Lichen IV, Apalachicola, Florida - Melanie MacDonald

Precious Little Offers Plenty

Grimsby Lincoln News – 20 November 2014 by Luke Edwards

While hiking through a forest they might be the last things you notice.There’s plenty of beauty among the trees, bushes and wildlife, and yet a St. Catharines artist has found beauty in one of the more surprising areas of the outdoors.Lichens.The usually small growths found on rocks and trees are the subjects of MacDonald’s display at the Grimsby Public Art Gallery. She’s one of three artists to be part of Precious Little, which runs at the gallery until Dec. 6th.“It’s nice to be rooting around, getting lost in the little world,” she said.“There are so many patterns and shapes and textures.”Blowing up the world of lichen to acrylic canvasses that stretch a few feet in width, MacDonald’s lichens look like an alien world. And by blowing up the size she’s able to play with the focus, bringing some aspects into focus while leaving others out.Despite the fact she’s working with smaller objects, MacDonald said she prefers using bigger canvasses.“(On bigger paintings) you can trick the eye into seeing more detail,” she said.The paintings on display at the gallery are nothing compared to a recent work she completed in St. Thomas. The six-foot by 36-foot piece based on a pair of scrapbooks she came across is one of her prides.Calling it more of a project than anything, MacDonald said she was happy to get it done, but proud of the work.Joining MacDonald in the display are Amy Swartz and Micah Adams.Swartz creates unique pieces from dead insects, attaching miniature human or superhero limbs and heads from figurines to them.Adams, meanwhile, has turned all the little trinkets and objects you’d lose in a closet or shelf, into works of art. Whether it’s a bunch of old matches turned into a Christmas tree or pieces of jewelry made from some previously worthless item, Adams makes something from nothing.The display is up until Dec. 6.  The gallery is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday and Friday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, and 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.It’s located at 18 Carnegie Lane, Grimsby.