Art’s Birthday Party

The official date of this annual happening is Jan. 17. But with that falling on a Sunday this year, Neutral Ground is hosting a party on Saturday Jan. 16.

The party is in celebration of the presence of art in our lives. The idea dates back to 1963, and was the creation of French Fluxus artist Robert Filliou. As a movement, Fluxus blended a variety of art media and generally sought to fuck with people’s heads by subverting conventional ideas of what art was all about.

Filliou’s rationale for establishing an official birthday for art was very much in the Fluxus tradition (he suggested that a million years ago there was no art. But one day, art was born when someone dropped a dry sponge in a bucket of water, and he proposed an official holiday to celebrate).

The date Filliou put forward, Jan. 17, just happened to be his birthday. The first official celebration was held in Auchen, Germany and Paris in 1973, and the celebration has since spread around the world.

Neutral Ground’s party goes Jan. 16 at 8 p.m. You can find more details on the Neutral Ground website but highlights include audio performances by Pulsewidth, Garry Wasyliw, Guidewire and Homo Monstrous, along with ideo by VJ Colby and VJ ianc, and media artworks by Eric Hill.

Barbara Meneley (Updated)

20151228_143741At left is a photo of one of the scroll works that artist Barbara Meneley has produced during a residency at the Regina Public Library’s Prairie History Room.

I posted on the residency in October. Its formal title is Prairie History Redux, and what Meneley has been doing is visiting the Prairie History Room and making tracings of maps, photos, newspaper articles and other items in the collection.

On Saturday Jan. 16, the Dunlop Art Gallery and RPL are hosting an artist talk and reception for Meneley at Central Library starting at 1 p.m. The work Meneley has created during her residency will be on display at Central Library until Feb. 18.

RPL 3D Printer

20151228_143706At left is a photo of the 3D printer that the Regina Public Library recently installed at Central Branch. You can find details on how to access the printer on the RPL website. But here are the basics:

First, you need a valid library card. Anyone 15 and under also needs parental permission. Then you register on the website and sign up for a training session. These sessions are held at various branch locations, and provide information on how to submit design proposals using drafting software and what’s called an .stl file (.stl is short for stereolithography).

Once you’ve completed a training session and have an account, you can submit designs to RPL staff who will review the design and provide a cost estimate. Proposed designs have to meet certain terms and conditions. You can’t submit designs for objects that are prohibited by law, for instance, or that violate copyright, patent and trademark protections.

Ready-made designs for some objects can be accessed at websites such as Thingverse. Size is limited to the dimensions of the build area on the printer, and the job can’t exceed 18 hours.

Once the design and cost estimate have been approved by the RPL and you, the job joins the queue and will be “printed” using extruded corn-based plastic. Several colours are available, and the print cost is 10 cents per gram rounded to the nearest gram. Once the object is printed, you’ll receive an e-mail, and can pick up the object at Central Library.

Line Describing A Cone 2.0

MacKenzie(AnthonyMcCall)In the early 1970s British-born artist Anthony McCall made a name for himself with a series of projected light works that relied on 16mm film technology. Line Describing a Cone 2.0 is an update on a 1973 work, and involves the use of digital technology.

This 2010 work is in the MacKenzie Gallery’s permanent collection, and it recently went on display at the gallery. The installation features a single beam of light which, over the course of 30 minutes, traces out a circle in the gallery.

The 1973 version was hailed as a breakthrough in experimental film in that it existed in three-dimensional space as opposed to being an image on a flat screen, while also transforming passive viewers into interactive participants by enabling them to engage with the light in the gallery. The 2010 update offers similar potential, except through the precision lens of digital technology as opposed to 16mm film.

The exhibition of McCall’s work is a prelude to a major installation by Canadian filmmaker Atom Egoyan that the MacKenzie has planned for the fall of 2016. So if you’re in the neighbourhood, drop by and check it out. It will be on display until spring/early summer.

