Although their friendship grew out of a series of small interactions during their art school days at Langara College, the artistic relationship between Atheana Picha and Hue Nguyen began when they shared an artist residency at the James Black Gallery last year and has most recently manifested in their upcoming art show at the Slice of Life Gallery (March 17-22). Ahead of the opening, we asked the pair to describe their dynamic…
How and when did you know that your collaborative art relationship would work?
Atheana: I am a huge fan of Hue’s work, specifically their drawings. We have similar tastes in colours and we both like to take up space with our 2D work. Hue invited me to do a residency with them at the James Black Gallery in fall 2021, where we became each other’s “art husbands” because our work fit so well together. I feel a lot of trust handing them my work.
Hue: It was so obvious to me how incredibly talented and driven Atheana is, among other things. I actually never imagined or expected I would work with her in a creative capacity, but as soon as I saw the group residency that the James Black Gallery was holding, she was the first person to come to mind. To my surprise, she was totally on board to work with me, even though we weren’t particularly close. We had absolutely no idea if our work would blend well together…but in the back of my head, I figured if I was going to fail at a project, I could easily fail with Atheana, because I knew how much I could learn from her. The first day of our residency we talked about methods and colours and how we would try to complement each other. The whole experience just ended up being so natural. We both pretty quickly learned that we are very similar. Now, Atheana is one of my closest friends; she is my “art husband” through and through.
“I’m sure there are numerous artists who don’t need that friendship aspect to work together, but it’s such a vital part of the experience for me, knowing that I can truly trust and communicate with another person on a creative level.”
What are the most valuable qualities that you seek out in another artist for collaboration? Or, what one thing about Hue’s/Atheana’s art or artistic process do you admire most (and maybe even wish you could possess yourself)?
A: I’m quite a control freak with my work, so I’m picky about who I will work with for collaborative pieces. Work ethic is important to me, and that goes hand-in-hand with ambition. I don’t want to be around people who are afraid to apply themselves to their work or art calls or whatever. I think if you’re passionate about something, then you really have to dive in. That’s something I see in Hue – we both are working to be the best artists we can be all the time. I also like to see when people are willing to take creative risks, because it adds excitement to a project and the opportunity for growth. I like to work with people who are excited about art and, most importantly, are willing to have fun. Hue and I shared a lot of laughs during our residency, and that’s something that made it so memorable for me.
H: Personally, I struggle with a control complex and have never done well in creative collaboration experiences. Before I had collaborated with Atheana, I knew nothing about her process and had only seen her work on Instagram. There were a few times when we both ended up in the sculpture studio at school while simultaneously hammering out projects. Atheana’s delicate hand with shading blows me away, but what most gravitated me towards her was her work ethic and drive. It was very clear that nothing would stop Atheana from attaining her goals, and I really resonated with that since I’m exactly the same.
I imagine that the collaborative process is both a good personal growing experience and useful for your individual art practice. What has been your biggest takeaway from working with Hue/Atheana and how will it affect your process going forward?
A: Working with Hue taught me to let my guard down. Hue and I would trade drawings and get working, and I knew that whatever Hue cooked up on that page would be beautiful, and interact with whatever marks I made in an interesting way. It was an emotional process. Learning to trust is a lot easier said than done, especially with something like art, that I carry so close to my heart. Working with Hue opened a world of possibilities for me to reconsider many things about my drawings, like using different tools, types of mark making and shading techniques. It was a pleasure to work with them, and I’m looking forward to our future projects together!
H: In technical aspects, Atheana taught me how she shades with coloured pencil – applying that to my own work was an absolute game changer. The biggest takeaway, though, was how important it was that Atheana and I respect and admire each other. I’m sure there are numerous artists who don’t need that friendship aspect to work together, but it’s such a vital part of the experience for me, knowing that I can truly trust and communicate with another person on a creative level. It makes all the difference for me if a project is going to be successful or not.
Atheana Picha and Hue Nguyen are popping up at the Slice of Life Gallery, March 17th to 22nd. Their show includes individual pieces from each artist, as well as some collaborations. Get more info and reserve your spot (recommended but not required) here.
Portfolio: weekly art listings – St. Albert TODAY
May’s exhibit is Transdimensionality: What Moves You? — a collaborative exhibit between members of the public and members of the Sculptors’ Association of Alberta. People contributed photographs the sculptors then interpreted into their own three-dimensional works. Participating sculptors include Carroll Charest, Yiyi Datar, Tania Garner-Tomas, Jennifer Lang, Beverly Oliwa, Wanda Resek, Susanne Scheers, Ellie Shuster, Keith Turnbull, Lisa Wilkinson, and Robert Woodbury. Until May 28.
