Café Adagio on Harrison in Parksville has a new owner. Mark Pack has only been open a month and he intends to keep the eatery as a gallery to exhibit art work by local artisans.

Café Adagio on Harrison in Parksville has a new owner. Mark Pack has only been open a month and he intends to keep the eatery as a gallery to exhibit art work by local artisans.

Photog of the Year captures landscapes in Parksville

Kevin McGuinness returned to photography after a 35-year hiatus

Some pieces by Oceanside Photography Club’s 2014 Photographer of the Year will be on display at Café Adagio in Parksville from August 7 to 31.

Formerly Arts Café, the restaurant is also a great venue to check out work by local artisans.

The upcoming exhibition by Kevin McGuinness intends to capture and define the genre of landscape photography.

The Nanoose Bay photographer has only been a serious shutter-bug for four years and he said most of his images come from his travels.

“My goal is to photograph the common places and things around us — what we might see every day but not notice, small details we often pass over”, said McGuinness.

The exhibition is arranged around a series of dramatic groupings, each calling attention to a major theme.

The human element, our structures and our possessions, is an important part of his work.

McGuinness began taking photos and playing in the darkroom during his college days. Back then he said his passion was for black-and-white photography.

“When I started I had a darkroom … that was when I was going to college.”

After a 35-year hiatus, he returned with enthusiasm and entered the digital world.

“I enjoy processing the pictures on the computer.  I tweak the photo, sharpen it, add saturation … those are nice things to be able to do but you need a good photo to begin with.  You can’t enhance a bad picture, it will still be a bad picture,” he stated.

He said he likes to exhibit photos that have been taken on Vancouver Island and with landscape photography it is the composition and the moment you are capturing.

He said his black and white photos have been received well.

“It is a medium I prefer.  They look classic and traditional.  For me they stand out on a wall and they look less like a snap shot.  If it is black and white it looks more like a piece of art.”

He now uses colour only for emphasis in his work using it selectively, controlling its saturation and often times, completely eliminating it and shooting only in monochrome.

McGuinness who joined the Oceanside Photography Club three years ago admitted he was honoured to be selected by members of the group as photographer of the year for his submissions in 2014.

He said he continues to get a thrill when people buy his work.

“When I sold my first photo it was a great feeling that they were going to put it on their wall.  It is still a nice feeling that someone appreciated what I did,” he acknowledged. The public is welcome to drop by Café Adagio, 147 Harrison Avenue in Parksville, Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-4 p.m. to enjoy the display.

The exhibit is sponsored by Oceanside Community Arts Council (OAC).

Mark Pack is the new owner of Café Adagio.

He took over the business on July 1 and had planned to give the walls a fresh coat of paint before opening the doors but that plan quickly got shelved.

Pack said he had the windows covered up with paper but customers wanted in.

“People kept knocking on the windows asking when we are opening,” said Pack who is still waiting for his restaurant sign and the painters to show up.

He said when he took over the spot the OAC asked him if he would continue to display the work of local artisans and he had no hesitation.

In fact he said when he worked on his business plan and talked to some experts south of the border that is what they recommended.

“I went to Oregon and one of the things I was told was I must have work by local artists on the walls.  When I saw that Arts Cafe had local artists I thought that was awesome.”

Pack serves breakfast and lunch right now and in the future my consider serving dinner.

He has also been approached by local musicians about hosting an open mic event in the evening.

“I have the space and I love music but along with that I have been asked to have a liquor license and I don’t want liquor in here at all.  I am not saying no to anything because we are evolving.”

Café Adagio is Italian and means at ease and Pack wants his eatery to be a place where people can come and relax.

His menu includes comfort foods including some old favourites including a genuine Rueben sandwich with sauerkraut and a Monte Cristo sandwich.

“We brought back foods that we haven’t seen in a while. They are huge sellers. I have been asking people what they think of the menu and they like it.”

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