East Wind Brings A New Day

MacKenzie(MariaHupfield)Until April 10, the MacKenzie Art Gallery is showing an exhibition called Expanding Horizons which features work by Arthur Lismer and fellow Group of Seven members A.J. Casson and A.Y. Jackson.

East Wind Brings A New Day is a companion show of sorts. It’s by Anishinaabe artist Maria Hupfield, and one of the feature elements is a re-envisioning of a windblown pine from G7 contemporary Tom Thomson’s 1917 painting The West Wind.

That’s a studio shot of Hupfield’s work above. She apparently grew up in the Georgian Bay area where the Group of Seven did a lot of landscape painting. In Canadian art history, the group is credited with establishing a unique Canadian approach to the landscape that reflected the reality here as opposed to the conventions of British landscape painting that had previously been popular in the 19th century.

As an indigenous artist, Hupfield riffs on both the G7 style and the Woodlands School which was championed by artists such as Jackson Beardy, Norval Morrisseau and Daphne Odjig. The blending of the two styles serves as a reminder that before the G7 “discovered” the untamed beauty of the Georgian Bay area it had been home to the Anishinaabe people for countless generations.

East Wind Brings A New Day is on at the MacKenzie until April 10.

Terrain

Edie MarshallThere will be no shortage of art on display in this exhibition by Saskatchewan artist Edie Marshall which opens at the Art Gallery of Regina on Wednesday Dec. 16. In fact, this might be the most art heavy exhibition ever to run in Regina — at least as far as solo shows go.

The total number of paintings in Terrain, I believe, is 1006. I also believe they’re all landscapes, and they were inspired by innumerable iPhone photos that Marshall took while on a road trip from Saskatchewan through the American mid-west to desert regions in the U.S. south-west.

Marshall will be speaking about her project at a talk and reception at the AGR on Wednesday at 7 p.m. Quite apart from critiquing the notion of landscape, Terrain also explores the disconnect between old school methods of image-making such as drawing and painting, which typically required a moderate degree of time and talent to pull off, and the ease with which people these days can produce high quality images with the simple touch of a screen. And then post those images on social media — again, with a simple touch of a screen.

Above is a sample painting from the exhibition, which was curated by AGR director Holly Fay. And if you can’t make it to the opening, Terrain is on at the AGR until Feb. 27.

Expanding Horizons

Lismer-Arthur-Pine-Tree-and-Rocks-1921-45.A.42-300x243Group of Seven member Lawren Harris was in the news recently when American comedic icon Steve Martin co-curated an exhibition of his work at the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles.

Expanding Horizons features work by three of Harris’s G7 colleagues Arthur Lismer, A.Y. Jackson and A.J. Casson. If you read the MAG’s online synopsis, you’ll see that the initial inspiration for the exhibition was a sketch that the gallery’s original benefactor Norman MacKenzie received as a gift from Lismer in 1927.

The sketch was related to Lismer’s painting Pine Tree & Rocks (pictured) and one highlight of this show will see the painting (which is in the collection of the London Public Library and Art Museum in Ontario) reunited with the sketch. Other works by Lismer, along with Jackson and Casson, are also included, and offer an opportunity to assess the G7’s impact on our perception of the Canadian landscape.

I don’t believe there’s a formal opening for Expanding Horizons, but the first day of the exhibition coincides with the gallery’s annual holiday celebration that goes Sunday Dec. 6 from 2-5:30 p.m.

Realizing The Virtual: A Timetraveller Experience

Skawennati dakotas_raise_weapons-8x14-300dpi

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Above is an image from an exhibition by First Nations artist Skawennati called Realizing the Virtual: A Timetraveller Experience that opens at the Dunlop Gallery on Friday Nov. 27.

Conceived as a “website from the future” that the artist stumbled upon, the digital art project consists of nine linked episodes that function as a futuristic gaming system that features the exploits of a Mohawk bounty hunter called Ratorats “Hunter” Dearhouse.

As the word “Timetraveller” implies, Dearhouse has the ability to move through time, and through the nine episodes Skawennati revisits incidents from North America’s colonial history to offer an indigenous perspective to counter the dominant narrative of the colonizing forces.

