Sarnia Artist Ian McLean displays his piece “Chemical Spill” Photo submitted by County of Lambton. (written by Dave Dentinger/Blackburn News/February 3)

Two new exhibitions opened Friday at Sarnia’s art gallery downtown.

“Elusive Utopia” features the work of Sarnia artist Ian McLean as well as prominent Canadian artists Matthew Carver, Renee Van Halm and Kevin Yates.

Judith & Norman Alix Art Gallery Curator Lisa Daniels says the exhibition explores how man-made environment can influence and reflect our deepest desires.

“The suburban environment and how it can define us, how we are influenced by it and how we keep imagining that if we just had a little bit more square feet, or that pool or that hot-tub, that then we’ll be good,” says Daniels.

McLean says it’s the first time he’s had a major show in Sarnia in about 12 years. “I’ve seen a lot of galleries around Canada, and I don’t think I’m exaggerating when I say it’s one of the best in Canada,” says McLean. “It’s a fantastic space.”

“Elusive Utopia” runs until May 7.

The exhibition “Winter Light”, a series of poetic, still life videos by Petrolia artist Jane Austin, is on view at the gallery until May 28.

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