Mom and tot bond with art

By Geoff Lee

March 14, 2018 2:06 PM

Lloydminster artist Brandi Hofer has teamed up with her two-year-old son Gus to produce a mother and son set of portraits of mostly local parents to celebrate the joy of parenthood while passing along her passion for art to Gus and her one-year-old son Finn. The Collective Art Market is hosting a family day opening of the series in collaboration with the Lloydminster Cultural and Science Centre on April 7 from 3-5 p.m. SUPPLIED PHOTO

What’s the fuss with Gus?
Find out for yourself by attending a family friendly opening of an art show featuring the work of Lloydminster artist Brandi Hofer and her two year-old son Gus.
The toddler’s artistic stylings are evident on his mom’s set of 44 portraits of local parents in an exhibition titled “GUS - an art series created by Mother & Son”.
It runs from April 3-28 at the Lloydminster Cultural and Science Centre in collaboration with the Collective Art Market.
The partners will host the special family opening on April 7 from 3 to 5 p.m. with admission by a donation to the centre.
“It’s going to be a fantastic collection,” said Dawn Lawrence-Floen, who owns the Art Market that represents Hofer’s paintings locally.
“It’s going to be really different from anything else she’s done because she’s worked with her son Gus— she’s proving she can work with her son and come up with amazing art work.”
In her artist statement, Hofer said the intention of the portraits is to project strength, integrity, love and the struggle of what it takes to be a parent along with her husband Charles.
“I aim to highlight, and capture the beauty of being a parent as the richest time in my life,” she wrote.
She calls the series a celebration of motherhood, parenthood and the sheer innocence of being playful with her son Gus and one year-old son Finn who is also messing with crayola.
“I’d say I’m the happiest I’ve ever been as a parent,” said Hofer.
“They bring joy to my life every day; they are my reason for living; they mean the most to me in the world.”
The art series with Gus is kind of a projection of the love she felt for her mother who died in 2014 when she was six months pregnant with him.
She realized in recovering from the loss of an indelible personal mother-daughter bond is what matters most in life is family, love and one’s passions.
She’s been passing along her passion for art to Gus and Finn too along with motherly love.
“I think it’s really important; one of the first things they can do is innately create and it’s the first thing that they enjoy doing, and obviously, they both love it beside occasionally eating some crayola paint,” said Hofer.
She said Gus has taken to it really well and that he just loves doing it.
“There is kind of a freedom in this studio that he has and he’s not afraid—it’s really neat to see and experience with him,” said Hofer.
Young Gus had a hand in helping his mom complete all 44 portraits, but he’s too young to sign his own name to the pieces.
The end result is a unique mother-son art series.
“Gus and I started every under painting together,” said Hofer.
“We rolled and pushed all that paint around so it’s kind of like a start as an abstract painting.”
Gus’ forte is crayola and working with oil and chalk pastels, but his mother knows best that he’s not allowed to touch oil paint as it’s hard to wash off the skin.
“At the same time I let him be really free, but I have to be careful—he’s old enough to know he can’t eat it so that’s good,” said Hofer.
It’s also amazing that the majority of the portraits they did together are of local parents who volunteered for the project to help Hofer and her son capture the beauty of being a parent.
They found out about it and Hofer’s work through her social media network.
“I knew a lot of the people, but a quarter of them I had never met before, so I guess they have seen it on social media and they either admired my art or wanted to be a part of this series,” said Hofer.
“It was really flattering and I am happy so many people came forward; it was pretty amazing.”
A few of the paintings by her and Gus have sold already with the rest of the collection for sale too, including during the family opening.
“Gus and I will be there from 3 to 5 p.m.,” said Hofer.
“It’s family friendly so it’s for everyone—we will have a lot of kids snacks and games and balloons; it’s going to be really fun and exciting.”
Meanwhile all the oil paintings are on view at Hofer’s professional website.

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