I had to pinch myself a few months ago, as I sat on the studio couch with my laptop.. I was browsing through the many art submissions for an open call at a local commercial gallery. I was on the other side of the cyber wall!? I paused.. and opened a bottle of wine I’d selected just for myself, and poured a glass in celebration of my new position as assistant curator and my curatorial début LOST & FOUND was underway… I was very fortunate to have been given carte blanche on this exhibition, which meant that I had full creative license to execute the show as I wished.
I decided that simply selecting the artwork based on photos was not going to work for me, and so I ventured out of the gallery and into the private studios of artists where I was swept away by the reaffirmed love of the creative process and the beautiful madness of the environments that hold space for that flow. What a labyrinth of beautiful mundane these hidden away spaces held! When Christine Wignall led me up the back gravel pathway behind her Art Point studio to the shack in the back alley I’d always assumed was abandoned.. the door creaked open and I was met with the thick of clay-dust air, I could see the swirling of it through the cut of light streaming in through the back window. It landed and polished the tops of heads… hundreds of heads.. Clay sculptures of the partially anonymous characters she’d encountered over the years she’d studied her medium and subjects. I drank in the aroma, the stories and the privilege I felt to be there. Where the magic happens.. where the art is before it’s called art.
I fell in love all over again.
The next visit was just as profound.. and the next.. The assemblage of artwork for this show was a weave of exceptionally talented artists, who create with a surrender to process… who’s work is made in the letting go.. in the LOST. It is by means of this flow that the experience of the work can be made most honest. That the viewer can then be witnessed. The artist becomes LOST so that we can be FOUND.
Curating an exhibition is no easy feat, and there were challenges and steep learning curves.. but in the end the show was a wild success. I couldn’t be happier with the way the show came together, and the rave reviews of the exhibition continue to pour in. What a true blessing to be given the opportunity to bless other creatives from a place of true knowingness of how to do this well. Being given the trust and chance to put this together is a gift I will forever cherish.
The exhibition runs until August 5th at the Gerry Thomas Art Gallery – 602 11 Ave SW, Calgary, AB
Read a little more about the exhibition as featured in the Gauntlet HERE.