Tony Mayo’s work one of two new exhibits at The Reach

Opening reception takes place Thursday, June 16 at the Abbotsford gallery and museum

The work of artist Tony Mayo is one of two new exhibitions starting June 16 at The Reach Gallery Museum.

The work of artist Tony Mayo is one of two new exhibitions starting June 16 at The Reach Gallery Museum.

Two new exhibitions open at The Reach Gallery Museum next week.

The exhibits feature the work of artists Tony Mayo, Jenny Hawkinson and Sarah Neilsen. An opening reception takes place Thursday, June 16 at 7 p.m. at The Reach, 32388 Veterans Way.

“Meticulous Pilgrim: The Craftsmanship of Tony Mayo” demonstrates Mayo’s diligent and dexterous approach to art-making which is informed by a lifetime of travel and collecting.

Presenting works that have been created over the past 25 years, this exhibition foregrounds Mayo’s commitment to craftsmanship.

The artist refines and finishes his sculptures, paintings and drawings beyond what the human eye can normally see. In some cases, these works take hundreds of hours to complete using small hand tools often crafted by the artist.

Mayo’s work is characterized by his unique choice of materials. Most of his sculptures are composed of natural materials collected during his travels.

To date, Mayo has traveled to 93 countries across the globe and collected materials that range from precious gems to hippopotamus teeth.

The majority of Mayo’s artwork demonstrates a concern with endangered or threatened animal species and environments, but not always. Sometimes Mayo will create simply because he sees, or imagines, a beautiful pose or shape he wants to, at least in part, replicate.

In such cases, Mayo searches through his collections to find a medium that he believes will produce the feeling he wants to achieve.

In other instances, Mayo might find an incredibly lovely natural item that inspires him to bring into existence the shape he sees within it.

Mayo gives a tour of his work on Friday, June 17 at 7 p.m.

Also opening is Art on Demand 2:1. Each year, the Emerge program presents a series of café-style exhibitions featuring the works of up-and-coming artists from the Fraser Valley, curated by aspiring arts professionals.

The year’s first Art on Demand exhibition features artists Hawkinson, based in East Vancouver, and Nielsen, who currently works from Alert Bay on Vancouver Island.

This body of work is an adaptation of an exhibition created by both artists during an independent residency in Alert Bay, and it investigates emotional attachment to place and the universal significance of “home.”

The exhibit marks the premiere curatorial effort of Emerge member Chantal New.

The two shows runs at The Reach until Sept. 4.

Visit thereach.ca or call 604-864-8087 for more information.