Dog paddling toward the light by Steven Cottingham: Nov 2015-Feb2016

Dog paddling toward the light
Steven Cottingham
I am thinking both about ex-lovers and elected politicians, feeling conflicted by the hope and regret and passion and dread elicited in equal measures by these disparate entities. Using reflective vinyl, I have written ‘IT’S TOO BAD WE BOTH STAY UP ALL NIGHT FOR SO MANY NIGHTS THINKING ABOUT HOW MUCH WE HATE EACH OTHER’ and ‘IT’S TOO BAD WE BOTH STAY UP ALL NIGHT FOR SO MANY NIGHTS THINKING ABOUT HOW MUCH WE NEED EACH OTHER’ on the front-facing windows of the Plate Glass Gallery. The same language addresses either, the same language even addresses opposite poles of emotion. They are equally part of my life.
BioSteven Cottingham is another artist. Throughout 2015, he has participated in residencies at The Centre for Art and Urbanistics (Berlin, DE), The Luminary (St Louis, MO), and the prestigious Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture (Madison, ME). In the past year, he has exhibited in professional and guerrilla contexts in Berlin, Havana, Toronto, Philadelphia, Vancouver, Edmonton, and Calgary, with solo projects at ZK/U (Berlin, DE), Galerie Tiers-espace (Saint John, NB), TRUCK (Calgary, AB), and Connexion ARC (Fredericton, NB). He was previously the Programming Coordinator at The New Gallery and curator of the subversive Calgary Biennial. Currently he is writing, as so many others have done before, a book about art and love.

BLACK AND INCONGRUOUS HEADLINES by Anna Szaflarski

BLACK AND INCONGRUOUS HEADLINES
by Anna Szaflarski
Performance on the Thomas Craig Oliver Terrace at NAC
Saturday 26 September 8:30PM

Installation at NAC, The Flea Market Gallery, and the Golden Pheasant
On display until Saturday 6 December

The Niagara Artists Centre presents a reading and three newsbox installations by Niagara-born, and Berlin-based, artist and author Anna M. Szaflarski.
 
NAC will present a reading by Anna from her bi-weekly journal Letters to the Editors on Saturday 26 September. In addition to writing essays, short stories, and conceptual pieces, Szaflarski invites artists or writers from around the world to contribute to each issue of this journal. Eventually, all the issues of Letters to the Editors will be compiled and published in book format. 

The reading will take place on the evening of Saturday 26 September on the Thomas Craig Oliver Terrace at the Niagara Artists Centre at 8:30PM. The reading will be in advance of a musical performance by N-E-O Trio accompanied with projected visuals.
 
As part of Anna’s return to St. Catharines, three newsbox installations will be on display from Sunday 4 October until Sunday 6 December 2015:

(1) at the Niagara Artists Centre at 354 St. Paul Street
(2) at the NAC Flea Market Gallery at 46 Turner Crescent
(3) at the Golden Pheasant at 244 Ontario Street
  
At each newsbox location poster editions of A Man’s Job by Anna will be available for
pick-up. The poster is comprised of a chronological collection of newspaper headlines tracking the relationship between the employees and the auto industry in Niagara that spans over sixty years (1940-2011). As Anna explains,
 
“I was researching in the library archives for another project, but quickly noticed the frequency of headlines pertaining to GM; unions, lay-offs, which rotated from hopeful to pessimistic with regularity like the wheels of a mill…Together the fluid back and forth begins to lose all meaning; an eventual entropic disintegration.”

The title of the poster edition is a reference taken from a newsletter by Columbus McKinnon, an industrial firm eventually taken over by General Motors. A passage of rhetoric from the same McKinnon newsletter of the 1930s is included on the poster and reflects expectations of the relationship between a man and his employer. An image from the 1980s accompanies the text and depicts laid-off workers during the first major economic recession to impact GM.

This poster edition, A Man’s Job, investigates the expectations from both sides in the disintegrating love-affair between industry and its workers.
 
Born and raised in St. Catharines, Ontario, Anna Szaflarski is currently based in Berlin, Germany where she works predominantly as an art writer and artist-book publisher. 

Excelsior! 1975-2015: A survey of forty years of artwork by Dave Gordon on display until Saturday 28 November

Excelsior! 1975-2015:
A survey of forty years of artwork by Dave Gordon
Opening Reception Saturday 29 August 2015 7PM

A survey of forty years of artwork, Excelsior! 1975-2015 is a testament to working in the ‘wilderness’. The paintings of Dave Gordon are idiosyncratic, humorous and above all display a perceptive eye to out surroundings: woodpiles outside a cabin, figures metaphorically “lost” in the wilderness and farcical political portraits—including many provincial and national politicians.  Especially incisive are a series of works produced during the bitter Mike Harris years (those aforementioned “lost years”), a perverse take on the Group of Seven, and a recent body of work documenting Gordon’s travels to Syria. In rejecting the spurious intellectualism of Conceptual art, Gordon found a way to document the local in a very personal manner. The works are simultaneously pastoral and political, finding solace in the landscape. 

