Smokes, Sings Loud

Exhibition Title: Smokes, Sings Loud

Artist: Lori Blondeau and Michelle Sound

Opening: February 24th Artist Talk

Exhibition Dates: February 4th—March 12th, 2022

Smokes, Sings Loud
By Lori Blondeau and Michelle Sound
February 4th—March 12th, 2022
Artist Talk: February 24th, online
Curated by Dan Pon, Whess Harman and Vanessa Kwan
Exhibition essay by Samantha Nock

Smokes, Sings Loud celebrates the wit, wisdom, and warmth of NDN Aunties through the work of Lori Blondeau (Cree/Saulteaux/Métis) and Michelle Sound (Cree and Métis), two artists whose work draws from and feeds back into deep and embodied community connection. Featuring Blondeau’s 1999 performance work Bleached, and Sound’s Deadly Aunties series from 2021, the exhibition looks across time and relations to make connections between the fierce, close care among kin with meaning in the wider world: that this love, in all its toughness, humour and tenderness, is also resistance.

Chosen family and ‘art aunties’ to so many, Blondeau and Sound make work that celebrates the matriarchs in their lives, a continuum of which they themselves are part of. Together they have done much to create possibilities and guide their communities,  keeping their kin out of the bad trouble—and nudging them into the good kind.  As a resistant (reluctant?) archetype, Auntie shows you the way from an early age, they teach you how to be tough as leather and soft as rabbit fur. When you think you know everything there is to know they put you in your place with a side-eye or a one-liner, and then they generously teach you more. In this spirit, Smokes, Sings Loud presents new and archival works that speak across generations, with razor-sharp wit and style to match.

Pairing a contemporary sculptural textile practice with performance from the grunt archive, the exhibition considers meaning in memory: how a piece of fabric, a pattern, a song, or a smell might evoke a story or a feeling with no beginning or end but that is no less telling for it. Blondeau’s Bleached reminisces on matrilineage, internalized racism, and nitpicking get-togethers with touching sentimentality and astringent humour. Sound’s Deadly Aunties series is a material homage to auntie’s closet: buckles, fringe, and big cat prints on fierce fits for a night out or a run to the gas station for smokes. Sharing space, these works invite one into the sphere of the bold domestic, and offer a chance to reflect on and pay respect to those who looked out for you. Here, struggle transforms, shines bright.

Michelle Sound is a Cree and Métis artist, educator and mother. She is a member of Wapsewsipi Swan River First Nation in Northern Alberta. Her mother is Cree from Kinuso, Alberta, Treaty 8 territory and her father’s family is Métis from the Buffalo Lake Métis settlement in central Alberta. She was born and raised on the unceded and ancestral home territories of the xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish) and Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Simon Fraser University, School for the Contemporary Arts, and a Master of Applied Arts from Emily Carr University Art + Design. Michelle is currently an Indigenous Advisor at Douglas College and has taught workshops as a guest artist at the Richmond Art Gallery and the Contemporary Art Gallery.

She has exhibited her artwork in Moving Throughlines (Seymour Art Gallery) and Winter Pandemic (SoLA Contemporary Los Angeles). Public art pieces include a utility box art wrap for the City of Vancouver and a painted mural exhibition in Ottawa (2018) nākateyimisowin/Taking Care of Oneself, Curated by Joi Arcand. Michelle was a 2021 Salt Spring National Art Award Finalist and has upcoming exhibitions at the Art Gallery of St. Albert, Neutral Ground ARC (Regina) and Daphne Art Centre (Montréal).

Lori Blondeau is Cree/Saulteaux/Métis from Saskatchewan, Canada. Since the 1990s, Blondeau’s artistic practice in the fields of performance, photography and installation, along with her curatorial work and activities as co-founder and Executive Director of the Indigenous art collective TRIBE, has proved decisive to the ever-increasing centrality of Indigenous art and knowledge production in Canada. With her performances, which include Are You My Mother? (2000), Sisters (2002) and States of Grace (2007), and photographic work, including COSMOSQUAW (1996), Lonely Surfer Squaw (1997) and Asinîy Iskwew (2016), Blondeau’s practice both as a solo artist and in collaboration with fellow visual artists demonstrates a clarity of focus which is remarkable for its precision, humour and strength. Her photographic and installation work has been exhibited in group and solo exhibitions. Her performance pieces have been showcased at Nuit Blanche (Saskatoon and Winnipeg), VIVO (Vancouver), the Art Gallery of Ontario (Toronto) and the 2007 Venice Biennial. Blondeau has participated in panel discussions and given lectures at the AGO, the University of Saskatchewan (Saskatoon), the IAIA Museum of Contemporary Native Arts (Santa Fe) and the 2020 Sydney Biennale. Since 2018, Blondeau is an Assistant Professor of Indigenous Art at the University of Manitoba School of Art. Blondeau was a recipient of the 2021 Governor General’s Award in Visual and Media Arts.