You can find more information on the DAG website. On Friday there’s an artist talk by Skawennati at 6 p.m., and that’s followed by a reception at 7 p.m.

Wintergreen

WintergreenThe above graphic provides you with most of the essentials about this annual art and craft sale hosted by the Saskatchewan Craft Council. Ages ago, I did an article for the SCC magazine Craft Factor on the occasion of Wintergreen’s 25th anniverary. It’s probably creeping up on 45 years now, and is still going plenty strong with all sorts of artists and artisans producing original works in clay, glass, wood, metal and more.

Wintergreen has always been a popular pre-Christmas shopping opportunity, so if you’re got so if you’ve got some gaps in your shopping checklist it’s definitely worth checking out.

Wintergreen runs at Conexus Arts Centre Friday Nov. 20 from 1-9 p.m., Saturday Nov. 21 from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. and Sunday Nov. 22 from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. If you don’t have an Affinity Credit Union card admission is Adults $5, Seniors & Youth $3, with Kids 12 and under free. You can find out more details on the Saskatchewan Craft Council website.

Jack & Ben Sures

Until Dec. 5, Slate Gallery has a display of ceramics by veteran Regina artist and educator Jack Sures. A few years ago, the MacKenzie Gallery organized a retrospective of Sures’ work called Tactile Desires that toured to four other galleries in Canada.

The exhibition is called Eighty-One and it commemorates Sures’ 81st birthday. On Thursday, Nov. 19 his son Ben, who’s worked as a folk musician since the mid-1990s, will be at the gallery to perform in his father’s honour.

You can find out more details on the Slate Gallery website, and here’s video from 2014 of Ben Sures performing with other musicians at a jam in Toronto

The Conversationalist

TruszkowskiIf you’re looking for something to do next Saturday, there’s an artist talk and opening reception for a new exhibition by Robert Truszkowski at the Dunlop Art Gallery’s Sherwood Village location.

Truszkowski is a professor in the University of Regina’s Department of Fine Arts. According to advance publicity from the Dunlop, The Conversationalist incorporates references to a pop song by Beck called “Lost Cause”, an economic principle called “moral hazard” where a person who is protected against risk engages in a risky behaviour knowing that any losses or costs that incur will be born by others, and the mathematical equation underscoring the uncertainty principle which holds that due to the vagaries of quantum mechanics we can never be 100 per cent sure about phenomena that occur in our world.

How all that fits together, I’m not sure, but starting on Nov. 14 we’ll have a chance to find out. The talk and reception go next Saturday at 1 p.m., and I expect we’ll have a review of the exhibition in a future edition of Prairie Dog.

Halloween Fun

Halloween is on Saturday this year, which always opens the door adults who celebrate the day to do so with a bit more gusto than when it’s in the middle of the week.

Here’s some party options that have come to my attention so far:

Sunday 25

BLACK MUSEUM Halloween-themed exhibit of criminal artifacts inspired by Scotland Yard’s Black Museum of British Crime. RCMP Heritage Centre, until Oct 31.

Tuesday 27

THE ROCKY HORROR SHOW Halloween production of the popular Broadway musical. Presented by Sterling Productions at Conexus Arts Centre Convention Hall, Oct. 27-29, 8 p.m. $28.75. See conexusartscentre.ca.

Friday 30

HALLOWEEN HOWL with Big Sugar, Leather Cobra and Trigger Finger at the Can-Sask Sound Stage, doors at 7 p.m. $32.50.

PARAB POET & THE HIP HOP HIPPIES with Bombargo, InfoRed and Merky Waters at O’Hanlon’s.

THE HAUNTED CIRCUS with Organic Mechanic, Dreadbeat, Krooked King, Psyborum, Gremlin Groove and more at the Hungarian Club (1925 McAra), doors at 8 p.m.

