Postcard Project engages residents in their community

Witness the Postcard Exchange!

Reception on Thursday, April, 28th, 2016 from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm at The Drawing Room (10253 97 St)

Revera’s three Edmonton area retirement communities are celebrating the conclusion of their first collaborative art project, and we’d like to invite you to join in the festivities.

The residents and staff of River Ridge, the Churchill, and Riverbend have been actively participating in the Postcard Project over the past 4 months. They have created over 100 unique artworks that they are looking forward to sharing with each other and the community.

The Postcard Project is the first visual art collaboration between the three Edmonton area Revera retirement communities. Residents of each community were invited to create a selection of small postcard sized artworks using a variety of materials, techniques, and subject matter to explore and expand their creative vocabulary.

Working both independently and through collaborative workshops, the residents created over 100 unique artworks which will be exchanged between the three sites for display at their community. The closing reception for the Postcard Project will be held at the Drawing Room Studios and Salon in downtown Edmonton and the event will feature an Active Postcard Exchange where residents will be invited to pick out a selection of artwork to take back and display at their site.
 
RSVP! Please let us know if you plan to be in attendance to Carly Greene, River Ridge, carly.greene@reveraliving.com, 780-470-7180 or 780-387-1463.
 
If you’re interested in learning more about Revera’s retirement communities, please be sure to visit our website at http://www.reveraliving.com/retirement-living

The Drawing Room Grande Finale Event

Help send The Drawing Room out with a BANG at The Grande Finale event featuring Adam's Not Fair Karaoke!

Come sing @AdamWB approved songs in the ambiance of performances, projections and intermedia artworks by Leslie Sharpe, Andrew Buzschak, Elvira Palazuelos, Mark Feddes and Chelsea Boida on April 29 from 8 pm 'til late! Tickets are $10 in advance available here.

Cash Bar! Live Music! Karaoke DJ!

Thanks to Designer and Illustrator Christine Carey for the great gif!

Series by Kristen Keegan

Series

Black mountains of glass-like waste material (slag) appear where iron and other metals are smelted or refined.  These paintings, through intuited processes, arrive at something in response to these human-made topographies.  Material experiments and open-ended methods of accrual and removal make up a series of actions, reflective of the reconfigured landscape as well as underlying geological processes.
In geology, the term ‘series’ refers to rock layers formed during a certain interval in time.  As units, they are themselves subdivisions and also further subdivided.
Through the play of gesture, colour, form and texture in materials such as beeswax, oil and latex paint, each panel represents a record of its own cumulative time, each a facet or segment of the next.

Exhibition runs April 7 to April 29
Admission $5 or pay what you can to the Artist
Opening Reception at 7 pm on Thursday, April 7

About the Artist
Kristen Keegan is an artist born and based in Edmonton, Alberta. Her work was most recently exhibited in the 2015 Alberta Biennial of Contemporary Art, Parade Gallery, Exposure Photography Festival, and Latitude 53 Gallery. She has travelled to attend residencies both remote and urban, and at the end of 2015 was artist-in- resident for two months at Messen in Ålvik, a small factory town in Norway. A road travel enthusiast, she gets around in a grey station wagon known as Alice.

Store

Come one, come all! The Drawing Room Salon is now home to new vendors. In addition to artists' books, zines and notecards in our shop, Undercover Books Etc., we now have offerings from a sampling of local artists:

Handmade jewellery and ceramic ring-holders by Karma Victoria Jewellery
Vintage fashion curated by Candice Kelly of Local Gifts
Embroidered patches by Amoira Borealis
Tapes and merch by Sweety Pie Records
Pendant lamps by Granville Woods
Desk accessories by MAAKE
Used records and more!
 

Beaver Hills House Park Workshop

Public Art Opportunity

You are invited to participate in a community engagement workshop, Saturday March 5th, with Artist, Destiny Swiderski at The Drawing Room. The workshop will be held from 2 to 4 pm. Participants will be encouraged to tell their own story through textile drawings and colouring inside each bird profile given to them. The drawings created at the workshop will then be silk-screened onto steel birds and attached to the Beaver Hills House Park wall, located in the Alley of Light. This is a permanent display as part of the public art in downtown Edmonton. Participants will be acknowledged on a plaque as a part of the project.
Please send a message with your name, phone number and email address to info@drawingroomedmonotn.com to register for this event!


