We Aspire: An exhibit of work by Métis artists in Niagara / Sat 9 Sept 2017

We Aspire
An exhibit of work by Métis artists in Niagara
Dennis Tourbin Members Gallery / Niagara Artists Centre
Featuring work by Brian Kon, Sterling Kon, Amanda Pont-Shanks, and Julia Simone

Opening Reception Saturday 9 September 6PM
On display until Friday 22 September

 

Honoring the tradition of Métis dot art and bead work, We Aspire features work by four Métis visual artists living in Niagara. The custom of bead patterning was traditionally used by the Métis to adorn their clothes, equipment and animals.

“The Metis were known as the ‘flower bead people’, my art is intended to honor the skills and artistry of my ancestors by using traditional and historic bead patterns as the inspiration for my work,” says Brian Kon, one of the artists featured in the exhibit.

The exhibit opens on Saturday 9 September at 6PM in conjunction with Where the Weather Happens: An Exhibit of Contemporary Métis Art curated by Amy Malbeuf and Jessie Short in the Show Room Gallery.

We Aspire is presented by the Niagara Artists Centre with support from the Niagara Region Métis Council and in partnership with Celebration of Nations and the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre.

 

About the Artists
Brian Kon
Brian is an indigenous artist with a passion for preserving the culture and history of Métis people. Brian creates modern versions of historic bead patterns traditionally used by Métis to adorn their clothes, equipment and animals. By replicating bead patterns using individual “dots” of paint he honors the tradition on canvas.

Sterling Kon
Sterling is a proud Métis artist and entrepreneur who grew up in the Niagara region after moving from Winnipeg at a young age with his family. In 2017 his work was displayed internationally at festivals in Canada and as far away as Ethiopia. Sterling finds inspiration from both the traditions of the Métis and modern works.

Amanda Pont-Shanks
Amanda has an Art and Design diploma from Niagara College as well as a diploma in Early Childhood Education and currently works for the Métis Nation of Ontario as a Family Wellbeing Coordinator. Her art is inspired by Métis traditions and memories of her great grandfather’s garden in Beamsville. She works in several mediums including painting, beadwork, drawing, and paper art.

Julia Simone
Julia is a 13 year-old emerging artist from École Notre Dame de la Jeunesse in Niagara Falls. She is currently the Artist-in-Residence for a not-for-profit organization called Seedling for Change.  She collaborated on a logo design, featured in this show, for one of their current projects, Share Peace, Discover Niagara River.

 

 

Where the Weather Happens: Jason Baerg, Jaime Koebel, Sheri Nault / Sat 19 Aug-Sat 28 Oct

Where the Weather Happens
Curated by Amy Malbeuf and Jessie Short
Featuring Work by Jason Baerg, Jaime Koebel, Sheri Nault

Opening Reception Saturday 9 September 6PM-8PM

The troposphere is a layer of the earth’s atmosphere in which human beings exist, connecting the land to the perceived sky. It is the place where nearly all of the weather on earth happens. The works of Jason Baerg, Jaime Koebel and Sheri Nault activate the land and sky, and all that is within, through their intimate and delicate expression of deep connection to this space of energetic flux. Where The Weather Happens is an expression of the relationship and interactions between the land and sky as beings who live within this space.

image: After winter // signs of life (1). Pastel and drawing paper. 2016. Sheri Nault

 

About the artists

JASON BAERG
Jason Baerg (Cree Metis / German) is an Indigenous curator, educator, and visual artist. Upcoming 2017 curatorial projects include exhibitions with Toronto’s Nuit Blanche and the University of Toronto. Baerg graduated from Concordia University with a Bachelors of Fine Arts and a Masters of Fine Arts from Rutgers University. He currently is teaching as the Assistant Professor in Indigenous Practices in Contemporary Painting and Media Art at OCAD University. Dedicated to community development, he founded and incorporated the Metis Artist Collective and has served as volunteer Chair for such organizations as the Aboriginal Curatorial Collective and the National Indigenous Media Arts Coalition. Creatively, as a visual artist, he pushes new boundaries in digital interventions in drawing, painting and new media installation. Recent international solo exhibitions include the Illuminato Festival in Toronto, Canada, the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology in Australia and the Digital Dome at the Institute of the American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Jason Baerg has adjudicated numerous art juries and won awards through such facilitators as the Canada Council for the Arts, the Ontario Arts Council and The Toronto Arts Council. For more information about his work, please visit Jasonbaerg.com.


JAIME KOEBEL

Jaime Koebel is of Nehiyâw, Michif and German ancestry. She is especially inspired by floral and natural imagery in Michif art. Koebel’s art practice encompasses beadwork, fish scale art, birch bark biting and ink drawing. She manages Prairie Fire, a dance group in which performs with her three children. Koebel runs Indigenous Walks Tours in Ottawa, and she is the Educator of Indigenous Programs and Outreach at the National Gallery of Canada.


