Connect with us

Art

Inuit art meets bold new architecture in Winnipeg – The Globe and Mail

Published

 on


Inuit art seen in this place represents an ongoing exchange between Inuit and the rest of Canada.

Handout

At Qaumajuq, the new centre for Inuit Art at the Winnipeg Art Gallery, two types of stone rub shoulders under the Winnipeg sun. Slabs of grey Tyndall limestone on the gallery’s 1971 building reach out along Memorial Boulevard and meet a new scalloping wall of white granite. Two moments in time, two stones, two textures.

But the crucial encounters will happen at the street below, where a two-storey glass wall allows light – and people – in from outside. Visitors can walk freely into this space, called Ilavut (“our relatives” in Inuktitut), and meet a glass-walled vault which cradles 4,500 stone sculptures from 30 communities across the North.

This new 36,000-square-foot wing, designed by Michael Maltzan Architecture with Cibinel Architects, opens officially this week, and the architecture has to accomplish some cultural diplomacy. It represents Inuit culture in the South, 2,000 kilometres from Iqaluit. It’s an addition to a beloved building that already seemed complete. And it’s been created largely by an architect from Los Angeles.

Story continues below advertisement

How does it fare? Looking across the internet from Toronto, it’s hard to say for sure. But it seems to be a major success, blend the architects’ spatial savvy with the museum’s ambitions to decolonize itself, reframe Inuit art and welcome the city in.

Qilak.

Handout

This has been a decade-long project for the WAG, which for historical reasons has a very strong collection of Inuit art. The gallery started to consult with Inuit and other Indigenous leaders a decade ago, and in 2012 selected Maltzan, who has a global reputation. His team was charged with adding on to the back end of the triangular 1971 gallery, a late-modernist masterpiece by Gustavo da Roza. The building includes new galleries, a theatre, education spaces and storage.

Maltzan’s main move was to produce a form that is abstract and somewhat enigmatic. “The building isn’t a set of four lines and straight corners,” he said from his California studio. “It isn’t a clear geometry. And for me, that seems a way of capturing that endlessness, the fluid forms that you start to experience in the North.”

In other words, there’s no mimicry here; Maltzan aims to interpret, rather than literally imitate, the qualities of space and light that he found on a tour of the Arctic.

Maltzan acknowledged that the building “has multiple responsibilities,” to Inuit art, to downtown Winnipeg and the 1971 building. Curatorially, it breaks some ground. Many Inuit art works are small in scale, and these have usually been presented through small vitrines. The strategy here is the opposite. The top gallery, named Qilaq, or “Sky” in Inuktitut, is both broad and tall. It soars up to a 30-foot ceiling dotted by 22 skylights, each a five-metre cylinder that channels a pure stream of sunlight and sky views. (It’s also dotted and striped with artfully placed vents, a bravura composition itself.)

Adding onto Da Roza’s building was a difficult task urbanistically and architecturally. Maltzan’s gambit was to use a contrasting form and similar materials. He considered employing more Tyndall stone, the fossil-flecked limestone characteristic of Winnipeg; instead he chose smaller, paler bricks of Bethel white granite from Vermont.

Visible Vault.

Handout

To some degree these choices reflect Maltzan’s distinctive sensibility. He usually works with large, pale masses that feel elemental – most famously on a series of cultural and housing projects around L.A.’s Skid Row. There’s a clear lineage to the Portuguese architect Alvaro Siza, whose influence he acknowledges. But if sculptural, pale masonry buildings make sense in Lisbon and perhaps Los Angeles, do they make sense here?

Story continues below advertisement

Why not? Inuit art seen in this place represents an ongoing exchange between Inuit and the rest of Canada, a set of ancient traditions being actively re-interpreted. An inventive design language seems apt.

Maltzan and Steven Borys, the WAG’s director, are very clear what all this is supposed to accomplish. Borys emphasizes the gallery’s ambitions for its already strong education programs (aided by seven rebuilt studio spaces on the top level), and to welcome everyone into the gallery – especially Indigenous people.

That attitude shapes the architecture. Borys says the WAG’s Indigenous advisory circle “was fundamental” to the design process – not only in prominent moves such as the use of Inuit names for the main spaces, but also in more subtle tools of welcome. The entire main floor of the gallery is now free to access. You might walk through the building without noticing the info desk on the back wall or the security guards.

