Altona’s Gallery in the Park is open for another season, with one of the featured exhibits called Artists 4: Visual Stories. It brings together the work of Winnipeg area creators Ida MacKenzie, Winona Kling, Judy Sutton, and Jo Smoley as they each present their individual stories through their medium of choice.

MacKenzie's work includes paintings, but also wood carvings of waterfowl.

"It went from pottery, which is 3D, and this is kind of 3D too," she explained to CFAM Radio 950 Morning Show Host Chris Sumner. "So it's all in the feel of it, and that was kind of my time of 3D. I had started out earlier in painting, and I wanted to go back to painting again, and to create that same feeling of 3D in the painting, and take people into the scenery and get the feel of walking in nature. I spend my summers in a part of Northern Ontario that is remote, so I do have a lot of feel for nature and the loons and the birds and all that kind of thing."

As for her paintings, a lot of them are inspired by the landscapes near her home in Oakbank.

"There's Birds Hill Park, and we often walk together in the park taking pictures, and come home and paint," shared MacKenzie. "It's mostly scenery. I love trees. I love dead trees, because they're kind of cranky and old, and I can see the birds in them, so that's kind of where I paint from."

Jo Smoley's pieces in the show are her latest, and are paintings of different types, also with a nature feel.

"I'm always experimenting and working toward a new goal, and it seems to be never ending, because as soon as I achieve one thing, it takes me to another thing," she said. " My paintings, I think, are a little bit more intuitive. I do love nature, but I think my goal is to find the chi in nature, or the chi around us. What that really means is finding the energy, and the flow of energy, in everything. We're all interconnected and alive, and that electricity, that power, is something I'm trying to get on the canvas."

Smoley reflected on the theme of sharing stories visually.

"It's a feast for the eyes, rather than reading it on paper," she started. "But what we did is we did add a few little sentences underneath each painting to share with the audience, so they could get a little bit of a reading enjoyment as well, and maybe a surprise as to what influenced our painting, or how we achieved that painting. It's just to help the viewer to another experience."

Being introduced during the program

Also part of the first show of the season is Candace Lipischak, a multidisciplinary artist inspired by nature and her French-Métis/Polish background. Alongside her dad, they operate Fat Daug (short for Father/Daughter) which was launched in 2015, offering unique and organic antler jewelry. Self-taught, their visual art work incorporates many mediums including barn wood, recycled tin and miscellaneous parts, Lipischak has found a way of telling a different story regarding environmental and social issues, consumerism, the land, truth and reconciliation, and nature’s powerful force.

The current exhibits are on display through July 31st.

You can listen to Chris Sumner's conversation with Jo and Ida, below.

Thursday's crowd

- With files from Candace Derksen -