July 15th, 2024

New exhibits opening at SAAG

By Alejandra Pulido-Guzman - Lethbridge Herald on July 6, 2024.

Herald photo by Alejandra Pulido-Guzman Amanda Chwelos talks to reporters about her exhibit "Soft enough to slip through" on Friday at the Southern Alberta Art Gallery.

LETHBRIDGE HERALDapulido@lethbridgeherald.com

The Southern Alberta Art Gallery summer exhibitions open today with three new exhibitions and a new Shop at SAAG feature artist.

Adam Whitford, associate curator and exhibitions manager spoke to media about the upcoming exhibits Friday and said everyone at SAAG was very excited for their summer shows.

“In our lower gallery we have an exhibition by Sung Tieu, who is from Germany so this is a very big international multi-partner exhibition and some is looking at prisons bureaucracy, who is allowed to be a citizen and how that interacts with the state,” said Whitford.

He said in the exhibit there is a series of immigration forms that are stripped of their information and a series of four sculptures of prison cross sections, as well as a video piece.

“Up here in this gallery were in Alex Turgeon’s Waste Land. Alex is also considering architecture, focusing on the city (Toronto) and kind of merging poetry with the city and sometimes in the form of concrete poetry, large concrete poem across the walls of the gallery,” said Whitford.

He said Waste Land looks at the parts of the city that are in the margins, the gutters or the places that are under-acknowledged and Turgeon being from Toronto is considering how new developments are changing our cities.

“And in our library space we have the “Soft enough to slip through” exhibition by Amanda Chwelos and her exhibition is showing some very intimate paintings overlaid with very ornate grates,” said Whitford.

Chwelos spoke to reporters about her work and said the exhibit is an exploration of personal and architectural decoration.

“You can expect to see a series of drawing on the shelves of the library along with the two paintings behind me and some sculptural work as well,” said Chwelos.

When asked what it feels like to display her work on a space like the library at SAAG, she said it is really special as the space is very beautiful.

“I lived in Lethbridge when I was a kid, so it feels really nice to be back here and nice to be here during the summer as well,” said Chwelos.

She said this is her first exhibit “out of town” as she lives in Edmonton and it is very exciting to be able to do it here in Lethbridge.

“I feel very lucky to be here and I feel very lucky to be showing along side a few other really good shows as well,” said Chwelos.

She said she has been working on her exhibit for the last 10 months and it has been a long stretch trying to understand how to work within the space.

“There is a lot of architecture that we have to adapt to and it’s been a cool challenge to figure out,” said Chwelos.

She explained when it comes to choosing the pieces that will be exhibited, there is a little bit of making a piece for the exhibition itself while also being mindful of the space where the exhibit will take place.

“I usually just start by making a piece as I normally do in the studio, but if a space calls for a certain type of installation, I definitely respond to that. At the SAAG I’m at the library space, which I think it calls for integrating into the actual environment instead of just putting everything up on the wall,” said Chwelos.

These exhibitions run until Sept. 28. SAAG will have a panel discussion with all three artists today at 2 p.m. today followed by an opening reception tonight at 7 p.m.

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