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Breanne Avender, Orchids (2011)

Breanne Avender, Orchids (2011), anodized Niobium sheet with sterling silver centers [Alberta Craft Council Gallery, Edmonton AB, Jul 16-Sep 24] Photo: Teri Lawrence

generation whY

Alberta Craft Council Gallery
Edmonton AB – Jul 16-Sep 24, 2011

Nicolette Harrison, Femininity (2010)

Nicolette Harrison, Femininity (2010), blown glass [Alberta Craft Council Gallery, Edmonton AB, Jul 16-Sep 24] Photo: Nicolette Harrison

Michael Yung, Me On (2010)

Michael Yung, Me On (2010), hand embroidery with cotton thread on recycled canvas [Alberta Craft Council Gallery, Edmonton AB, Jul 16-Sep 24] Photo: Michael Yung

Generation whY: exploring the voices of craftmakers 35 & younger offers a curated selection of arts and crafts by people in an age group identified by marketers as Generation Y. The exhibit proposes “a snapshot of what this generation has to share,” with artwork on a variety of topics from digital media to the natural environment to heritage and social issues.

Arguably it is difficult to differentiate artwork by Generation Y from artwork done by young people in general, since young artists – particularly those who move through art schools – are prone to experimentation with media, and, for economic reasons, prone to working with everyday and recycled materials. The word “intriguing”, however, could easily apply to the work of many Gen Y artists since the advent of Etsy, Craftster, iCraft.ca, MadeitMyself.com and similar online showcases, where inventive craft ideas abound.

The pieces included in generation whY use craft materials and objects like embroidery on recycled canvas, blown glass with etched surface designs, quilting, bone china, a crocheted skeleton, hi-tech baubles fashioned with sheet metal – a plethora of traditional, contemporary and innovative supplies, many of them recycled or repurposed, and many very tactile. With birth dates from 1976–2000, the selected artists have a range of experience and formal training. Without the lens of history it is difficult to say what commonalities they share, but the title is certainly provocative.

Mia Johnson

Shanell Papp, Lab (2006-2008)

Shanell Papp, Lab (2006-2008), crochet and sewn yarn, lifesized [Alberta Craft Council Gallery, Edmonton AB, Jul 16-Sep 24] Photo: Shanell Papp

 Sun, Sep 4, 2011