Absolutely Average Animals, Sarah Neville

Opening Reception & First Friday: February 2, 7-10pm,

Additional Gallery Hours: February 3-Feburary 13

Tuesday to Friday, 12-6pm

Saturday, 12-5pm

In Sarah Neville’s newest exhibition, Absolutely Average Animals, Neville explores combining her two art worlds. This series of work displays her oil paintings and her watercolour illustrations. For years, Neville has had two art worlds she has lived in, one she creates semi realistic oil paintings, and the other lives in the makers world, selling her greeting cards, art prints and colouring books at local markets. But what both worlds have in common, is that animals and humour are always present.

Sarah Neville has taken those continuous themes and combined them to create her newest series of work. Absolutely Average Animals illustrated the mundane, everyday activities we all experience and substitutes our local animals in place. This switch of characters changes these small drab activities into humourous ones.

These boring, everyday routines, like getting groceries, our different forms of transportation, going to the bank, etc. are something we can all relate to and by bringing a bit of humour to those routines, she hopes that it will help brighten people’s days.

Combining playfulness and wildlife isn’t new for Neville, it has something she’s been passionate about since working through her Bachelors degree. She loves that art does not necessarily have to be a serious topic. People can enjoy art, just for the fact that they enjoy art. She has come to see how children interact with her artwork and enjoys that children can be inspired at such a young age to create something themselves. With creating fun art for all ages, she hopes these works inspire some of the youngest generations to create something with their own hands as well.

Sarah Neville is a painter, illustrator and mixed media artist based in Winnipeg, MB. She works in a variety of mediums – mostly with oil paint, watercolour and pen and ink.

Having graduated with a Bachelors of Fine Arts Honours from the University of Manitoba’s School of Art, Neville has also shown in many local galleries. These include Cre8ery Gallery, Outworks Gallery, Graffiti Gallery, the Winnipeg Art Gallery Shop and aceart. Solo exhibitions include the Gallery of Student Art (GoSA) at the University of Manitoba, Tara Davis Studio Boutique, Cre8ery Gallery, 1894 Art Centre and Golden Prairie Arts Council Gallery.

Animals, both historical and modern day depictions, are a significant source of inspiration in her work and appear frequently. This started after adopting her first dog, Keira and since then she has continued to paint dogs, but also other woodland animals typically found within Manitoba.

In January 2015, Neville along with 3 other local artists, created the first ever art gallery on a frozen river. Located on the Red River, at The Forks, the river setting and associated artwork was inspired by various aspects related to Manitoba’s history.

As part of furthering her career as a children’s book illustrator she has illustrated Daisy’s Biggest Success (2013) and Fur is Only Fur Deep (2015). Fur is Only Fur Deep won the McNally Robinson Books for Young People Award for 2015/2016 and Neville was also shortlisted for the Manuela Dias Book Design and Illustration Award for the Children’s Illustrator Category.

Most recently, in 2017, she created and designed her own colouring book, Wood You Like to Colour? and looks forward to sharing other projects with the general public