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At The Gallery
Kootenay School of the Arts at Selkirk College Faculty and StaffAugust 13 to October 29, 2011
the act of making as connective
“…. things men have made with wakened hands and put soft light into, are awake through years of transferred touch ….”
DH Lawrence, English poet
CONNECTIONS MATERIALIZED – the act of making as connective celebrates Contemporary Craft and Art from the hands and studios of 26 artists who teach and work at the Kootenay School of the Arts at Selkirk College in Nelson, British Columbia. The exhibition investigates a variety of interpretations of inter-connectivity between artists and between their materials. Within this community of idiosyncratic individuals, each artist maintains a studio practice dedicated to the time-honoured human occupation of transforming diverse materials into meaningful objects.
The curriculum at the Kootenay School of the Arts at Selkirk College includes 4 areas of study – Metal, Clay, Fibre, Jewelry and Small Object Design along with studies in Drawing, Design and Professional Practices. In each of these studios both cerebral and physical knowledge of skills are developed together with the study of historical material cultures.
The bonds between these 26 working artists inter-connect within 4 areas of commonality: Historical Roots and Contemporary Innovation, The Physicality of Materials and Tools, The Working Studio and Pedagogical Practices. The artists work with specific tools within highly specialized physical spaces and are connected through the disciplined integration of various skills, methods and techniques. These working artists also share many common social, aesthetic, spiritual and pedagogical values which are evident within the refinement of their labours.
Whether the expressive objects of this exhibition are made for use, for personal adornment or as statements, the makers all share sentient and sensual responses to the richness of their chosen materials which inform their hearts and hands.
Although the mastery of skills with materials is integral to the process of making, it is but a beginning; artists must challenge themselves in response to questions of originality, aesthetics, content and transcendence.
Each maker’s imagination encompasses not only skill in handling materials, but the challenge of taking risks and extending skills that have never been tried in a particular context, or revealing new characteristics within the familiar.
As popular interest grows in the importance of human expression and its relationship to society and visual material culture in general, this exhibition bears witness to the inter-connectivity of contemporary craft and art practices that enrich daily life.
In 1986, Edward Lucie-Smith, in the curatorial statement for the CRAFT TODAY Exhibition at the American Craft Museum, mused on the connections between the public’s perceptivity of objects and the object itself.
“Craft has ceased to be mere decoration. Craft objects increasingly tend to be used in precisely the same way as paintings and sculptures in domestic and other interiors – as space modulators and as activators of particular environments, lending their own emotional coloring. We respect and value them as totems and touchstones as much as we do fine art ….. It is now possible to see a chair, old or new, in several ways simultaneously: as an object to sit on, as a decorative item that may be part of a larger scheme and as sculpture.”
The Navajo people of southwestern United States talk about a “Beauty Way” of life; an attitude and philosophical understanding based on connective elements between earth and sky, between male and female and between all living organisms embodied in thoughts, dreams and actions. Both art and craft practices are powerful affirmations of living this Way of Beauty and the objects the artists create become manifestations of these connective values.
The artists of this exhibition are not only individuals asserting creative voices through their work; they are also forces of creation within both the larger community of public audience and within the smaller community of fellow makers who share sweet obsessions with the possibilities offered by their particular processes and mediums.
Honouring both tradition and innovation with authentic voices, they bring their invisible inner worlds to their visible physical manifestations, communicating ‘connections materialized’.
February 14 2011
IN DEDICATION AND MEMORY OF TOM LYNN
Metal Studio Instructor: 1991 – 2008
We wish to dedicate this exhibition, CONNECTIONS MATERIALIZED, to our dear friend and fellow artist, Tom Lynn, whose energy, confidence, team spirit and humour guided and helped make KSA possible. We sing his praises and miss him dearly.
Maggie Tchir – Fibre Studio
Pamela Nagley Steveson – Clay Studio
Denis Kleine – Metal Studio
Susan LeFebour – Jewelry and Small Object Design Studio
Courtney Andersen – Core Program
CONNECTIONS MATERIALIZED ~ the act of making as connective
Kootenay School of the Arts at Selkirk College