Show Room Schedule - Niagara Artists Centre
Recent Paintings by David Elliott
On display from 5 October - 21 December
Opening Reception Saturday 5 October at 2pm
The ideal act of love is to contain all.
– John Berger
Artists take the stuff of the world and rearrange it to create a parallel universe. In a way, the creative process is as simple as that & as complicated. What is important is the dimension of that newly created universe. I don’t mean the actual height or width of a painting (although it is a factor) but rather the quality of cosmic space that has been created. Where do we travel to, emotionally or spiritually, when we are transported by a work of art? I would say everywhere at once and nowhere at all. A place that remains essentially mysterious, while at the same time seeming to hold all our imagined truths.
For over thirty years I have used collage as a way of sifting through the world and rearranging it. Recently I have been assembling these collages in small foam-core boxes, arranging printed paper and cardboard elements in a stage-like fashion. These maquettes are then photographed under various lighting conditions, and the resulting image transferred to canvas in paint. There is a heightened degree of illusionism in these new paintings with the shallow perspective of the box & the cast shadows rendered as meticulously as possible. There is also a playfulness involving scale & the verisimilitude of the trompe l’oeil technique & the obvious artificiality of the project. For instance, I enjoy rendering the rough edges of the cut paper so that the sophisticated realism of a painted element is immediately seen in the context of a small scrap of paper casually pasted onto a piece of cardboard. The paintings are therefore both convincingly real & obviously a sham.
I come from a world of plenty. Mom grew up on a farm in Niagara-on-the-Lake & even though Dad couldn’t tell a daisy from a petunia, somehow some of that farm culture always seemed present in our lives. We knew the seasons for various fruit & vegetables. We used to help Mom make preserves. I remember the look & the smell of pears studded with cloves in Mason jars. There was only one painting in our house, a picture of St. Andrews Presbyterian Church that my Mom did as a girl. There were also stenciled fruit & flora on some of our antique furniture, as well as small embroideries with maxims about friendship, kindness & gardens. At Grandpa Cooper’s farm there was an old weathered picture of fruit, framed & under glass that hung in the kitchen. I guess I’ve always liked the tradition of still life painting as a microcosm of the world, from Dutch vanitas to James Rosenquist’s Pop mash-ups. In the way they are conceived & assembled, all my paintings are in some ways still life arrangements. I try to maintain the individual, sacred ‘isness’ or ‘itness’ of things much like an elementary school primer or an encyclopedia. This is in some ways easy since each element is indeed cut from a separate piece of paper. The cat is a cat, the apple is an apple, a clock is a clock, almost comically so. Then like a cabinet of curiosities or a horn of plenty, they are put in concert with each other, sometimes on tabletops like a conventional still life, sometimes like interlocking jigsaw puzzle pieces, sometimes with the elements simply lined up like toy soldiers or books on a mantelpiece. Hopefully the interplay between elements creates a level of revelation & magic.
It’s been 40 years since I last showed in Niagara. My first exhibition was right here in St. Catharines at Rodman Hall’s Annual Ontario Jury show in 1972. I presented a picture called Dad’s Sweater of my father eating an ice cream cone. His favorite flavor was Maple Walnut. This show is dedicated to him with love.
- From the Artist's Statement
HOW TO READ + THE LAST VISPO + PLEASE, NO MORE POETRY
How to Read by derek beaulieu
Opening Reception: Friday 22 March, 7-11 pm
The evening will include:
- Readings by derek beaulieu, Sharon Harris, Jenny Sampirisi, and Karl Jirgens
- Launch of The Last Vispo Anthlogy, 1998-2008 (ed. Crag Hill & Nico Vassilakis)
- Launch of Please, no more poetry: the selected works of derek beaulieu by derek beaulieu (ed. Kit Dobson)
About HOW TO READ…
A self-described “linguistic architect,” derek beaulieu’s engagements have often recycled and reclaimed literary detritus with which he has built a complex of unimagined lettristic constructions. As though he is issuing a direct response to Brion Gysin’s oft-cited dictum “poetry is fifty years behind painting,” beaulieu’s HOW TO READ bridges that disciplinary gap. In a show where the conceptual and the visual coalesce, HOW TO READ moves beaulieu’s work from the book and from the journal and into the gallery where he explores the materiality of the page and the letter. Acknowledging that the information age has changed the way we navigate the word, HOW TO READ shows us how our cut, copy, and paste culture has transformed reading praxis. Exhibiting seldom seen work like “The Newspaper” and never before seen pieces like “The Alphabet,” this is beaulieu’s first major solo exhibit.
