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i’ve been keeping a secret for the last little while. i’m pregnant! no wait, i told that news already. something else…
i’m doing a show at the mendel art gallery! this is really exciting for me — i’ve never had a show in such a serious gallery before. the mendel gallery is famous in saskatoon and known across the country, so i didn’t want to write about it here until everything was in place.
the show is part of a program called “artists by artists”. it matches an established artist, david geary, with me, an emerging artist. it’s funny, because last month i was happy to find out that the women’s art festival didn’t think i was “emerging” anymore, since i got accepted as an established artist there. so i emerged already, but now i’m “emerging” again. maybe i’m really a “floating artist” in the art world.
i met alexandra badzak, who coordinates the artists by artists program, at the opening of my first drawing show in saskatoon, last february. at that time, i didn’t know many people in saskatoon, so i made a bunch of postcards and posters and gave them to people who might be interested in coming to my opening. i went to shops along broadway and downtown to drop off postcards and invite people in person.
it was -20 that day, and i felt cold and miserable walking around with my bag full of postcards. i thought, “since i’m working this hard and feeling this miserable, i might as well go to the mendel art gallery to invite the staff.” so i went, even though i didn’t really expect anyone from the famous art gallery would come to my little show. i walked into the gallery and went to the back and up a staircase because i thought the offices would be upstairs. there was someone sitting at a desk looking suspiciously at me when i walked in (the door was open). i gave her my postcards and a poster. when she saw them, she got enthusiastic and said she’d definitely give them to the staff.
i still didn’t think anyone would show up. but when my opening started (i was still setting up the food i made), alex was there and she came up to me and gave me her card. i just couldn’t believe she was one of the curators at the mendel. i was touched.
the show title is “personal :: political”. my part of the show is “personal”, and david geary’s part is “political”. dave and i met in the summer of 2005, just after i moved to saskatoon. i was selling my drawings on the street at the fringe festival. he stopped by my section and we chatted for awhile. he told me that he was doing a show at the mendel that summer, so i went to check it out.
dave makes propaganda posters for modern life and politics in saskatchewan, based on actual soviet propaganda posters. he imitates the colors and figures and text layout, but the message is about saskatchewan. i love the propaganda motif. he does a drawing and then makes a poster from it. he uses his images to make greeting cards and t-shirts and he also shows his work at street festivals.
so dave and i have a lot in common in the way we like to work, even though our styles are quite different. he invited me to do this show with him, and he’s been a great mentor to me. he’s very relaxed about the idea of art, so he helped me keep my confidence and have fun getting ready for our show.
my part of the show includes many of my favorite drawings (17 of them). i’m also showing some of my useless toys, including the decapitated version of the maximum team power duck. i’ve shown most of it online here already, but one of the toys is new. i’ll be making a mendel show collection of images and putting it in my online gallery.
it was so exciting to see everything on display today. the drawings are all framed and the toys are in clear plastic cases. for my previous shows, i put up drawings with thumbtacks, so i’m not used to seeing them this way. the layout and the hanging were all done according to my plan by professionals (not just paul and me), and i’m really happy with how it looks.
the show is up now and will be available for viewing at the mendel art gallery, saskatoon, until june 3rd. the opening will be friday april 13th, starting at 8pm. please come if you can, even though it’s friday the 13th. i’d be very happy to meet some of the people who are reading my blog!
david geary and i will also be doing an open studio for “something on sundays” this weekend: sunday april 1st, from 2 – 4pm. please come if you can, even though it’s april fool’s day (i won’t play a trick on you). at the same time, the “children’s art adventures” will have a workshop on how to make pala-pala flipbooks. maybe the most amazing thing for me about this show is seeing the word “pala-pala” on a art gallery website in canada.
the mendel has also invited me to have some of my prints and postcards available for sale in the gallery shop. i’m still arranging this, but i’ll give an update with what i have available there.
anyway, that’s my latest secret. i hope many of you can come and enjoy our show.
personal :: political
march 30th to june 3rd
something on sundays (open studio)
sunday april 1st, 2-4pm
friday april 13th, 8pm
the mendel art gallery
950 spadina crescent east
open daily 9am – 9pm