AGSM displays youth art with ‘One Plus One’

“In the Community Gallery – One Plus One: A Youth Exhibition" is an AGSM Youth Council initiative established to generate opportunities for youth to create art and become involved in the ever-growing Brandon arts scene.

One of the more innovative and wide-ranging exhibits that the Art Gallery of Southwestern Manitoba (AGSM) showcases is produced by the talent of Brandon and area youth. The AGSM Youth Council and art gallery students were asked to submit a piece of art for the “In the Community Gallery – One Plus One: A Youth Exhibition.”

Each artist who submitted a piece was then asked to nominate another youth to submit a piece of art, broadening the scope and the variety on display. This initiative is part of the AGSM Youth Council’s program to generate opportunities for youth to create art and become involved in the ever-growing Brandon arts scene.

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“It’s essentially an annual event at the ASGM where students from the youth council are invited to submit work,” says Alyssa Fearon, curator at the ASGM. “It’s an opportunity for young people in the community to share their voices and experiences about what’s important to them.”

These unique pieces will be on display until Jan. 12, giving the public time to check it out during the holidays.

The AGSM also had some new pieces on display by a pair of established artists.

Michael Belmore and Shandra MacNeill both have new pieces on display in the main gallery, with those pieces going up on Dec. 13. Both took part in a lunch and artist-led tours to help kick off their displays.

Belmore, who is internationally known for his work, has his pieces on display under the title “Somewhere Between Two States of Matter”. Belmore says his work questions what it means when human time encounters the time and motion of stone. 

It’s described on their website as follows: “Somewhere Between the Two States of Matter focuses on the moment when human activity transforms a supposedly inanimate object. In the act of choosing to pick up and throw a stone, it becomes a weapon. The choice becomes a standoff between two states of matter.”

“It’s a pretty cool show. He’s an Indigenous artist from Ottawa, and this show is a unique take on the concept of time,” said Fearon. “The title of this show refers to glass, which is somewhere between two states of matter – a liquid and a solid.

“He’s using glass as a metaphor about his ideas and perspectives on time – and not just time in a linear way,” she added. “His way of looking at time is looking at glass and stone and geology overall – time in a cyclical way.”

MacNeill’s work is on display under the title “There is Always a Hunter.” Her work deals with themes of the hunter and the hunted, from the deer in the forest to the story of her family and the struggles they encountered when moving to Manitoba.

The website describes MacNeill’s display as “Images of the women, of deer, of the fairytales of her grandmother’s homeland, of vulnerability and acts of survival, construct the scaffolding against which MacNeill makes sense of her own experience of violence, loss, grief, flight and escape.”

“This is another unconventional take on things we think we know,” says Fearon. “Shandra’s work is an unconventional take on fairy tales and fables.

“I think we’ve all grown up hearing different fairy tales and stories as kids, though with Shandra’s show, she gives her spin on different themes she’s grown up with,” she added. “And then she ties in her own personal history to these fairy tales. Her background is Romanian, so she weaves in different traditions and stories from her background into fairy tales and fables we are familiar with.”

Both of these exhibits will be on display at the AGSM until Feb. 9.

The AGSM is located at Unit 2, 710 Rosser Ave. in Brandon. It is open Tuesday through Saturday each week, though with the holidays it might be a good idea to call ahead to confirm their hours of operation. You can contact them at (204) 727-1036 or visit their website at agsm.ca.

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