Image: Michelle Sound, Deadly Aunties, 2021. Image by Michelle Sound.

A diffraction of past/stability and present/dynamism

Exhibition Title: A diffraction of past/stability and present/dynamism

Artist: Ben Bogart

Opening: Artist Talk on January 11th, 2022

Exhibition Dates: January 12th—22nd, 2022

Ben Bogart’s new work, A diffraction of past/stability and present/dynamism, was featured on the Mount Pleasant Community Art Screen from December 17th—26th, 2021. This complex long-form work will be presented as an installation in our gallery from January 13th—22nd, 2022, preceded by an online artist talk on January 11th. It will also once again be available to view on the MPCAS throughout the open studio dates. If you would like to book an appointment to view this work in the gallery, please contact communications@grunt.ca

Click here to join the online artist talk on January 11th, 7:30pm PST.
This event will take place on Zoom, with auto-captions by otter.ai. We will have an external chat available in Discord, however the chat function in Zoom will also be on. Click here to access the Discord channel.

Click here for exhibition map and accessibility notes (OCR compatible).

A diffraction of past/stability and present/dynamism
By Ben Bogart

On the wet dark dreary days, do we relish in the greens and the smell of rain, or do we retreat into imagined days of warmer pasts? The built and natural worlds around us are constantly evolving and transforming. While attending to the changes from moment to moment can we see the boundary between this moment and our past or future? Are we even in the present, or are we immersed in our predictions and simulations, always using samples of the present to validate imagined pasts and futures? These are some of the questions that are asked through this work. “A diffraction of past/stability and present/dynamism” is a study of time and movement at the MPCAS. Source footage was shot from the MPCAS during the long days of summer capturing the dynamism and colour of the site. The footage archives a window in time, documenting the movement of plants, clouds and animate life as humans and non-humans go along with our routines.

The structure of the work is determined by an analysis of human / non-human and natural / artificial movements, resulting in a continuum of dynamism to stillness. Areas of stillness diffuse into soft gradients of colour that undulate over time; these gradients are demarcated by the strong edges and readability of areas of stillness. Augmenting this structure are the discontinuities of the present moment that interrupt the smoothness and consistency of the composition. Through this trace of the present the viewer may pick out the shape of cars and people moving through the frame, but this subtlety is overwhelmed by drastic changes in colour. The cloud-like fields that advance and retreat from frame to frame are determined by colour values of the present where the source is almost entirely veiled in abstraction. A taxi-cab entering the frame does not appear yellow, and yet washes the image in yellow. A cloud blowing over is barely noticeable, but saturates the image in teal. Through these waves of colour and luminosity the viewer may realize this bright summer ‘present’ is in fact another moment of the past; a sample of the summer collected by a machine and reconstructed as an imagined past and present.

Ben Bogart is a non-binary agender adisciplinary artist working for two decades with generative computational processes (including physical modelling, chaotic equations, feedback systems, evolutionary algorithms, computer vision and machine learning) and has been inspired by knowledge in the natural sciences (quantum physics and cognitive neuroscience) in the service of an epistemological inquiry. Ben has produced processes, artifacts, texts, images and performances that have been presented at galleries, art festivals and academic conferences in Canada, the United States of America, the United Kingdom, the United Arab Emirates, Australia, Turkey, Finland, Germany, Ireland, Brazil, Hong Kong, Norway and Spain. Notable exhibitions include solo shows at the Canadian Embassy at Transmediale in 2017 and the TechLab at the Surrey Art Gallery in 2018. They have been an artist in residence at the Banff Centre (Canada), the New Forms Festival (Canada) and at Videotage (Hong Kong). Their research and practice have been funded by the Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada, the British Columbia Arts Council and the Canada Council for the Arts.

