A Common Land Transformed : Magdolene Dykstra in the Plate Glass Gallery

A Common Land Transformed
Installation by Magdolene Dykstra
Plate Glass Gallery at NAC

A Common Land Transformed imagines an alien terrain, rich with unfamiliar life-forms billowing out of their containers. Inspired by microbiology, I use an aesthetic of cellular accumulation to reference the vast numbers of the human race, swarming beyond what is sustainable.
Like the Romantic paintings of the 19thcentury, this work taps into the wonder we experience in nature. The Romantics were inspired by the sublime power of the great things in nature – torrential storms, cavernous depths, and frightening heights – reminding the viewer of their diminutive status in relation to grand landscapes. I sight the sublime in microbial terrain. The abundance of this unseen universe parallels the unfathomable scale of humanity. The unfamiliar life in my work triggers a cautious curiosity, as it pushes beyond the boundaries provided for it invading our tense reality. Within this composition, each individual is absurdly insignificant except for its interconnectedness to everything around them. Gathered en masse, these lifeforms overwhelm the structure upon which they grow. Composed of raw clay, this landscape will not last. Impermanence enhances preciousness. The things that don’t last demand more careful attention.

Magdolene Dykstra is an Egyptian-Canadian artist-educator based in St. Catharines, Ontario. She uses raw clay sculptures and installations to meditate on the multiplicity of the human race. Her research includes sublime philosophy, Abstract Expressionism, environmental concerns, and an interest in secular Buddhism. Magdolene received her MFA from Virginia Commonwealth University. Magdolene thanks the Ontario Arts Council for their support.

period of adjustment / an exhibition by Carrie Perreault / Opening Reception Friday 10 May 2019 7PM

period of adjustment
an exhibition
by Carrie Perreault

NAC’s Show Room Gallery
Opening Reception Friday 10 May 2019 7PM-10PM
On display until Saturday 17 August 2019

Presented as part of NAC’s Homecoming Series.

Working primarily in sculpture and performance, Carrie Perreault balances resistance and restraint in onerous actions that recount long-term precarity. In making her work, she expends great effort to achieve minimal results. This isn’t about labour; she prioritizes process to reflect on systems of abuse and their connection to emotional and psychological experiences. Through gestural, often repetitive acts and narratives that resist closure, she alludes to complex trauma and its residual effects. By exploring, in a visceral way, failures, vulnerabilities, and the limits of her body, Perreault makes viewers keenly aware of their own.

Carrie Perreault is an artist based in Toronto and New York. Her work has been included in exhibitions and projects at Idea Exchange, Cambridge Galleries, curated by Iga Janik (2019); Deathnastics, as part of Gymsick, curated by Hazel Meyer and Lucy Pawlak, Toronto (2018); Hamilton Biennale (2017); Strange Beauty, Tangled Arts +Disability Festival, Toronto (2015); Treasure Hill Artist Village, Taipei (2014). Perreault has been awarded residencies at Open Studio (Toronto), The Banff Centre and Taipei Artist Village.

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IMAGE DESCRIPTION: There is an image at the top of the page. It is a close up photograph of a woman that’s cropped around her mouth. Her left hand is up against her lips and inside her slightly open mouth she is holding a dental flossing pick. The woman’s skin is white/ pink and the background is a soft blue.

This exhibition is partially accessible. There is ramp access at the entrance of the Niagara Artists Centre. The gallery is on the ground floor along with three non-gendered bathrooms, one of which is accessible. There will be an audio description of the exhibition available. If you have specific accommodation requests please get in touch with natasha@nac.org

 

XCAVATE: A vision in four gauges / Sat 16 March 2019

XCAVATE
A vision in four gauges

Workshop Presentation
Saturday 16 March 2019
Doors at 8:30PM / Event at 9:00PM
Niagara Artists Centre / Show Room Gallery

Featuring work by Matt Caldwell, Jennifer Judson, Katie Mazi, Lauren Mucciarone, Caleb Shaver, Evan Wallace, Connor Wilkes.

Long live the machines! Inspired by the languishing expanse of half-functioning analog media gear in NAC’s basement, rogue auteur Jonathan Culp and sonic outlaw Marinko Jareb go ‘digging’ with seven local artists.

For one night only – Saturday March 16 at 9pm, we present the result of this four week workshop: a projection performance crafted from film, slides and sound – media relics found, bought and sought, sliced, diced, slashed, gashed, and looped together into something exciting and new.

