July 23rd, 2019

Casa exhibits show local influence


By Mabell, Dave on April 27, 2019.

Artists will be on hand at opening tonight

Dave Mabell

Lethbridge Herald

dmabell@lethbridgeherald.com

Four down-to-earth exhibitions with a southern Alberta focus are going on view tonight. A public reception will open in Casa at 7 p.m., offering opportunities to speak with the featured artists.

A multi-media creator, Edmonton-based Jamie-Lee Girodat is a recent Fine Arts graduate of the University of Lethbridge. She’s arranged exhibitions for some of her works in Poland and Finland, as well as Montreal and in Alberta.

In her current presentation, “Pluck,” she uses hand-crafted animation videos, acrylic-based drawings and quick studies to explore “the uncertainties within female anatomy” as well as reproductive technologies and the changes through life.

“I explore the evolution of genetics and fertility,” she says, “playing with tensions of unease and intrigue arising from changing biotechnological environments.”

Girodat shares Casa’s main-floor gallery with sylvan explorer Troy Nickle. Though based in Lethbridge, he found stumps of large-diameter trees fallen by chain saws in the Crowsnest Pass – then used printers’ ink and heavy rag cloth to create prints depicting their life cycle.

While one tree may closely resemble the next in the forest, it becomes clear that each may be different at the base. Rings of growth tell their story.

In “Contours of Time,” some of Nickle’s prints are complemented by a cross-section of the related stump.

“It is a look at how a tree can communicate with us through its form, lines and contours – and reveals to us very practical information such as its age . . . or reveal atmospheric conditions during different periods in history.”

Trees have been given “deep and sacred meaning by many cultures,” he points out, becoming symbols of life, knowledge and growth.

Trees, grasses and animals were all impacted by the Kenow Fire in Waterton Lakes National Park, and local artist Diana Zasadny has used once-common “cyanotype” photography to create an impression of the 2017 fire’s aftermath – including an explosion of wildflowers the following summer.

But there were many signs of new life and she created huge, two-dimensional wire sculptures to represent the deer and plant life that continue to make Waterton their home.

Zasadny says her exhibition, “Shadows of the Past” is “an opportunity to challenge myself as an artist and explore materials outside of paint of canvas.”

Her works cover much of the space along Casa’s second-floor walkways.

Photos of musicians in action, highlighting the last decade of live music in Lethbridge, form the fourth component of the new Casa grouping. Music scene reporter and photographer Richard Amery has assembled “High Notes in Low Lighting,” mostly shot in Lethbridge locales like The Slice and The Owl Acoustic Lounge – and augmented some with splashes of paint.

He looked for images that “best captured the artists’ connection to their audience and to each other while making music.”

All four shows will remain on view daily until June 8. Admission to the Casa galleries is free.

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