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Urban Insights

Kamloops Art Gallery
Kamloops BC Apr 10-May 15, 2005

Eileen Leier - The Chinese Graveyard: Hudson's Bay Trail, Kamloops
Eileen Leier, The Chinese Graveyard: Hudson's Bay Trail, Kamloops (detail) (2004), chromogenic print [Kamloops Art Gallery, Kamloops BC, Apr 10-May 15]

Urban Insights is the culminating exhibition of The Cultural Future of Small Cities project, a multi-year community-based research initiative exploring why and how the arts and heritage flourish in small urban centres. Twelve artists provide diverse perspectives on the look and feel of city life and on such related issues as urban development and local identity.

Six of the artists are from Kamloops. Shima Iuchi and Donald Lawrence’s sculptural sound map contains memories of residents throughout the city. Photographer Eileen Leier explores Kamloops’ hidden histories and also coordinated a project with children that used archival images to investigate the past. Laura Hargrave’s drawing and sculptural works are based on walks throughout the city, while a video by Steve Mennie and Jen Dyck focuses on residents of the North Shore neighbourhood

Kelowna-based Byron Johnston’s installation addresses the tensions, limits and possibilities of the small city. Halifax-based Mike MacDonald’s video Electronic Totem, part of the Gallery’s permanent collection, looks at issues of aboriginal identity. Montreal photographer Michel Campeau documents Kamloops’ industrial aspects, and American landscape architect Anne Whiston Spirn’s photographs taken during her recent visit feature a Kamloops neighbourhood. Montreal-based Eleanor Bond’s mural-size painting is a vision of the post-industrial city, and works by Dutch artist Constant Nieuwenhuys convey the impact of technology on cities.

The exhibition catalogue contains essays by project co-directors Lon Dubinsky and Will Garrett-Petts and writer/critics Robin Laurence and Lucy R. Lippard.


Mia Johnson

 Sun, Apr 3, 2005