King artists combine for ‘Petals & Wings’ exhibit

October 30, 2019   ·   0 Comments

By Mark Pavilons

The beauty and fragility of the natural world is something many take for granted. Two renowned King artists are showcasing the glory and colour of our flora and fauna, through a new exhibit.
Iconic floral painter Helen Lucas and unique butterfly artist Grazyna Tonkiel are presenting a symbiotic show at the Georgina Arts Centre and Gallery. The exhibit runs through December 8.
The bond between the two artists is much like the connection between their art itself. The butterflies chosen for the show actually enjoy and feed from the flowers depicted in Lucas’s giant canvasses. It’s an ingenious pairing that’s sure to excite visitors and art lovers. You may be in for something quite unexpected.
After Lucas’s daughter passed away, she received a butterfly piece from Tonkiel and she was overwhelmed by the gesture. Their friendship, and connection began.
Tonkiel admitted she’s been a fan of Lucas for more than 20 years and loved the idea of working together. Lucas said she’s been taken by Tonkiel’s buzz and energy that often lights up the room.
“I’m flattered to be in the same room with my butterflies and the iconic Helen Lucas,” Tonkiel said.
Tonkiel is so passionate about butterflies that she’s studied everything about them. She pointed out they date back millions of years and fossil remains have been dated to 50 million years ago. She said the species has remained virtually unchanged to this day.
The life-giving flowering plants that Lucas creates complement the butterflies so well and really press the point. The art, and their personalities, feed off of one another.
The show is also a celebration that different media can be married quite effectively. Tonkiel’s talent is unique in that she creates in art pencil, then overlays in gold leaf. Lucas paints in acrylic on massive canvasses.
Tonkiel likened the excitement for the exhibit to the excitement she felt preparing for an operatic performance. The exhibit has been meticulously choreographed to show just how connected the two subject matters are.
Visitors can expect “an enchanted meadow in the middle of November.”
Lucas has been interested in art since she was nine years old. She began as a figurative artist in charcoal and switched her to large florals in the early 1980s.
Tonkiel has always been surrounded by classical music, the performing arts, and visual arts.
The exhibit is a must-see event. The opening reception will be held Sunday, Nov. 3 from 2 to 4 p.m. This will be your chance to meet the artists.
The gallery is located at 149 High Street, Sutton. For more, visit



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