Home Apr – May 2021 Alberta Vignettes

Apr – May 2021 Alberta Vignettes

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By Robin Laurence

Qian Cheng, What are your weekend plans?, 2021

The New Gallery (TNG), Calgary. To May 23

This community-based and participatory project is organized by artist and activist Qian Cheng in consultation with the Calgary Chinatown Business Improvement Area. Operating from TNG’s street-front programming site, known as Billboard 208, the project, which includes a visual directory of participating businesses, responds to adverse social and economic consequences of the global pandemic by encouraging public engagement with nearby Chinatown businesses. Qian Cheng melds advertising forms with a community cultural initiative – to positive effect.

Delia Cepoi, Yellowknife, NWT, Beige Cu, 2020

Alberta Craft Gallery, Edmonton. To May 29 and online

Organized by NWT Arts and the Craft Council of NWT, this group exhibition reveals the craft traditions of both northern Indigenous Peoples and settlers. Works on view – by 20 artists from across the Northwest Territories – include jewelry, basketry, beading, quillwork, stained glass, ceramics, stone sculpture, clothing and textile art. “Some craftspeople are purists, adhering to tradition,” the show’s organizers tell us, while others “blend traditional techniques with contemporary styles.”

Yvonne Kustec, The Garden (detail), 2021

Esker Foundation, Calgary. To Jun 6

This complex and intricate ceramic sculpture (on view at street level) depicts a human figure in a state of transformation that appears to be both painful and ecstatic. Highly symbolic floral and faunal forms seem to take root beneath the skin, drawing strength from the figure while also drafting o metaphorical “impurities” that may exist within. Calgary-based artist Yvonne Kustec reflects on personal and cultural identity while exploring traditional notions of femininity.

Brad Necyk and Gary James Joynes, And All of Everything (Joshua Tree), video still, 2019

Art Gallery of St. Albert, St. Albert. Apr 1 – May 1

What does sound look like? What does sight sound like? How do we physically process time and change? Sound-based artist Gary James Joynes and multidisciplinary visual artist Brad Necyk collaborate on a synesthetic installation that weaves a 3-D-rendered video and electronic score into an experimental film, Joshua Tree, playing across multiple screens. Visitors are immersed in a multisensory experience of sight and sound, time and consciousness as the ecological narrative plays not to us but through us.