‘Never seen’ work on display Sept. 30 to Oct. 16
From OttawaCommunityNews.com by Jessica Kunha, Kanata Kourier-Standard, 9/22/17
Some never-before-seen works by the late artist John Mlacak will be on display at an Ottawa art gallery.
Koyman Galleries, in the city’s east end, will display around 30 of Mlacak’s oil paintings — from the very small to the very large — in an exhibit titled Reflections, from Sept. 30 to Oct. 16.
The former March township reeve, who died in Sept. 2014, always had new art work on the go and was often working on two- to three-dozen at a time, said his widow Beth Mlacak.
“There’s going to be (paintings) for people who think they’ve seen everything, that they have never seen before,” she said. “This will be different.”
After his death, Koyman Galleries stored the entirety of Mlacak’s work and hosted a retrospective in 2015.
“It was so successful on many levels; it was very well attended, but even more so, the exhibition sold many pieces that showed that his work really moved many people,” said gallery manager Eddie Baroud.
“We decided to show his work again, new pieces that had never been displayed before. One reason was to show clients his vast array of works that he painted, as well as to meet the demand for his work.”
Mlacak always had time for anyone who wanted to speak with him and often showed up at the gallery with treats in hand.
“John’s connection in the community was pretty amazing. He was well-liked by many and had an amazing reputation in the art community,” said Baroud.
“He was a very patient and generous man; patient, to discuss his work any time and tell his stories about the composition and the location of his subject matters.”
Mlacak most enjoyed capturing Canadian landscapes with his brush, particularly when fall colours met early snow.
“He just loved that — the wonderful golds and reds popping through the snow,” said Beth. “It’s hard to look at his paintings and not see how much he loved (Canada), how much the country had to offer in terms of beauty. You can just see he brought it forward.”
Many scenes in his works are recognizable — trees along the Old Carp Road, a garden in the Glebe, and a lake in the Gatineau Hills. Other paintings take the viewer on a trip to far-flung destinations such as France and Italy.
“He painted scenes and places that people felt a connection to. And if they didn’t know the location, his paintings took you there,” said Baroud. “He achieved what he was trying to do.”
Aside from his oil paintings, Mlacak was well known for his community activism and 11-year political career, and is considered one of Kanata’s founding fathers.
He continued to advocate for his Beaverbrook community leading up to his death, pushing back against proposed intensification and developments that didn’t fit the vision.
An elected member of the Society of Canadian Artists and the Ontario Society of Artists, Mlacak’s artistic career spanned more than three decades.
“John is pretty well-known in Ottawa. He has a very loyal and fond following,” said Beth, who will be at the exhibit on Sept. 30 and Oct. 1.
“It’s very gratifying for me to see it so professionally displayed — that’s what any artist would wish for. It’s really wonderful.”
Koyman Galleries is located at 1771 St. Laurent Blvd. For more information, visit koymangalleries.com or call 613-526-1562.
Arrière-cour, Montréal, an oil painting by John Mlacak was presented to Nancy McKeraghan of Newmarket, Ontario, winner of the draw, by Beth Mlacak on October 15, 2016. Nancy is the newly elected Vice-President of Canadian Parents for French (CPF).
Karen Lynch of Edmonton, Alberta, the new President of CPF, won a Mlacak oil painting in 2014. CPF’s 40th anniversary conference was celebrated in Ottawa on October 14 to 16. The conference brought together the members who founded CPF in 1977 at a special event in their honour. Among the founding members are John and Beth Mlacak and it became a tradition for them to donate a painting of John’s as a fundraiser during the organization’s national conferences. Beth continued the tradition after John’s death in 2014.
CPF is a nationwide, research informed, volunteer organization that champions the opportunity to learn and use French for all those who call Canada home. There are 23,000 members and 10 branches. CPF knows that it is widely acknowledged that the benefits of learning French extend beyond enhanced first language skills and increased employment opportunities. These include significant cognitive and academic benefits, and the development of interpersonal and intercultural skills. French second language in Canada benefits millions of children and youth today.
Koyman Galleries, on St. Laurent Boulevard in Ottawa, now represents John Mlacak fine Art. This is the culmination of a friendly collaboration over many years. The Gallery had a successful retrospective of John Mlacak’s art in the fall of 2015.
Koyman Galleries is Canada’s largest commercial art gallery with over 13,000 square feet of space on two levels. Professional art specialists can assist both collectors and new buyers with selecting artwork for the home and office. Koyman Galleries also offers high quality framing services.
“Iris Melody”, shown below, is just one of John’s oil paintings available at the Gallery.oil, 11" x 14", Cat. #1527
Thanks very much to Koyman Galleries for the John Mlacak Retrospective last month.
The October 17 vernissage saw a steady stream of visitors, and Beth Mlacak enjoyed meeting them all. The 50 oils in Koyman’s collection were beautifully displayed in the Heritage Room on the upper level of the gallery. Beth was present a great deal during the exhibition, and was delighted to spend time with John’s many supporters.
The show may be over, but there is still a wall of John’s oils in the large upstairs room. Other “Mlacak” paintings are also available through the Koyman Galleries website.
Yvan Delisle graciously produced this video of the exhibition:
John Mlacak 1939-2014
Please join Beth Mlacak at Koyman Galleries in the Estate Room upstairs for the vernissage from 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM on Saturday, October 17.
John has been represented by Koyman Galleries for many years. This special exhibition is an opportunity to enjoy a broad selection of his oils, including some of his large vibrant landscapes.