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By Jordan Yager VANCOUVER – The holiday season is about spending quality time with those closest to us – gathering…

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ARTERIES: AUGUST 2013

Sunday 04th, August 2013 / 17:51

Arteries_Esker - credit artist Janet WernerThings happen fast in Calgary’s visual arts and lately we’ve had quite the rush!

Just over a year ago, Avalanche gallery started inside a heritage building by Victoria Park, but lost just about lost everything in the floods. Fortunately, it’s not the end and we actually have a lot to look forward to.

Untitled Art Society has been expanding a bit and is now growing to include Avalanche in their building’s basement. It’s a big step forward, because now they will be able to exchange audiences a little more, cross-pollinate some interesting ideas and revitalize our arts community with yet another new place to explore.

Another DIY-type gallery in Capitol Hill, Haight, wasn’t affected by floodwaters, but is also now closing its garage doors to the public after three years of exhibitions that have helped many talented local artists gain recognition in the community. The lease has expired and this house-based gallery project was a success. Now to see if anyone else will fill that gap… Let me know! The final show (July 27 to August 3), called “We,” will be happening in two cities, Calgary and Glasgow and is curated by Yvonne Mullock and Matthew Mark Bourree, with works by Laura Aldridge, Ciara Phillips, Jonathan Owen, Daisy Richardson, James McLardy and Rachel Duckhouse.

The East Village revitalization continued along the RiverWalk path, with installations from a series of public artworks by the new Light & Soul Collective. It includes Daniel J. Kirk, Ivan Ostapenko and Kai Cabunoc-Boettcher, who spent months researching the history and culture of that area and interpreted it into sculptures and detailed mixed-media murals known as The Field Manual: A compendium of local influence. The series will adorn bridge abutments, storage sheds and outdoor bathrooms there for the next two years.

Drawing from further away, there is an excellent show at Esker Foundation, running until Sept. 6, called “Another Perfect Day,” running simultaneously with “Valley of the Deer” and “Scenic Route.” The former is a portraiture show that profiles 10 years of Janet Werner’s non-traditional methods of conveying a subject, such as through switching out the person’s head with that of a dog. Interestingly, the style of painting is so realistic that it somehow dodges caricature, but with an oddly sophisticated kind of quirkiness. People really do resemble their pets, it’s fun to see them personified, glamourized and immortalized in a high-end gallery setting.

By Cait Lepla
Illustration: Janet Werner

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