Friday, May 18, 2007

Place, Latitude 53 May 11 - 14, 2007

Image: Jocelyn Shim, Floating Couch 2007

Curated by the young and possibly brilliant Yulia Startsev, Place brings together three years of Harry Ainley's high school IB art graduates into one staggeringly rewarding exhibit.
For all in the show, this marks their first gallery show outside of exhibitions on school grounds. Mostly aged between 15 - 21 during the time of creation, the works demonstrate a sense of maturity in voice and risk well beyond most of the works which have adorned these same walls and space. At risk is a sense of adventure and direction, not feeling bound or limited in any way in the use and expression of media.
Since instructor Theron Lund's appointment five years ago, the program has changed profoundly from your typical high school art program to a haven for earnestly innovative and daring new works. Startsev and peer Grace McNeely credit Lund as the backbone of the entire program, instilling and developing a path for "critical thinking" in order to view and then engage with the world through art that really sets this program apart from any other.

Startsev's own work, Home, takes up the majority of the ProjEx room as a giant coiling cocoon of loose wooden sticks. Although not site-responsive or specific in any certain way, Startsev provides audience members with a sense of warmth and comfort in the darkened space, beginning with its gaping and inviting entry point that eventually winds itself to an enclosed and mangled vortex where not coincidentally, the sole light source shines through in all its barbs and shadows.

Continuing to churn out students for full scholarship attendance to ACAD, Emily Carr, NSCAD and Cooper Union to name only a few, Ainley's IB program will see its first alumni complete a BFA this year. It is only with hope that the public will see more of this body of work and to see future works by these emerging artists, who will hopefully continue to foster a relationship with their sense of place here and where ever they may end up.

Artists: Melanie Alexander, Isha Datar, Gloria Ho, Kirsten Jette, Grace McNeely, Genan Peng, Haley Reap, Yasaman Sheri, Jocelyn Shim, Yulia Startsev, Christine Weera, Jill Young and others.


Tam said...

I really regret that I missed this exhibition. I don't think there was much advertised for it, and it's unfortunate the show was so short in duration.

Anonymous said...

The show ws great. It really inspired me. I hope that the artists that leave Edmonton will come back.