Melanie Aikenhead "Take Out & Free Delivery"
Melanie Aikenhead "Take Out & Free Delivery" Oil on panel 12” x 16”
For seven decades the Lido Café has been an icon in the Kensington community serving up a staple of Western and Chinese cuisine. This month marks the end of an era, as the Lido Café will be closing its doors to make way for an eight storey condominium complex with the namesake ‘Lido’.
Melanie Aikenhead, a born and raised Calgarian, graduated from the University of Calgary with honors in the Bachelor of Fine Arts program. She is an urban landscape painter, who is committed to documenting spaces in a state of transition. Melanie explains her relationship to the Lido and what has inspired her to be involved with this project. “I grew up playing badminton with Pam and Ken Fung's daughter Vivian (owners of the Lido). Vivian asked if I would consider doing a painting of the Lido since it would be closing this spring. My paintings depict buildings and places that are either undergoing construction, awaiting demolition or show some sign of resistance to their surroundings. Creating a painting of the diner was right up my alley and I immediately wanted to make a series of paintings. The idea for the show spiraled from there. I'm thrilled to be able to show the work at the diner before it closes.”
Melanie’s images capture the spirit of the Lido – they are colorful, playful and sensitive and yet honor the historical value of this landmark. “When you mention the ‘Lido’ to a Calgarian – everyone has a story”, says Melanie.
Melanie goes onto say, “My art practice revolves around my relationship to spaces, buildings and neighborhoods. The Lido Café is part of what I know and like about Kensington. The Lido has personality. There is a sincerity to the diner as it is not overly staged or designed. I empathize with the space for that reason and I hope that is conveyed through my work. Producing a series of paintings of the Lido before it closes is a way of paying tribute to its existence and to the Fung family.”
Please join Melanie Aikenhead for a show and sale, of her work on “The Lido at the Lido”, Saturday April 26 from 6 to 9 pm at the Lido Café located in the heart of Kensington, 144 – 10th Street, NW, Calgary.