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Organized by the Kamloops Art Gallery; Curator Andrew Hunter Snowball features the collaborative texts of 44 student participants of the 20th annual Young Authors' Conference organized by Kamloops/Thompson School District No.73. Working in a workshop with Kamloops Art Gallery curator Andrew Hunter, students from grades 8 through 12 developed fictional narratives employing a variation on the Surrealist technique of the exquisite corpse in response to a series of images of architecture and works of art. The exquisite corpse is a collaborative process of creating a work of art which involves a group of individuals working in sequence, carrying on the ideas of their predecessors.
Over 80 narratives produced during the workshop are presented along with the images the students responded to. Snowball represents an exciting and innovative collaboration between the Kamloops Art Gallery, School District No.73, the Young Author's Conference, and a promising group of young minds from throughout the region.
Organized by: Kamloops Art Gallery Adjunct Curator, Annette Hurtig
This solo exhibition features an installation work entitled Monopoly by Vancouver-based artist Teresa Marshall. Marshall's installation deconstructs, critiques, and revises the popular board game of the same name. Comprised of elements similar to those in the traditional version, Marshall's Monopoly is still about monopolization of land, the capitalist system, economics, money, property, and ownership, but this installation work also deals with the impact of dominant social, cultural, and ideological beliefs on the monopolization of power, history and meaning.
In Marshall's version of the Monopoly game, the various elements are reconfigured and revised to reveal the function of such monopolies, as well as highlight the central importance of territorial issues. In the Uncommon Ground(s) exhibition we see how these systems of power work to marginalize, suppress, and oppress through class, race, gender and sexual difference. As well as illuminating what is at stake in the current land claims and self-government negotiations in Canada, Marshall's work critiques the foundational tenets of Western culture. The colonialist exploits that constitute Canadian heritage and the patriarchal mindset that justifies such exploitation are interrogated. Place names have been changed from those in the original version of the Monopoly game, the identities of the players are altered, systems of ownership and exchange are obviously skewed in favour of the colonizer and, at least for the colonized, the hazards are unavoidable.
Born and raised in Nova Scotia, Marshall is a graduate of Nova Scotia College of Art and Design whose multi-disciplinary work includes theatre, writing, performance, and sound in multi-media installations. Marshall is of Mi'Kmaq and Scottish ancestry, and her work proceeds from two cultures: it draws familiar objects from popular and commodity culture to analyze relations of power and to address First Nations issues. In revealing the effects of colonialist culture on the colonized—the effects of socialized and institutionalized violence—her installations are both humourous and angry. Marshall's scathing indictments of consumer culture, colonialism, racism, sexism and other aspects of the dominant culture, are articulated through satiric or parodic visual and verbal puns aimed at deconstructing popular stereotypes, often challenging dominant world views. Militantly activist, Marshall responds to dominant culture with an assertive irony that insists on disclosing and disrupting commonly held beliefs. Refusing subordination of any sort, Teresa Marshall's work denies the official histories and urgently proposes alternative truths by telling the story otherwise.
Marshall is the recent recipient of the City of Vancouver's first Artist's Residency Award and a participant in the National Gallery of Canada's touring exhibition Land, Spirit Power and a group show, Naked State, presenting important emerging artists at Powerplant in Toronto. Marshall's work has been featured in solo and group exhibitions across Canada and abroad.
Curated by: Peter White. Organized and circulated by Presentation House Gallery, North Vancouver with the assistance of The Canada Council's Exhibition Assistance Programme
This exhibition examines how British Columbia was represented in colour photographic postcards in the years between the Second World War and the onset of the current post-industrial, global economy.
Topographic or scenic postcards have always presented a 'positive' view of the world, one deeply entrenched in the formal conventions and emotional values of nineteenth-century romanticism. However, several factors came together in determining the particular character of the representation of the late modern age in postcards. One was the growth and material prosperity of this period and the development of a strongly middle-class, increasingly mobile society centred on the nuclear family and automobile. The optimism of the times and the upbeat character of the postcard were never more in sync. A second significant factor was the advent of relatively inexpensive but technologically sophisticated colour reproduction. Whereas postcards had previously been hand-tinted or reproduced in black and white, the enhanced opticality and naturalism of the new colour cards—known in the trade as 'chromes'—were absolutely in touch with the positive feelings associated with the period's emerging world of leisure and tourism and the sense of progress and possibility of developing urban communities and industry.
