Laureen Marchand lives in Val Marie, Sask, just north of the Montana border at the gateway to Grasslands National Park. Inspired by its beauty and remoteness, her paintings reflect upon our ideas and perception of beauty. These artworks invite us to see not just the painted object, but our own beauty in it. Often Laureen Marchand returns to the same questions: What is beauty? What does the fact of beauty have to do with our everyday lives? How do we deal with the loss of beauty? Do our beliefs about beauty make a difference to what beauty really is?
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Laureen Marchand has exhibited regionally, nationally and internationally in more than two dozen solo and two-person exhibitions as well as over 40 group shows. Her paintings have been recognized by the Saskatchewan Arts Board and the Canada Council, are held in many public and private collections, and have been represented in exhibition catalogues and reviewed in newspapers and magazines. Laureen Marchand has been artist in residence at the Leighton Colony/Banff Centre for the Arts, the Tyrone Guthrie Centre in Ireland, and the Ragdale Foundation in Illinois, among others. She has lived and painted in Canada and Ireland.
In the catalogue essay from Laureen Marchand’s solo exhibition Beholder, Art Gallery of Regina, 2014, Catherine Macaulay wrote, “Marchand encourages the viewer to ask what remains when what we normally think of as beauty is lost. Is there more to beauty than meets the eye? Are there different, deeper kinds of beauty? Are we given opportunities to rediscover ourselves and our ideas about love and beauty? Out of a feeling of loss, can we find new awareness of things that are important?
“The work in Beholder exudes a state of grace and calmness that invites contemplation on beauty, loss and the passage of time, and an acceptance of the challenges of change.”
For most of twenty years, Laureen Marchand’s imagery was narrative and figurative. Then during the production of the work that became part of a two-person exhibition called Bequest, with Honor Kever, which toured western Canada for almost two years in 2002 and 2003, the figures left her work. Searching to discover what might replace or stand in for that human presence, she discovered the rose.
Laureen Marchand has contributed widely to Canada’s artistic community as teacher, mentor, writer, curator, and cultural facilitator. She holds the Canadian Artists Representation “Tony” Award for service to the visual arts in Saskatchewan and the Centennial Leadership Award for Service to the Province of Saskatchewan.