Come help us unearth these buried treasures.

Bar by Mahtay Café.

HOWLS / Kelly Kirkham / Plate Glass Gallery

HOWLS
Kelly Kirkham
Plate Glass Gallery at NAC
February 2019-April 2019

Howls were engineered in the year 2030 with the genes from owl, horse, macaw and shark to subsist on all types of waste plastics. The earth was experiencing a plastics crisis, and this was one of the solutions. Things went well for a while, as howls were docile herd animals.  They could survive in most climates, and were quite abundant near cities and manufacturing centres. However, around 2050 the Howls (also prolific breeders) developed a genetic mutation in their gut bacteria, that along with their highly acidic saliva soon led to them eating all sorts of other materials. Worldwide damage to city infrastructures and vehicles followed, leading to a massive cull of free roaming Howls, with only a few thousand left in zoos.

The last howl died in the San Diego Zoo in 2104.

– Kelly Kirkham

 

Check out more of Kelly’s work here

 

UH-OH / Alexa Fraser at FLEA MARKET GALLERY

UH-OH
Alexa Fraser

Reception Sunday 3 February 2019 1PM-3PM
On display until end of April 2019
At NAC’s Flea Market Gallery
St. Catharines’ Factory Outlet Flea Market

“Uh-oh” is a reflection of the high level of anxiety and fear we are feeling at this time in history. Two figures dressed in business clothes hide in bushes behind a worried man trying to enjoy a day at the park; the marshmallows in his hot cocoa spelling out his feelings, like reading tea leaves, but sweeter. The hidden figures represent those in power and/or holding the world’s wealth who don’t have the safety and well-being of the people and the environment in mind.

Alexa Fraser is a Textile and Installation Artist, Puppet Maker and Puppeteer, Designer and Seamstress from St.Catharines, Ontario. Alexa holds a B.Des in Fashion Design from Ryerson University and has studied puppetry construction and performance with the Old Trout Puppetry Workshop at their New England Intensive and with the Puppetmongers and CLUNK Puppet Lab at the Humber College Puppetry Intensive and the Toronto School of Puppetry. Alexa has displayed work in many solo and group art exhibits, teaches textile art and puppet making workshops, makes and performs puppets for Theatre and designs costumes for Theatre.

Recent credits include puppet construction and performance of Birdwatching for Beginners a short puppetry piece as part of Carousel Player’s Culture Days 2018, puppet construction and performance for Canada 225, a historical play celebrating Canada’s 150 in 2017, puppet construction and installation at XPT Xperimental Puppetry Festival at the Centre for Puppetry Arts in Atlanta, Georgia (with Clelia Scala as the Enormous Elsewhere) in 2017, puppet construction and performance at the Voix de Ville Extravaganza (with Clelia Scala as the Enormous Elsewhere) in 2016, watercolour + embroidery pieces at the Niagara Artists Centre Member’s Gallery for duo show with Katalin Koos in 2017, installation pieces the In the Soil Arts Festival and has been Head of Wardrobe for Carousel Players since 2015.  Alexa is very proud to be part of the Enormous Elsewhere, a puppetry performance and installation company with Clelia Scala.

 

Presented by the Niagara Artists Centre (NAC) in partnership with the St. Catharines Factory Outlet Flea Market

READY PLAYER TWO / Sonny Assu + Brendan Tang

Opening Reception
Fri 7 Sept 2018 7PM
On display until 7 December 2018

Programmed in support of Celebration of Nations
taking place Fri 7 Sept – Sun 9 Sept in downtown
St. Catharines. For more info on festival events visit celebrationofnations.ca

An art exhibit about the joys of gaming, sci-fi, and comics;
About cultural identity, pop culture, and growing up a ‘geek’;
Partly nostalgic for an ado­lescence spent living in the rec-rooms of the 1980s and 90s;
Also humourous, imaginative, and executed with a great level of craft;
Two artists transform the Niagara Artists Centre this fall 

Brendan Lee Satish Tang and Sonny Assu combine elements from science fiction, comic book, and gaming cultures to consider how these forms alternately reinforce and transcend racial boundaries in youth culture. In their individual practices, Tang and Assu frequently negotiate the material and conceptual dynamics of culture and ethnicity.  Informed by their mixed-race backgrounds and experiences of Canadian life in the 1980s and 1990s, for this exhibition the artists bring together found objects, selections from previous bodies of work, and new collaborative pieces to create immersive spaces that evoke the adolescent sanctuaries of their time: the basement, the arcade, and the comic book store.