H​ALLOWEEN PRE-PARTY & MYLA EP RELEASE PARTY with DJs 2Beats & Smash Cox ​at the Mercury​, 9:30 p.m. $10. 19+.​

OWLLOWEEN featuring DJs, a costume contest at the University of Regina campus pub the Owl, 8:30 p.m. $10, or two for $15.

HALLOWEEN BASH with F.O.G.D.O.G. at McNally’s Tavern.

MONSTER BASH Family-friendly Halloween party with crafts, games, treats, dancing with DJ Jeremy and plenty of glow-in-the-dark fun. Royal Saskatchewan Museum, 6:30-8:30 p.m. $5, kids two and under free. Continue reading “Halloween Fun”

Quick & Dirty

No, this post has nothing to do with today’s federal election. While the campaign may have been dirty, at least as far as attack ads and the Harper Conservatives dog whistle/dead cat politicking go, at 78 days in length (the longest campaign since 1872, apparently) it was anything but quick.

Instead, this post is about a new artist talk series that the Dunlop Art Gallery is launching Tuesday night at Creative City Centre (1843 Hamilton) at 8 p.m. I’m not sure what future plans call for, but for the debut edition the gallery has lined up seven MFA students at the University of Regina to give short presentations on their work.

Presenters include: Rania Al Harthi, Sarah Ferguson, Brian Hoad, Jayden Pfeifer, Jess Richter, Olivia Rozema and Negar Shakoor. So it should offer a good chance to get up to speed on what some of the emerging arts talent in Regina is up to. Again, the talk goes Tuesday at 8 p.m. at Creative City Centre.

Prairie History Redux

In 2003-04, the Prairie History Room at Central Library was on the chopping block when the RPL Board and Administration was in a cost-cutting mood. Three branch libraries (Connaught, Glen Elm and Prince of Wales), along with the Dunlop Art Gallery and RPL Film Theatre, were also slated for closure.

The Friends of the RPL was formed to rally support. Petitions were circulated, presentations were made to city council, and, ultimately, the decision was made move in a different direction.

Which brings us to today. Or, more accurately, Saturday Oct. 17. That’s when artist Barbara Meneley will open a residency at the Prairie History Room.

The plan over the next few months is for Meneley to create hundreds of tracings of maps, photographs, newspaper articles and other items from the PHR collection. The tracings will be on translucent paper, and will be hung in layers so that multiple traces will be visible at the same time — symbolizing the notion of history being a hodge-podge of different viewpoints and perspectives.

Prairie History Redux is curated by Blair Fornwald. There are drawing performances planned for Saturday Oct. 17, Saturday Nov. 7 and Saturday Dec. 5 at 1 p.m., and the project will culminate with an artist talk and reception on Jan. 16 at 1 p.m. at the RPL Theatre and Dunlop Resource Centre respectively.

Zachari Logan

Zachari Logan "Wild Man 3"
Zachari Logan “Wild Man 3”

I haven’t got a ton of advance information on what artist Zachari Logan has planned, but for the next six weeks or so there will be two exhibitions of his work on display in Regina.

A recent graduate of the University of Saskatchewan’s Master of Fine Arts program, Logan works primarily in drawing, ceramics and installation. Masculinity, identity, nature, memory and place are some of themes he favours in his art.

This spring, Logan did a three-month residency at the International Studio & Curatorial Program in Brooklyn. The residency was arranged through funding support from Creative Saskatchewan and the MacKenzie Art Gallery.

Logan’s first exhibition, Wunderkammer, opens tonight at Slate Gallery. There’s a reception from 4-7 p.m., and the work that’s on display will apparently explore concepts of queerness and otherworldliness. Wunderkammer runs at Slate until Nov. 7.

Logan’s second exhibition is called A Natural History of Unnatural Things. It features pastel drawings such as the one depicted above that blend human figures and vegetation to examine our relationship with nature. The show runs from Oct. 15-Nov. 27, and there will be an artist talk and reception Oct. 21 at 7 p.m.

I suspect at some point we’ll have a review of Logan’s work in Prairie Dog, so stay tuned.

