Who hasn’t put on a brave face, who hasn’t failed at the effort, and who hasn’t simply shrugged attempting  a sunny or steely-eyed facade?  Sometimes it would just help to somehow define that feeling, but the words don’t emerge. \So often, there’s comfort in knowing another person is feeling the same way.  With her mantra, “Empathy is always the key.  Don’t judge, listen”, artist Edith Lebeau is here to offer not only the comfort of connection, but insight into recognizing the needs of others. Thinkspace is feeling pretty content about hosting Certain Scars Can’t Be Seen, the Canadian’s first solo show with the gallery (afterall, those Candadians are so darn nice.)

Based in the countryside north of Montreal, Lebeau makes work clearly in tune with the outdoors, especially noticeable in the clarity of her powder blue skies and phenomenal cobalt shading. Animals and insects play strong supporting roles in her scenes. Though not always in the frame, the ocean is never far away, as evidenced by Lebeau’s ability to capture sound and touch in portraiture. Art school gave her the foundation, but practice and practice taught her to transform paint into emotion on a canvas. That, and as she discloses, the habit of observation, knowing the importance of eye contact. Admitting that portraits are like a mirror, she credits working with models who are able to project feeling so they’re all in harmony as she produces “relatable stuff to people who are in pain or know someone who is.” —Gwynned Vitello

Certain Scars Can’t be Seen shows at Thinkspace Gallery Saturday, February 6 through 27. 2020. Listen to our recent Radio Juxtapoz conversation with Thinkspace's Andrew Hosner here