Thursday, August 30, 2007

On the Roam: Prairie Artsters in Saskatchewan


A four day sojourn to the land of the real FLAT was art-unrelated, but art was sought and art was seen. Prairie art missed was the Mendel Gallery in Saskatoon as well as the U of S's 100 years of collection exhibit; caught were galleries inside cafes and restaurants that were as equal a cafe as it was part gallery.
Saskatchewan as a whole seems to have stopped in time. The era in which it stopped differentiates from region to region as Moose Jaw stopped in 1998 and Tugaske stopped altogether in 1932.
In relation to art history, the days of Emma Lake and Kenneth Lochhead are simply gone with the wind. (The phrase "Gone crazy from the wind" also takes on more meaning than it ever has before).
Contemporary Saskatchewan art appears to be priding itself on the historical, in the same way as its city streets, way of life, tourist appeal, and in the way that their stores and heritage museums both displayed the same items, with just the differentiation of a price tag. Prairie art is taken as literal as can be, and this niche is as tied to the land as the farmers who still bale the fields remain to be. Not exactly successful, but certainly earnest and traditional.

7 comments:

ahab said...

The days of Kenneth Lochhead may've blown but Emma Lake's certainly haven't.

MC said...

Damn ahab, youre quick... you beat me to that one.

So, Amy, why did you skip the excellent Mendel (they even have free admission!) and the (interesting sounding) UofS show, in favour of cafe art?

amy said...

as stated, I went over on non-art related purposes. I only wrote on what I passed along the way, i.e. food stops.

but from the review of the U of S show I read in their local weekly, the show was less than interesting sounding. but still, no time to see for myself. so it was only plebian art, similiar if I only reviewed art found in Cafe Mosaic and if VAAA had a coffee shop attached to it, very detached from any institution, but I think speaks volumes about a city's art scene (not legacy).

Tam said...

"speaks volumes about a city's art scene "

For me it speaks more about a city's mentality, or cultural attitude.

MC said...

"...the review of the U of S show I read in their local weekly, the show was less than interesting sounding."

Of course, you can't really expect reviewers of local weeklies to know what they're talking about...

af said...

well of course not, that would be like expecting local artists to take themselves less seriously . . .

MC said...

... which, of course, would be well nigh impossible...