Monday November 24, 2014

Province's burgeoning artists go on the road


People of Estevan, please mind the gap.
A new exhibit opened last Thursday at the Estevan Art Gallery and Museum, featuring up and coming artists from Saskatchewan. These 20 artists' works make up the travelling exhibit entitled Mind the Gap. The title is a play on the province's epithet as being a gap in the Canadian west, and how what is happening in Saskatchewan is something worthy of consideration.
The exhibit is organized by Amanda Cachia and Jeff Nye through the Dunlop Art Gallery in Regina.
A public reception at the EAGM was held Sept. 1, with three artists, including one local, on hand to speak a little about their art background and their pieces featured in the gallery.
From North Portal, Lindsay Arnold describes herself as a "drawer." Her additions to the exhibit are created via pen and ink.
"The great thing about this exhibit is that it took absolutely no effort on my part, besides making the artwork," she said of getting involved in the travelling display.
She was contacted by the EAGM's previous curator, Aaron Griffith Baker, who told her of the idea Cachia and Nye had of the travelling exhibit.
He told her, "There were two curators from the Dunlop, who were doing a tour of Saskatchewan, and they just want to meet with local artists. Griff was kind enough to submit my name as one of the artists."
They came to visit and talk about her work in her own studio.
"Which is great, because when you live in north Portal, Saskatchewan, you don't get a lot of curators knocking on your door for a visit. So that was nice," Arnold said.
Arnold said what she likes about the idea of this show is that people don't simply go to see her or her work. She gets to meet other artists as well.
"When I went to the opening reception, I got to meet a lot of other artists that I may never have met under any other circumstances. It was a gathering of them, from all different (areas) of Saskatchewan. That was the best part, just being able to meet other artists."
She recalled seeing a fellow artist for the first time in a number of years after having met once previously.
"It was nice to be able to catch up, and you haven't seen their work for a while, and you realize how much they have changed and (I) had changed, but also I saw a commonality between our work, like we had kind of changed in the same direction," she said. "I thought that was really, really interesting."
Arnold considers art a form of communication, where an artist has some feelings about something, and uses their work to communicate those feelings. When the work finally goes on display in a gallery, the conversation really gets started.
"In my case, I'm talking about borders and boundaries, and how they affect people on a physical level, but also an emotional and spiritual level."
While Arnold's work on display for Mind the Gap is done with pen and ink, she does like to explore different mediums in her work.
She recalled a movie about Picasso, in which Anthony Hopkins played the Spanish artist, where he said, "There are artists who are happy baking the same cake all the time, and then there are artists who always try a new recipe.
"I think there are always common themes in what my work is about, but I often change—I use pen and ink quite a bit—but my last body of work incorporated collage and had a much different look than what you see here (at the EAGM). I also incorporated bookmaking into that body of work too, and that's sculptural. As an artist you just find the best way to explain your idea that you want to communicate. That will sometimes mean using the same media all the time, or sometimes you need to find something new just to make that idea come across."
The exhibit will run until Oct. 29.



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