Local visual artist Amy Ballett held a pop-up gallery and art sale at Mahtay Cafe from 11:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. last Saturday. Ballett describes the idea of a pop-up gallery as an event where artists rent a space for a day or two, in order to “pop-up” in the community and present their work. The pop-up events have become especially popular in New York, noted Ballett.
“This gives me a local presence,” said Ballett. “The whole idea is to keep it really independent and really casual.”
This particular event showcased her watercolour and Indian ink paintings. Ballett’s use of colours and patterns combine human creativity with the natural patterns and shapes of nature. She says that she often uses circles to represent time and its passing. Much of her art works with the imagery of the human form and nature. Often, these images become abstract representations of her imagination or scenes from her personal life. As a local to the Falls, some of her work is influenced by the natural wonder.
“My imagination and watercolour have always worked well together,” said Ballett. “I feel like I’m getting stronger all the time now, so with every painting I’m learning something from the painting before.”
A painting that particularly stood out was titled “Outside of My Control”. Ballett explained that it is a “tree-person”, whose presence and image go beyond the boundaries of the actual piece of paper.
“To me, it’s an organic representation of the fact that we only have so much that we can control. You have to not only accept that but embrace it, and that’s why a lot of the work is based on the idea that whatever wants to happen can and will happen,” said Ballett.
Another piece titled “Intent, Action and Alibi” was inspired by Stratford’s production of Macbeth from a few years ago. Her other work is also inspired by music, popular media and other areas of performance. One piece in particular was inspired by the television series Stranger Things. Sometimes, Ballett says that she listens to murder shows, like Forensic Files, while she paints.
“Selling art is the final step for me, but then it’s the beginning step for the person who owns it,” said Ballett. “First, they connect with me by connecting with the piece. From there, because of the way I sell my work, they have to pick frames and consider where the art is going to be placed. Their process begins where mine ends.”
In regards to prices, Ballett explains that she isn’t asking for a lot. She wants everyone to be able to afford a little art. With help from her partner of almost 25 years, Paula, Ballett paints at least one piece a day, start to finish, and those pieces are largely what filled the gallery on
Amy Ballett’s art and work can be found on Instagram @amyballett_art_portfolio, or on Facebook @amyballettarts.