Entanglement by Diane Connors

We are proud to have Diane Connors'  upcoming exhibition titled Entanglement at the Drawing Room from February 10 until 27. Donations go to the artist. Please pay what you can.

Entanglement © Diane Connors

Biography
Art provides a way to engage with concepts and ideas intuitively - for this reason, I orbit around art that conveys complex social and environmental justice themes in simple ways. Topics that address consumerism, feminism, oppression, well-being, social psychology, biology, identity, and politics have held my interest since I started exploring them artistically for conceptual drawing projects in university. I see my art-making as a way to express and engage others on what can be complicated subjects - usually I begin with a very intentional message or thought about a particular issue that I’m trying to convey, and try to create it in such a way that it is easy and elegant to understand. I often reflect my work off my myself to own my personal connection to the culture being commented on or critiqued - I find this allows the viewer the space to reflect on themselves as well, and removes some defensiveness that art-as-social-commentary can provoke. As the personal is political, I think these personal reflections are key to meaningfully connecting to larger social issues. 
Artist Statement
My hair was long, curly, and beautiful. It would catch in crevices, tangle in chains, hold my head in place when trapped under pack straps and chair backs, and wrap around my neck and face, obscuring my view and inhibiting my movement. I wanted to cut it for years - but something held me back. I came to realize my hair was a marker of my identity as a woman, and my feelings of physical entanglement had social and emotional parallels. The way that femininity was woven into my life was beginning to become more apparent and more structured. My hair suddenly became very political to me - I was beginning to understand what was meant by the feminist assertion that “my body is a battleground.”
In an act of personal political subversion, I chopped my locks. For a time, I wasn’t sure what to do with them. I decided to keep the hair and ruminate on a way to use it to express these complex feelings I had about my identity and the press of expectations and limitations imposed on me because of it. After disconnecting myself so violently from this part of my body, I wanted to engage with my hair in a way that was thoughtful and intimate. I wanted the finished piece of art to be the result of a deliberate process that embodied minimalist ideals and respected the hair in its own materiality. 
I began to do what came naturally - I started to braid it, in the same way I had done since I was a young child learning to make friendship bracelets. I can’t even remember when I learned to braid; it feels like a childhood skills that came with the package of wearing dresses and playing with dolls. I used to braid my long hair for comfort when I was feeling bored or anxious - many collective hours pulling greasy strands into backwards french braids while writing university papers, countless tiny braids slowly coming undone after thoughtlessly fingering them together around the base of my neck. And so braiding began my process - a meditation, a space to think, a time to heal, an opportunity to reflect on my identity and the society that shaped it.
As I braided, I thought about the labour I was doing and how it connected to women through the generations and across the world. I thought about the intersectionality that this part of my body represented - not just gender, but race, class, health, sexuality, age - and how hair is so diversely symbolic in human society. During the process, I took time to listen to the voices of people who talk about oppression and social justice, and sought out the knowledge of strong women, non gender-conforming individuals, and men who challenge social norms by simply existing and speaking their truth. 
After many hours, the braiding was finished and I needed to decide the actual physical shape of the piece. Within the theme of facing femininity I chose two paths: to seek out someone who could spin the “cast-off” loose strands into a useable thread or yarn (that I would later crochet), and to sew the mass of tiny braids into different patterns of my liking. It was during this time that I began to appreciate how undervalued “traditional women’s work” can be. The attention, skill, patience, and perseverance required to spin, weave, knit, crochet, or sew anything by hand is something I might not master for years. I was fortunate enough to become acquainted with a friend of a friend who is a skilled spinner; it was a distinct pleasure to connect and discuss the work, comparing our experiences as women from different generations. 
In all, the piece is an embodiment of a journey that I started and will continue will continue on for the rest of my life. Knots done up, knots undone; I will never be fully disentangled. 

New works by Nora Myers

The Drawing Room presents an exhibition of recent works by Nora Meyers running January 6th through 27th. Admission is $5 or pay what you can.
Join the opening reception, January 8 at 7 pm!

