Arts Seen – week of April 24 2014

A self-guided tour of new gallery exhibitions

The Avalanche! Institute of Contemporary Art is among the local galleries competing for your attention with a new exhibition by Russell Leng that addresses themes of winning and losing. Titled Sudden Death the exhibition uses sport as a way to examine competition and disappointment in the art world and beyond and includes paintings sculpture and installation. The opening takes place on Friday April 25 at 8 p.m . In addition to his role as programming director at Avalanche! Nate McLeod has joined Contemporary Calgary as an assistant curator working with chief curator Jeffrey Spalding and curator Kayleigh Hall.

The Untitled Arts Society (UAS) will also open a new exhibition in its main space on April 25 at 8 p.m. The Summit features watercolour drawings and installation by Sarah Burwash that “draws attention to disconnected relationships with nature illustrating both harmony and discordance through the portrayal of humans within their surroundings.” Meanwhile the UAS Plus-15 Window at the Epcor Centre focuses on a human who has an extra close relationship with nature: the wild man. Emily Hope’s The Wild Man Appreciation Society is dedicated to the preservation and promotion of tales of this creature including both genuine and manufactured artifacts.

Other galleries have recently opened new exhibitions as well making this a good time for a self-guided gallery tour. Here are a few more to get you started: Stride Gallery ’s main space features Mike Hein’s Feldspar which blurs the differences between found and hand-made objects and explores the use of different materials while the project space had Chantal Tardiff’s Field Studies a collection of “colourful cartoon-like shapes curious machines and familiar forms depicted in unfamiliar ways.” At Truck artist José Luis Torres chooses seemingly random objects and makes them look like something else in Mutations . Herringer Kiss Gallery currently has an exhibition of new works by abstract Canadian painter Fiona Ackerman titled Amplifier which explores the world of the imaginary. At The New Gallery Soft Movements in the Same Direction brings together artists Steven Beckly and Benjamin Bellas who use video photography and found objects in an examination of intimacy impermanence and distance.

Anyone who had more than a passing interest in comic books doesn’t need to be reminded that the Calgary Comic & Entertainment Expo runs from April 24 to 27 featuring big-name writers and artists. But there will also be a couple first-timers from Calgary former Agriculture Club bandmates Rick Overwater and Cam Hayden so stop by their booth and check out their new comic Futility about a farmer named Red who travels to space in a silo. Or head to the launch party at Palomino on Saturday April 26 being held as part of that night’s Unofficial Comic-Con Afterparty. Or both. Either way you can read up on it at ffwdweekly.com before you go.

Horses may outnumber athletes at Canada Olympic Park for the next few weeks. The big top is up and Odysseo by Cavalia is now underway featuring 66 horses and 52 artists in a theatrical production that runs until May 18. You can read about it online at ffwdweekly.com .