Click here to read our mini interview with Ben!

And click here to review our COVID-19 gallery protocols.

Project Fire Flower

Exhibition Title: Project Fire Flower

Artist: Collin van Uchelen with Carmen Papalia, curated by Whitney Mashburn

Opening: Online Artist Talk, December 2nd 2021

Exhibition Dates: October 2nd—December 12th, 2021

Immersively tactile, the Fire Flower exhibition serves as a window into the evolving research process of Collin van Uchelen. A clinical psychologist and fireworks enthusiast, van Uchelen has been developing tactile methods for translating fireworks for years, most notably presented as Fingerworks for Fireworks at Vancouver’s Celebration of Light.  After experiencing Fingerworks, socially engaged artist and community builder Carmen Papalia started a conversation with van Uchelen. Papalia has been exploring tactility in his practice for years, most recently through the Let’s Keep in Touch project, a collaboration with curator Whitney Mashburn. In what has become Project Fire Flower, Papalia and Mashburn teamed up, along with architect/designer Michael Lis and artist Lianne Zannier, to support van Uchelen in his pursuit of tactile translation of pyrotechnics.

van Uchelen describes the fully tactile exhibition as “an opportunity for visitors to see the light of fireworks through touch.” Reflective of van Uchelen and Papalia’s visit to a local botanical garden to touch flowers with shapes reminiscent of fireworks trajectories, visitors first encounter a tableau of faux flowers arranged in pyrotechnic industry racks and configured as a tiered fireworks display.  A table shares household objects which served as referential ready-mades, and the media room conveys documentary footage of the pyrotechnic industry from friends and colleagues of van Uchelen. The literal highlight of the show is comprised of nine tactile acrylic panels, carefully engraved and glowing with light, illuminating the paths of seven different fireworks shells. Visitors are invited to trace their fingers through the engravings, while listening to van Uchelen’s voice describe the respective pyro effects.

Rigorous and passionate, Van Uchelen’s efforts in Project Fire Flower educate others about the pyrotechnic arts and share his joy for fireworks, all while fueling his continuing pursuit of refining translations of these dynamic objects.

Please note that photography of the exhibition is not permitted.

Click here for a full written description of the Project Fire Flower exhibition and artworks by Collin van Uchelen.

Artist Talk, December 2nd, 5—6:30pm PST: Presented on Zoom with ASL interpretation and captions by otter.ai. To join the event, click here. To access the event via phone, click here for info.

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Project Fire Flower is a tactile and touchable exhibition, everyone is encouraged to interact with the elements of the show while adhering to the following protocols for the safety of all guests and staff:

  • Masks are required inside

  • Sanitize your hands upon entry (provided at the gallery)

  • If you feel sick (eg. cough, fever, sore throat) please stay home

We have implemented a strict cleaning schedule, including regular sanitizing of the panels, listening devices and headsets throughout each day, to keep the exhibition as safe and sanitary as possible for our visitors.

QR codes are available for those who prefer to listen to audio elements on their own device.

Note: Some elements of the exhibition cannot be sanitized (eg. plants). Please be sure to sanitize your hands before interacting with these.

Full details on our COVID-19 protocols can be found here.

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Collin van Uchelen, Ph.D., is a Conceptual Artist and Community Psychology consultant based in Vancouver, British Columbia. His artistic practice focuses on collaborative approaches for translating art into forms that are accessible with the non-visual senses. He originated the innovative “Fingerworks for Fireworks” tactile technique for describing pyrotechnical displays to viewers with sight-loss in collaboration with Steph Kirkland, Director of Vocal Eye Descriptive Arts Society in 2014. In this approach, trained describers translate the dynamic movement of fireworks by “drawing” their shapes with fingertips onto the backs of viewers who are blind or partially-sighted. Collin’s accessible “tools” for describing fireworks informed his subsequent work with All Bodies Dance Project on the creation of Translations, a contemporary dance piece designed for the non-visual senses. As Artistic Consultant, he helped co-create and refine the techniques for translating dance into accessible forms for audiences who were not using eyesight to “see” the performances. He also now consults with audio describers for art featuring movement – whether fireworks or dance.