Nora Myers is a multidisciplinary artist from Southern Minnesota. She holds a BFA in Painting and Printmaking and a Minor in Art History with an emphasis on Folk Art, Intuitive Art, and Art Brut, from the Minnesota State University, Mankato. She graduated last December from the University of Alberta with an MFA in Painting. Her current research focuses on the effort to translate memory into language. She aims to create work that may inspire the investigation in the beauty and complexity of our personal histories.

This show is a collection of two developing series, North in the Night and Everywhere and Here. The collection contains paintings and drawings that make reference to the landscape and contain elements of poetry, obscured private spaces, and dark mental landscapes.

PARK(ing) Day 2015

On Friday September 18th, PARK(ing) Day returned to the Boyle Street area of Edmonton, along Namêw Ave (97 Street) and Okîsikow Way (101a Avenue). PARK(ing) Day is an annual event taking place internationally where citizens, artists and activists collaborate to temporarily transform metered parking spaces into PARK(ing) spaces: temporary public places (parkingday.org). Twenty street parking spots were reimagined by local artists and organizations, and turned into sites for imagination and community building. From interactive art installations, rap battles, tai chi and yoga, unique information booths, to a clothing swap, each of the stalls promoted conversation and connection in our community. 

Everyone had a blast! The weather was perfect and the crowd fantastic. We could not have asked for a better afternoon! Here are some snaps from PARK(ing) Day 2015! 

Photography by Charmaine Lowe

The parklet for the Toaist Tai Chi Society. 

The parklet for the Toaist Tai Chi Society. 

A view of Taryn Knetemen's Letters to Trees. Visitors were encouraged to sit down, have a cup of tea, and write a letter to a tree. 

A view of Taryn Knetemen's Letters to Trees. Visitors were encouraged to sit down, have a cup of tea, and write a letter to a tree. 

Evelyn Delgado from the Royal Alberta Museum organized a pop up children's museum, complete with crowdsourced cardboard cut-outs of Alberta's animals. 

Evelyn Delgado from the Royal Alberta Museum organized a pop up children's museum, complete with crowdsourced cardboard cut-outs of Alberta's animals. 

Local artist Megan Gnanasihamany organized a clothing swap at her parklet. People were encouraged to donate as well as to take items that caught their eye!

Local artist Megan Gnanasihamany organized a clothing swap at her parklet. People were encouraged to donate as well as to take items that caught their eye!

The Edmonton-Centre NDP MLA David Shepard came out to show his support for the arts and community in Edmonton. What a great guy!

The Edmonton-Centre NDP MLA David Shepard came out to show his support for the arts and community in Edmonton. What a great guy!

Lisa Lunn and David Leriger created "Memory Alpha," a discussion of diversity through the lens of Star Trek. 

Lisa Lunn and David Leriger created "Memory Alpha," a discussion of diversity through the lens of Star Trek. 

Robyn Webb and Danielle Koleyak from City of Edmonton’s Environmental Strategies section  created a pop-up information booth about the environment in Edmonton. People could get their photos taken with fun props, all while learning about different elements of the environment, such as air quality, green house gases, water quality, and more. 

Robyn Webb and Danielle Koleyak from City of Edmonton’s Environmental Strategies section  created a pop-up information booth about the environment in Edmonton. People could get their photos taken with fun props, all while learning about different elements of the environment, such as air quality, green house gases, water quality, and more. 

Dawn Marie Marchand made 1186 handmade butterflies to symbolize each Missing and Murdered Aboriginal Woman in Canada since 2014. Her installation artwork kamamak speaks to the namesake of 101a Avenue (a.k.a. Okisikow, or Angel, Way), it offers a safe space for healing, and it celebrates the resilience of Indigenous women who have been victims of violence. 

Dawn Marie Marchand made 1186 handmade butterflies to symbolize each Missing and Murdered Aboriginal Woman in Canada since 2014. Her installation artwork kamamak speaks to the namesake of 101a Avenue (a.k.a. Okisikow, or Angel, Way), it offers a safe space for healing, and it celebrates the resilience of Indigenous women who have been victims of violence

Stantec's Mark LaRue, Tom Young, Katie Hurst, Samantha Hammer  brought a giant, rainbow container garden to Parking Day to showcase the awesomeness of urban farming.

