If you don’t know the name Joe Stable, you should. Stable is a local Peterborough artist with a new exhibit at Gallery in the Attic (GITA) called New Copper Drawings.
“About four months ago, I discovered these sheets of copper. I looked at them and said, ‘What can I do with them?’ So, I bought some and took [them] home. I looked at it [the copper] for two days and then I went, ’I can draw on them!’ So, I went and bought this embossing tool and started drawing on them,” explained Stable.
He has lived in Peterborough for about 40 years and his name is well-known among the arts community, which, let’s be honest, makes up a healthy chunk of the overall
Before moving to Peterborough, Stable lived and worked in Ottawa for a year. Before that, he worked with the Niagara Artist Company, the oldest art co-op in Canada. He moved to Peterborough in 1976 to be a curator at Artspace.
Stable draws a lot of his inspiration from Picasso as well as an artist named Paul Klee. His [Stable’s] drawings are fluid and continuous, and the copper drawings, while on a different medium, are an extension of what he is known for.
“This is a new direction for me in working with that copper material. I have my own technique of drawing, which I have developed over 50 years, and when you look at the copper drawings, you’ll see,” Stable described, continuing, “I work from the negative. I’ll draw a line to create movement in between and then I’ll continue that. I like to work continuously.”
A word of admirable caution: once you get Stable talking about his art, it is hard to get him to stop. Inspiration radiates off his every breath and movement. He is eager to show and tell, like a proud soul that has found its calling.
In fact, he enjoys his artwork so much that he is willing to give anyone who goes to the exhibit a remarkable discount – I won’t say how much, just to retain shock value. Each framed copper drawing will be available for purchase at $50 a piece.
There is another exhibit running simultaneously with Stable’s, which runs seasonally at GITA. Every season, the members and artists of GITA get to display their artwork in the studio space. The show that is currently being run is the fall show.
“In November, there will be another group show, for Christmas. There will be all different art and there’ll be probably twice as much in here,” said Stable, remarking, “People go crazy for the Christmas show. It’s a real sweet, wonderful thing to hang.”
The pieces range from paintings to sculptures to textiles, and the artwork changes from show to show. Rebecca Black, a communications studies student at Concordia University, works as an intern at GITA and helps with shows at the studio.
“I was taking in all the art and all the different styles; you can see how much of a wide range there is. I felt pretty overwhelmed by all the different art and it was nice to have Joe come over and be, like, ‘This is how we’re going to make it flow.’ It’s not only one medium, not just painting; there are sculptures [and] there’s fabric, too,” said Black.
There is even one piece of artwork that uses vinyl records to make animal sculptures, and paintings on what appears to be stone but is actually Styrofoam and stucco.
Stable’s exhibit and the Member’s show will be open and free to view until October 31.