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New art piece in Lacombe acknowledges roots of the land and reconciliation – rdnewsnow.com

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“It is a metal sculpture of two rough grouse, with two logs; the female is sitting on one log and the male is landing at the end of the other,” explains Maureen MacKenzie, community services executive assistant with The City of Lacombe. “It was created to represent the affinity between rough grouse, but also that people have for one another. It also represents the two communities and local First Nations.”

According to a release, grouse was an imported food source for settlers and Indigenous peoples when bison populations dwindled across the prairies. The piece also pays homage to settler and Indigenous communities living and working together across Canada’s west.

MacKenzie adds The City had a robust anti-racism program planned earlier this year, but once again COVID-19 caused its postponement. The program was meant for large groups and would’ve included the blanket exercise, a 60s Scoop exhibition, and other workshops.

“The last census in 2016 indicated we have over 800 residents of Lacombe who are Indigenous, which is almost 10 per cent of our population, so it’s really important we show we’re willing to walk the walk,” MacKenzie says. “We as a city want to embrace all of our cultures, and in this instance, with truth and reconciliation in mind, our plan is to host those workshops eventually, and that’s our way of saying we’re taking action on inclusion and racism.”

‘Miweyihtowin’ was created at a cost of $18,000.

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St. John's major focus of fall exhibition at Confederation Centre Art Gallery in Charlottetown – TheChronicleHerald.ca

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CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. — Mimi Stockland always considered herself to be a creative person.

But, it wasn’t until she moved to St. John’s, N.L., five year ago that Stockland truly felt things take off.

Now, her work is on display for all to see.

Stockland is one of the featured artists whose works are part of the new fall exhibition at the Confederation Centre Art Gallery in Charlottetown. The exhibition, Give Me Shelter, profiles the work of 13 emerging St. John’s artists, all of it curated by Pan Wendt, the centre’s art gallery curator.

“It was a whole new world. I had a vague idea … but something just clicked,” Stockland said in an interview at the Confederation Centre Art Gallery on Thursday. “Five years ago I permanently moved to Newfoundland with the goal of joining the artistic community. I’ve always wanted to be an artist. I always liked making things.”

The Confederation Centre Art Gallery exhibition entitled, Give Me Shelter, features this oil on canvas from John McDonald, which is called Moving On, 2019. Courtesy of Emma Butler Gallery. – Contributed

Stockland found the East Coast artistic community not only welcoming but encouraging, support she did not feel while working as an artist in Montreal, Que., where she was based beforehand.

“My humour really just clicked with East Coast humour. I was understood; my jokes landed better.”

Stockland graduated from textile school in 2015 and decided to start putting her work out in the professional world and see what happened. She also established a professional art practice in St. John’s.

Her work in the fall exhibition at the centre is based on a mix of things she has created over the past five years, all displayed in a collage.

Pepa Chan, another St. John’s-based artist whose work is part of the exhibition, chose to focus on relationships and trauma.

Pepa Chan is one of the featured artists whose work is part of the new Confederation Centre Art Gallery exhibition, Give Me Shelter, which profiles the work of 13 emerging artists in St. John’s, N.L. The exhibition is curated by Pan Wendt, curator at the centre. - Dave Stewart
Pepa Chan is one of the featured artists whose work is part of the new Confederation Centre Art Gallery exhibition, Give Me Shelter, which profiles the work of 13 emerging artists in St. John’s, N.L. The exhibition is curated by Pan Wendt, curator at the centre. – Dave Stewart

“It’s about making ourselves vulnerable when we are relating to others,” said Chan, who is originally from Buenos Aires, Argentina. “It’s about intimacy and the risk we take when we are connecting with others.”

Chan calls her exhibit, Brush. An televised image of someone having their long hair brushed plays in the background. But, there is also an image of a brush with burning matches in place of the normal bristles.

Part of Pepa Chan’s exhibit at the Confederation Centre Art Gallery features images of strands of hair. Chan is in the process of setting up her exhibit here. - Dave Stewart
Part of Pepa Chan’s exhibit at the Confederation Centre Art Gallery features images of strands of hair. Chan is in the process of setting up her exhibit here. – Dave Stewart

Chan said that’s meant to signify that brushing can be cathartic to some people but symbolize trauma for others.

“There’s abandonment in my family and violence,” she said. “I lose a lot of hair and that’s related to stress and anxiety. I’m basically using hair brushing and losing hair as metaphors for all of those things.”

Wendt said Give Me Shelter is an exhibition that reflects the fact St. John’s is a cosmopolitan city.

“It really gives you a sense of the scene in St. John’s,” Wendt said. “You go there and you really feel that even though, when you go there, you get a real sense of (the city’s) heritage and its past. Give Me Shelter is a … place the artists feel very at home.”

The Confederation Centre Art Gallery exhibition includes the portrait series Tukien (Awaken), Reclaiming the Throne, from St. John’s, N.L.-based Mi’kmaw painter Nelson White. - Contributed
The Confederation Centre Art Gallery exhibition includes the portrait series Tukien (Awaken), Reclaiming the Throne, from St. John’s, N.L.-based Mi’kmaw painter Nelson White. – Contributed

Fall exhibitions

Following are the fall exhibitions at the Confederation Centre Art Gallery:

  • St. John’s-based Mi’kmaw painter Nelson White’s portrait series Tukien (Awaken) celebrates Indigenous artists and activists.
  • Give Me Shelter features the work of 13 artists from St. John’s, N.L. They are Nicholas Aiden, Greg Bennett, Pepa Chan, Hazel Eckert, Jose Gonzalez, Ashley Hemmings, John McDonald, Jason Penney, Emily Pittman, Daniel Rumbolt, Mimi Stockland, April White and Olivia Wong.
  • Alexis Bellavance: ops, a video installation looking at the constant and regular breathing of the sea and sky by the Montreal-based artist.