Carmen Papalia is a nonvisual social practice artist with severe chronic and episodic pain. In 2021 he co-founded the Open Access Foundation for Arts & Culture (OAFAC), a pandemic-era cultural organization that aims to set a new cultural standard for accessibility by nurturing creative and justice-oriented accessibility practices. Since 2009 Papalia has used organizing strategies and improvisation to address his access to public space, the art institution and visual culture. As a convener, he establishes welcoming spaces where disabled, sick and chronically ill people can build capacity for care that they lack on account of governmental failure and medical ableism. His work, which takes forms ranging from collaborative performance to public intervention, is a response to the harms of the Medical Model of Disability, a framework that erases disability experience by reinforcing ableist concepts of normalcy.

Whitney Mashburn is a Boston-based independent curator and writer, whose work resides at the intersection of contemporary art and disability justice.  She lives with chronic environmental illness. Her current work includes Holding Space archive (2021-present), a burgeoning curatorial project which bears witness to the lived experiences of those marginalized by chronic illness, through interviews, art works, and manifestos; Let’s Keep in Touch (2016-present), a multi-phased, collaborative investigation of tactile aesthetics with social practice artist, Carmen Papalia; and collaborations with Minerva Projects and the My Dearest Friends Project (2020-21). She holds an M.A. in Critical and Curatorial Studies in Art, an M.A. in Disability Studies, and a B.A. in History of Art and Studio Art. Her current research is a testament to chronic and invisible illness, access as a ritual act of care, communal support, tactile aesthetics, social accessibility, disability activism in curating, meaningful inclusion, and the role of dialogue in social practice and institutional critique. Upcoming 2021-22 exhibitions are in London, Vancouver, Grand Rapids, and Boston.

Photo by Dennis Ha.

Black Gold

Exhibition Title: Black Gold

Artist: Tsēmā Igharas

Opening:

Exhibition Dates: January 22 - April 17, 2021

Tsēmā Igharas: Black Gold
Curated by Natasha Chaykowski

As more than 12,000 square kilometers of land—forests, grassy expanses, life—burned within the unceded territories now known as British Columbia, the east moving wind from the Pacific Ocean pushed the ensuing smoke across the Rockies, shrouding Alberta in darkness. As the smoke wafted eastward, millions of barrels of heavy crude were pumped westward: the movements of black gold.

Black Gold, a project by Tahltan artist Tsēmā Igharas, approaches mining practices and the indisputably thriving yet destructive extractive industries in the colonial states of British Columbia and Alberta, particularly within the context of Athabasca oil sands. This project takes for start the idea that mined substances are inherently connected to our bodies through a shared geological origin. The energy of a molecule is the energy of a person is the energy of a place is the energy of a moment.

In Summer 2018, Tsēmā investigated these tensions through site-specific research and a residency supported by Untitled Art Society, which allowed her to delve into how these issues are made manifest on Treaty 7 Territory and Treaty 8 Territory, in comparison to how mining industries exist culturally, historically, politically and economically in the unceded lands of the artist’s home territory, Tahltan First Nation in northwestern British Columbia.

Tsēmā Igharas is an interdisciplinary artist and a member of the Tahltan First Nation. She uses Potlatch methodology to create conceptual artwork and teachings influenced by her mentorship in Northwest Coast Formline Design at K’saan (2005/06), her studies in visual culture and time in the mountains. She has a Bachelor’s degree from Emily Carr University of Art and Design (2011) and graduated from the Interdisciplinary Master’s in Art, Media and Design program at OCADU showing her thesis work, “LAND|MINE” that connects materials to mine sites and bodies to the land. Tsēmā won the 2018 Emily Award for outstanding ECUAD alumni; is one of twenty-five 2020 Sobey Award winners; and has shown and performed across Canada and internationally in Mexico, USA, Sweden and Chile.
Natasha Chaykowski is a white settler writer and curator based on Treaty 7 Territory in Mohkinstsis (Calgary). Currently, she is Director of Untitled Art Society.

The exhibition floorplan can be found here as a PDF.

