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New Casa exhibits explore Alberta

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Local artists explore Alberta during new exhibits opening at Casa, April 28.Jana MacKenzie shows her Milliennium Falcon hand stitch. Photo by Richard Amery
 But first, as you enter the building, Abed  Mouslli has and a exhibit “Alberta Muslims” in the concourse gallery.

 Upstairs, Eric Dyck, creator of the Slaughterhouse Slough comic, has an exhibition of work inspired by his visits to numerous small towns and farmer’s markets called “The Great Slough Heap.”
“ I went to a lot of small towns and met people and interacted with them. So this exhibition is  driven by the conversations  I had with them,” he said.

 The 30 pieces feature caricatures of some of the people he met with speech bubbles including some of the phrases  he heard, though the person in the picture may not have actually said the words.
“ A lot of times I’d be talking to somebody and half way through the drawing, they’d leave and somebody else would start talking to me. The speech was the most important part of it,” he said, adding it often took a couple of visits before people would approach him.
“I had to do a lot of trust building with people. At first I’d be the weird guy drawing in the corner . Then I’d be back the next week and they’d  recognize me and engage me,” he said.
 He visited a lot of small town farmer’s markets between July and November 2017 in Blairmore, Taber, Bow Island, Pincher Creek, and, of course, Lethbridge to name a few.
 Word spread quickly on social media.
“ I had people almost saying they knew the person on social media, almost before I was done the drawing,” he observed.

 “The Great Slough Hop is in the upper Concourse of Casa.”
There is a fascinating take on landscapes in one half of the main gallery downstairs from local artist Rob Miller.


New exhibits combine sculpture with painting and light

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Retired University of Lethbridge sculpture professor Nicholas Wade is proud to present his first Exhibit at Casa, one of several new art exhibits opening at Casa tonight, Saturday, March 3.

Nicholas Wade has a new exhibit at Casa opening tonight. Photo by Richard Amery
 Wade combined his love for architecture, painting and how it interacts with light for his new exhibit, “Study of Kept Light and Other Works.”
“Mostly it’s purpose is to see how light  falls on architectural forms,” said Wade, observing watching the shadows resulting from the light is an important  part of each piece.

The titles are also  just as important.
The 12 pieces hang from the walls. They are designed  with the concept of  the pinhole camera in mind, with an image inside the sculpture illuminated through strategically placed holes in the works.

 One works reflects the shapes of collapsed buildings. Another recalls how children build things like forts out for furniture to crawl through.
Most of the works are newer, except for one  sculpture on the floor, which looks like half an egg with a scoop taken out of it.

“That is from 1997. It’s about fullness and emptiness. It’s full of light and shadows,” said Wade, who taught sculpture at the U of L for 17 years.


New exhibits open tonight at SAAG and Trianon

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There are a couple of new art exhibits opening tonight.
“Finding your Way Back Home and Zeno’s paradox” features new works by local artist Robert Bechtel.
It runs at Le petit Trianon gallery (104 5 St S). It runs from Feb. 17-April 6.
The opening reception is tonight at 9 p.m.

In the same building, but upstairs  at the Savill Group Architecture and Trianon Gallery, local artist Frater Tham presents Corpus Philosophorum, works on paper by Frater Tham. It also runs Feb. 17-April 6. The opening reception for that is 9 p.m. as well.
 He describes it as “ a compendium of div'rse charts & obfervations illustrating the workings of the philosophik bodie & strange marvels of ye fleshe f'r practicion'rs of ye metaphysik & alchymical artes.”

The Southern Alberta Art Gallery also opens new exhibits tonight.
 “Visualizing  Architecture” is a group exhibition exploring  the idea of data visualization with arts and science. It features works by  artists Jackson 2Bears, Tori Foster, Mary-Anne McTrowe, Robyn Moody, Adrien Segal, Michelle Sylvestre and Scientists Dr. André Laroche, Dr. Jamie Larsen.

The idea began in September 2016 when the Southern Alberta Art Gallery and the Data Physicalization Lab at the University of Lethbridge invited six artists to participate in a residency, documentary film, and exhibition asking them to respond to agricultural data developed by Dr. Jamie Larsen and Dr. André Laroche from the Lethbridge Research and Development Centre: Agriculture and Agri-food Canada. They were provided with two data sets: The first is the result of an experiment on breeding cereal wheats and wheat grasses with the intention of developing a perennial wheat cultivar. The second related to experimentation in genetic modification aimed at reducing wheat’s susceptibility to the devastating pathogen known as stripe rust. The artists were invited to engage with the instruments, test subjects, contexts, methods, and people associated with the development of this data, which they would later consider while creating new work for this exhibition.


Blaine Greenwood among Southern Alberta poets “Bearing Witness” to different world views at symposium

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Art inspires art. So when local poet Blaine Greenwood went to the Glenbow Museum to see travelling exhibitions of French artist Henri Matisse, Spanish surrealist Salvador Dali and Belgian artist Rene Magritte, he was immediately inspired by their unique world views during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

Blaine Greenwood officially releases his second book of poetry, Feb. 15  at Andy’s Place at the University of Lethbridge. Photo by Richard Amery
Greenwood just released his second book of poetry “The False Mirror”, inspired by the works of those artists. He will release the book during “Bearing Witness,” a special poetry symposium, Feb. 15 at Andy’s Place (AH100) beginning at 12:15, featuring seven southern Alberta poets including Richard Stevenson, Ali Riley, cowboy poet Ken Sears, Calgary poet Vivian Hansen, Ian McAdam, performance poet Erin Dingle Adam exploring the theme of Bearing Witness until about 2:30 p.m.. Each poet will have about 10 minutes to showcase their works.

“The theme is general enough that all of the poets interpret it differently,” Greenwood said, noting after a break, he will officially be launching his book at 6 p.m. at the U of L bookstore.
“If you can’t make sense of what Blaine Greenwood is saying, then in 10 minutes it will be different. Part of what poetry means depends on the perception of the reader. You bring your own experiences. You may get something completely out of it that I might not have even thought of it. We have seven poets with seven different world views,” he continued.

 His poetry was inspired by the three different world views of three wildly different arts working in the same time period.

“All three of them were working during the Second World War. So when you thunk about that a lot of them are about the chaos of war,” he said.
“Dali interpreted reality through dreams. Dali spoke a lot with Sigmund Freud about the interpretation of dreams. So when you realize that, you realize they (his paintings) make a lot of sense,” he said.
“And everyone dreams, so people can identify with that,” Greenwood continued, adding art, both visual like painting, and literary art is subjective, so everyone brings their own interpretations to art according to their own life experiences.

“Matisse was inspired by Muslim poet Rumi from the twelfth century and he lived in Morocco during the Second World War, so there is a lot of mid eastern and African  imagery in his works. He was inspired by the casbahs there,” Greenwood observed.
“Magritte is known for his (painting of a) gigantic blue eye. All of his works were very monochromatic. He used really bright colours. He started as a graphic designer who designed posters and billboards,” Greenwood observed.

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