You will certainly notice the stone carvings on display in that glass-walled “visible vault.” This is Qaumajuq’s most prominent feature. It connects the gallery floors with storage and conservation space in the basement; WAG curators will use it actively. However, visitors won’t see texts or any other curatorial intervention unless they ask. Instead, they’ll enter Ilavut and see the art up close, far from the North but unmediated and within reach.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Art

Imaginations, creativity of Mountview students on display at Cariboo Art Beat

Published

 on

Creative, imaginative artwork of students from Mountview Elementary School will be on public display at the gallery of Cariboo Art Beat until April 9.

“The students of Mountview elementary were all invited to participate in an art contest,” Tiffany Jorgensen said, an artist at Cariboo Art Beat.

Each class was separately judged by three professional artists at Cariboo Art Beat, Jorgensen said, based on the students’ creativity, techniques, use of space and originality.

“It was extremely difficult to select pieces from the abundance of beautiful art presented,” she said. “There is so much talent and fantastic imaginations.”

The artist of each selected piece was given formal invitations to their art show to distribute to whomever they choose, and Jorgensen said anyone is free to view the beautiful artwork throughout until April 9.

Honoured at the show were works from local artists Ryker Hagen, Annika Nilsson, Rylie Trampleasure, Angus Shoults, Izabella Telford, Isabella Buchner, Kai Pare and more.

“Come view their wonderful pieces to get a glimpse into the minds of our creative youth,” Jorgensen said.

“It’s been so fun. The kids have come in and seen their work on display with their grandparents, parents, and they’re all so excited.”

Following up on the success of the Mountview art show, Jorgensen said more elementary schools have been invited to participate.

April will feature the works of Nesika and Big Lake, followed by Marie Sharpe and Chilcotin Road next month.

Cariboo Art Beat is located at 19 First Ave., under Caribou Ski Source for Sports’ entrance on Oliver Street.


Rylie Trampleasure, Grade 2, has her work on display at Cariboo Art Beat. (Photo submitted)

Angus Shoults, Grade 4. (Photo submitted)

Angus Shoults, Grade 4. (Photo submitted)

Grade 3 student Izabella Telford. (Photo submitted)

Grade 3 student Izabella Telford. (Photo submitted)

Grade 6 student Kai Pare shows off her artwork. (Photo submitted)

Grade 6 student Kai Pare shows off her artwork. (Photo submitted)

Isabella Buchner

Isabella Buchner

Source:– Williams Lake Tribune – Williams Lake Tribune

Source link

Continue Reading

Art

Launching the conversation on Newfoundland and Labrador art history

Published

 on

ST. JOHN’S, N.L. —

“Future Possible: An Art History of Newfoundland and Labrador” is a book that has been a long time coming, Mireille Eagan says.

While working at the Confederation Centre Art Gallery in Prince Edward Island, Eagan curated an exhibition marking the 60th anniversary of Newfoundland and Labrador joining Confederation with Canada.

“As I was researching, I noticed that there was very little that existed in terms of the art history of this province,” she said. “There wasn’t even a Wikipedia article.”

Noticing this large gap, “Future Possible” was a book that needed to exist, she said.

As the 70th anniversary approached in 2019, Eagan, now living in St. John’s and working as curator of contemporary art at The Rooms, envisioned filling that gap.

Over two summers, The Rooms held a two-part exhibition. The first looked at the visual culture and visual narratives before the province joined Confederation and the second focused on 1949 onward, Eagan said.

“At its core, it was asking, what are the stories we tell ourselves as a province? It was looking at iconic artworks, it was looking at texts that have been written about this place, and it put these works in conversation with contemporary artworks,” Eagan said.

In the foreword to the book, chief executive officer of The Rooms Anne Chafe described it as a complement to the exhibition and a project that “does not seek to be the final say. It seeks, instead, to launch the conversation.”

History and identity

One example of that conversation between the past and the present mentioned by Eagan is the work of artist Bushra Junaid, who moved to St. John’s from Montreal as a baby. The daughter of a Jamaican mother and Nigerian father, Junaid said her experience growing up in the province in the 1970s, where she always the only Black child in the room, was not like most.

“All of my formative years, my schooling and everything, took place in St. John’s,” she said. “It’s very much shaped my current preoccupation.”

Her interest in history, identity and representation led her to making “Two Pretty Girls…,” which used an archival photograph of Caribbean sugarcane workers from 1903 with text from advertisements for sugar, molasses and rum from archived copies of The Evening Telegram collaged over the women’s clothing.

In her essay “Of Saltfish and Molasses” published in “Future Possible,” she described the work as “(allowing) me to place these women and their labour within the broader historical context of the international trade in commodities that underpinned Caribbean slavery and its afterlife.”

