New Picasso-inspired exhibition on display at Multicultural Heritage Centre Public Art Gallery

New Picasso-inspired exhibition on display at Multicultural Heritage Centre Public Art Gallery

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A touring visual art exhibition titled, Chromatopia is now on display at Stony Plain’s Multicultural Heritage Centre Public Art Gallery.

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Inspired by the monochromatic works of Pablo Picasso’s “Blue Period,” the exhibition features the work of 47 Fibre Art Network (FAN) members. Each artist was challenged to explore their own theme by creating two monochromatic textile artworks using two assigned colour hues. The exhibition will remain on display until May 26.

“It’s beautiful and fascinating and I think everyone who comes to the show is going to leave questioning their perception of what fibre art actually is. Maybe they will go home and look differently at the quilt their grandma made them and see the true artistry that goes into all these different kinds of fibre arts. It’s not just a homemaker pastime, it’s a beautiful art form in of itself,” said Alexis Chute, Curator, MHC Public Art Gallery.

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With winter seemingly still in full swing, Chute said Chromatopia was the perfect followup to the gallery’s last exhibition, Eternal Summer, consisting of warm, colour-rich paintings of landscapes, summer skies, and plants and animals. 

Eternal Summer transformed the gallery into an interactive space featuring artificial grass, flowers, bird baths, patio furniture, etc., in order to give visitors the experience of quite literally stepping into summer during the coldest months of the year (December, January, and February).

“I thought this (Chromatopia) would be a beautiful way to continue the rainbow of colour we started earlier this winter,” said Chute.

Chromatopia explores the colour spectrum while preserving the unique individualistic style of each artist. All 94 total pieces are made out of monochromatic canvas-wrapped textile/fibre pieces and reflect a special theme of the individual artist depicted through two distinct monochromatic colour schemes. All pieces on display are roughly 12″x12″ and are paired together vertically.

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The pieces move through the colour spectrum in one direction on top and the reverse on the bottom. Together, the exhibition is intended to visually impact the viewer through the representation of the colour spectrum in the upper and lower-level artworks.

“The artists in this show have taken what might be perceived as a traditional art form and made it new and inventive and something that will titillate the senses of the viewers,” said Chute.

In addition to the 94 pieces contributed by FAN artists, Chromatopia also features nine mixed-media pieces by Chute located in the centre of the gallery. Created in her home studio, these new works feature fibrous materials such as yarn, string, and rope and tackle themes such as identity, femininity, sexuality, and the role of women in Western culture. She titled her section of the exhibition, Material Existence.

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Founded in 1998, FAN is a cooperative of Western Canadian artists committed to promoting fibre as an art form and each other as artists. Members include emerging fibre artists, teachers, authors and judges, many of whom have been recognized nationally and internationally for their work. Over the past 25 years, FAN has created 30 exhibitions displayed at 94 Canadian venues and eight international venues.

The MHC Public Art Gallery is located at 5411 51 Street, Stony Plain. It is open Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

“We can too often and too easily have a narrow perception of what visual art is. When people see this exhibition, they are going to feel inspired and their imaginations are going to be sparked,” said Chute.

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