When you look down the long hallway of the MacDonald Island Community Art Gallery, it's a wonder that one artist can fill up the space. The surface area available for displaying art is unbelievable. The fact that Margie Cunningham not only filled the space, but filled it in a way that carries the viewer away, is a testament to her skill and her dedication to her daily practice.

Vision, in memory of her dad Roland Cunningham (1919 - 1976), features a wide variety of styles and themes. Margie is an explorer, who immerses herself in starkly different techniques and forms of expression. The result is an exhibition that offers landscapes, plant studies, abstracts, and expressionist studies of the human environment.

It was nice to meet Margie's dedicated husband Carl, who is a huge supporter, and the person who puts together her canvasses so she can create her magic.

"That's an incredible amount of paintings," I said.

"And there's is a lot more where these came from," said Carl, smiling.

Storage of this volume of work is a challenge that seems to be a common one for artists. They work in a format that demands and takes over space, lots of it.

"I've known Margie in a peripheral sense for many years," I said, starting the short program at the exhibition opening last night. "But the question going through my mind is where have you been all my life? This is an incredible show, absolutely stunning."

I love abstracts! I have one in my office by Sharon Heading that is my pride and joy. There were more than several works by Margie Cunningham that had that powerful effect of drawing me in, taking me to a world of possibility and wonder.

Vision runs from March 20 to April 19, 2011 in the MacDonald Island Community Art Gallery which is on the second floor of the Suncor Community Leisure Centre. It is in a hallway that is exactly above the hallway that takes you to the dressing rooms for the Syncrude Aquatic Centre. It is the perfect oasis after a good work out, trip to the Library or an invigorating swim. Or, better yet, it is a great excuse to come to MacDonald Island to enjoy a few minutes of silence and appreciation. Don't miss it.

You can keep up with all the activities and exhibitions of the Community Art Gallery on Facebook by becoming friends with the Wood Buffalo Artists Forum.


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