Accessibility Notes:
Video has ambient sound, no speaking (uncaptioned). Shimmering (poem) is written in English, using low contrast black letters on a black background. Work can be read online here.
grunt gallery is accessed from the sidewalk via a 106” long, 64” wide concrete ramp that rises 12”. The slope is 1 : 8.75. There are no rails on the ramp. The front entrance is a manually operated outward-swinging double door with a total width of 64”. Entry to the Media Lab behind the gallery space is via a 42” wide passage and entry to the neighbouring amenity space is through a manually operated outward swinging double door with a total width of 70”. No stairs, inclines, or elevators are necessary to access the public areas once inside the gallery.
grunt gallery has a single gender neutral washroom that is accessed via a 31” wide doorway with a sliding pocket door with a door handle that is 40” high. The toilet has a 10” clearance on the left side and a 21” clearance in front, with a support bar on the left side. The sink height is 34”. Please contact us at 604-875-9516 or email communications[at]grunt[dot]ca with any questions.

 

Image: Tsēmā Igharas, Black Gold, grunt gallery, 2021. Photo by Dennis Ha.

Cheap! Diligent! Faithful!

Exhibition Title: Cheap! Diligent! Faithful!

Artist: Marlene Yuen

Opening:

Exhibition Dates: September 25 — December 12th, 2020

Marlene Yuen: Cheap! Diligent! Faithful!

Vancouver-based printmaker Marlene Yuen’s explorations of Chinese Canadian labour histories have through the years taken the form of intricately produced print and paper-based media. Through ‘zines, comics, lovingly crafted artists books and – new for this exhibition – site-specific artworks, Yuen’s body of work comes off the pages and onto the walls. In precise and attentive craftsmanship, Yuen brings dimension to both the known and the overlooked histories of immigrant labour. Drawing from oral histories and archival research inspired by Yuen’s own family history, Cheap! Diligent! Faithful! acknowledges the complexities of labour and immigration in this country – and lifts up the small, remarkable details of lived experience.

The exhibition includes the launch of Yuen’s new publication that explores the graphic and cultural history of Ho Sun Hing Printers which closed in 2014, after 106 years of business in Vancouver’s Chinatown.

Artist Interview and Virtual Exhibition Tour here.

A Conversation Between Curators Whess Harman & Vanessa Kwan (PDF).

Yuen’s works available to view online:

Ho Sun Hing Printers, letterpress and risograph book, 2020.

Public Lunch, large comic panels, 2017.

Sam Chong Laundry, large comic panels, 2017.

Jean Lumb: Entrepreneur, Activist & Mother, large comic panels, 2017.

Cheng Foo, accordion book, 2017.

Mary Ko Bong, accordion book, 2017.

Artist Bio:
Marlene Yuen is a Vancouver-based artist who received her Bachelor’s of Studio Arts in 1998 from the University of British Columbia. Marlene has exhibited at galleries, artist-run centres, and cultural events in Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, Belgium and Japan. Although she is a multidisciplinary artist, her current focus is on handmade books; her artist books have been retained in special collections nationally and internationally.

Currently, Marlene is focusing her subject matters on Chinese Canadian labour history and preservation of Vancouver’s historic Chinatown. Her newest artist book explores Vancouver Chinatown’s last print shop, Ho Sun Hing Printers.

Accessibility Information:
grunt gallery is accessed from the sidewalk via a 106” long, 64” wide concrete ramp that rises 12”. The slope is 1 : 8.75. There are no rails on the ramp. The front entrance is a manually operated outward-swinging double door with a total width of 64”. Entry to the Media Lab behind the gallery space is via a 42” wide passage and entry to the neighbouring amenity space is through a manually operated outward swinging double door with a total width of 70”. No stairs, inclines, or elevators are necessary to access the public areas once inside the gallery.

grunt gallery has a single gender neutral washroom that is accessed via a 31” wide doorway with a sliding pocket door with a door handle that is 40” high. The toilet has a 10” clearance on the left side and a 21” clearance in front, with a support bar on the left side. The sink height is 34”.

Click here for exhibition floor plan.

Photo: Dennis Ha, 2020.

Call for Submissions – Mount Pleasant Community Art Screen

Exhibition Title: Call for Submissions – Mount Pleasant Community Art Screen

Artist:

Opening:

Exhibition Dates: Deadline July 31st, 2020

MPCAS CALL for SUBMISSIONS

We accept submissions on an ongoing basis.
To be considered for the Fall/ Winter 2020 program, submissions must be received by July 31st, 2020 at 4pm.
Submissions received after this date will be considered at a later time.

