In St. Marys artist Peter Allan Rice’s first book, Reflections in Glass and Stone, the term “reflection” takes on several meanings.
Whether it’s the reflections in the Ontario lakes, rivers and streams depicted in many of the more than 60 full-colour images of Rice’s work featured in the book, the reflections of past experiences exploring the Canadian wilderness that inspired much of Rice’s work over the last three decades, or his poetic reflections of his own work that accompany each picture, Rice says his book is meant to prompt readers and art lovers to take another look at themselves and the shrinking world around them from a place of peace and tranquility.
“I just want them to be pulled into that sort of area of calmness and peace, and just sort of transport themselves up into Algonquin (Provincial Park) and that area of peace, and stay in that canoe and lessen the stress in their life,” he said.
Rice noted that much of his work has been inspired by the artistry of Tom Thomson and the Group of Seven, as well as his own travels through Algonquin Park and elsewhere in the Ontario wilderness.
Through his poetic descriptions, Rice hopes to impart pieces of his own philosophy, ideology, inspiration, and even the stories of others that expand on, deepen, and add context to each of the pieces depicted in the book.
“The descriptions can be anything from environmental concerns, it could be self-improvement, just giving people an emotional boost, possibly, if they’re down in the dumps, a little bit of an insight into my process, and even some political statements, even though I don’t mention Trump specifically,” Rice laughed.
Having only just received the first copy of his book — which will officially be released Aug. 1 — Rice credits his St. Marys-based publisher, Tina Crossfield of Crossfield Publishing, with creating a book that comes as close as possible to reflecting the true artistry of his work on paper.
“Anybody who doesn’t know anything about local publishing should check her out,” Rice said. “She gives a lot of people the opportunity to publish a book where the big publishers wouldn’t.”
Rice will host an official book launch at Zenfire Pottery in St. Marys between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. Aug. 1, however only a few people will be allowed into the store at a time. For those who can’t make it to the launch, a shorter, virtual launch will be streamed on Zenfire Pottery’s Facebook page.
Once it’s released, Reflections in Glass and Stone will be available for purchase at crossfieldpublishing.ca/books.
Having spent most of his childhood living in rural locations across the Great Canadian Shield, Rice’s earlier, two-dimensional glass work and his sculptural work using both glass and stone — the latter of which is often indigenous to his subject matter — is inspired largely by his years playing and exploring among the province’s rocks, water and windswept pines.
Rice was named top sculptor at the McMichael Canadian Collection Autumn Art Sale in 2017, 2018 and 2019, and he was also named best in show in 2019.
For more information and to check out Rice’s work, visit peterallanrice.com.