About The Last Vispo Anthology, 1998-2008…
The Last Vispo Anthology is composed of vispo (a portmanteau of the words “visual” and “poetry") from the years 1998 to 2008, during a burst of creative activity fueled by file sharing and email, which made it possible for the vispo community to establish a more heightened and sophisticated dialogue with one another. The collection extends the dialectic between art and literature that began with ancient “shaped text,” medieval pattern poetry, and dada typography, pushing past the concrete poetics of the 1950s and the subsequent mail art movement of the 1980s to its current incarnation. Rather than settle into predictable, unchallenged patterns, this vibrant poetry seizes new tools to expand the body of work that inhabits the borderlands of visual art and poetic language.
The Last Vispo Anthology features 148 contributors from 23 countries on five continents. It includes 12 essays that illuminate the abundant history and the state of vispo today. The anthology offers a broad amalgam of long-time practitioners and poets new to visual poetry over the last decade, underscoring the longevity and the continued vitality of the art form.
About Please, no more poetry: the selected works of derek beaulieu…
Since the beginning of his poetic career in the 1990s, derek beaulieu has created works that have challenged readers to understand in new ways the possibilities of poetry. With nine books currently to his credit, and many works appearing in chapbooks, broadsides, and magazines, beaulieu continues to push experimental poetry, both in Canada and internationally, in new directions. Please, No More Poetry is the first selected works of derek beaulieu.
As the publisher of first housepress and, more recently, No Press, beaulieu has continually highlighted the possibilities for experimental work in a variety of writing communities. His own work can be classified as visual poetry, as concrete poetry, as conceptual work, and beyond. His work is not to be read in any traditional sense, as it challenges the very idea of reading; rather, it may be understood as a practice that forces readers to reconsider what they think they know. As beaulieu continues to push himself in new directions, readers will appreciate the work that he has created to date, much of which has become unavailable in Canada.
With an introduction by Kit Dobson and an interview with derek beaulieu by Lori Emerson as an afterword, Please, no more poetry: the selected works of derek beaulieu offers readers an opportunity to gain access to a complex experimental poetic practice through thirty-five selected representative works.
For more information contact,
Minister of Communications & Inland Revenue
Niagara Artists Centre
Board of Directors
Niagara Artists Centre
Grey Borders Reading Series
The Grey Borders Reading Series gratefully acknowledges the financial support of The Canada Council for the Arts and Brock University’s Canadian Studies program.
The Language of Visual Poetry
A city-wide celebration of the
St. Catharines-born artist’s life and work
Presented by Rodman Hall Art Centre
in collaboration with Niagara Artists Centre
& CRAM International
Rodman Hall Art Centre
109 St. Paul Crescent | www.brocku.ca/rodman-hall
29 September – 30 December 2012
Niagara Artists Centre
354 St. Paul Street | www.nac.org
29 September – 30 December 2012
24 James Street, 2nd Floor | www.craminternational.ca
5 October – 30 October 2012
Opening Reception: Friday 12 October 7-11 pm
Opening Remarks at Rodman Hall at 7:30 pm
Gallery crawl to CRAM International at 8:30 pm
Performance at Niagara Artists Centre at 9:30 pm
A pioneer of interdisciplinary practice in Canada, Dennis Tourbin produced a distinctive body of work integrating the written word with painting, drawing, video and performance. From the early 1970s until his death in 1998, Tourbin’s prescient work engaged with mass media, using mediated text and imagery in an exploration of language and meaning. Part documentarian and part storyteller, Tourbin employed the aesthetics of collage and a serial approach in the drawings and vivid paintings he called ‘visual poems.’ Tracing Tourbin’s practice from his first painting to his final print, this retrospective is the first comprehensive consideration of the artist’s oeuvre.
Anchored by Rodman Hall, the exhibition extends to Niagara Artists Centre and CRAM International in recognition of Tourbin’s contribution to the development of local artist run culture. This multi-venue exhibition has been curated by Marcie Bronson, with special thanks to Shirley Madill for her early support of the project. An illustrated catalogue featuring essays by Diana Nemiroff, Guy Lachapelle, and Judith Parker will be published in 2013.
Rodman Hall Art Centre is grateful for the financial support of the Ontario Arts Council. Niagara Artists Centre acknowledges the support of the Canada Council for the Arts, the Ontario Arts Council, the City of St. Catharines, and the Niagara Community Foundation. CRAM International is supported by the CRAM Collective, and Lisa Matheson and Frank Coy.
