It is an exciting time of year for me both in the studio and out!

The Works Art and Design Festival

My friends and I in the GOOPof7 are exhibiting right now at The Works Art and Design Festival in Edmonton. Our exhibit is Site #1 on the grounds of the Alberta Legislature and will be showing until July 2nd. You will find it near the giant visually stunning circular art installation constructed of brightly coloured repurposed doors. The GOOP is very proud of what we have achieved with this project, titled “Read between the Lines”. The following is one of my contributions to the project, titled “Concealing Emotion”. It is mixed media on wood panel, 12″H x 36″ W x 4″D.

The works is a free event and situated across much of the downtown core of Edmonton! Take advantage of one of the sunnier days in the next seven to get downtown and tour around. Perhaps check out the The Works Roving Reception event this Thursday!

Here is our promotional statement for the exhibit:

The GOOPof7 focus on developing projects that extend the use of texture in paint. Their use of supports and media shifts their paintings into the world of sculpture. As a team, they develop elaborate projects that highlight each artist’s style while maintaining cohesive threads of concept and composition through the body of work.

 Read between the Lines is a visual representation of how language is structured and how language evolves. It focuses on how the viewer experiences artwork, whether a single work or a fully curated show. Each work can be a standalone representation of an artist’s message, but when shown in structured groupings, a deeper interaction and discussion begins to arise. Under the layers of paint and media, there is nuance and context, embodied in a visual vocabulary born of the GOOP’s microculture. Read between the Lines provides a richer narrative than a single word or painting could ever describe or imply.

Symbols of Homo Clairensis

On the same day our exhibit closes at The Works, my solo exhibition at the Walterdale Theatre begins. This exhibit is an Alberta Society of Artists exhibition, and my first feature exhibition as part of this society and runs from July 2nd to July 13th. You are all invited to the opening reception at 7 p.m. on July 2nd and the Walterdale is providing a wonderful bonus for you – free admission to the preview performance of “The Light in the Piazza“. So please come out and enjoy some art and musical theatre with me!

Here are two work-in-progress shots: “Visionary” and “The Divergent Stream” from an entirely new body of work. Both are mixed media 16″H x 16″W on wood panel.

                   

My artist statement for this new body of work:

In July of 2025, our understanding of human evolution changed forever with the discovery of remains of the branch of humanity we now know as Homo Clairensis in north eastern Alberta. For years to come, archaeologists and anthropologists will be studying the pictographs and cave paintings that have already provided a rich narrative of the culture of our not-too-distant cousins.

 

The archaeological site tells a tale of a culture that settled among the lakes and rivers that are now a part of Wood Buffalo National Park near Lake Athabasca. The preserved imagery of their drawn, painted and written history is well beyond what we have seen from other cultures around the world that were their contemporaries. It is difficult to say whether this is due to the luck of effective preservation or a more advanced visual language within their culture.

 

This series of paintings is my interpretation of some of the key pictographs that have been interpreted by linguists and anthropologists so far. Symbols are a rich vein for experimentation and exploration in the arts, especially the visual arts. Symbols often have rich and varied, even contradictory histories. Different cultures and subcultures may have drastically different perspectives and contexts for the same symbol. While modern symbols are often immediately evocative for viewers, these rediscovered pictographs will be unknown to almost everyone. Much like a symbol that is introduced for the first time within a culture, they require interpretation or explanation.

 

This series of paintings attempts to interpret the meaning and context of these pictographs, but still leave an essential element of mystery. After all, with the impossibility of first hand knowledge of the Homo Clairensis culture and language, who knows how much of my interpretation is derived from my own imagination?

 

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I sincerely hope you get to see both of these exhibits!