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New exhibits open at Bowman this week

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 The Bowman Art Gallery has a couple new exhibits opening this week, in addition to the second edition of their Collectives, Concepts and Culture film series.
 But first,  there are two opening receptions, Jan. 16. A Focus on the Centre features art quilts of textile artists who participated in “Mandalas: Working  in Circles” workshop  with Martha Cole last May. The reception is  Jan. 16 from 7-9 p.m. The exhibit runs  Jan. 16-Feb. 27.
The Lethbridge Photography Club is also opening an exhibit called “Trespassing the  Past” in the Bowman Arts Centre and the Yates Theatre Galleries. The works of  Glenn Christianson, Van Christou. Carmen Cook, Grant Forsythe, Ian McGillivray, Barbara Gullickson, Lorelei Hoffarth, Kathleen Klemen, Donna Kroeger, Ted Nicholson, Trevor Page, Bill Ramage, Leonard Simpson, Branislav Smec, David Tanaka, Ian Thompson, Thane Vanderaegen, Scott Vandt Land, Kathy Villeneuve and Dorrit Zaroba.
 The reception is 7-9 p.m., Jan. 16. Call 403-327-2813 for more information.
On Monday, Jan. 18, the featured film is  “This is Berlin Not New York” which is a documentary about the  Antagonist Art Movement — a group of New York artists who traveled to berlin in 2007 for 10 days of cross cultural exchanges.
 The show begins  at 7 p.m. there is no charge to attend.
— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor
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Cuddle Commandos exhibit satirizes military bureaucracy

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The instruments of war don’t seem so ominous when covered in  soft pink felt. That’s the idea behind former University of Lethbridge New Media professor/ artist Christopher Moore’s Cuddle Commando exhibit opening this week in the Helen  Christou Gallery next to the University of Lethbridge library.Christopher Moore  gets ready to snap, crackle and pop. Photo by Richard Amery
 Using a medium called flocking, Moore  covered an array of toy guns, grenades, tanks, aircraft and  military apparel with soft pink felt.
“I’ll also be  enlisting recruits to the cuddle commandos,” laughed Moore, clad in a  self designed puppy print camouflage uniform and pink officer’s cap standing next to a display case of his work and a number of  mock bureaucratic forms and recruitment posters. The Concordia University professor taught at the University of Lethbridge from 2004-2008. The exhibit, which is part of  Snap Crackle  and Pop exhibit featuring  several Southern Alberta artists, Lisa Brawn, Dave and Jenn, Jason Mathis, Len Komanac plus Shanell Papp in the main gallery,  runs Jan. 15- Feb. 26.
 Leading up to  the  opening reception, Jan. 15  from 4 p.m,.-6 p.m., Moore will be “recruiting” all week long from 11 a.m.- 12 p.m. and 1-2 p.m. in the Helen Christou Gallery. His exhibit in the Helen Christou Gallery is up until March 5.
 “It has a lot of fun with all of the systems which come with government. There’s giant stamps and embossed seals,” he said.
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Documentaries on contemporary art starts Jan. 11

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Bowman Arts Centre gallery program curator Darcy Logan is excited about  the second installment of  Documentaries on Contemporary Art, which begins Monday, Jan. 11.  This year’s theme and  title is ‘ Collectives, concepts and culture.Artist Antony Gormleysits among the 180,000 figurines that make up Asian Field, part of the Sydney Biennale. Photo by Ben Rushton
“ The intent of the program is to  expose  artists in the community  to broaden  their knowledge of trends in art,” said Logan who spends a good part of the year researching and obtaining the rights to numerous films  about art techniques, mediums, concepts, styles and trends. The films will be shown in the Bowman Art Gallery music room every Monday until March 29 at 7 p.m. each night.
 This year’s series begins  Jan 11 with two films — ‘The Eye: Antony Gormley’ about the internationally acclaimed  sculptor who is known for  ‘Angel of the North’ and the  ‘Eye: Chris Ofli’ which is about the artist “Within Reach’ for the British Pavilion at the Venice Biennale which  combines a cycle of paintings depicting lovers  in a Paradise like garden in a shimmering glass dome.)
“ Most of them are about contemporary art. Some of them are movements which set the stage for contemporary art,” Logan continued.
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Whetstone Magazine returns to support literary arts

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The University of Lethbridge’s  literary arts magazine Whetstone  returns  this spring after a 10 year hiatus.Jesse And the Dandelions played at  the Whetstone Magazine relaunch party. Photo by Richard Amery
Originally formed in 1971 by a cadre of  university professors, writers and poets to support  the literary arts, it closed its doors in 1999.
“Professor Dr. Jay Gamble actually  approached  the university’s creative writing association  if there was interest in bringing it back,”  said managing editor  Rylan Spendroth, who said approximately 25 people came to a meeting about resurrecting the magazine.
“We didn’t know if we were going to  bring back Whetstone or of we were going to start a brand new literary magazine,” he said during the official relaunch party at Henotic, Dec. 12, which featured a handful of  of potential  contributors reading their  selections of prose and poetry as well as  the music of Jesse and the Dandelions and Jordan Clermont.
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