Arts Seen – week of March 20 2014

Arts explores politics and graduating students show off

Toronto artist Nathalie Quagliotto’s STUCK on exhibition at the Untitled Art Society until April 5 ( uascalgary.org ) is described as a colourful depiction of what might happen if two vintage children’s shopping carts collided head on and refuse to budge eventually merging into one cart that goes nowhere. The same description can often be applied to politics where butting heads (against others and/or walls) is all too common. In The New Gallery’s latest exhibition The Travelling Light (a nod to the much-maligned public art) artists explore the effects of political and bureaucratic machinations on our personal lives. The group show runs until April 5 ( thenewgallery.org ).

At the same time playwright Linda Griffiths has a new work called Games: Who Wants to Play? on the mainstage at Alberta Theatre Projects’ playRites Festival (see review in this issue) a duo of emerging artists is bringing one of her most well-known plays to a smaller stage. Three Eyes Productions is presenting The Darling Family: A Duet for Three a 1991 play that was nominated for a Governor General’s Award among many others and has been produced several times around the world as well as being made into a film. The play focuses on a couple She (Alixandra Cowman) and He (Conrad Beleau) facing an unplanned pregnancy. Cowman is producing the play as her graduating project from Rosebud School of the Arts and it runs at Birds & Stone Theatre from March 21 to 23 ( thedarlingfamily2014@gmail.com ).

Arts graduates at the University of Calgary’s School of Creative and Performing Arts are also showing off their finely tuned talents. Mainstage Dance 2014 pairs students in the dance program with professionals including choreographers Melanie Kloetzel Wojciech Mochniej and Davida Monk as well as curator Deanne Walsh who is remounting a choreography by Hannah Stilwell. Performances run from March 20 to 22 in the University Theatre. Then drama students have their turn in the spotlight for the 10th annual Taking Flight: Festival of Student Work which includes a range of performances taking place over two weeks — from staged readings by graduate level playwrights to complete one-act plays by respected playwrights. The 2014 lineup includes: The Beautiful Galatea an operetta by Franz von Suppé; Legoland a theme-park inspired dark comedy by Jacob Richmond that is the prequel to the 2013 High Performance Rodeo hit Ride the Cyclone ; Song of Myself featuring a selection of poems by Walt Whitman; The Family Facsimile a work-in-progress by playwriting student Ted Stenson; Art an award-winning comedy by Yasmina Reza; and The Intruder a 19th century play by Nobel Prize-winner Maurice Maeterlinck. Performances run March 25 to April 5 at Reeve Theatre ( scpa.ucalgary.ca ).

Next week students from the Alberta College of Art and Design (ACAD) will hold their annual Show + Sale presented by the students’ association. Not only does the event showcase work by more than 200 students in several mediums — painting drawing printmaking photography glass ceramic fibre jewelry and more — but it also gives the public a chance to meet some of the artists and the proceeds support ACAD students. A presale takes place March 28 for a small admission fee and the weekend market runs March 29 with entrance by donation ( showandsale.ca ).