Cross Cut: traditional Ontario folk songs revisited at Lang Pioneer Village Museum

Lang Pioneer Village Museum hosts the launch of a song book, double CD and exhibition under the title ‘Cross Cut’ on Friday, May 13, 2022 from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. in the Peterborough County Agricultural Heritage Building at 146 Lang Road, Keene. During the opening reception artist Rob Niezen will introduce the Cross Cut project and exhibition, Dr. Allan Kirby will give some background on traditional music in rural Ontario, and Backwoodsmen will perform some songs.

The exhibition runs from May 24 until June 4, 2022. The museum also offers exhibition pre-viewing with artist Rob Niezen present on Saturday April 30 from 12:00 to 4:00 p.m. As part of the exhibit, Lang Pioneer Village Museum will be hosting “Artist on Site” days with Rob Niezen from 12 noon to 3:30 pm on April 30, May 28 and June 4. Rob will be at Lang Pioneer Village Museum to discuss the Cross Cut exhibit and display his linocuts.

CBC’s Edith Fowke collected folk songs in rural Ontario during the 1950s—many in Peterborough County. Traditional music came to Ontario with European settlers. Lyrics and tunes were adapted to local experiences and the personal preferences of the players, and these offer a reflection of society at different moments in history. The underlying themes are of a timeless nature, as they deal with human existence: love, deception, politics, war, immigration, work, leisure, murder, death, etc. Musician and music historian Dr. Allan Kirby, visual artist Rob Niezen and traditional music group Backwoodsmen selected and revisited just shy of two dozen folk songs from rural Ontario. They created contemporary arrangements and adapted lyrics, resulting in a double CD and an illustrated songbook. The song book presents the songs with lyrics and chord progressions, an introduction by historian and musician Dr. Allan Kirby, and Rob Niezen’s linocuts.

Rob Niezen created a series of linocuts reflecting on the narrative of the songs with a contemporary perspective by applying the concept of ‘crosscutting’. Crosscutting is a technique borrowed from film editing used to illustrate a narrative action that happens in several places at the same time, or in one place at different times. In creating his artwork Rob Niezen uses both the traditional method of lino carving, and contemporary and experimental ways of mark making, including laser engraving, etching and collage; going against the grain, or ‘cross cutting, as it were.

Rob Niezen gratefully acknowledges the Ontario Art Council for its support of the exhibition.

Rob Niezen again participating in the Kawartha Autumn Studio Tour

Sandy MacFarlane and Rob welcome you to their studios during the Kawartha Autumn Studio Tour on September 25 and 26, from 10am to 5pm, for a view of what they have been up to the last few years.

Last year we could only do this by appointment, so it is a relief to be able to open up. To make everyone feel safe and at ease, we will follow COVID-protocols as laid out by the Peterborough Public Health Unit and the Government of Ontario.
• Masks are required while visiting the studio
• Physical distancing measures will be in place
• Hand sanitizer will be available
• Maximum capacity for the total of our studio spaces is 12 persons
• Visitors are required to complete COVID-19 screening questions and contract tracing prior to entering the studio

As always the event is curated and organized to perfection by the Art Gallery of Peterborough, and you can find all you need to know about the studio tour, including an interactive touring map and a printable map, as well as artist links and bios on the gallery’s website.

Rob Niezen Artist