March 12 – April 9, 2010
The Object of My Attention: Annual Curated Student Exhibiton
Guest curator: Sandra Dyck
The University of Lethbridge Art Gallery provides an exceptional opportunity for the professional development of Art Studio majors as they near completion of their degree. The Annual Curated Student Exhibition has recently been revised to give students realistic experience with the process of applying for exhibitions and receiving feedback from an established curator. The exhibition is only open to senior art majors in order to focus attention on those with the goal of becoming professional artists. In applying for this exhibition, the students follow the same process and standards for documenting, describing and proposing their art work as they will when applying to public art galleries and artist run-centres or for grants. Staff from the Art Gallery provide advice on preparing the proposals and share insights into what curators look for when deciding to book a studio visit and choose art work for an exhibition.
An established curator from outside of Lethbridge is invited to create the exhibition. The curator views the proposals and selects a short-list of students for follow-up meetings during a visit to Lethbridge. From these studio visits, the curator makes the final selection and works with the Art Gallery staff to lay-out and install the exhibition.
The Annual Curated Student Exhibition provides a showcase of excellent work by Art Studio majors in that year and gives the students a valuable achievement to list on their résumés. As well, the students who are not selected receive feedback on their proposals and can learn how to improve as they prepare to begin their careers.
Visit the Faculty of Fine Arts.
Artists (click image to enlarge)
A Clear and Present Danger, wax casts of hand sanitizers, 2009
Self Portrait, wood, glass, lens, fluorescent lights, 2010
Untitled, fabric on cardboard, 2010
Fabric Cube 1, fabric and batting, 2010
Fabric Cube 2, fabric and batting, 2010
Fat Cube, fabric and batting, 2010
My Parents’ Kitchen Table, fingernail scratch marks and ink on thermal fax paper, 2010
Bric-à-Brac Husbandry, plaster, glitter, sugar, 2010
Bric-à-Brac Husbandry, plaster, glitter, sugar, 2010
“The creative mind,” Carl Jung said, “plays with the objects it loves.” This exhibition is about objects. It presents things that artists have made anew, recycled, copied, re-examined, modified and recontextualized. Their “love” of objects – their sustained attention to them – makes us look at the stuff of life in fresh ways and from different angles.
Kari Martinez and Jason Jessen, for example, re-purpose familiar materials – quilting fabrics and pressure-treated lumber – to new, Minimalist, ends. Brenna Crabtree takes the most banal of objects, the plastic bread clip, and, in a classic Pop art gesture, makes it monumental.
Yan Luo and Arianna Richardson rework ordinary things: Luo the now-ubiquitous dispenser of hand sanitizer and Richardson some thrift-store tchotchkes. By casting in wax (Luo) and plaster (Richardson) multiple copies that are variously embellished and installed in orderly arrays, the artists effect fundamental shifts in the contexts for their reception.
Jarrett Duncan and Monique Bedard sit in front of the camera, objectifying themselves in videos at once intimate and intense. Bedard’s enigmatic photographs of the exterior world shot from a camera held inside her mouth revisit traditional concepts of self-portraiture. Yan Luo’s portable camera obscura offers up a constructed image — of a Bauhaus-style chair – that is continually modified by the lens’s capture of real-time activity occurring outside the crate’s confines.
Sara McKarney uses her fingernails and scroll-like sheets of fragile thermal fax paper to make a frottage drawing that records the surface of her parents’ kitchen table – an object that will change over time, even as the drawing fades and deteriorates. In accordion books made from her folded and bound monotypes, Francine Desjardins seeks to give form to the inexpressible: the sound (and her experience) of music. Kazumi Marthiensen’s kimono is motivated by a similar, but more specific, impulse to make experience visible: the helicopters and planes adorning her garment manifest the people of Okinawa’s resistance to the presence of an American air force on their island.
Julia Marjerrison draws in a spontaneous way, using watercolour pens and water to create quirky pairs of forms that play on the tension between abstraction and representation. Our persistent attempts to “identify” these imagined shapes – to associate them with things in the real world – demonstrate the very power and presence of objects.
About the Curator
Sandra Dyck is curator at the Carleton University Art Gallery in Ottawa. She has curated 40 and coordinated 150 exhibitions, and published 16 catalogues. Her recent essay, A Pilgrim’s Progress: The Life and Art of Gerald Trottier, was recognized with a 2009 Curatorial Writing Award from the Ontario Association of Art Galleries. She contributed essays to Around and About Marius Barbeau: Modelling Twentieth-Century Culture, published by the Canadian Museum of Civilization in 2008, and Edwin Holgate, published by the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts in 2005.