The Art Gallery of Guelph’s efforts to transform their relationship to the land, place, and community can be seen in full force with their new artistic season and the packed house on opening night. Spirits not dampened by the weather, an energetic crowd gathered to celebrate the incredible artwork and support several artists who practice in Guelph and the surrounding areas. Tied together by the conceptual thread of landscape, each of the four summer exhibitions offers a unique perspective and insight into our cultural landscape and its transformation through creative practice.
“Bringing together historical and contemporary work from the Art Gallery of Guelph’s collection, Landmade explores the diverse ways the land has mediated the relationship of art and place. From early acquisitions including the work of Tom Thomson and Lawren Harris to later works such as those of Pudlo Pudlat and Kenneth Lochhead, and more contemporary perspectives including Sara Angelucci, Michael Belmore and Monica Tap, the exhibition traces a wider shift in concern from reflection to intervention—from landscape to land use—and a context where there is as much at stake outside the field of art as within it. Highlighting differing “lands” manifest in Canadian art and the deeply social dimensions of this representation, Landmade examines how artistic expression plays a vital role in the making of landscapes as well as in our understanding of them.”
When We Were
“When We Were features the work of four Guelph-based artists – Scott Abbott, Janette Hayhoe, Jessica Masters, and Kathleen Schmalz – who transpose historical landscape tradition and plein-air technique in contemporary practice informed by their experiences and memories of places both within and beyond the local landscape.”
“Featuring the work of Phil Irish, mount pile examines one of our nation’s iconic geographies and landscape of extraction—the Canadian Rockies—depicted as simultaneously sublime and fractured in his site-specific installation that blends painting and sculpture. In its concept and construction, mount pile mimics geological processes of creation and destruction, querying our relationship with the lands on which we live and from which we take.”
“Featuring the recent work of artist Hiba Abdallah, Th’an explores the Arabic language through the lens of art as social practice. Fusing interests in community engagement, design, and language, Abdallah employs tactics of public intervention to emphasize the marginalization of the Arabic culture.”
Art Gallery of Guelph’s summer exhibitions run from May to August, 2017. Be sure to visit and keep an eye out for those Guelphites and GAC artist members! More information here.