For their September gallery, the Strathmore Municipal Library is displaying the art of Vince Kanarek, who has chosen to show off his scratchboard art.
Kanarek, who said he has been drawing since he learned to walk, described scratchboard art as an underrated art form that not many people choose to partake in.
“Scratch board consists of a white clay with black ink on top, so when you scratch into that black, even with the tiniest little hairline, the white pops right out,” said Kanarek. “It’s interesting because you work in reverse. Normally when you draw, you put in the darks and with this, you have to shift your mind a little bit and put in the lights.”
Being first introduced to the style in art school, Kanarek said he revisited scratch board post-graduation and became very enthusiastic about it.
Similarly, he is no stranger to art where error is irreversible, as Kanarek is also a tattoo artist working locally out of Ink Addicts.
Additionally within his bag of tricks, he boasts a graphic design background, which is part of what lead him to interacting with the library.
“I just walked in one day and said ‘hey, your logo kind of sucks, can I redesign it for free?’ so, through that process I got to know Carmen (Erison) and … asked her if the library had artists for their gallery space,” said Kanarek. “I have shown stuff in there before … a few years ago, but at the time I held off on the scratch board because these are a little more dramatic, they are a little darker (and) they are not a typical, friendly landscape.”
According to Kanarek, the library is always looking to expand the art it showcases and to simply promote the arts in a very general sense.
Kanarek himself works with the Wheatland Society of Arts, among similar organizations.
“The graphic design stuff, the tattoo stuff, it’s all about being very precise, it’s all about having a plan, it’s all about doing exactly what’s needed,” said Kanarek. “Scratchboard is kind of the opposite thing; it has been a breath of fresh air because I can’t control it at all. I’m going to have unexpected things happen. It’s very hands on and it keeps me thinking outside the box.”
None of the pieces Kanarek has on display are for sale this month, as he said he does not feel like parting with them, though he may eventually begin doing prints of his work.
As per usual with the library’s gallery, his work will be up and available to view until the end of this month.
John Watson, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Strathmore Times