Partnership Paves Way For Gallery Pandemic Installation
When you’re the Art Gallery of Grande Prairie and COVID-19 throws you a curve, you respond with your own take on that word.
The Curve Community Art Installation allows Peace Country residents to submit artistic creations in various mediums to express their feelings about the pandemic. This project is presented in partnership with Revolution Place and the Writers’ Guild of Alberta.
Submissions began on May 20 and will continue through the summer. The exhibition opened on June 9 and runs through to Sept. 28.
“The Curve is, at its heart, a critical cultural archive of this extraordinary time” says Jeff Erbach, Executive Director of the Gallery. “Art is a vital way to collect the thoughts and feelings of people who continue to experience this dynamic social and cultural change. And we’re experiencing this together – and so sharing with one another is a powerful way for us all to get back to our strong sense of community”.
The Writers’ Guild of Alberta and the gallery had been collaborating to develop new programs prior to COVID-19 striking. It was a natural transition for the partnership to extend to this new project.
“We had been working with AGGP on a workshop series in which we hoped to cross-pollinate the arts in Grande Prairie,” explains Sue Farrell Holler, the Guild’s Regional Events Facilitator. “When The Curve was developed with a potential literary component, they asked if the WGA would like to be involved and I said, ‘Yes!’”
The Curve is a perfect match for the Writers’ Guild of Alberta, she says.
“We’re a provincial writers’ organization open to writers of any genre at any stage of their careers, amateur to professional. The Curve reflects our values – that all artists regardless of experience, education, genre, amateur or professional can inspire and learn from each other. I’ve been absolutely delighted with my behind-the-scenes look at the work coming in, and how the personal experience of creating art flows and melds into a shared community experience.
Farrell Holler notes there are many writers in the Peace Country and she encourages everyone to consider an entry – to be brave, even though it can be daunting to share work.
“This is a safe and encouraging place,” she says. “What I’m seeing are heartfelt pieces of pain, uncertainty, confusion and hope. I think they’re an accurate reflection of the emotions we’ve been tackling these past few months. I hope the work of these writers will inspire others to share their work – poems, anecdotes, letters, journal entries, vignettes – basically anything in the written form. What’s interesting for people to consider is that the works of writers are first-hand historical documents. These are the kinds of documents that make archivists and researchers drool.”
Sculptures, paintings, drawings and other visual art will be dropped off at the Gallery.
Photography and images must be emailed to Katrina Shirley at the gallery, firstname.lastname@example.org. Phone enquiries can be made at 780-357-7482.
Poetry, prose and other literary works can be submitted at the gallery or emailed to Sue Farrell Holler, Regional Events Facilitator with the Writers Guild of Alberta. She can be reached at email@example.com. Enquires can be made by calling 780-513-6282.
Music or video recordings with songs will be emailed to Chelsea O’Neill, Bowes Event Centre Event and Marketing Specialist. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. She can be reached at 780-518-0092.
Full details on the exhibit are available on the gallery’s website: www.aggp.ca