Ready Player Two
is curated by Laura Schneider and organized and circulated by The ReachThis project is made possible through generous support from the Canada Council for the Arts.


ABOUT THE ARTISTS
Sonny Assu was raised in North Delta, BC, over 250 km away from his home ancestral home on unceded Liǥwildaʼx̱w territory (Campbell River, BC.). Along with his extensive exhibition record Assu has been long-listed for the Sobey Art Award three times and his work can be found in numerous collections including the National Gallery of Canada, Seattle Art Museum, Vancouver Art Gallery, and the Burke Museum at the University of Washington.  He holds a Master of Fine Arts degree from Concordia University.

Brendan Lee Satish Tang was born in Dublin to Trinidadian parents of Chinese and South Asian descent and lives in Vancouver, BC. He earned his formal art education on both Canadian coasts and the American Midwest. Tang has participated in residencies and exhibitions internationally was a nominee for the 2017 LOEWE Craft Prize, an annual international award celebrating excellence in craftsmanship. He has lectured at conferences and academic institutions across the continent, and is currently a sessional instructor at Emily Carr University.

THANK YOU
This exhibit is generously sponsored by our friends at CMS Intelligence, Elgin Contracting & RestorationHughes & Co.,  Generator at One, RAMM Design Labs, and Brainkite Artistic Solutions.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Time Stops by Paul Roorda / Flea Market Gallery

Time Stops / Paul Roorda
Flea Market Gallery
St. Catharines Factory Outlet Flea Market
Open 
Sundays from 9AM-4:30PM

Originally presented as a temporary public art project in downtown Waterloo, Time Stops, the name for these micro-galleries,  were found attached to wooden utility poles for people to discover as they walked through their neighbourhoods. Displayed together in the gallery, themes of climate change, time, and memory emerge as the Time Stops amuse us with their melodies. Reminiscent of cabinets of curiosity, flea market displays, shadowboxes, and surreal art, Time Stops invite people to step out of their thoughts and intended path to experience an intimately scaled poetic event. The altered chimes of a child’s music box accompany nostalgic images of floods and skies. By adding clocks, barometers, and other vintage curiosities, viewers are gently challenged to reconsider their place in a world of quickly changing climate.

Paul Roorda is a Waterloo artist who transforms found materials to create two-dimensional art, sculptures, and outdoor site-specific installations that examine the relationship between religion, medicine, science, and environmentalism He has exhibited extensively with solo exhibitions in Canada, the United States, and Germany and has been awarded grants from the Ontario Arts Council and the Canada Council for the Arts.  Paul Roorda was a finalist for the 2016 K.M. Hunter Artist Award in Ontario. He has also been the subject of an episode of “The Artist’s Life” which aired on Bravo TV in 2005. Roorda was Artist in Residence for the City of Kitchener, Ontario, in 2007 and at GlogauAIR in Berlin, in 2012 and 2015. His public interventions have been displayed in neighbourhoods in Kitchener/Waterloo, Toronto, and Ottawa. Recent art examines the human experience of climate change and the passage of time in slow moving kinetic sculptures and publicly installed musical micro-galleries.

For more information, please go to www.paulroorda.com

 

 

 

 

A History of TIME STOPS as Public Art
Read about the show’s history as public art, from first discovery in Waterloo neighbourhoods, to an order to remove the work, to the return of the art to the street, and finally to the work being stolen.

 

 

Sprout + About / Emma Lee Fleury / Plate Glass Gallery Spring 2018

SPROUT + ABOUT
Emma Lee Fleury
NAC’s Plate Glass Gallery
In celebration of In the Soil Arts Festival YR 10

An installation made of recycled mediums and organic matter in response to the current state of Planet Earth. Emma’s installation works are the explorations of methods that can be used within sustainable art making intended to push the boundaries of what can be done with “things” considered omitted, extending the life and use of human inventions with creative interventions that invite all energies to connect.

Emma Lee Fleury is a multidisciplinary artist and musician from the Niagara Region. Her work revolves around perceptions of the earth, the sun, black holes – and beyond – the energies rendering us grounded, the environment, time in presence and in memory passing through in reactory waves of love, sound and recycled mixed-mediums. Her bands are Niagara’s Moonfox and GTA Collective Fat Moth.