Gala Art Auction

Photo from 2014 Gala
Photo from 2014 Gala

Each year around this time the MacKenzie Art Gallery hosts a gala fundraiser to help support gallery operations. The 2015 gala goes on Friday, Oct. 16 at 7 p.m.

You can find out more information on the MAG website. But the event typically includes entertainment, refreshments of both the liquid and solid variety, and live and silent auctions.

In addition to all the festivities, you’ll also be able to check out the exhibitions that are currently on display at the gallery. These include:

EDITION ADDITION II Exhibition of prints from the permanent collection that explores the ambiguous space between unique art object and mass-produced poster. Artists include Andy Warhol, Mary Pratt and Christopher Finn. (Until Nov. 22.)

ROSALIE FAVELL: (RE)FACING THE CAMERA Exhibition of 283 portraits of indigenous artists and curators interspersed with four paintings inspired by photos from Favell’s family archive. (Until Nov. 22.)

LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT: THE DRS. MORRIS AND JACQUI SHUMIATCHER COLLECTION Exhibition of Inuit sculpture and Western art that was donated to the gallery by the Shumiatchers. Curated by Timothy Long and Alex King. (Until Jan. 3.)

RODNEY LATOURELLE: THE STEPPED FORM Sculptural installation composed of multi-coloured modules that explore the changing nature of public spaces. (Until April 24.)

AUDREY DREVER: NO. I DON’T SPEAK CREE In this MFA exhibition, the artist explores the loss of her indigenous language through the multiple generations. (Until Oct. 18.)

Urbanity Open Air

UrbanityIf you happen to be downtown Thursday you might want to stop by this event which is being held from 5:30-9 p.m. It’s being co-presented by the Queen City Hub, Regina Advocates for Design (RAD), OPEN, the Saskatchewan Filmpool Cooperative, and the Regina Downtown Business Improvement District (RDBID) and will take place in the alley running between 18 block Scarth and Cornwall St. between 11th and 12th Ave.

The event is subtitled “Building Safe & Welcoming Spaces”, and the plan is to have a variety of art installations and presentations addressing ideas of public safety in the downtown and how we can create engaging urban spaces for people of all ages and backgrounds.

Above is a photo of one installation that is being planned. It’s called “Orange Crush” — and no, it’s not intended as an endorsement of the NDP in any way. Instead, it’s a portable, immersive space made out of foam noodles. As part of the proceedings, RDBID will also reveal the results of its Imagine Regina survey.

Culture Days

If you happened to pick up a print copy of our Sept. 17 issue you would have found a multi-page insert outlining all the events that have been organized in Regina for Culture Days which runs from Friday Sept. 25 to Sunday Sept. 27.

Before the weekend even arrives there’s a book launch tonight for a new novel by Regina writer Dianne Warren at Slate Gallery at 7 p.m. The novel is titled Liberty Street, and it’s Warren’s first book since her 2010 novel Cool Water. That book was very well received, winning the 2010 Governor General’s Award for English language fiction and being long-listed for the 2010 Giller Prize. You can find out more about Liberty Street on the HarperCollins website. 

As for Culture Days, your best bet is to find a copy of the insert or visit the Culture Days website.If you do, you’ll find all manner of events from a cinq et sept social gathering for Regina’s cultural community at Creative City Centre on Friday to an Art Walk involving local galleries on Saturday to a Saturday street fair in north central Regina to an urban planning session called My Regina Is which is being held at Creative City Centre on Sunday afternoon.

Here’s a few more events that are happening in the next few days, but again it’s only a small sample of everything that will be going on.

Thursday 24

THE ESSENTIAL W.P. KINSELLA Canadian author reads from his new book of short stories. Central Library, 7 p.m.

Friday 25

WRITER IN RESIDENCE Until May, Iranian-Canadian author and academic Nilofar Shidmehr will be at Central Library to consult with established and aspiring writers. Today, there is a reading and welcoming reception from 7-9 p.m. Then on Oct. 25 Shidmehr will conduct a workshop on life writing from 1-4 p.m. Register at reginalibrary.ca.

