Artist of the Month on display at the North Gower Branch of the Ottawa Public Library is Karin Rabuka. While many locals know Karin as the proprietor of NoGo organic and locally roasted coffees (she prepared the special Library Blend coffee we had available at Christmas), Karin is a Fine Arts grad who has been creating art her whole life.
I am constantly reminded that our landscape and the communities that we live in are so closely tied to one another in a fragile relationship. Through our favorite past time of accumulating “stuff”, our Canadian landscape is greatly compromised and changed. Where a field in my neighbourhood once stood still with deer grazing upon it, it now supports a row of houses that barely differ from one another. It seems that the more we acquire, the better off we think we’ll be. My artwork attempts to herald the opposite with a twist of visual comic relief attached to it. I choose to paint scenes that I am familiar with — scenes from my neighbourhood. These illustrate the tension between the accumulation of what we desire, and the result of that on our landscape, all the while using a lighthearted visual style of painting that is both easy to look at through simplification and arresting colour.
Karin has been awarded several awards for her work, including First Prize Best of Show at UxShow in Uxbridge (one out of over 600 applicants), Ontario Arts Council Exhibition Assistance Grants, the Leading Edge Award, Kitchener, Ontario, and the Waterloo Regional Arts Foundation Exhibition Assistance Grant.
Karin’s work has been in exhibitions at the Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition, Grimsby Public Art Gallery, Dale Smith Gallery, Ottawa, and the Robert Langen Gallery at Wilfred Laurier University, Waterloo, Ontario.
Karin’s work is part of many private collections in Canada including British Columbia, Toronto, Windsor, Kitchener and Ottawa.
Visit the North Gower Library to see Karin’s work from now until the end of June.