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.
at 7:08:00 PM