Born and raised in St. Catharines, Ontario, Dennis Tourbin (1946-1998) was a self-taught artist and writer. His work has been widely exhibited in solo and group exhibitions throughout Canada and in Europe, and is held in major Canadian institutions. He published numerous books of poetry and novels including The Port Dalhousie Stories (Coach House Press, 1987), a chronicle of growing up in St. Catharines in the 1960s. A fervent arts activist, Tourbin played a vital role in artist-run culture in Ontario and was a founding member of Niagara Artists’ Cooperative (now Niagara Artists Centre) in St. Catharines.
Image: Dennis Tourbin with painted paddle from The Writing of Painting of Martha, A One Act Play, 1975. © The Estate of Dennis Tourbin, CARCC, 2012.
It is our consumer culture that enables Salvage Swell to be produced. The structure takes the form of a wild mushroom and has a double meaning. The term mushroom is used in the English language to emphasize something growing rapidly in size and scope. This growth is parallel to our consumer culture and the many industries that feed it. The speed at which we consume and reproduce materials and goods has long been questionable in regards to our own survival. The materials obtained for this project were provided by Goodwill Industries and represent a small fraction of the unwanted discarded items that are unsold – and therefore labeled as salvage.
Opening Reception Saturday 26 May at 7pm
There is hope for us yet. Mushrooms are a fungi commonly growing on decaying logs and stumps on forest floors. By this logic, the mushroom portrayed in Salvage Swellbecomes a symbol for re-growth. The recycling industry is catching up to our consuming habits. The question of what to do with our discarded items is now more easily answered than ever before. Unwanted clothing is donated to nonprofit organization like Goodwill Industries and is resold. What does not get purchased, however, used to be deposited in landfill sites by the ton on a daily basis. More and more, these materials are being recycled. Denim is made into home insulation and clothing in general is being made into paper. What’s more, it was very expensive to discard the unwanted clothing. Now, these many tons of clothing can be surprisingly profitable.
- from the artist's statement
Four From Six
Artist-talk and reception Saturday 28 April 3pm
Four Artists from Six Nations
Tracey Anthony, Jay Carrier, Elliott Doxtater-Wynn,
& Brenda Mitten - Curated by Shelley Niro
Takin’ it to the Curb
An installation by Clinton Michael Lown
Plate Glass Gallery
The exhibition 4 from 6 Four Artists from Six Nations, features the photographs and paintings of Brenda Mitten, Tracey Anthony, Jay Carrier, and Elliott Graham Doxtater Wynn. Artist and curator Shelley Niro has gathered works by these artists which heighten contemporary perspectives emerging from ancestral knowledge and an oppressive social and political history, while seeking to assist in the formation of a positive cultural, social and political future.
Within this circular fabric of this dialogue, Elliott Graham Doxtater-Wynn layers dream-like visions as metaphysical interpretations of contemporary life. Jay Carrier challenges the misconceptions and stereotypes of Native America particularly surrounding the construct of the “urban Indian”. Brenda Mitten‘s photography records the community of Six Nations on an everyday basis. Tracey Anthony explores the visual narratives of archetypal heroes and anti-heroes in order to deconstruct cultural stereotypes.
The Artists in collaboration with the curator have worked to confront and transgress Aboriginal art expectations and have created a conversation that explores and scrutinizes cultural stereotypes related to nostalgic echoes of a more natural landscape and traditional community, visions and dream-states, contemporary and urban Indigenous personas, and the recent political tensions such as that surrounding the Six Nations land claims related to Caledonia and the Haldimand tract. The artists have used unconventional media, individual perspectives, and descriptive imagery to express a vision of both resistance and future possibilities.
- Tracey Anthony is a visual artist of Iroquoian descent currently living on the Mississauga of the New Credit Reserve and holds a degree in drawing and painting from OCAD.
- Jay Carrier is a visual artist born on Six Nations to Onondaga/Tuscarora parents, who is currently living in Niagara Falls, New York and holds a BFA from the University of Illinois.
- Elliott Graham Doxtater-Wynn is a member of Six Nations and a visual artist living and working in Thunder Bay, ON, who holds a BFA from Lakehead University.
- Brenda Mitten lives in Ohsweken, ON. She is a re-emerging documentary photographer and a member of the Bear Clan of Seneca Nation.
- Curator Shelley Niro is an independent Curator, filmmaker, visual artist and member of the Mohawk Nation. She graduated from the OCAD with a Diploma of Fine Arts and holds an MFA from UWO.
