Calgary Art Corner: February 2016

Thursday 11th, February 2016 / 14:34
By Allison Musial
"Pistes et Points 3" Artwork: Sarah Nind, courtesy of Newzones Gallery

“Pistes et Points 3”
Artwork: Sarah Nind, courtesy of Newzones Gallery

CALGARY – Eleventh Avenue is on fire this February with three great picks coming to Calgary’s Design District. If you work downtown, give your legs a stretch during the week and stroll down to any one of these art galleries. 

“Valentine’s Group Show”
Wallace Galleries, 500 – 5 Ave. SW
February 4 – February 17 

It is February and love is in the air. Any other time of year I may not give notice to this group exhibition at Wallace Galleries, but Valentine’s Day is upon us and I believe some light and romantic painting is just what Cupid ordered. The great Pablo Picasso dreamt of a world where “art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.” I believe that love and art go hand-in-hand this way. The Valentine’s Show presents an ensemble of talented artists, featuring small works by Simon Andrew, Gregory Hardy, Jennifer Hornyak, Robert Marchessault, Linda Nardelli, and Andre Petterson. 

“Chaos Theory”
Fiona Ackerman
Herringer Kiss Gallery, 709A – 11 Ave. SW
February 4 – 27

Looking at Fiona Ackerman’s work, one has to wonder how crazy it must get inside the artist’s head. Her abstract large-scale paintings are process pieces, meaning Ackerman works something like an improv actor. With confidence that stems from years of mark-making experience, she allows one stroke of the brush to influence the one to follow. The process flows and the pieces evolve. Chaos Theory is an appropriate title. But maybe I have it all wrong; perhaps the artist who dabbles in this kind of madness is as zen as a monk, and it is the minimalists that we really have to worry about.

Sarah Nind
Newzones Gallery, 730 – 11 Ave. SW
February 6 – March 19

Years ago, a friend gave me a photograph taken in a faraway country. Through blistering tropical heat, and inevitable water damage, the film had suffered and was obscured through chemical colours and burns. It was romantic, ephemeral, and it had that same je ne sais quoi that I feel from Sarah Nind’s works. Combining painting and photography, Nind creates a tension on the surface, and carries a masked storyline beneath.

“New Mines | Early Quarries”
Edward Burtynsky
Paul Kuhn Gallery, 724 – 11 Ave. SW
February 20 – March 13

Ed Burtynsky’s work is powerful enough to turn any nay-sayer into an environmental activist. The photographer depicts “scared landscapes”, forever altered by industry. His work first became known to me with two series capturing Marble Quarries, in Vermont, then Italy. The epic scale and detail of the images is enough to give one vertigo. Often from a birds-eye perspective, the viewer is granted access to a site rarely seen.

Burtynsky is no young pup; you may know his work from a 2012 exhibition at the Glenbow Museum, or as the recipient of a TED Prize in 2005 (check out his TED Talk online). He is easily placed on a top 10 list for contemporary Canadian art. With a central Beltline location, this show is not to be missed.

“Embracing Canada: From Krieghoff to the Group of Seven”
Glenbow Museum, 130 – 9 Ave. SE
February 20 – May 29, Free 1st Thursday, 5 – 9 p.m. each month

This is a show for the true Canadian patriot, and a special treat for Calgarians or anyone who may be visiting our chilly city this spring. Organized by the Vancouver Art Gallery, the exhibition includes some real gems in Canadian landscape painting. The fabulous Emily Carr will also be featured. The throngs of Emily fans, young and old, must be squirming with delight and anticipation. Here’s a pop quiz – Can you name all seven artists of the Group of Seven? I didn’t think so. Brush up on your art history and invite a special someone to the next free Thursday night, the museum can be a great date spot!

Please feel free to contact the writer for any comments or information on upcoming events at

, , , , , , , ,