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COVID emotion and escapism captured in Gallery@501 local pandemic art – Sherwood Park News

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Alvaro Arce, who has lived in Sherwood Park since 2013, submitted two pieces, a painting titled “The Long Pause” and some steampunk bottles, for the Making Art in the Age of the Coronavirus window exhibit at Gallery@501. Photo Supplied

What better way to encapsulate the emotions of the pandemic than through art.

Gallery@501’s window exhibition, called Making Art in the Age of the Coronavirus, features work by local members artists created in the last six to eight months during COVID-19.

Some artists channeled their anxiety, while others created art that dealt directly with the pandemic, and some pieces were created as a way to escape reality.

Artist Alvaro Arce, who has lived in Sherwood Park since 2013, said the pandemic inspired his pieces.

“The painting is very dark surrealism and the other is some steampunk bottles,” Arce said. “During the lockdown, I was at home and I started fixing things and I found pieces of TVs, fans, and other things and took them apart and applied them to the bottles and painted them.”

The painting, which is a mixed media piece done on wood, is called The Long Pause.

Arce said he wanted to get the feeling across that things are strange and somewhat beyond real in life right now.


Sherwood Park artist Ken Duncan etched his single-celled organisms creations in leather.

Another local artist featured in the exhibition took a very different approach to the piece he submitted.

“The pandemic sort of lit a fire that had been bubbling around in the back of my mind. I was in Victoria a few years ago and spotted a book by Ernst Haeckel, a biologist from the time of Darwin and he was studying single-celled organisms and was drawing these things,” Ken Duncan, who’s lived in Sherwood Park for two years. “I saw it and I thought these things are fascinating with their forms, shapes, the way they work, the similarities, and I was studying the book for a couple of years and I sat down one day and was inspired to create my own single-celled organisms.”

Duncan said he started by painting them with watercolour but then decided to try another medium.

“I thought they would work well on leather. I took four or five of the designs and carved them onto a round piece of leather and mounted it onto a lazy-Susan,” Duncan said. “I worked on it for an hour here, a half-hour there for a month to six weeks.”

Duncan said they’re not copies of other microorganisms but ones he has created using real microorganisms as a guide.


The piece Onward and Upward created by local artist Jamie Panych is aimed at uplifting people during the pandemic. Photo Supplied

Another artist featured in the exhibition has a bit more traditional art piece in the show.

“It started off as a mixed-media project with the onward and upward theme I have for my paintings that is more spiritual and uplifting. It was something I was working on that I thought would fit into the COVID exhibition,” Jamie Panych, who has lived in the county since 1996.

The piece, which is called Onward and Upward, is aimed at uplifting people, according to Panych.

“It is a mixed-media piece representing a landscape with the sun breaking through the stormy clouds. I built up the mixed-media for the storminess and as you go upward into the painting it is calmer and the sun is breaking through,” Panych said. “There is also a dove in it that is a representation of hope as well. There is also a lion in there but he is hard to make out because I didn’t want him too in your face but I wanted to show bravery in trying times.”

Gallery@501 said the exhibit, which is set to showcase until Sunday, Oct. 25, is to show off the incredible talent in the community.

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University of Alberta med students bring therapeutic art to isolated seniors – Global News

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A group of Edmonton seniors have contributed to an art display inside the Southgate Centre shopping mall.

The group used self-portraits to express how COVID-19 has impacted their lives.

Devonshire Continuing Care Centre resident Hazel D’hont said it’s been a challenging few months.

“I do feel lonely. My daughter and son can only visit me by the desk (at the front of the facility),” she said. “If the doors were wide open (and back to normal), they would come anytime.”


Drawings inside Southgate Centre.


Courtesy: Danielle Portnoy

The 87-year-old woman said she has missed the regular programming that happened before COVID-19.

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“We did all kinds of things, especially bingo. I love bingo,” D’hont said. “You just kind of sit around now… and it’s been like that for many months.”

Read more:
Edmonton seniors’ centre reopens to help with socialization through COVID-19

The therapeutic art project that she took part in was created by two medical students at the University of Alberta.

Asad Makhani and Danielle Portnoy have prior experience working in long-term facilities doing recreational therapy.

Read more:
Workers inside Good Samaritan Southgate say resident care is being neglected

Makhani works part-time at Devonshire and Portnoy’s late father lived in a long-term care facility. The project’s name “Seniors Advocacy Movement” was chosen because the acronym SAM matches her father’s name.

“When I visited my dad, I felt that even before the pandemic, many people there were lonely and isolated. So now, with family restricted from visiting, it must be worse,” Portnoy said.

Asad Makhani and Danielle Portnoy


Asad Makhani and Danielle Portnoy.


Courtesy: Danielle Portnoy

The students chose the project because they had seen research that community art programs help combat isolation in seniors.

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“It’s a way to show their feelings,” Portnoy said. “And then putting it in Southgate makes it like they are socializing with people in the mall… but distantly.”

Asad, who helped participants with the activity, said the residents were excited about painting.

“We sat down one-on-one and a lot of them were really excited to participate in the activity. They mentioned they hadn’t painted in so long,” he said. “They were a lot happier. They were more engaged. It was a drastic change in their mood.”

The two students hope to bring the project to other long-term care facilities in the city.

Read more:
‘From here to the box’: Seniors voice terrifying concerns on long-term care amid COVID-19

“As long as it’s following Alberta Health guidelines, we would like to provide canvas and paint and expand to other long-term care facilities in the city,” Portnoy said.

D’hont said the art project was fun, but she valued the interaction it brought the most.

“It was nice to have more people around me. It certainly was. If we can open our doors once again… I’ll be happy.”

© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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