65-Point Plan for Sustainable Living
and Other Works by Jeremy Drummond
Saturday 8 October - Saturday 7 December
Opening Reception + Artist Talk
Saturday 15 October at 3pm
65-Point Plan for Sustainable Living
In the summer of 2006, I embarked on a road trip across the majority of North America as a means of capturing source material for future projects. Upon returning home, I decided to archive this source material and shift my focus towards satellite and digital imaging technologies. Foregrounding virtual exploration as a form of contemporary experience; I became interested in this collapse of space and time as an extension of physical, yet peripheral experiences associated with older forms of mechanized travel – particularly, the automobile. Drawing connections between medieval urban design and contemporary gated communities, I also became interested in issues regarding environmental stability and false notions of safety within the context of globalization. In both content and process, I consider 65-Point Plan for Sustainable Living as an extension of my previous works and a point of departure for my expanding interests in landscape development, architectural environments, and relationships between technology and human perception.
65-Point Plan for Sustainable Living exists as a collection of sixty-five aerial images depicting every Canadian Province and US State. Each image portrays a single subdivision that has been digitally reconstructed into an enclosed geographical space - with no roads leading in or out. As an installation, these images are displayed to loosely reflect their original geographic and spatial relationship – functioning as a re-mapping of Canada and the USA. These images are printed as Lambda prints and are face and back-mounted to clear acrylic. As a multiple, these sixty-five images exist as a limited edition boxed-set of offset postcards.
-- Jeremy Drummond
Jeremy Drummond is a Canadian artist currently living in Richmond, VA. In 1999 he received a BFA in Studio Arts from the University of Western Ontario and in 2003, a MFA in Art Media Studies from Syracuse University. His work has been exhibited widely in festivals, galleries and museums throughout North America, South America, Europe and Asia.
Limitations and other discontents
A three-channel video installation by Faye Mullen
Friday 8 July through Saturday 17 September
Special exhibit preview Friday 8 July at 8:00pm
On Hearing performed by the artist
Saturday 10 September at 8:00pm
With an artist’s talk and reception to follow
The Bird is the Word
derek beaulieu • Gregory Betts • bill bissett • Judith Copithorne • kevin mcpherson eckhoff • Marinko Jareb Travis Kirton • Kelly Mark • Steve McCaffery • a.rawlings Laurel Woodcock • Hallie Siegel & Matthew Donovan
On display from 9 March - 4 June 2011
Opening Reception Friday 11 March 7pm
Readings beginning at 8pm by
derek beaulieu, bill bissett & Honey Novick,
a.rawlings, and Steve McCaffery with Jeremy Lessard
Musical Performance by Gary Barwin
This exhibit explores the territory where language and visual art intersect through the work of writers and artists. This common (play)ground has been covered by Concrete Poets, Cubists, Dadaists, Futurists, and Surrealists among others. Expanding semantic expression beyond the conventional structures of language includes the exploration of typography as imagery and engages philosophy, semiotics, and political and social commentary. The Bird is the Word will feature poets and visual artists from across Canada delving into the conceptual, spatial, and material presence of the written word. It showcases a multiplicity of media and disciplines including video projection, onsite installation, collage, sculpture, and micrography.
This project is supported by the Grey Borders Reading Series
Laurel Woodcock gratefully acknowledges the support of the Toronto Arts Council
kelly mark + thierry delva
sat 17 july - sat 18 september
reception friday 17 september @ 7pm
St. Catharines-on-the-Parking-Lot - Sometimes staying cool is a frame of mind. The Niagara Artists Centre may not be equipped with the luxury of conditioned air but the current exhibit in the Show Room Gallery helps the mind stay off the heat by featuring no fewer than four kitchen fridges.
This fact is just one of the reasons that lOl is the cool show of 2010. NAC has assembled a collection of work by nationally acclaimed artists Thierry Delva (an instructor at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design) and Kelly Mark (originally from Welland) that highlights their unusual combining of the conceptual and the comedic.
lOl shows these artists ongoing use of humour and satire as way to explore ideas. Full up with fridges, hallmarks of the exhibit are The Kiss by Delva, that positions two fridges running hot and cold against one another and a white kitchen fridge that Mark has covered with a seemingly unending handwritten list of things “I really should…” [do].
“I have always had an intense preoccupation with the differing shades of pathos and humour found in the repetitive mundane tasks, routines and rituals of everyday life,” says Mark.
“It’s a homecoming for Kelly” says Stephen Remus, Minister of Energy, Minds and Resources. “And we’ve brought the two artists together for the way their work responds to each other as well how well it fits with NAC’s own forty year history of witty and satirical art projects and exhibits.”
Delva and Mark will be on hand for an artist talk and a closing night reception on Friday 17 September at 7pm.