Background:
The MPCAS is a 7×4 metre outdoor community and media arts LED screen, located on unceded Coast Salish territories at Kingsway and Broadway in Mount Pleasant. Broadcasting from 9am to 10pm most days, it is programmed by grunt gallery, an artist-run centre that has been in the neighbourhood since 1984. For more information please visit mpcas.ca

*please note the screen does not have audio capabilities, therefore all submitted content is currently limited to image and captioning only.

PLACE:
The current programming theme of the MPCAS is PLACE, which looks at a changing Mount Pleasant and Vancouver through works by artists, curators, and residents who live here or are connected to the area, exploring its past, current, and future vitality.

Mount Pleasant was one of Vancouver’s earliest neighborhoods, built along a large salmon and trout creek that ran from the swampy higher grounds down to the ocean — the same path as what is now Main Street. The area became a focus of colonial settlement in the mid-19th century and local Indigenous communities were forced out to make way for businesses that grew into a bustling destination neighbourhood. By 1910, business moved west with Shaughnessy becoming the preferred neighbourhood, and Mount Pleasant fell into economic decline for almost 100 years. With working-class roots, abundant rental housing, and transient tenants, it was the poorest neighbourhood outside of the Downtown Eastside. A community of immigrants, urban poor, and artists created the conditions from which much of Vancouver’s early modern cultural life grew.

Beginning in the 1990s, Mount Pleasant’s gentrification started to take hold, initially through the live/work studio condos that gradually began to appear in the area. In 2010, with the development in the Olympic Village area, aggressive upzoning began, and many residents were evicted from their long-held homes as rents doubled and tripled within a few years. Mount Pleasant’s gritty characteristics suddenly became its new selling points. Developer marketing highlighted its arts community and heritage buildings—although ironically both became early targets in the gentrification process. Mount Pleasant quickly transformed from one of Vancouver’s cheapest neighbourhoods to one of its most expensive, ground zero for the increasing unaffordability of the city.

The MPCAS engages with this complex and, at times, tense history of displacement, creativity, expansion and grit.

Participate:
Our vision is to provide an urban screen with content received from and responsive to its viewers, in contrast to the advertising/consumer paradigm that is the rule with most highly visible screens in a public space.

As we build a program that reflects, engages with and enriches the complex cultural history of Vancouver’s Mount Pleasant neighbourhood, our call for submissions welcomes contributions from artists, collectives, curators and other community members, organizations and community festivals. Topics could include (but are not limited to) identity, language, housing, city streets, food, neighbourhoods, landmarks, loss, memories, narratives of the past, and potential futures.

The racialized, immigrant and working class communities that have been the backbone of Mount Pleasant have also been disproportionately impacted by the economic swings and recent gentrification of the area. Without a doubt, the history of this unique neighbourhood is entwined with colonial legacies and systemic inequities, and we invite submissions that explore the idea of place from the angle of disPLACEment, too.

Generally speaking, submitted works should be ten minutes or less in length and could include (but are not limited to) still images, time-based media, animations, performance works, archival video, interactive pieces, GIFs, experimental video, event proposals, and curatorial/screening proposals.

How To Submit Your Work:
Please include the following information in your proposal :

  • Maximum one-page proposal describing your project, and how it relates to PLACE.
  • Supporting Documentation: Video submissions should be sent as a link to a host site (Youtube, Vimeo, etc). You may also send preview files via WeTransfer, Dropbox, or similar services if you prefer, please keep files to a maximum of 500MB.
  • Photography and image based submissions: 10-12 images. Image files should be no more than 1200 pixels wide.
  • Creator CV and a short biography.
  • Artist / Curator Statement (optional).

Please email proposals to submissions[at]grunt[dot]ca by July 31st at 4pm to be considered for Fall/Winter 2020 programming.