Stantec's Mark LaRue, Tom Young, Katie Hurst, Samantha Hammer  brought a giant, rainbow container garden to Parking Day to showcase the awesomeness of urban farming.

Under Construction - yoga and medidation in a construction zone by Elizabeth Withey and friends. She "would like those who visit ...  to reflect on this idea of building a city versus building a person."

Under Construction - yoga and medidation in a construction zone by Elizabeth Withey and friends. She "would like those who visit ...  to reflect on this idea of building a city versus building a person."

Street view of PARK(ing) Day, featuring the E4C Community Mapping Project, and Look Out by Carly Greene. 

Street view of PARK(ing) Day, featuring the E4C Community Mapping Project, and Look Out by Carly Greene. 

Look out by Carly Greene invited visitors to use the binoculars to focus on the people and places that compose their community, and to record their observations on the walls of the structure with the markers and pens provided. 

Look out by Carly Greene invited visitors to use the binoculars to focus on the people and places that compose their community, and to record their observations on the walls of the structure with the markers and pens provided. 

Sydney Gross created a Diary for the People, a massive communal scrap-booked diary. Collectively visitors and passersby contributed to the project as the day progressed.

Sydney Gross created a Diary for the People, a massive communal scrap-booked diary. Collectively visitors and passersby contributed to the project as the day progressed.

The powerful and awe-inspiring young MCs from The iHuman rhymed and beatboxed all afternoon, gave us all goosebumps, then brought the figurative house down! 

The powerful and awe-inspiring young MCs from The iHuman rhymed and beatboxed all afternoon, gave us all goosebumps, then brought the figurative house down! 

PARK(ing) Day 2015 was a massive success! We couldn't have done it without our partners CITYlab, City Region Studies Centre, The Quarters Downtown, and Stantec. 
We would also like to acknowledge the hard work of the participants and artists who helped reimagine a better use for parking stalls. Thanks also to the hard working volunteers on this project, Jeana Ridley, Jodie McKague, Charmaine Lowe, Max Atchison, and Tom Young.

Explore Your Illusions by Brandi Strauss

This past August, the Drawing Room played host to another exciting exhibition: Explore Your Illustrations by Brandi Strauss. Featuring several collages and screenprints by the Edmonton-based artist, the pieces explore the paradox between the mundane and complex nature of the subconscious imagination, creating the impression of conflict and a sense of disconnection. 

With no formal training, Brandi's foray into collage began by creating paper zines. All her images are created by hand with no digital manipulation. In the words of the artist, "image making through collage is limitless with its inexhaustible variety of styles, approaches and techniques. Collage allows me to deconstruct and reconstruct images the way I view the world. "

Mutt Art Start

Recently The Drawing Room sent out a call for participants in an initiative entitled Mutt Art; a site-specific outdoor exhibition, taking place this August at the Muttart Lands in North East Edmonton. In late July on a beautiful Sunday afternoon, a group of local visual artists answered our call, and joined together at the project site to get creating!

Photo by Chelsea Boos. 

Photo by Chelsea Boos. 

Sara French and Patrick Ares-Pilon check out the site. Photo by Ana Ruiz.

Sara French and Patrick Ares-Pilon check out the site. Photo by Ana Ruiz.

Artists touring the property. Photo by Ana Ruiz.

Artists touring the property. Photo by Ana Ruiz.

These lands have a long and influential history in Edmonton, one that will be intrinsically linked to the upcoming exhibition and reflected in the artists’ works. A notable Edmonton locale, the Muttart Lands have witnessed the growing of our city and contributed to it, from housing Muttart Lumber in the mid-20th century, to playing a part in the lesser known heritage of the area.

Danielle exploring the site. Photo by Ana Ruiz.

Danielle exploring the site. Photo by Ana Ruiz.

One of the previous uses of the property was a self storage yard. Photo by Ana Ruiz. 

One of the previous uses of the property was a self storage yard. Photo by Ana Ruiz. 

