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Art 2019/20 continues to be a popular option.  This year the art department has the opportunity to take student work out into the community and bring professional art into the school and classroom.  Spring 2020, the Airdrie Public Library will once again host the student art show, always a wonderful opportunity for the students; worth a visit.

The Art department is hosting two travelling curated art shows, which showcase professional artists, one in November and the other, May.  This opportunity is arranged through TREXSW, the Alberta foundation for the arts travelling exhibition program.

In November we welcome the exhibition Between-ness a solo exhibition of ten assemblages by emerging artist Hannah Petkau. Petkau utilizes materials such as driftwood, woven wire, clay, fibres, seeds and rope to create works that are both corporeal and ephemeral. She explains, “I reserve an intentional ambiguity to the origin and intent of my objects. The collection is comprised of objects both found, transformed and constructed that realize the collaboration between human and natural actions.” This collaboration may initially seem abstruse in intent, with contradictory components, but her approach is intentional.

Originally from British Columbia, Petkau spent her childhood walking the shoreline collecting objects. This experience had an immense impact on her artistic practice and has influenced her aesthetic, processes and concepts. Petkau finds a balance between transformation and familiarity, creating a visually simplistic but complex fabricated body of work—one in which the natural world and the manufactured world intersect.

May 2020 Around The Block by Ted Rinkel will be featured.  Ted Rinkel is a self-trained artist, retired truck driver and avid collector. For years he did long haul trips across Canada encountering a diversity of people and curiosities. A walk through his Southeast Calgary home is a testament to his travels. Art, antiques and found objects are at home with his unique, whimsical and often humorous wooden sculptures.

Rinkel was born in Holland and immigrated to Alberta with his family after the Second World War. They worked for a short time on a sugar beet farm near Lethbridge before settling in Calgary a few years later. The farming and cowboy culture that he was first exposed to have served as inspiration for many drawings throughout his life but the decision to translate these drawings into three dimensional figures came about during his retirement. It was a shift that was made possible by having more free time and motivated by his admiration for the wood carved folk art sculptures he collected during drives through Quebec.

From bicycle rides to campfires and bucking horses, the scenes in Around the Block are drawn from Rinkel’s observations on the road and in his neighbourhood. Each scene begins with a hand drawn stencil that he traces onto a block of wood and cuts away using a scroll saw. The parts are shaped using a rotary tool and assembled with wood glue and nails. In some scenes, he incorporates found objects and recycled materials such as bones, rocks, rope and tuna cans. The final step is to add vibrant colours using a combination of spray paints and acrylics. What emerges are animated figures that illustrate familiar narratives. They bring levity and joy to their audience and provide a window into the colourful personality of their creator.

Each of these shows will allow the students the opportunity to have a "gallery experience" in the sense that they will have exposure to see professional art.  This art will be the impetus for an in-class project.  Other themes, beyond transformation and neighbourhood, in art this year will be visualizing music, what's old is new, the language of art, really the possibitlites are endless.  There is so much to explore in the world of art and it's all so wonderful.


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