LESSER GODS / Bevan Ramsay / Fri 11 May 2018

LESSER GODS
Bevan Ramsay

Show Room Gallery
Opening Reception Friday 11 May at 7PM
On display until Friday 3 August 2018

It is hardly surprising that in our society perceptions of homeless persons remain two-dimensional, stereotypical, inadequate. Even for the rare administration tackling the problems of homelessness in an effective, meaningful way, the homeless person’s humanity is buried beneath a mountain of endless statistical markers: mental illness, substance abuse, soup-kitchen attendance, etc. The enormous negativity lingering about the resultant profile permits scant room for other, arguably important accoutrements of the human experience—character, emotion, intellect, beauty, relationship to divinity—and leaves homeless persons basically where they already are: on the street, the objects of middle-class loathing or pity.

Struck by this depressing determinism, artist Bevan Ramsay set out to cast portrait busts of homeless persons (one woman, the others men), producing an edition in fine, white statuary Hydrocal plaster mounted on mahogany bases. These portraits, titled Lesser Gods, are objects of fine craftsmanship, skillfully rendered and strikingly beautiful, and they permit us to reconsider these folks not through the screen of stereotypes or statistics, but as individuals, complicating our urge to pity.

A Montrealer by upbringing, until recently Ramsay lived and worked out of New York, a city in which homelessness is closely contiguous with the city’s history and identity. In a certain irony, homeless people are statistically more likely to be native to New York than most New Yorkers. Yet, although they are more closely tied to place than the housed citizens (including Ramsay) of this intensely transplanted city, they are politically non-existent.

Accordingly, Ramsay spent many hours in conversation with his portrait subjects, getting to know them and letting them determine the course of the discussion. Most were open and forthcoming; only one remained demure. Biographical details were left out for privacy’s sake. Mindful of the need to respect person and character, and confronted by complex, daunting ethical issues, Ramsay did not rush to realize the project.

Baroque portraiture supplied Ramsay with an art-historical antecedent; with its emphasis on asymmetry, such portraiture yields greater charismatic possibilities than classical traditions. Rather than ideals or types, baroque portraiture insists on character, allowing the artist’s subjects to be “immortalized in high style,” as Ramsay explains.

We experience ourselves suddenly free to appreciate each subject’s facial expression and attitude, decisions on hair and beard grooming, or jacket style. And in Ramsay’s plaster, quite similar to porcelain, there is neither stench nor besmirchment—no abjection, no “street”—and we begin to understand what it is about homelessness that so terrifies the middle classes in the age of austerity. This guy—he could be you or me. Your son or my father. Our brother.

– Edwin Janzen

Meanwhile out on Hudson’s Bay / Melt: a new series of paintings by Kurt Swinghammer

Meanwhile out on Hudson’s Bay
Melt: a new series of paintings by Kurt Swinghammer

Show Room Gallery and special to the Dennis Tourin Members Gallery
Opening Reception Friday 27 April at 8PM
In conjunction with In the Soil Arts Festival

It was close to 100 years ago that Group Of Seven founder Lawren Harris painted highly stylized depictions of snow capped Rocky Mountains and Artic ice flows. As a young art enthusiast, Kurt Swinghammer absorbed this work via reproductions hung in his public school. In his teens, Swinghammer was soaking up library books on the modernist colour field work of Group of Eleven’s Jack Bush along with the British Op Art movement’s Bridget Riley. These three streams of influence come together in Swinghammer’s new series of acrylic paintings called “Melt.”

Each canvas shows a graphically designed iceberg floating in an infinite body of water. Hundreds of carefully mixed shards of colour achieves a strong sense of depth and has become a signature technique for Swinghammer. The Melt series continues his interest in exploring a traditional Canadian subject matter in a contemporary manner.

Complimenting the exhibit is a screening of Swinghammer’s Turpentine reWIND. These animated videos accompany instrumental remixes of five tracks from his song cycle homage to Tom Thomson, Turpentine Wind from 2010. The animations slowly explore a series of paintings that are based on the digital WAV files of the vocal recordings from the album. Swinghammer painted on 8”x10” birch panels, the format used by Thomson in the field. WAV files can look strikingly similar to shorelines reflected in a still lake, one of the common themes of Thomson’s landscapes. The music was written, arranged and performed by Kurt with contributions from a number of prominent Toronto musicians and production by multiple Juno Award winning producer Michael Phillip Wojewoda.