Saturday, September 23, 2006

Curating!
or, The Show has Opened

I've been working with the Art Gallery of Alberta for the past few months putting together a show entitled Ancestral Bonds: Portraits.

It opened last night!

It was a big event, but not because of my show. Also opening last night was the Main Exhibit, "The Baroque Masters". For those of you in Europe, this is no big deal, but for us, it's a rare opportunity to see Rembrandt and Rubens, et al.

There was yet another exhibit opening at the same time, "Images of the West" featuring the art of renowned American artists, Charles Russell and Frederic Remington.

So my little show was able to tag along with some really great company. I'm glad of it, because our artists put their love and energy into really fantastic pieces.

I gave a short speech, hoping to convey and share some of the passion I felt for the works, and spent the rest of the night actually enjoying myself.

I have never seen a Rembrandt in person. "Woman at her Toilet". One lady beside me thought it meant she was going to the bathroom and turned to me disgustedly, "Isn't anything sacred anymore? No respect for women!" and she stormed off.

Myself, I stayed and stared at that painting, trying to memorize every brushstroke, paying attention to every last tiny detail. The fingers!! So delicate and beautiful!

And then I saw the Rubens...

Well, I'll be going back to the gallery to see this show again.

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Ancestral Bonds: Portraits
September 23–November 26

Ancestral Bonds explores how contemporary First Nations’ artists address their history within the visual arts. In particular, the exhibition looks at different approaches to portraiture. What is a portrait? Why do people create them? What constitutes a portrait?

The exhibition features work by senior artists Jane Ash Poitras, Joane Cardinal-Schubert, Kimowan McLain and Linus Woods, who have helped pave the way for a new generation of emerging First Nations’ artists also featured in this exhibition, who include: Sherman Bull, LauraLee K. Harris, Brenda Jones, Duane Linklater, April Mecredi, Maxine Paul-Morin, Heather Shillinglaw, Paul Smith and Sarah Wostenberg.

The works in the exhibition represent both the verbal and remembered experiences of the artists and help to further our understanding of their artistic journeys and contribute to a depth of understanding about how the people who came before them continue to affect them today. These ancient ties are “ancestral bonds,” which bring a freshness of approach to the ancient tradition of portraiture.

Ancestral Bonds is co-curated by Aaron Paquette and Fiona Connell, and produced with the generous support of Syncrude Canada for the AFA Travelling Exhibition Program. The exhibition begins travelling in January 2007.

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If you are in the area, I hope you make it out!

2 comments:

arthog said...

Just found your blog and I really enjoy it. Glad the show went well.

Aaron Paquette said...

Thanks!