A walk around the area led us past the Lafarge concrete factory, one of the industrial buildings nearby.  Photo by Chelsea Boos 

A walk around the area led us past the Lafarge concrete factory, one of the industrial buildings nearby.  Photo by Chelsea Boos 

 While the memories contained within the land will inform Mutt Art, artists and organizers alike envision the upcoming show as a bridge between the past of the site and its future.

In our effort to do something meaningful, we invited Bob Cardinal and his helper Dr. Dwayne Donald to visit the Mutt Art site, and were so honoured they gave this project their blessing. Together we prayed and smudged the site.

Preparing for the ceremony.

Preparing for the ceremony.

We would like to acknowledge that we are working on Treaty 6 territory, an area with a history of colonial displacement, erasure and violence. Our hope is to honour the Indigenous people of these ancestral lands, and will do our best to produce an event that is sensitive and respectful of Indigenous knowledges and traditions, while creating respectful relationships between the diverse people that call this city home. 

Collaborators Carson and Hideki getting down to business. Photo by Chelsea Boos. 

Collaborators Carson and Hideki getting down to business. Photo by Chelsea Boos. 

Cooperation and community is a big part of this project. If you'd like to get involved, contact us at muttartproject@gmail.com. Please check the facebook page Mutt Art to stay up to date! More details about our event schedule is coming soon!

STATIC CONTROL :: Undercover Books Uncovered By Stephanie Bailey

Undercover Books Uncovered:

Featured Book!
STATIC CONTROL

Book Series by Brandi Strauss ($9 each)

Do you like films but lack the attention span to sit through a Tarkovsky or Buñuel masterpiece? Well then, Brandi Strauss’ collages are for you. Each of Strauss’ books brandishes roughly a dozen different collages—all seriously cinematic in scope. Piecing together found images into carefully crafted chaos, each collage condenses what feels like a three hour exploration of human perception and imagination into one immediate Drop of Doom experience. Each book contains its own coherent theme, tackling it all: man vs. nature, machine, history, and, last but not least, mortality. Strauss’ aesthetic is undeniably low-fi video, but the content is definitely highbrow filmic genius. Now playing in a bookstore near you!

Can’t get enough of Edmonton’s very own Brandi Strauss? Join us at The Drawing Room Friday, August 14th at 8pm, for the opening reception of her show, Explore Your Illusions: Fragments of the Mind. The exhibition will feature a number handmade collages and silkscreened prints, and will run from August 14th – September 5th, 2015.

Contact Static Control for commissions or digital prints: brandimstrauss@gmail.com. Check out more of her stuff here: staticcontrol.tumblr.com.

Undercover Books Uncovered is a new series of book reviews written by Stephanie Bailey about titles found in our shop.

Mutt Art Community Mural :: House + Home

We still can't believe it! On June 21st, the longest day of the year, our community co-created an epic mural on an abandoned warehouse in the Boyle Street neighbourhood. Everyone was welcome to imagine, “How do you see Home?" in a 40-meter exterior mural with their neighbours. Artists, neighbourhood agencies, community groups, students, and engaged citizens of Edmonton were invited to paint, draw and collage this piece of collaborative public art. This is was an amazing opportunity for a diverse group of people to come together to create a striking contemporary artwork that builds community resilience and reflects the people and spirit of this place that remains on public view until redevelopment of the land next year. You can see it in person from the train or multi-use path along the LRT line between Stadium station and Churchill.

This project could not have happened without the support of Brookfield Residential, Make Something Edmonton, CITYlab, Harcourt House, the team of organizers, and all the participants that took time out of their busy day to make this happen. Thank you!

 

If you're interested in all that happened as part of DIYcity, read more about some of the other projects here:
linda-hoang.com
Make Something Edmonton
Edmonton Examiner
Global News
Edmonton Journal
CBC

The House + Home mural is the first part of a large-scale urban intervention called Mutt Art going on from August 20 until September 9! This exhibition will feature site-specific sculptural installations and a program of special events with music, dance, and more. Want to get involved? Send a message to chelsea@drawingroomedmonton.com to register for the Mutt Art Workshop on July 18!