Monster Mash

Creatures of All Shapes and Sizes Come Together for Halloween

Halloween comes early to Headquarters Galerie & Boutique. Graphic Tyson Bodnarchuk

Halloween is approaching, and what better way to pay homage to this wonderful holiday than by celebrating the art of monsters?

The aptly named Creature Features exhibit at Headquarters Galerie & Boutique is in the spirit of Halloween, without overloading you with typical Halloween fare. Creature Features brings you creatures and monsters of every shape and size, instead of sticking to the standard ghouls and goblins.

“Last year, we also did a monster-themed show for Halloween,” gallery owner Tyson Bodnarchuk said. “It’s been my favourite holiday since I was a kid, and it’s just kind of an excuse to have a lot of monster-themed art.
“We didn’t want it to be a Halloween show specifically, we wanted to involve all kinds of creatures. The crazy and fantastical as well as the creepy and the scary.”

Headquarters Galerie & Boutique opened in June 2006 and is run by Bodnarchuk and Angie Johnson. The two-floor concept store is known for showcasing independent artists, designers, writers and musicians. Headquarters Galerie is also home to monthly art openings featuring newly emerging artists, both local and international.

Creature Features got its name from the generic title for horror films that were broadcast on U.S. television stations from the 60s to the 80s.

“I’ve always been a fan of the universal monsters; Wolfman, Dracula, Frankenstein’s monster,” said Tyson. “I’m not a huge fan of the films themselves, but aesthetically I’ve always enjoyed them.”

The show features not only many different creatures, but a mix of artistic media as well.

“There are drawings, paintings, sculptures and collage work. We try to always have a mix which makes it pretty interesting,” said Tyson.

Bodnarchuk is an artist himself and has several watercolour pieces in the show. Along with Bodnarchuk, Creature Features includes work from more than fifteen artists.

“For this show we asked some people specifically, others have submitted work to us in the past. As with a lot of our shows we have new artists but also a roster of returning artists that submit to group exhibitions.”

Terrifying beasts, spectacular monsters and fantastical creatures remain popular not only for enthusiastic gallery goers, but for the artists themselves.

“A lot of our artists are really into that kind of subject matter as well. A lot of it is nostalgia; we can all remember liking this stuff as kids. But really, it’s about embracing the fantastical, not being taken too seriously. It’s really a chance to go crazy and have fun with your art.”

Creature Features opens Oct. 8 with a vernissage from 6:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. and runs for the entire month of October. Check it out at Headquarters Galerie & Boutique (1649 Amherst St.).

This article originally appeared in Volume 31, Issue 08, published October 5, 2010.