Expanding Horizons

Esmie Gayo McLaren

Dates: September 17-28, 2018
Artist Reception: September 18, 6 – 8 pm
Location: Philippine Center New York, 556 Fifth Ave, New York, NY 10036, USA

Expanding Horizons Gallery


Esmie Gayo McLaren is a Filipino-Canadian visual artist based in Vancouver, British Columbia. Using oil or watercolour, McLaren paints scenes of everyday life through an emotive use of color and light. She received her BSC in Biology and Psychology from the University of Alberta and received artistic training through Emily Carr University, Mandy Boursicot Classical Atelier,

The Lenore RS Lim Foundation for the Arts presents Expanding Horizons, a solo exhibition by Filipino-Canadian painter Esmie Gayo McLaren on view at the Philippine Center New York from September 17-28. Expanding Horizons highlights experiences and memories from the artist’s various travels, including her place of birth of Agoo, La Union, Philippines.

In this suite of watercolor paintings, McLaren depicts landscapes and scenes of everyday life from around the world. From the lavender fields and rolling hills of the south of France and flamenco dancers in southern Spain to children frolicking and farmers laboring in the rice fields of Ilocos, McLaren captures the palpable radiance and warmth of both environment and her human subjects with a distinct painterly sensitivity to color and light.

In Expanding Horizons, McLaren invites viewers to engage with their own memories and stories through her intimate paintings of sensory environments filled with soft haze and warm, diffuse light and her emotive use of brightly blended color. McLaren’s texturizing technique is combined with the transparency of watercolor to add an unexpected, rich finish to the canvas surface.

For McLaren, “Expanding Horizons is a celebration of a land I had rarely experienced, a foreign land because I left it early in life…my own birthplace and fast disappearing, rural Philippines. There, the everyday scenes were even more poignant and unexpectedly familiar.” Expanding Horizons sparks thoughtful contemplation about the richness and resilience of the human spirit and landscape of life.

Expanding Horizons is Esmie Gayo McLaren’s first solo exhibition in the U.S.