It’s a direct connection between Newfoundland and people in the Caribbean, a historical line not often drawn through the context of the transatlantic slave trade, but one she knows personally through the stories told by her mother, Adassa, about their ancestor, Sisa, who “as a teenager, survived the horrors of the Middle Passage, enduring the voyage from West Africa to Jamaica in the hold of a slave ship (Junaid).”

A book like “Future Possible” allows people to interpret themselves and their past, present and future, Junaid says.

“I appreciate the ways in which they really worked to make it as broad and diverse as possible,” she said. “It’s also striving to tell the Indigenous history of the place, the European settler history … and then also looking for … non-Western backgrounds such as myself. It’s enriching.”

What shapes us

St. John’s writer Lisa Moore contributed an essay called “Five Specimens from Another Time” that weaves together moments from her own life, the province’s history and current realities and the art that has inspired her over the years.

“It’s really interesting to me to see all this work of people that I’ve written about in the past and whose work influenced me, even in my writing of fiction, and then newer artists,” Moore said. “I just think that the book is a total gift.”

With such a rich cultural history ready to be written, she imagines “Future Possible” is just the first of what could be many books about art in the province now that the “ice is cracked.”

“The writers that (Eagan) has chosen to write here are also really exciting critics from all over the province, talking about all kind of different periods in art history,” she said.

As time passes, the meaning of the works in the book becomes richer, she said.

Mary Pratt’s 1974 “Cod Fillets on Tin Foil” and Scott Goudie’s 1991 “Muskrat Falls,” for instance, are two images with seemingly straightforward and simple subject matter. But any viewer looking now, who is aware of the cod moratorium and the Muskrat Falls hydroelectric dam, would find it difficult to see and interpret these images outside of those contexts.

“Artists, writers, filmmakers … they’re keen observers of culture and the moment that we live in,” Moore said. “They present things that are intangible like the feeling of a moment, or the culmination of social, political and esthetic powers that come together at a given time and shape us.”

“Future Possible: An Art History of Newfoundland and Labrador” is available online and in stores.

Andrew Waterman reports on East Coast culture.
[email protected]
Twitter: @andrewlwaterman

RELATED:

Source:- TheChronicleHerald.ca

Source link

Continue Reading

Art

Parrott Art Gallery goes virtual to help flatten the curve – The Kingston Whig-Standard

Published

 on


Article content

WENDY RAYSON-KERR

Feeling stir crazy because of COVID and the latest lock-down? Take a virtual trip to Morocco!

On Wednesday, April 14 at 2:30 p.m., the Parrott Gallery will host Lola Reid Allin’s Armchair Traveler online presentation: “Morocco: Sea, Sand and Summit”. Allin is an accomplished photographer, pilot, writer and speaker. Travel with her through the land of dramatic contrast and hidden jewels, busy markets and medieval cities, and enjoy some virtual sun.

For more information and to register for this free online event, please visit bellevillelibrary.ca/armchair-traveller.php. The Armchair Traveller Morocco photography exhibit is also available to view through the Parrott Gallery website until mid-May.

Even though our gallery is currently closed to the public, our exhibitions are all available to view online. Sam Sakr’s show “The Housing Project” is certain to bring a smile to your face. His collection of mixed media artwork will take you to a playful land of fantastical creatures that inhabit imaginary, stylized cityscapes. If your spirit needs uplifting, you need to see to see this show. I hope that everyone will be able to view Sakr’s work both online and then in our gallery after the lock-down ends in May. Without a doubt, it will be worth the wait to see it again in-person when we re-open.

Article content

Another exhibition that you can currently visit on the Parrott Gallery website is the group show “Spring Sentiments: a Reflection of Art in Isolation”. This was a collaborative effort by the 39 artists who submitted their work, our staff who put the show together in the gallery and online, and our guest curator Jessica Turner. We are thrilled that Jessica was able to transcribe her experience with this show into a final paper for her Curatorial Studies BFA degree at OCADU.

The fact that we have had to close our doors just as this show was opening is a sad reflection of the theme as the audience must now reflect on this artwork at home, in isolation. The up-side to viewing this exhibition online is that one can read the artist statements that accompany the work and get a more in depth view of the artists’ perspectives. We encourage viewers to support our artists by sending in their comments and to vote for their favourites in the show by following the appropriate link on the webpage.

When you can’t come in to our building, the Parrott Gallery will bring the artwork to you. And then when the sun and flowers come out in May, and when it is safe to return to our gallery on the third floor of the Belleville Public Library, we hope to see you all again.

For questions about our online talk, our shows, or to purchase any of the artwork please call us at 613-968-6731 x 2040 or email us at gallery@bellevillelibrary.ca.

Wendy Rayson-Kerr is the Acting Curator at the John M. Parrott Art Gallery.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Trending