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Two new exhibits on display at the art gallery in Estevan

Estevan Art Gallery and Museum has introduced two new exhibitions that will be on display through Nov. 4. Inside/Out outdoor exhibition is also underway at Woodlawn Regional Park. Check the article for details.

ESTEVAN — The Estevan Art Gallery and Museum has introduced two new exhibitions that will be on display at their Gallery 1 and Gallery 2 through Nov. 4.

King to the Ace

Gallery 2 features an exhibition by Karlie King, who is a multimedia ceramicist, and the EAGM invited her for a two-week mini artistic residency and to be a part of their Inside/Out outdoor exhibition.

Inside/Out uses traditional display mediums, such as Plexiglas lidded plinths, to house artworks in the great outdoors. Nature becomes the backdrop of the art displayed, and the artwork, traditionally confined to the white wall of an art gallery, is transformed against a backdrop of the sun, sky, earth and the elements.

"We partnered with Woodlawn Regional Park, and they provided a camper, so [King] stayed at the park," said EAGM director/curator Amber Andersen. "She was sourcing locally, finding clay bodies, and then mixing with some of the clays that she had. She was also forging and just naturally sourcing different elements that she could put into ceramics such as ochre. She found coal, obviously, there are seams throughout in Boundary and Woodlawn."

The focus of the mini-residency was on King creating ceramics in a traditional way similar to local Indigenous peoples. So King worked at the park, sourcing materials and then using a fire pit to process her creations.

"You would slowly let the ceramics air dry, then you put them into what would be like an open pit fire to let them slowly warm up, and then we go through the process. So she led us through this process a couple of times with any public that cared to join," Andersen said.

Initially conceived in 2020 as a solution to providing public art during the art gallery’s pandemic-related closure, the Inside/Out project continues. The latest exhibition opened on Sept. 16 at Woodlawn and will be on display through Oct. 7 with King's works.

"There're four different Plexiglas-lidded plinths that are within the park. These will be in the park with locally sourced flora, different plant materials, and a talk about the process of making and representing what would have been the most traditional way of making ceramics in this area," Andersen explained.

All artists featured in Inside/Out are invited to have solo exhibitions at the art gallery, to examine the shift of the dynamic of the works in different spaces.

The King to the Ace by King at Gallery II features multiple anatomical clay hearts arranged in the space so altogether they resonate with a heartbeat graph mimicking a rhythm. Andersen said that the display resonates with the personal story of the artist.

"Several years ago, at a particularly challenging time in my life, I kept having the image of a clay heart pop into my mind. I even had dreams where I saw myself making a clay heart sculpture. However, I dismissed it, due to the circumstances of my life: it was a stressful time, and I wasn't in a place to consider the heart's meaning or manifest it creatively. I was going through a divorce and becoming a single mom to two small children. Plus, I was being forced to leave a home I absolutely adored. In essence, I was [at that time] absolutely heartbroken. But I did not consciously link the two events," shared King in her artist statement.

The next year, she moved to Regina. She was adjusting to her new life and the image of the heart sculpture continued to enter her mind's eye periodically.

"Then one day I saw a call for artists for the Dunlop Art Gallery's Summer Art Shack Residency in downtown Regina. And I applied, thinking it would be a perfect opportunity to make the hearts. Before the residency commenced, I needed to establish a title. I kept coming up with various ideas, but none of them felt right. None of them were 'it.' Then one morning, I came downstairs before the kids awoke, and found a card, laying face up, on the kitchen floor: The King of Hearts," King shared.

King will also be a part of the joint National Truth and Reconciliation Day project on Sept. 30. For more details on this, see the next week's edition of the Mercury.


Gallery 1 hosts an exhibition named ᑌᐸᑯᐦᑊ/Tepakohp/7 that was curated by Melanie Monique Rose and features various art pieces by Audie Murray, Larissa Kitchemonia, Donna Langhorne, Stacey Fayant, Marcy Friesen, Brandy Jones and Rose. It's organized and circulated by the Organization of Saskatchewan Arts Councils (OSAC).

ᑌᐸᑯᐦᑊ/Tepakohp/7 is a multi-artist exhibition which celebrates the stories and experiences of the many nations of Indigenous women living on the land that's now called Saskatchewan. They share their stories through their art to amplify, inspire and educate about the diverse relationships and transactions they have to this land and each other, as it's explained on the OSAC website.

Tepakohp (ᑌᐸᑯᐦᑊ) is the Néhiyaw word for seven and has deep significance for Indigenous communities throughout the world. The exhibition that features seven Indigenous female artists is in honour of the principles of seven and the Indigenous artists that helped shape contemporary Indigenous art in Canada.

The work of Kitchemonia seeks both to dismantle the negative narratives around Indigenous motherhood within communities while celebrating the deep connections and knowledge that lives within. Fayant furthers the narrative that knowledge continues to live inside, indicating that ancestors are always watching in her work. Jones, Langhorne and Friesen's work is about Indigenous survivance. And relationality as a living practice is at the core of the work of both Murray and Rose. 

The exhibition will be on display through Nov. 4.