SHERI NAULT
Sheri Nault is a multi-disciplinary artist of Métis and mixed European descent. Situated within personal and political contexts, her art practice and research are grounded in queer, feminist, and Indigenous world-views. Through her work she strives to elicit a sense of social and ecological responsibility to one another on a damaged planet, exploring the connections between humans and nature. She completed her Master of Fine Arts degree at York University in 2017, was an Indigenous Practicum Participant in The Banff Centres Visual Arts department from 2014 to 2015, and received her BFA from the Alberta College of Art + Design in 2012. Recent exhibitions include Kin, the presentation of her thesis work; Entangled Bodies at the Art Gallery of York University (agYU); Things Little curated by Vanessa Nicolas, and the exhibition art( i f)ACTS curated by Belinda Ho-Yan Kwan in response to the agYU collection. She is a member of the 2017 cohort of the Intergenerational LGBT Artist Residency based at Artscape Gibraltar Point (postponed to 2018 due to flooding).

Nault is a member of the feminist, queer, and (2/3) Indigenous artists’ collective No. Is a Complete Sentence alongside artists Sandra Manilla and Taylor Norris.

 

 

STILL ALIVE by Katie Mazi : Spring/Summer 2017

STILL ALIVE
Katie Mazi
On display at NAC’s Flea Market Gallery

Still life paintings and drawings were commonly created, sold, collected and showcased since the 1300s and continue to be used as source material for artists. The still life is a timeless way to construct a work of art. Common elements include plants, food, flowers, drapery, vases, and jewellery as seen above.

Still Alive is a collection of found, household objects assembled to create a still life scene. The items on display were gathered from second-hand sources including this flea market. They all have gone through a similar cycle beginning at a retail store, to a residence, discarded and then brought together to restore their value. Each item has been through the process of being desired at one time, then unwanted. The intention of including reused imitation plant material along with ceramics was guided by their long lasting and timeless qualities, which are juxtaposed with their fragility and outdatedness. We are reminded of our own fragility, as the things we use, lose, trade, discard and find will often outlive us, as we move in and out of this world. Those who are passing by will view and perhaps document the scene if they choose.
Katie Mazi is an interdisciplinary artist based in the Niagara region. Her installation work immerses viewers into subversive domestic environments, while her photos illustrate vivid and deceptive scenes. She also uses painting and drawing to communicate fluid and immediate ideas. Mazi is most interested in using everyday objects to represent the absurdity of human behaviour, especially in relationship to non-human animals and the natural world.

To see more work visit: katiemazi.com

 

Pile On by Steve deBruyn / Friday 12 May 2017

Pile On > Steve deBruyn

Show Room Gallery at NAC
Opening Reception / Friday 12 May 2017 at 7PM

READ THE REVIEW by NAC Member Bart Gazzola HERE

On display until Saturday 22 July

An installation of large proportions, rooted in the abandonment of traditional approaches to art making.

stevedebruyn.com

Neon Bloom by Amanda McCavour April – Sept 2017

NEON BLOOM
Thread/Machine Embroidery Installation
Amanda McCavour
On display from 30 March – 26 August

Neon Bloom is a thread installation that transforms the gallery into a faux ecosystem as a means of considering reactive and adaptive strategies. Comprised of hundreds of suspended sculptural elements, this constructed ecosystem is further shaped by the artist’s imagination of how nutrient cycles, energy flows, and topologies might affect these blooming forms.

For this project the artist begins with a sewing machine to create three dimensional thread drawings. Stitched lines are made on a temporary surface by sewing onto fabric that dissolves in water. The crossing threads create strength so that when the fabric is dissolved the thread drawing can hold together without a base. These flat embroideries are then sculpted with heat to create a three-dimensional form.

During the installation period leading up to the opening of the show, Neon Bloom takes on a life of its own in the gallery space, hooking into ceilings, spreading across walls, wedging into corners and anchoring along ledges. Once the installation process is complete, hundreds of blooms cluster, float and spread through the space, creating an intensely coloured and immersive environment.

Neon Bloom investigates the sculptural potential of this embroidery process and explores the dualities that embroidery offers – the subtle qualities versus an accumulative and persistent presence and the structural possibilities versus the inherent fragility.


Amanda McCavour is a Toronto-based artist who works with stitch to create large-scale embroidered installations. She is interested in thread’s assumed vulnerability, its ability to unravel, and its strength when it is sewn together.

McCavour uses a sewing machine to create thread drawings and installations. By sewing into fabric that dissolves in water, she can build up stitched lines on a temporary surface. The crossing threads create strength so that when the fabric is dissolved, the thread drawing can hold together without a base. With only the thread remaining, these images appear as though they would be easily unraveled and seemingly on the verge of falling apart, despite the works raveled strength.

Through an exploration of line and its 2-d and 3-d implications, stitch is used in her artwork to explore various concepts such as connections to home, the fibers of the body and more formal considerations of thread’s accumulative presence. Amanda’s work explores embroidery’s duality- it’s subtle quality versus it’s accumulative
presence and its structural possibilities versus its fragility. Through experimentation and creation within her studio, she continues to investigate line in the context of embroidery, drawing and installation.

McCavour holds a BFA from York University where she studied drawing and installation and has recently completed her MFA in Fibers and Material Studies at Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia, PA. McCavour shows her work in galleries nationally and internationally with recent solo exhibitions in Gatineau (QB), Williamsport (PA) and Vancouver (BC). She has received awards and scholarships from the Ontario Crafts Council, The Handweavers and Spinners Guild of America, The Ontario Crafts Council, The Ontario Society of Artists, The Surface Design Association and The Embroiderers Guild of America for her work.

amandamccavour.com