Leisa Rich: Safe Zone | Susan Wallis: Shorelines

New Solo Shows Opening at Melt Studio + Gallery

Leisa Rich, Existential Dread: Trepidation About Mutualism

Leisa Rich: Safe Zone

June 15 – July 9, 2023
Artist Talk: June 17, 1-2 PM
Opening Reception: June 17, 7-9 PM

“At age 4, after many lonely months spent in a hospital bed, completely deaf in one ear and partially deaf in the other, I got to go home. My father brought one large and four small electrical cable spools from his shop. He set them up to create a table and seating under a massive weeping willow tree in our backyard that was so big its branches swept the ground, and I had my own private sanctuary. I hosted tea parties for my dolls and bears, and played for hours there, the only sounds were the whispering branches and chirping birds. I was called to visual art at age 15 and have been working since on recreating the powerful healing that I felt inside that willow enclave: referencing animals, flora, and fauna, building surroundings that cocoon, designing interactive environments, finding creative ways of provoking childlike wonder in myself and others. It is my hope that I might give viewers a respite from the dark and unknown. The works in Safe Zone are also a plea for humans to care for the earth, respect its fragility, and work on changing our habits so that we might stave off our own extinction.” – Leisa Rich

Leisa Rich’s solo show will be accompanied by an installation in the FORMAT Gallery entitled Ocean Atmosphere, also running from June 15 – July 9.

About the Artist

Leisa Rich is an experimental visual artist with a background in fiber art. She transforms materials in unique ways via sewing, dyeing, painting, melting, sculpting, heat transfer, embroidery, 3D printing, laser cutting, resin and more.

Rich has a Master of Fine Arts, Bachelor of Fine Arts, and Bachelor of Education in Art degrees, has exhibited in notable museums and galleries, and won numerous awards. She is also a published author and has taught art for 48 years.

Rich’s works are in the permanent collections of Delta Airlines Inc., Hilton Hotels, Inc., Emory Healthcare/Women’s Health, Kamm Foundation, Dallas Museum of Art, University of Texas, University of North Texas, The Works: Atlanta, and in international private collections. In October 2020, in the middle of political upheaval and Covid, Rich virtually purchased a 96-year-old farmhouse on three acres on a rural St. Lawrence River island accessible only by ferry, and moved back to Canada after decades living, teaching, and exhibiting in the U.S. and abroad.

Susan Wallis, Imaginary Lake II

Susan Wallis: Shorelines
with Select Guest Artists

July 14 – August 13, 2023
Opening Reception: July 15, 1-5 PM

Healthy shorelines are vital for maintaining the overall health of a lake or other body of water. A healthy shoreline works to maintain clean water quality, prevent erosion, reduce impacts of flooding, and provide habitat for wildlife. For artist Susan Wallis, the shoreline also possesses a deep meditative quality. Walks along the shores of the lakes in Prince Edward County provide moments of deep peace and clarity and inspired this series of serene paintings. Accompanied by 3-dimensional works by guest artists Leisa Rich, Mona Rutenberg, Jennifer Anne Kelly and Nina-Marie Lister, this show will explore the fragile beauty of Ontario’s shorelines.

About the Artist

Susan Wallis is a graduate from the University of Toronto with a Bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts. Wallis was born in Toronto and lived and worked there for many years before moving with her husband to the countryside of Prince Edward County. It is there where she can be found in her studio when not weeding her garden or tending her small flock of chickens. Wallis’ work is showcased and collected throughout Canada and is held in private and corporate collections in the United States, China, Australia and Europe. Currently, her muse is the Canadian landscape. The vast fields, forests and lakescapes of Canada provide endless inspiration. Wallis believes strongly that a painting should depict the act of seeing, not the object seen. Her paintings offer an atmospheric suggestion of possibility or the probability of the moment.

Photo: Amanda Keenan

About the Gallery

Melt Studio and Gallery is located just outside Picton in a historical air force barrack at the newly developed Base31, in the former Camp Picton. The gallery is managed and run by Canadian encaustic artist Susan Wallis and is the home to her encaustic working studio. Susan is thrilled to be in this wonderful historical space and looks forward to showcasing her work in the gallery space alongside a selection of other talented artists and artisans. The gallery’s mandate is to foster and enhance public awareness, understanding, and appreciation for the positive cultural significance of the visual arts by showcasing all levels of visual artists and artisans in our exhibition.

Melt Studio + Gallery is located on the traditional territory of the Haudenosaunee, adjacent to the Kanien’keha:ka community of Tyendinaga. We thank all the generations of people who have taken care of this land for thousands of years. We recognize and deeply appreciate their historic connection to this land. Today, PEC is still home to many First Nations and Metis people, and we are grateful to have an opportunity to meet here, work, and continue stewardship on this land.

Artwork by Susan Wallis, Andrea Piller, and Mona Rutenberg. Photo: Levi Weir

Calls For Submission: Group Shows

Calls for submissions at the gallery are currently ongoing. See the list of upcoming group shows below and visit our website for more details on submissions.

The Moonwatchers
August 18 – September 17, 2023
Deadline: July 28, 2023

October 27 – November 26, 2023
Deadline: October 6, 2023

Give a Little Bit
December 1 – 31, 2023
Deadline: November 10, 2023

Please email info@meltstudiogallery.com or call (416) 893-8664 with any questions.

Melt Studio + Gallery
343 County Road 22 at Base31
Barrack #3 (Dieppe Road)
Picton, ON K0K 1P0

Please note that our physical gallery space is not accessible.

Instagram / Facebook: @meltstudiogallery