MPCAS Content and Technical Guidelines are available as a downloadable PDF

**Due to COVID-19, we will only be accepting digital submissions until further notice.

Become A Part of the MPCAS through our Digital Stories Workshops!
grunt gallery and EastVan Digital Stories join forces with Mount Pleasant and Vancouver residents who wish to create short videos around the theme of PLACE. Artists Lorna Boschman and Sebnem Ozpeta will host a series of free workshops that walk participants through the process of digital story making. Selected videos from the workshops will be shown on the MPCAS. For more information on EastVan Digital Stories please email lorna[at]digitalstories[dot]ca

Details on MPCAS programming and submissions can be found on our website mpcas.ca

Follow @gruntgallery and @MPCAS.Vancouver on Facebook for announcements and registration info for upcoming Fall and Winter workshops.

Image: Tomas Jirku, Unseen Urban Energy, still,  2019.

Mount Pleasant Community Art Screen

Exhibition Title: Mount Pleasant Community Art Screen

Artist: Various

Opening:

Exhibition Dates: Ongoing

grunt gallery remains closed until further notice due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but the Mount Pleasant Community Art Screen is still glowing bright at Kingsway and Broadway. Through partnerships, commissions, and open calls, there is an exciting and diverse range of new work on the screen exploring our current moment of isolation through moving and still images, texts, poems, drawings and more. Our new programming includes open link in new tab, a showcase of work by ten Indigenous women, Two Spirit, and Indigiqueer artists curated by Jessica Johns; Kevin House’s Isolation Boy project; and submissions from members of the Mount Pleasant community and local elementary school students to our ongoing open calls for creative engagement.

It’s our hope that the MPCAS can continue to connect our community and help us be together while apart in this era of social distancing and self-isolation. You can read more about the MPCAS programming here; and you can see the work in person on the screen on the side of The Independent building on Kingsway.

 

Photo: Bush Business, Jade Baxter.

SUPERNOVA

Exhibition Title: SUPERNOVA

Artist: Rah

Opening: April 30th, 2020

Exhibition Dates: May 1st — June 20th, 2020

The characters in Canadian-Iranian artist Rah’s SUPERNOVA foreground an exploration of gender, performance, selfhood and cultural identity in an upcoming exhibition at grunt gallery. Oreo, Fatimeh and the space-time-nonconforming Coco (all portrayed by the artist herself) exist variously in galaxy Messier 82, each a contestant on a futuristic, if eerily familiar, reality-tv-style talent show. Moving through performances for a panel of eccentric judges, Rah’s subjects provide commentary on gender and culture as it is performed in the mainstream – galactic or no – and the slippery potential of resistance.

pi’tawkewaq | our people up river

Exhibition Title: pi’tawkewaq | our people up river

Artist: Meagan Musseau

Opening: Thursday, March 5th, 2020, 7-9pm

Exhibition Dates: March 6th - April 11th, 2020

The gallery closed to the public due to the COVID-19 pandemic before this exhibition was finished. We were saddened not to be able to share this exhibition with you in person, however we created a virtual tour video of the exhibition, and the publication is available here: pi’tawkewaq_our people up river_Musseau_grunt gallery

For her first solo exhibition in Vancouver, Meagan Musseau presents a body of work from her ongoing research responding to Beothuk and Mi’kmaq visual culture. Musseau uses a multi-disciplinary practice that involves archival research, land-based action, video, drawing, and sculpture to explore land, language, and design. By telling stories about cultural belongings from the perspective of a contemporary L’nu woman living on Ktaqmkuk (Newfoundland), Musseau’s work transfers knowledge from archived collections into contemporary visual consciousness.

A braided sculpture made during a land-based action in Musseau’s home region of Elmastukwek (Bay of Islands, NL) forms the physical and conceptual center of the exhibition. While the act of endurance required to create the 22 foot braid connects to stories and nomadic histories of the Mi’kmaq, the object itself carries the history of the land in its creation. A series of tall sculptures rendered in engraved plexiglass reference Beothuk caribou bone pendants that Musseau visited during museum research. Evoking the artist’s experience of visiting cultural belongings through plexiglass cases, the sculptures re/awaken their designs by enlarging them to a human scale and presence. A site specific wall installation integrates the material qualities of the braid with graphic elements from the pendant designs. These textures surround an image of Musseau beside one of Santu Toney, a woman living in the early 1900s with mixed Mi’kmaw and Beothuk ancestry. Musseau’s work seeks to honour Santu by highlighting the transmission of knowledge that exists between past, present, and future generations.

pi’tawkewaq | our people up river presents contemporary cultural belongings that index and render tangible Musseau’s active practice of building and maintaining her relationships to land and ancestor artists. She uses her perspective to overturn colonial narratives of disappearance and instead addresses the role of interterritorial relationships between the two nations as a guiding methodology.

