Once again the Estevan Art Gallery and Museum went through a creative transformation to allow the Estevan community to dive into an unpredictable and multifaceted world of arts.
On Friday night, the EAGM held a reception for Karina Bergmans, an artist from Ottawa, who brought a few pieces from her Ligaments and Ligatures collection to Estevan and who made the Gallery 2 look a bit like a fluffy, utopian anatomical theatre.
“We communicate to our bodies, and in turn, our bodies communicate to us,” said Amber Andersen, the EAGM’s curator-director, introducing the new exhibition at the reception. “Yet, most of us will never know what our internal selves look like. We often do not think about it unless we are put into positions where we must.”
Bergmans’ exhibition pushes viewers towards thinking about the inner organs and the diseases that might be affecting them, but it does so in a very soft and gentle way. Her art pieces are made of various fabrics with wire constructions inside. They are much bigger than the real organs and thus don’t push away or scare, but rather invite to come closer and explore the details.
Bergmans came to Estevan for the reception and talked about her artist path. It started back in 2003 with the creation of big letter-shaped pillows forming words “cozy,” “warm” and “safe.” Later, led by the desire to one day come up with work that offered a serious message, she ended up creating a collection, which is an artistic discourse about a human’s physical inner world, life challenges and health failures shared by all people.
“Our most basic concerns as human beings are communication and the body,” said Bergmans in her artist statement. “A ligature refers to the typographic concept of two letters to form a new letter (æ). Ligaments are connective tissue in the body, joining bone to bone to form a joint.
“The exhibition, Ligaments and Ligatures, connects textile organ sculptures with word association to common disease. A tension is created by the seriousness of the subject matter and the tangibility of the materials.”
Only four pieces are presented at the EAGM’s exhibition. Bergmans explained that it was Andersen who helped her decide on the items to be exhibited in Estevan.
“I was fortunate enough to be working with Amber Andersen, who curated the show. And she was the one who made the final selection of works. It was really great because she knows her space and she knows what size things can fit in there,” said Bergmans.
Out of pieces that are currently on display at Gallery 2, Bergmans noted Lungs as the one that stands out for her.
“It was a piece that I had at (Ottawa’s) City Hall show. It was interesting to make them. It came out very organic. It’s wire, wrapping, some of the collected fabric scraps that I had and yarn… I really wanted to have it bigger than you could ever imagine a set of lungs to be, so you could really have a presence with it. And I really like the way it’s been installed, because it’s a little bit higher than someone’s head, so you have to look up to look at it. And it really has a presence in the room in that way,” said Bergmans.
At the reception, Bergmans talked about the different projects and art pieces she created throughout the years, including an inflatable installation Airborne Allergens and some others.
Large-scale, but at the same time light and elegant lungs in a couple of interpretations, and cozy velvet heart with “attack” connected to it, along with the Bloodletting will be on display at the EAGM through March 20. Bergmans’ other work can be found online at KarinaBergmans.com.
The reception for another exhibition named Sheltered by Janet Shaw-Russell, now on display at Gallery 1 at the EAGM, was also held the same night. For more on the story see this week’s edition of Southeast Lifestyles.
Sights and Sound Volume VI brings immersive art experience to Welland – Welland Tribune
Colourful creations, music, and thought-provoking words are just some of what people who attend the Sights and Sound Volume VI art event can expect to experience throughout the night.
Sights and Sound will bring together many artists from across the Niagara region including visual artists, musicians, and writers and poets for an evening of displaying existing works and creating new ones.
The idea behind creating the event was to bring all types of creative individuals together.
“Musicians and writers never hang out. Musicians and artists never hang out. But we’re all driven by this weird passion that we don’t control, and it’s great to get together and watch that,” said musician Eric James, who helped to organize the event.
Many of the artists who attend the event will bring both finished works and works in progress, allowing the tone of the evening and other mediums to influence their art forms.
The unique nature of the event bringing many artists together also allows for audience members to get whatever experience they want over the course of the evening.
“Everybody is getting something out of it that is so unique to their experience. People might be standing and watching me draw, but when Taylor comes to the mic they go and they sit because they’re pulled in. Then there’s that freedom to get up and move again,” said visual artist Heather Fraser, who also helped to organize the event.
This year marks the sixth volume of Sights and Sound, and the first event since before the pandemic, something the event will speak to.
“Our theme for this year is ‘It’s Great to be Alive.’ I think we all need to remember that again. I think we need to be grateful. I think we need to start to live again,” said James.
Tickets for the event will cost $10 at the door, with proceeds from the event being donated to Open Arms Mission in Welland.
“I think for us as creators we’ve done enough in the sense of taking from society. We’ve all done our tours, we’ve all made some money off our profession,” said poet Taylor Peebles. “So I think we’ve all come to the conclusion it’s time to give back as artists.”
The organizers say they want to see as many people as possible, even those who aren’t artists and are just curious about what bringing together various art mediums in one space looks like.