While the exhibition can be seen as a particular social history of British Columbia during these years, it has primarily been conceived to provide reflection on how the optimistic values of the era and aspects of public identity were constructed and entrenched in popular culture and how its ideological biases were circulated by the stereotypical, promotional and repetitive imagery of the common postcard. From the perspective of the present, the contradictions of the ideological position the postcard so effectively represented are particularly apparent. These are evident in many parts of the exhibition—the remarkable integration of both people and their vehicles with the landscape, the contrast of the North and the prosperous city of Vancouver—but perhaps never more sharply than in representations of Trail where postcards strain to naturalize the tensions between the values of the good life and the needs and processes of the heavy industry necessary to support it. Indeed, if the sunny, vivid, often compelling views of these postcards bring pleasure and provide a source of nostalgia, the reality they depict has to be seen as highly contingent and fictionalized. As the cultural theorist Raymond Williams has cautioned, the difficulty with elegies to lost ways of life is that they may never have really existed.
The book It Pays to Play: British Columbia in Postcards 1950s-1980s, by Peter White, will be available in the Gallery Gift shop during the exhibition. Peter White will sign copies during the exhibition preview and opening reception, April 17, 1997.
Organized by: Kamloops Art Gallery Director/Curator Jann L.M. Bailey
Illustration and text have common roots: both began in the picture symbols, such as the pictographs and hieroglyphics of ancient civilizations, of humanity's first recorded communication. Illustration became distinct from text with the development of abstract symbolic alphabets. The earliest surviving example of the recombination of illustration and text in a new relationship and a new format, the book, is an Egyptian papyrus scroll from about 2000 B.C.
The advent of printing with wood blocks in the 14th century changed traditional methods of book production and illustration. Instead of hand-illustrating each book, artists cut designs into wood or metal plates enabling printers to mass produce illustrated books. The inventions of lithography in the 18th century and colour lithography in the early 19th century provided the artist with greater fluidity and scope. But it was the perfection of photography in the late 19th century which brought the greatest flexibility. This new process provided versatile photomechanical methods of reproducing the illustrator's original, regardless of the medium in which it was created.
While the methods of printing and illustration developed, the importance of illustrations changed. Until the late 19th century, most books included some form of illustration, whether a simple frontispiece or detailed scientific diagram. However, in the 20th century a decline began in the illustration of adult fiction. Illustration for adult books became restricted to nonfiction, with emphasis on illustrations as learning tools. This new emphasis meant a marked increase in the illustration of children's books which, during the 20th century, accounted for the greater part of all book illustration.
The increased importance of text was based on the assumption that the written word reflected knowledge and education, whereas illustrations were simply aids to knowledge, supplements to understanding. But illustrations can be integral to the understanding of the written word.
Steve Mennie and Irene N. Watts strike the perfect balance between text and illustration in the book The Fish Princess. Soft images rendered in colour pencil illuminate the story in which
A small wooden boat drifts to shore. In it rests a single passenger -- a tiny baby girl. The villagers shun the child, for her strange arrival has frightened them. Only a kind old man accepts her. He teaches her to fish, to cast the nets and haul them in, to read the sky and to love the sea. She, in turn, is devoted to him. In an unexpected and beautiful ending, her love is rewarded..1
Text and illustration create a whole; read together, they articulate a single voice. The reader experiences unspoken words which linger in the air between pages, and sees details where no stroke has placed them. It is one story with one vision, unified.
1. Book jacket, The Fish Princess © 1996 Irene N. Watts: text published by Tundra Books.
Steve Mennie was born in Revelstoke, British Columbia in 1945. He completed a course of study at the Ontario College of Art and, after working as a freelance editorial illustrator for a number of years, returned to BC. Steve Mennie has twice been commissioned by Canada Post to design commemorative postage stamps, and has worked in a number of media: coloured pencil, acrylic paint, video installations and serigraphic printing. He has shown his work nationally and internationally and is included in a number of private and public collections.
Sponsored by British Columbia Lottery Corporation, CFJC-TV, Coast Canadian Inn, and Fulton & Company.