This exhibition received support from the Newfoundland and Labrador Arts Council. The artist would also like to acknowledge Grenfell Art Gallery and the Makerspace in Corner Brook, NL.

Meagan Musseau is an L’nu artist from the Mi’kmaq Nation. Her practice is rooted in Elmastukwek, Ktaqmkuk territory (Bay of Islands, Western Newfoundland) and extends to other areas of Mi’kma’ki and Wabanaki territory. Musseau nourishes an interdisciplinary practice by working with customary art forms and new media, such as basketry, beadwork, land-based performance, video and installation. She focuses on creating artwork, dancing, learning the Mi’kmaw language, and facilitating workshops as a way to actively participate in survivance. Her work has been exhibited at AKA artist-run centre, Saskatoon; Eastern Edge Gallery, St. John’s; VOX centre de l’image contemporaine, Montreal; Walter Phillips Gallery, Banff; and Kelowna Art Gallery, among others. She has been supported by numerous awards, and featured in publications such as Canadian Art, Border Crossings, and Visual Arts News. Meagan is working towards solo exhibitions at TRUCK Contemporary Art Gallery (Calgary 2020) and Ociciwan Contemporary Art Centre (Edmonton, 2020/21).

Laurie White is a curator and writer from Sheffield, England. She holds an MA in Critical and Curatorial Studies from the University of British Columbia. Her thesis exhibition project at Or Gallery, We Built a House Out of the Things We Had Gathered, explored salvage and bricolage as modes of ecological practice in contemporary art. She has curated exhibitions at the fifty fifty arts collective, Victoria; AHVA Gallery, UBC; and Western Gallery, Bellingham. She co-edited the catalogue Beau Dick: Devoured by Consumerism (Figure 1 Publishing) for Fazakas Gallery and her writing will appear in the forthcoming catalogue, Beginning with the Seventies published by the Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery. Laurie is currently the Assistant Curator at the Or Gallery.

BAIT

Exhibition Title: BAIT

Artist: Couzyn van Heuvelen

Opening: Thursday, January 9th, 2020, 7pm - 9pm

Exhibition Dates: January 10th - February 22nd, 2020

Couzyn van Heuvelen’s work is a reinterpretation and reimagining of Inuit hunting and fishing implements. The sculptural works draw upon the artist’s relationship to Inuit tradition and land-based material culture and technology. Through his artistic process, the artist manipulates material – aluminum, glass, steel –  to elaborate and distinguish the unique aesthetics and creative currency derived from utilitarian objects that define the maker. BAIT is a platform for the artist to further investigate his relationships and lived experience of his culture and identity through rendered artworks related to Inuit survival and sovereignty. The works in BAIT tease out the language of hunting, innovation and traditional practices through a framework of scale, materials and abstraction that is still uniquely Inuit. Through the presentation of van Heuvelen’s work, the exhibition addresses issues related to the transitional experiences between north and south, food sovereignty and the binaries of art, craft and function.

Couzyn van Heuvelen is an Inuk sculptor and installation artist originally from Iqaluit, NU, currently based in Bowmanville, Ontario. van Heuvelen received his BFA from York University in 2011 and his MFA in 2015 from NSCAD University. His artistic practice primarily consists of sculptural and installation works that draw from both art history and Inuit life. Across his varied pieces, he fuses traditional practices and forms with contemporary materials and fabrication processes.

Ryan Rice, Kanien’kehá:ka of Kahnawake, is an independent curator and the Associate Dean, Academic Affairs in the Faculty of Liberal Arts / School of Interdisciplinary Studies at the Ontario College of Art and Design (OCAD) University (Toronto, ON). His curatorial career spans 25 years in museums, artist run centres and galleries.

BAIT is curated by Ryan Rice. The exhibition is supported by the Ontario Arts Council and the Canada Council for the Arts.

There will be an artist talk at grunt gallery on January 11th, 2020, noon – 2pm.

 

Image: Couzyn van Heuvelen, Avataq, screen-printed mylar, ribbon, aluminum, helium, 2016.

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