THIRST YOUTH SLAM! Youth-focused spoken word with guest artist Dash Reimer. Creative City Centre, 7:30 p.m. Free. See creativecitycentre.ca.

Saturday 26

WORDS IN THE PARK With readings by Sharon Butala, Alex Cousins, Greg Simison and Coby Stephenson. Co-presented by Saskatchewan Writers’ Guild and Vertigo Series. City Square Plaza, 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

BLAIR FORNWALD & BRETTE GABEL: RECIPE BOOK OF THE DEAD Three hour performance in which the artists explore their family history and domestic knowledge passed down from grandmothers to mothers to daughters. (Neutral Ground Gallery, 7-10 p.m.)

Sunday 27

CULTURAL GROOVES: CELEBRATING DIVERSITY IN STORIES & DANCE Readings, dance and food with contributions from Joanne Weber, Martine Noel-Maw, Tara Gereaux and Wambdi Dance. Central Library Theatre, 2-4 p.m. Register at reginalibrary.ca.

PRAIRIE PERFORMER SERIES with Brad Mahon (classical guitar) at Knox Met Church, 4 p.m. By donation. See cecilianconcertseries.ca.

Exciting Goings On In Victoria Park

Mary E. Wrinch "The Fire Ranger's Canoe, Agawa River, Algoma" (1926)
Mary E. Wrinch “The Fire Ranger’s Canoe, Agawa River, Algoma” (1926)

It’s not confined strictly to Victoria Park, but as of today you’ll find seven high quality reproductions of paintings from the MacKenzie Art Gallery’s permanent collection scattered throughout the downtown.

The project, which the gallery undertook with the cooperation of the Regina Downtown Business Improvement District, is called {art}outside, and it was organized as part of the Culture Days celebration that goes this weekend from Sept. 25-27.

So keep an eye out when you’re walking around.

Regina’s Most Eclectic Concert

Homo Monstrous via bandcamp.com
Homo Monstrous via bandcamp.com

Friday nights almost always consist of eating spray cheese and fuming with anger over internet things – we assume this is the universal course. There’s really no other way to end the week. But sometimes you want to experience an “ungodly mosaic of sounds,” which is exactly what’s being offered at a Tartan Curling Club concert on September 25 starting at 8 p.m.

During an IM interview, promotional sensei Carl Johnson described the show, saying, “In many ways this will be the most abrasive, strange and idiosyncratic show I’ve ever helped put on. It in no way will be conventional/boring.”

This is the alternative musical lineup Regina needs.

The city’s favourite gender carnage glitter-noise band (and there are likely many to choose from) Homo Monstrous is going give audiences something to become existential about. If you haven’t experienced Homo Monstrous, they push the limits of punk rock into performance art territory. Glitter noise, as we all know, is best served with Dawson’s Creek-themed pop rock, which will be provided courtesy of Calgary’s DRI HIEV.

Johnson said, “Homo Monstrous and DRI HIEV are sonically fearless, smash-you-in-the-face-with-noise bands.”

Feverfew, Edmonton’s harp-hop sensation, will be there to lull viewers with their hypnotic vibes. As Johnson described the group, “Feverfew is occultic harp music for people who thought The Wicker Man had a happy ending.”

As if this weren’t enough music, two bands The Steves and The Florals will also be there to showcase their surfy Queen City vibe. “[They will] round out the night with some quick and dirty slacker rock,” Johnson explained.

As the palate cleanser to this oddball buffet of sonic sensations, stick around for the AC/DC-inspired Hells Bells spoken word feature by Andy Beisel (formerly of Slim City Pickers) set to smooth jazz.

Artist/alchemist Colby Richardson will provide ambiance for the evening with live visuals.

The Tartan Curling Club
$10 unless it’s your birthday.
September 25
Doors at 8:05 p.m.
Show at 9:15 p.m.
Show info