Organized by: the Kamloops Art Gallery
The Kamloops Art Gallery holds in public trust the permanent collection, which is developed considering the historical, educational, and cultural importance of each work. However, "the art museum has had considerable difficulty in appearing relevant to the ... public."1 As an art museum focusing on contemporary art, the Kamloops Art Gallery has the unique opportunity to bridge the gap which exists between art and its public through collecting and exhibiting works of art which reflect society, provoke thought and encourage investigation and reflection.
The Kamloops Art Gallery Permanent Collection, Recent Acquisitions: Considering Our History exhibition focuses on examining the relationship and history between humans and nature. The Gallery is also contemplating its own history and that of all art museums as institutions of cultural relevance. The works in the exhibition reflect historical and contemporary schools, traditional and post-modern methods, and Eurocentric and aboriginal issues. In choosing to exhibit such diverse works of art together, the Gallery is revealing the tensions which exist between nature, society, and art.
Curators: Jann L.M. Bailey, Director/Curator, Kamloops Art Gallery and Wilf Schmidt, Photography Instructor, School District #73
Photography is an important medium of information and communication. It is used in science and technology, as an art form, and within popular culture to record special moments in time. For all its technical demands, there is a magic surrounding this relatively young medium; it has a power which anyone can use or possess. While this has caused some problems in acceptance of photography as an art form, it has also helped to quickly advance photography's technical evolution.
The exhibition Student Photo Essays has been coordinated to complement the exhibition Gisele Amantea: Requiescat. Photography students from Kamloops Senior Secondary School have investigated Amantea's work and responded to its themes and focus. In order to facilitate such an exploration, Adjunct Curator Annette Hurtig presented a slide lecture on Amantea's work and discussed with students the issues and ideas central to Requiescat. Students were then asked to debate differentiations between high and low art forms and how this is used by Amantea as a tool within the context of her work. To conclude the project, students address issues of gender, identity, formulation of culture, and understanding of place in the form of photo essays for the exhibition.
This unique exhibition provides an opportunity for students to better understand the creative process, issues and ideas surrounding contemporary art, and the rigorous demands of visual literacy.
Organized by: Kamloops Art Gallery Adjunct Curator Annette Hurtig
This solo exhibition presents several related works by Canadian artist Gisele Amantea. Amantea has made extensive use of black velvet flocking, a decorative textile technique, in a series of works that involve text and narrative. These works tell about women's lives by implying possibilities that go beyond the Freudian family romance, the Oedipal configuration of childhood, and beyond the safety and the enclosure of the matrimonial narrative.
Born and raised in Calgary, Alberta, Gisele Amantea graduated from the University of Calgary in 1976 and then went on to receive a Masters of Fine Arts degree from the University of Puget Sound. Working in ceramics initially, she began exhibiting her work in the late 1970s. Since then Amantea has produced several large installation works incorporating replicated greenware elements and wallpaper flocking. Amantea's aesthetics, including her choice of materials, refer to the domestic arena, which is the site of family life and the realm of the feminine. Her clearly feminist practice responds to and interrogates the functions of and the relationships between symbol and sign, between use and exchange value, between commodity culture, mass culture and art. Using objects drawn from secular culture, from the everyday world, and combining these with allusions to and evocations of the sanctity and transcendence promised variously by romantic sentiment, religion and consumerism, Amantea's work identifies these social and cultural forms as mechanisms of dominance and subordination. Concerned with memory and with the anxieties and desires that are suppressed by feminine identity, Amantea's work explores and challenges the psychological and social order of things.
Gisele Amantea's work has been featured in group and solo exhibitions across Canada and abroad. Amantea's newest site specific work, Jewel Point, was recently exhibited at the Burnaby Art Gallery. Other works are included in public collections at University of Lethbridge, Alberta Art Foundation, Glenbow Museum, Regina Public Library, Mendel Art Gallery, Saskatchewan Arts Board and Canada Council Art Bank. Gisele Amantea now resides in Montreal, where she teaches at Concordia University.
Sponsored by British Columbia Lottery Corporation, CFJC-TV, Coast Canadian Inn, and Fulton & Company
Kim Clarke Photography
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