauty.

I want the paintings to be painterly, to be resplendent. But my process also involves some purposeful sabotaging of effects. I’m looking for the expression to be intricate but also kind of lean; simple concepts, essentialized mark making, with effective figure/ground relationships.

Artist Bio

I’m an artist and musician living in New Westminster, originally hailing from the Okanagan. After completing an Art Degree where I majored in drawing and painting, I spent 5 years playing jazz and blues in clubs all over B.C. while working on my art portfolio. I made the move to Vancouver in the late 90’s, first studying jazz at Capilano College and then completing a Bachelor of Art Education.

Teaching has become a great passion in my life. The creative process is fascinating, and I enjoy seeing literally thousands of individual approaches to visual problems in the course of a school year! My students inspire me and I am continually surprised at the diverse nature of mark-making.

As for my own work, I approach painting in a similar way to jazz improvisation. My main instrument is the saxophone. The idea of creating a solo, starting from basic structures and developing them in new and unexpected ways could also describe how I work with paint. I work in a simple and direct way, trying to express honestly.

Artist C/V

Bachelor of Education – University of British Columbia
Bachelor of Fine Arts – University of British Columbia Okanagan

Group Exhibitions:
Elemental:  New West Artists Group- Network Hub Gallery, New Westminster B.C.
Visual Verse:  New West Artists Group- Network Hub Gallery, New Westminster B.C.
Art Squared:  New West Artists Group, New Westminster Quay
Inspired by Words– Arts Council New West Gallery, New Westminster B.C.
What to do Next: New West Artists Group-Network Hub Gallery, New Westminster
Crossing the Line:  B.F.A. Grad Exhibit – UBCO, Kelowna B.C.
Kinections: Second Year Painting Exhibition – UBCO, Kelowna B.C.
Art Lynch: Second Year Final Exhibition – UBCO, Kelowna B.C.

Secondary School Art Educator: Richmond School District #38
Private music instructor, Saxophone

UBCO Student collection
Private collections

The Creative Voice: Life and Art in the Okanagan –Gary Pearson, 1998, Caitlin Press

Selected Musical Performances:
2015 – Vancouver Public Library- Impressions of Ol’ Blue Eyes- Impressions Big Band
2015 – St. Mark’s Anglican Church,Vancouver-Afro-Cuban Suite and Beyond, Ian Shaw
2014 – VPL- Kansas City Suite featuring Miles BlackImpressions Big Band
2014 – The Columbia, New Westminster- Big Band Big Bang, Impressions Big Band
2012 – Pender Harbour Jazz Festival- Tribute to Gerry Mulligan, Swinghouse 4
2010 – The Cellar Jazz Club, Vancouver- Tribute to Gerry Mulligan, Swinghouse 4
2010 – Langley Jazz Festival- The Other Big Band
2010 – Vancouver International Jazz Fest- Tribute to Gerry Mulligan, Swinghouse 4
2002 – Richards on Richards – opening for The Be Good Tanyas, Sarah Wheeler Band
1999 – Telus Ski and Snowboard Festival, Whistler B.C. – Hounds of Buskerville
1999 – The Palace, Calgary – opening for Men at Work, Hounds of Buskerville
1999 – Sidetrack Café, Edmonton – opening for Men at Work, Hounds of Buskerville
1997 – VPL-New Year’s Eve15th Field Regiment Big Band with Michael Buble
1997 – Alternator Gallery- The Notorious Heffel Bros. with Jurgen Brockmann
1997 – Envision Jazz Festival- Capilano University ‘A’ Band with Campbell Ryga,
Hugh Fraser, Ingrid Jensen and Ingrid Stitt
1994 – Flashback’s- opening for Jeff Healey, This Old House Blues Band
1994 – Big White Resort-opening for Collective Soul/The Offspring, This Old House
1992 – B.C. Summer Games- Opening Ceremony, Rann Berry Band
1992 – Salmon Arm Roots & Blues Festival – This Old House Blues Band

Exhibition Preview

Robert Fee lowres

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