25 Sir Winston Churchill Ave. 780-460-5990 and vasa-art.com
Art Gallery of St. Albert
High Energy 27 makes its triumphant in-person return after a two-year hiatus. The annual high school art student show features more than 100 works by students from Bellerose Composite High School, École Alexandre-Taché, École Secondaire Paul Kane High School, St. Albert Catholic High School, and Outreach High School. In-person tour with curator Emily Baker is at noon on May 24. A virtual tour with curator Emily Baker will take place at noon on May 26. Until June 4.
Kanawêyimêw (She Takes Care of Them) is the incoming exhibit by Cree and Métis artist Michelle Sound. Her work is based on her family history from the Wapsewsipi/Swan River First Nation on Canada’s west coast, the unceded and ancestral home territories of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tseil-Waututh peoples. She has two bodies of work to show. Chapan Snares Rabbits (consisting of 14 rabbit fur drums) will be on display on the stairs, while the photographic series called nimama hates fish by worked in the cannery will be on display in the vault. Virtual tour with curator Emily Baker will take place at noon on June 21. Until Aug. 6.
19 Perron St., 780-460-4310; artgalleryofstalbert.ca
St. Albert Public Library
The regular Art in the Library monthly art display of works by members of the St. Albert Painters Guild is on hiatus for the ArtWalk season. Members of the St. Albert Photography Club will have works on display for May instead. Until Tuesday, May 31.
5 St. Anne St. (in St. Albert Place). 780-459-1530; sapl.ca
St. Albert Seniors Association
The St. Albert Photography Club has a rotating selection of artistic photographs on display in the foyer area of Red Willow Place.
7 Taché St. stalbertphotoclub.com
National Image Salon
St. Albert professional photographer Jason Marino has four of his images on exhibit in a national online salon that celebrates the best of Canadian professional photography. He is also one of the finalists in the Photographic Artist of the Year category. The competition features entries from across Canada in 22 different classes, including commercial, portrait, fine art, and wedding. Marino’s image, called Unwavering Eye, has also been selected for inclusion in the prestigious Professional Photographers of Canada’s 2022 Loan Collection, a national exhibition celebrating the best of Canadian professional photography. The salon was revealed on April 23 online and live on the Professional Photographers of Canada Facebook page at facebook.com/PPOCNational. More of the artist’s works can be found on his website at jasonmarinophotography.com.
Colour Scheme is a rotating monthly online art gallery featuring selected works by students of Bellerose, Paul Kane, and St. Albert Catholic high schools. Each month of the school year, several pieces from each school will be highlighted on The Gazette’s website at www.stalberttoday.ca on the last Saturday of the month. The most recent exhibit focusing on heliotrope was posted on April 30.
ArtWalk is returning for another summer of the city’s newest and best visual art, with different artists each month. The event takes place inside and outside on the first Thursdays of each month. The next events are: June 2, July 7, Aug. 4, and Sept. 1. Locations include the St. Albert Public Library; WARES in St. Albert Place; the Musée Héritage Museum; Art Gallery of St. Albert; VASA (Visual Arts Studio Association); the Bookstore on Perron; La Crema Caffe; and the Big Lake Artists Studio. Supporting venues include Confections Cake Co; Divine & Free Wellness and Medical Spa; Inspired Home Interiors; Turkish Coffee House; and XO & Mane Boutique. artwalkstalbert.com
Art in the Open takes place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on June 11. Members of the St. Albert Painters Guild will have their artworks on display in more than two-dozen front yards for this self-guided art tour with shows and sales across the city, rain or shine. Visit paintersguild.wildapricot.org for more information.
Art for spring and beyond – Winnipeg Free Press
After a long winter, having a bit of colour can be encouraging, especially when it comes in the form of art. The Spring into Summer Art Show & Sale, held from April 29 to May 1st at Elmwood/EK Active Living building, was an ideal opportunity for people to brighten up their homes while supporting local artists.
Every year, the Local Colours art group holds an exhibit and sale to showcase the work of local artists. As the organizations Facebook page notes, the Local Colour Art Group is an organization of artists dedicated to the creation of art, and its promotion in the community. One of the difficulties for artists is finding an audience for their art beyond family and friends. The annual show and sale is one opportunity to attract the wider community.
Many people draw or paint as children, but it can be difficult to continue much beyond that without support from other artists. The Local Colours group strives to provide a forum for members in which to gather to paint and to share their interests, skills and experiences, as the groups website states. Workshops, virtual paint and chat sessions, and the annual show and sale are among the ways that the artists in the group help support each other.
