Culture Blog

Innovate at the Esplanade!

Innovate at the Esplanade!
While the eastern parts of Canada are suffering from an elongated winter, we lucky Hatters are experiencing the gentle beginnings of an early spring – and I hope I’m not jinxing it by saying so! Spring is the best time to boldly make the old new again, and we all have one more day – until April 11 – to explore how former Medicine Hat College art instructor Laara Cassells and Saskatoon’s Susan Shantz take images from the past and dramatically pull them into our present (and maybe even our future).
Laara’s stunning double portraits in “after” take likenesses of men and women from up to 600 years ago and match them with a contemporary person to create intriguing and technically brilliant paintings that rival old masters. Her modern subjects hold electronic devices such as tablets, cell phones and laptops and often interact with the historical figures so that they seem to be in the same room with us – bringing them to life in a way that the original artists probably never dreamed of.
And Susan’s 3D printed frogs, swallows, sea creatures and badgers likewise take the original humorous and lively imagery from early 1900s Japanese teapots and translate it into futuristic research that captivates with its whimsy and innovation. Just as an example, Susan took frogs that decorate one teapot and created a large ‘crown’, 3D-printed in glimmering, shimmering thermoplastic. Parents and grandparents should come with children, to see the first glimpse in person, of technology that will explode in the coming decade, making everything from hip replacements to food. And if you want to explore it further yourself, Medicine Hat College offers cutting edge courses in 3D technologies, as James Kuehn and colleagues demonstrated at our 3D family program in February.
More fresh visions are coming to the Gallery in April from Manitoba’s Chris Reid, who updates Ukrainian folk traditions in her sculptures and drawings. Chris’s exhibition The Cat and the Baker’s Daughter, opens at a free public reception Friday April 24th at 7pm. She will be sharing egg-decorating techniques in a free family program in the Esplanade Discovery Centre on Saturday 25th from 2pm to 3.30pm. And hundreds of Medicine Hat and region students will soon be flooding the rest of the Gallery with their newest and best work in School Art 2015, with admission at no charge for everyone until June 13th.
Come celebrate the freshness of spring and all things made new again at the Esplanade!