Art path in the garden


Lesniak, that mingle with nature and the surroundings. Skelly Gallery has partnered with the Ca- nadianMental Health Association (CMHA) and donations are welcome in exchange of the one-of-a-kind garden tour. But for artist Nik Schnell, Philippa’s husband, the garden serves a grander purpose, one with an artistic flair that breaks cultural and artistic barriers. “My wife put a lot of efforts to start the show two years ago and this is all about mental health and the taboos and stigma that are attached to it”, said the artist. “Unfor- tunately, my wife had been struggling with mental illness for 25 years and the pain was so great.The garden is dedicated to her and it’s a way to showcase three-dimensional art and be a community event and place, where

artists, who are bursting with creativity, have the chance to be out there.” The garden exhibit started in 2013 as a cha- rity event to raise awa- reness and funds for the CMHA. The collection is eclectic, from Peter MacElwain’s Homage to Kant self-balancing metal sculpture to Hea- ther Meyers’ floating fish and Nik Schnell’s intriguing Red Ridng Hood mannequin with a no-lie reflection visage. Round mirrors with the artists’ names

Just like the path to happiness, art is always a little bit elusive and hard to grasp. Last April, local artist Philippa Lesniak died by suicide, but her art and will to help are still vibrant through her collection of work and friends. Skelly Gallery in St-Eugène is dedicating its garden to her for its annual sculpture show, where Philippa liked to relax and find her own path. On May 24, many gathered at the gar- den for the vernissage which marked the opening of the garden art trail. Until Octo- ber 31, visitors can experience the peaceful settings of the garden and find art pieces from17 different artists, including Philippa

written on the glass also give the public a cool reflection, truly bringing the art to life. Visitors can walk their way to Emerald City, Philippa’s towering piece with shooting stars, Philippa’s Emerald City in St-Eugène.

a true beacon of inner light in the garden. “She loved it so much here and so did others who came here”, said Nik Schnell. “The local CMHA branch sent out a busload of clients to spend the day here and a lot of them were very gray and sick. But they managed to come out for the day and it made Philippa’s day. One elderly gentleman said, “I don’t understand art and I don’t even like art, but I like the garden.” He came back twice. (…) This is all about the community and that’s what I call community glue.” The May 24 vernissage helped raise over $400 for the CMHA and all the artists and friends pitched in.The garden is open every Thursday, Friday and Saturday, from11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Skelly Gallery is already inviting artists to submit their work for the 2016 edition.

The garden is a place where you can explore angles and see things differently.

Homage of steel and style in the garden.

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Swimming in a sea of green at Philippa’s Garden.

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