Dave Gordon was born in London, Ontario and has been active in artist-run activities since the early 1970s. When the 20/20 Gallery closed in 1970, he and Jamelie Hassan founded the Polyglot Gallery in a local bookstore, and both helped establish the Forest City Gallery. In the mid 1970s, Gordon relocated from London to Kingston and in this new setting helped establish the Kingston Artists’ Association, Inc. / Modern Fuel Artist-run Centre in 1977; his support for artists’ rights and artistic responsibility have been wide acknowledged, often overshadowing his artistic practice which continues to develop in compelling ways.

Dave Gordon’s work is in the collections of the National Gallery of Canada, Museum London, the Art Gallery of Ontario, the Canada Council Art Bank, The MacIntosh Gallery, Agnes Etherington Art Centre – Queens University, and numerous private collections across Canada. He has participated in the International Print Exhibition at the Taller Cultural Centre in Santiago de Cuba in 2012, and the exhibition subsequently traveled to Havana and four Canadian venues. 

Generously supported by Shannon Passero, Excelsior! 1975-2015 will also travel to Niagara Artists’ Centre (St. Catharines) and Forest City Gallery (London).

SAN VICENTE installation by Gustavo Cerquera

SAN VICENTE
Gustavo Cerquera
Opens Friday 24 April 2015
On display in the Plate Glass Gallery until July 2015

San Vicente is an installation composed of several large-scale, hand-painted paper sculptures illuminated by projected animations. The environment created is a maze-like space inspired by Latin America histories and the aesthetics of ayahuasca hallucinations to recreate the physical, historical, and psychological sensations of the Amazon.

[accelerate]

[accelerate] art as game as machine
Show Room Gallery at NAC
Reception + Artist Talks
Saturday 28 March 2015 7PM | DJ Marinko

Featuring work by
Hannah Epstein (Pittsburg/Halifax)
Brian Kent Gotro (Toronto/Vancouver)
William Robinson (Montréal)
Andrew Roth (Niagara)

Curated by
Julia Polyck-O’Neill


21st Century Aesthetics:

the blurring of boundaries between the digital and the real, between algorithms and desire, between capitalism and existence, between video games and visual art forms

how have progress narratives infiltrated consciousness?
how have imposed systems and received ideas become pervasive in our thinking and dreaming? and how can we emancipate ourselves?

is it through subversion, inversion, conversion, immersion, diversion, perversion?

the works included in this exhibition propose new narratives, micro and macro, aesthetic, affective, and conceptual, to illustrate how we might seek to understand our position in the contemporary zeitgeist

[d]igitality is with us. It is that which haunts all the messages, all the signs of our societies. The most concrete form you see it in is that of the test, of the question/answer, of the stimulus/response. All content is neutralized by a continual procedure of directed interrogation, of verdicts and ultimatums to decode (Baudrillard, “The Orders of Simulacra”, 115)

what is art? what is a machine? what is a game?
[accelerate] is art as game as machine.
come play.

Trappings: Claire Paquet

Trapping by Claire Paquet
Flea Market Gallery
Begins Sunday 25 January 2015

I am fascinated by the daily rituals that govern our lives and the coping mechanisms we use to feel in control of our existence. I imagine that there is a little bit of magic in every repeated, nearly unconscious action that helps us get through our days, and I am compelled to try and exist in this area between the daily and the spiritual. Trappings represents the beginnings of an exploration into an everyday ritual space – the bedside table. Through collection, craft, and reflection, I am building up the trappings of a world that revolves around the bedside table.

— Claire Paquet

UNIVERSAL REMOTE: An Interactive Installation by Donna Akrey

UNIVERSAL REMOTE
An Interactive Installation
Donna Akrey

Opening reception Saturday 21 February 2015 at 3pm

Universal Remote is built to engage the public and encourage collaboration. The installation asks the viewers to take the controls and to consider from a closer perspective-the movement of the landscape (be it urban, suburban, industrial, abstract) and their hand in it—even if imaginary. It also revels in the chaos, beauty and possibilities of the spaces we live in.

Suggested are questions and concerns about our use of land, the displacement of the natural landscape, our obsession with borders, mass productions, the continued influx of suburban development, waste and our (at times) passive, armchair view of the world.

The word remote means both the idea of place and the idea of chance. This installation/performance will hopefully be an opportunity to explore this collaboratively with the public in St. Catharines.