“A musician, a writer, and an artist gather. It’s really just that simple, with a charitable component because that’s what sits with our core values,” said Fraser. “You can’t put creative people together and not have magic.”
Sights and Sound will be presented at the Bank Art House at 22 King St. in Welland from 7 to 11 p.m. on Dec. 3. Tickets cost $10 and will be available for purchase at the door.
Comox artist presents fabric art workshop
Kate Bridger’s foray into fabric art began in the early-1980s when she lived with her husband and two small children in a remote pulp and paper town in Northern Ontario. The winters were long and nasty, and the summers were short and buggy; there was plenty of time to pursue new interests. Having enjoyed working with fabrics, she began making wall hangings for her children’s rooms. When their walls were amply covered, she fine-tuned her techniques, tested the marketplace and developed the art form to which she has remained committed ever since.
More than three decades later, Bridger’s work has appeared in magazines, won awards and is displayed in homes and businesses around the world. She has created well over 500 original pieces featuring landscapes, wildlife, house portraits, old cars, household objects and abstracts.
“I am as excited about classical architecture and pastoral vistas as I am about unkempt alleys, rusty trucks and crumbling barns,” Bridger said in a news release.
She and her family moved to Nelson in 1994, and lived there for 25 years. During that time, she owned a gallery, worked in ad sales and real estate, conducted art workshops, wrote a few books, raised two sons and maintained her fabric art practice. Her work has evolved over the years and, presented professionally framed, is often mistaken for painting.
She moved to Comox in December 2019 — in time for a pandemic, she quips. Fortunately, exploring and stitching her new environs kept her occupied, and introduced her to like-minded people in the Comox Valley. Her work is available at The Old Schoolhouse Arts Centre in Qualicum Beach, The Salish Sea Market in Bowser, and in Comox.
Between her move to Vancouver Island, COVID and a few other interruptions, it’s been a long time since Bridger has taught an in-person fabric art workshop. In February, she will conduct a two-day workshop — her second on Vancouver Island and first since moving to the Valley.
She has chosen to present ‘Earth, Wind, Fire and Water’ because it is a good introduction to all sorts of techniques and processes, and is suitable for most levels of art ability and experience. The only requirements are that participants are comfortably familiar with the workings of their sewing machines and have a rudimentary understanding of freemotion stitching.
The workshop is Feb. 4 and 5 at The Lion’s Den (behind and beneath the Pearl Ellis Gallery at 1727 Comox Ave. in Comox). Registration is through the gallery. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Registration deadline is Friday, Jan. 27.
Artists and community members want more art in the northeast. Here’s how it could happen
Sumer Singh made his decision to go to architecture school while sitting at the Genesis Centre in Calgary’s northeast.
Years later, he’s being commissioned to bring more life into the city’s most populated and most diverse area, with a sculpture that will be displayed at that same recreation and community centre.
Speaking to community members there on Wednesday, Singh shared his connection to the city, the northeast, and his hope for more art in the quadrant.
“I used to come here, to the YMCA, to the library, and I was lost in life,” said Singh, explaining that he was at the time a working engineer, but felt he needed a change.
“This [place] is where I had moments of introspection … and decided that I was going to go into architecture,” added Singh, who now has a thriving practice as an artist, architect, designer and engineer.
The artist will be creating a sculpture that will be displayed at the Genesis Centre in Martindale through the City of Calgary’s northeast public art initiative.
It will be one of several projects through the initiative. Three initial works — a bench, a picnic table and a bike rack created by, respectively, Day Pajarillo, Apiow Akwai and Vikram Johal — are expected to be installed early in 2023.
Members of the public were given the opportunity on Wednesday to meet Singh at the recreation centre and discuss and vote on elements of the sculptural design and materials he might incorporate.
In comparison to other quadrants, public art in the northeast is something more of a rare sight. There are murals across the city’s downtown core, but one resident who attended the event said it’s time his home community gets the same treatment as the rest of Calgary.
“It’s not much artistic like, comparatively to downtown, to the southeast, to north, northwest and southwest,” said Maninderpreet Singh, who lives in the northeast community of Skyview.
“You know like if even if you go to the southeast there’s pictures on the walls, but there’s no pictures in the northeast … all the walls are vacant. Those walls need to get painted.”
In terms of ideas for his planned sculpture, Sumer Singh said that he’s trying not to put too much of his own influence on the art. He said he wants the inspiration and the idea for the final piece to come from those in the community.
The Gensis Centre and the people who frequent the facility, Sumer Singh said, are a reflection of Calgary. With a library, a community gym and a centre for newcomers, it’s somewhere that brings together people of all ages and from all walks of life.
He’s hopeful that he can give back to the communities and its residents through his art.
“The real core is where the people are at, and the people in northeast are actually the people that are the backbone of the city,” said Sumer Singh.
“I think we really need to give the northeast the same treatment that we give to the rest of the city as well.”
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