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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

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

Swizzle Circus by Puppet-A-Go-Go / Fall 2016

The Swizzle Circus
A puppet installation by
Christine Cosby + Rob Elliott (Swizzle Studio)

Plate Glass Gallery at NAC
On view until 31 December 2016
Twenty-four hours a day!

This bright and dynamic installation is inspired by Alexander Calder’s “Circus”, department store holiday windows, and Swizzle Studio’s ongoing fascination with spectacle.

The centerpiece, “The Cowardly Lion Tamer”, is flanked by such circus mainstays as clowns, wild animals, daredevils, and roustabouts. Above the fleeing lion tamer, a human cannonball flies and acrobats soar through the air.

Gasping at the wild scene is an audience of puppets created by the members of Puppet-A-Go-Go: Christine Cosby, Rob Elliott, Alexa Fraser, Clelia Scala, and Trisha Lavoie. Swizzle Circus is the third of four Plate Glass Gallery installations for Puppet-A-Go-Go’s “In The Park” series. Swizzle Circus can be seen 24 hours a day until New Year’s Day.

Puppet-A-Go-Go in the Park Opens / Saturday 1 October 2016

Puppet-A-Go-Go in the Park
Christine Cosby, Alexa Fraser, Trish Lavoie, Clelia Scala
Plate Glass Gallery at NAC
OPENING RECEPTION Saturday 1 October 7PM

Puppet-A-Go-Go’s upcoming exhibit mimics the summer outdoor theatre festival experience, showcasing a series of four “static performances” on a stage for an audience of enthralled puppets. The public is invited to peek into this world of puppets anytime night or day, through the windows of Niagara Artist Centre’s Plate Glass Gallery.

The outdoor theatre puppet diorama will be on exhibit from September 23, 2016 through January 28, 2017

for viewing anytime. The exhibit features puppets created by the Puppet A Go Go artist collective: Christine Cosby, Alexa Fraser, Trisha Lavoie and Clelia Scala and special guest artists. Viewers will be inspired to re-visit the window diorama and use their imagination to interpret the “static performances” that will be presented over the 4 month “festival.” Special puppet celebrity appearances are included in the festival line-up, and the audience is a wild assortment of colourful characters.

Niagara Artist Centre’s Plate Glass Gallery (354 St Paul St, St. Catharines) can be viewed from the sidewalk any time on any day. Show runs September 23, 2016 through January 28, 2017.

The first performance of the “festival” features puppet and sculpture work by Clelia Scala.  You will have to see the mayhem and drama for yourself!  This performer has a “no photos” rule and will destroy any paparazzi seen lurking about….

Clelia Scala is a St. Catharines-based mask and puppet maker, collage artist and illustrator.  She has numerous theatre and publications to her credit – check her out at http://www.clelia.ca

Puppet-A-Go-Go’s Opening party is Saturday October 1 at NAC, 7-10pm.  It will be the NAC party of the week – promise!

Puppet-A-Go-Go artist collective’s mantra is “Bringing Puppets to the People and People to the Puppets”.  Puppet-A-Go-Go in the Park is a follow-up to the wildly popular “1000 Finger Puppets” collaboration exhibited at NAC in April 2016.

Puppet-A-Go-Go are all over social media like felt scraps on the studio floor.

Follow Puppet-A-Go-Go on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/puppetagogo

Check out the artists’ and their puppet-making work on their blog https://puppetagogo.wordpress.com

Email them at puppetagogo@gmail.com

Synchronicity: Collette Broeders > Friday 15 July 2016

Synchronicity
Collette Broeders
Plate Glass Gallery at NAC
Opening Reception Friday 15 July 2016 7PM

My artistic practice is motivated by repetitive activity, marking patterns that map a sense of time and space.   Through performance drawing, I communicate how the body traces and experiences space and duration leaving an imprint of past and of present and of what remains.  Like a clock of navigational lines, the Synchronicity series act as a measurement of these intervals, both physical and intangible.

The series of Synchronicity drawings investigate symmetrical, repetitive motion using my body as an instrument to form a rhythmic pattern of line.   Inspired by the duality of yin and yang of the I Ching, I execute the drawing with a balance of synchronous motion of opposing line.  The drawing is performed in a hypnotic tempo and meditative state that manifests itself into physical form to unite the viewer with the intimacy of the experience.  Examining the limitations of the body through continuous motion, the drawings are performed over several hours until a state of exhaustion is reached.

Beginning with intense spontaneous gestures within a small space that replicate, synchronize and divide, the drawing gradually swells and bursts to the outwardly extended body.  Like a cell dividing, the internal energy of the process is bilaterally and equally distributed as the image grows.  Ultimately, the drawing becomes a study of contrast showing the peaceful-chaotic, soothing-painful and joyful-desperate moments of the performance.

The Synchronicity drawings address ideas of repetition, ritual and unity through a performance of mark making and meditation.  As the drawings progress, rhythmic patterns of line emerge and process into organic shapes.  The resulting drawings become a trace of gestures leaving an imprint of the shifting context of the meditative process that produced them.

Piggyback by Nancy Anne McPhee > Thursday 28 April 2016

Piggyback
Nancy Anne McPhee

Plate Glass Gallery

Piggyback is a black and white image of a zebra clinging to a giraffe’s back.  The image uses the distinct patterns of these animals on a striped background to create an image that is playful and surreal. This work uses stripes, pattern, illusion and sheen to create an experiential situation for the viewer where the optical field is enveloping and active.

Nancy Anne McPhee‘s art practice is concerned with sight, unsettling the eye, and creating restrained images with stripes and tone-on-tone.  These mediums ask something of the viewers, to reposition themselves in order for the image to become visible or to generally participate in a more active viewing process.  Stripes create an effect that can appear as movement or a kind of visual buzz and thus the activation of the work is exerted onto the viewer. Common themes that run throughout the work are disparities in representation and creating an immersive atmosphere.      

 

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. 

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.