Wednesday, June 6, 2007

NextFest Visual Arts, June 1 - 14, 2007

Image: Kataryzna Vedah, 2007

Featuring over a dozen emerging artists, all from the Edmonton/Calgary region except for Saskatoon's Todd Grondsahl, this year's range puts forward a promising litany of said "emerging" artists. From Josee Aubin Ouellette's "Object Paintings: Paintings as Props," every day objects such as a stretched mattress are turned into art while every day objects such as a cluster of chairs are turned into art. A clever nod, perhaps to her professor Allen Ball, but nonetheless one of the strongest flat art showings in the group.
Other mentionables are Kataryzne Vedah's "hybrid drawings" that at least attempt to push digital media to its aesthetic boundaries with some success; and Janice Wu's installation of over one thousand origami horses sweeps over you with its simplicity, dedication, and bleeding repetition.

Image: Adam Waldon-Blain, 2007

Rounding out the show, Andrea Pinheiro extends beyond artist into curator for a stencil/printmaking-based show; and some duly impressive ceramic and glass works by Katherine Lys and Amy Wowk are in full force representing the next generation of craftspersons in a tradition that remains so strong in the region.
Some of the works and artists have shown similiar works elsewhere, and though not to deny their talent, but for the time being, their pieces so far have communcated most clearly within this "emerging" context than anywhere else. The strongest NextFest showing in years, the only annoyance is not to be able to see all of these works gathered in one space as a group effort rather than as a dispersal of individual shows.

Artists: Josee Aubin Ouellette, Zachary Ayotte, Danielle Booroff, Lindsay Farr, Todd Gronsdahl, Stephanie Jonsson, Katherine Lys, Travis McEwen, Bronwyne Sloley, Jodi Tychkowsky, Katarzyna Vedah, Adam Waldon-Blain, Amy Wowk, and Janice Wu.

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