The annual show and sale is a good opportunity community, as well. For many people, art can seem distant and formal, something confined to artists whose works are displayed in galleries or shown only among the wealthy.
The Local Colours Annual Show & Sale sends the message that art can be for everyone. With the event taking place at a community centre rather than more formal setting, it was something that everyone could enjoy.
This years event coincided with the early days of warmer weather in Winnipegs extremely long winter. Although the show and sale is over for the year, it is also a beginning both for the artists who exhibited their work and for the community.
Creating art can be a long process, involving years of training and experience, but it can also involve quick flashes of inspiration as artists see or hear something that stirs the imagination. Many people will look forward to seeing what this years creativity brings.
Elmwood community correspondent
Susan Huebert is a community correspondent for Elmwood
ARTS AROUND: Last chance to view children’s exhibit at Rollin Art Centre – Alberni Valley News
This week is your last chance to view an art exhibit featuring local Port Alberni children.
“Moments in Time” is the current art exhibit at the Rollin Art Centre. It is a collaboration of children’s art organized by the Early Childhood Educators of B.C. Port Alberni branch, which looks at the world through children’s eyes.
The exhibit runs until May 20. The Rollin Art Centre is open Tuesday to Saturday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., and is located at the corner of Eighth Avenue and Argyle Street.
“SPRING – Seasonal Imagery” is the title of the next art exhibit at the Rollin Art Centre. This exhibit will reflect the gentle changes of the season and create a unique mood and feeling associated with this season based on your interpersonal reflection.
Join us in the gallery on Saturday, May 28 for refreshments and an opportunity to meet with some of the featured artists: Janice Sheehan, Mae LaBlanc, Joan Akerman, Jayant Chaudhary, Cathy Stewart, Cynthia Bonesky, Mary Ann McGrath, Cheryl Frehlich, Dodie Manifold, Patrick Larose and Karen Poirier. The exhibit open May 25.
Two-Day Watercolour Workshop at Rollin Art Centre — June 1 and 2 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. — Ionne McCauley is an accomplished artist, quilter, and author, currently living in Qualicum Beach, who has taught colour workshops for more than 25 years. Next month, she will teach the basics of colour theory and pigments during a watercolour workshop in Port Alberni. In this workshop, you will learn about value, hue, tone, shade and saturation. Explore the learnable magic of watercolour paints, how to achieve glowing colours and how to choose (and use) pigments for exciting colour combinations.
Workshop Fee is $150 and supply fee (paid to the instructor) is $20. Register at the Rollin Art Centre: 250-724-3412. Numbers are limited.
One-Day Acrylic Workshop at Rollin Art Centre — Saturday July 16 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. — When you think of landscapes, you might think “Oh that’s too complicated.” Not so! If you break it down into simple shapes, it becomes easy and fun. In this workshop, Susan Schaefer will guide you through landscapes, discussing what makes a good composition while simplifying your landscape. Schaefer has been a professional artist for the past 20 years and has taken workshops from some of Canada’s finest artists. She has a fun and relaxed way of teaching, working with students at their individual level and ensuring a good learning experience for all.
Workshop Fee is $115 +GST and a supply list is available. Register at the Rollin Art Centre: 250-724-3412. Numbers are limited.
LOOKING FOR ARTISTS
The annual Solstice Arts Festival is back after a two-year hiatus due to COVID-19. Join us Saturday, June 18 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Rollin Art Centre.
Spaces are available for artists and artisans on our terrace or in our two gardens. There is lots of room to spread out and it is a picture-perfect spot to set up an easel or demos of the artwork you create.
If you are interested in displaying at this year’s free family event, call the Rollin Art Centre at 250-724-3412 for more info. Spaces are $25 for the day.
Teas on the Terrace events are back at the Rollin Art Centre. Tickets are now on sale at a cost of $20 for our strawberry teas and $25 for a “High Tea.”
The first tea will take place July 7, with musical guest to be announced.
June 1 and 2 – Workshop – “Watercolour – The Basics of Colour Theory and Pigments”
June 18 – Solstice Arts Festival – Spaces available for artisans
June 22 – July 22 – “Women’s Work” – group exhibit – Sue Thomas, Jillian Mayne, Colleen Clancy, and Ann McIvor
July and August – Teas on the Terrace – Tickets available now
Melissa Martin is the Arts Administrator for the Community Arts Council, at the Rollin Art Centre and writes for the Alberni Valley News. Call 250-724-3412. Email: email@example.com.
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