Thursday, July 18, 2024
July 18, 2024

‘re:location’ exhibition pings intersection of time, place

By Phöenix Kelley 

For Salt Spring Arts 

Salt Spring Arts presents the 2024 Spring Art Show, “re:location,” curated by Annika Hagen Siemsen. The multidisciplinary group exhibition features 18 dynamic artists from the Southern Gulf Islands, and is open daily 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. April 12-28 at Mahon Hall. 

Heralding the expansion of our vibrant creative artist community in recent years, “re:location” showcases artists at various stages of their careers who have accepted the challenge of pushing the boundaries of their practice through incorporating two or more disciplines. Through a rich mix of contemporary media, questions of identity, the dichotomy of isolation and community and the impacts of displacement are explored through art. 

“My piece highlights a harmony between human creativity and nature while emphasizing our role in environmental conservation,” said participating artist Walletmoth, who will be presenting a Noon Hour Artist Talk on April 24. 

“re:location” features artworks by Germaine Koh, Walletmoth, Dina Gonzalez Mascaro, Robert Moss, Veronica Classen, Stasia Garraway, Eli Horn, Patrick McCallum, Anna Karolina Szul, Seb Evans, Matthew Robertson, Kerry Weinrauch, Gordon Brent Brochu-Ingram and John David James, Randy Lee Cutler, Liljana Mead Martin and James K-M, as well as artwork by Annika Hagen Siemsen, the exhibition’s curator. 

In addition to curation, Siemsen’s creative pursuits span poetry, screenwriting, filmmaking, printmaking, alternative process photography and more. 

The daughter of an impressionist painter, she relocated from Mexico City to Vancouver to Salt Spring Island, where she spent her early teen years. After moving to New York City and spending 16 years working in the film industry, Annika found herself back on Salt Spring in 2016, opening Salty Pear Gallery and B&B. 

“I have brought together 18 multidisciplinary artists from various stages in their careers and have asked each to delve into their personal stories of adapting to life on the Gulf Islands,” Siemsen said. “This exhibition leans to the contemporary and steps away from conventional depictions of ‘island beauty,’ confronting and connecting complexities in our collective experience.” 

The work of Salt Spring Arts (SSA), our island’s arts council of over 55 years, bridges the gap between artists and audiences through joyful, meaningful creative connection. SSA presents opportunities such as the Spring Art Show that highlight local artists, support curatorial practice and engage with the community. The annual program invites locals and visitors to explore the work of, and connect with, local creatives through the exhibition and events including artist talks, curator conversations and performances. This year, Salt Spring Arts is also presenting docent talks with gallery manager Zoe Zafiris for those interested in an informative guided tour of the exhibition. 

Each year, the Youth Exhibit provides the opportunity for young local talents to present their artwork in the Mahon Hall Annex during the Spring Art Show. This year, Home As We Know It features work by beginner GISS Photography Students under the direction of teacher Seb Evans. The exhibit showcases their visual reflections on the theme of home, place and relocation, to build on the theme of Spring Art Show. 

“re:location” opens Friday, April 12 at 10 a.m. followed by the opening celebration from 6 to 9 p.m. Throughout the last two weeks of April, a series of events highlighting the exhibiting artists take place at Mahon Hall: an Artist Panel, Noon Hour Artist Talks, a Curator Conversation and an evening event featuring spontaneous improvised cabaret and live music by The Mercy Dogs and Graham Van Pelt. 

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