Emerge Annual Exhibitions

dis://connections

November 24, 2016-January 8, 2017
Darby Arens, Carly Butler Verheyen, Mallory Donen, Julie Epp, Kendra Schellenberg, Rachel Sellinger

Technological progress continues to accelerate at an unprecedented rate. The smartphone phenomenon has dramatically changed the way we communicate. We choose abbreviated, thumb-typed messages over the sound of human voices. We continue to document our surroundings at every step, instead of enjoying the moment presented. We create our own narratives of an idyllic life, waiting for approval and appreciation from our “friends” on social media.

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These shifts in personal communication are both exhilarating and anxiety inducing. How do we prepare for the rapid changes in the way we relate? How will we navigate human-to-human connections in the future? Will technology become a part of us?

The artists in this exhibition aim to bring to light the struggle between the positive and negative impacts of technology and its impact on our relationships and interactions. Julie Epp and Darby Arens question what role technology may have in our future, and how it may affect us physically and mentally. Kendra Schellenberg and Rachel Sellinger re-imagine how we see ourselves and the world around us, considering the genres of landscape and portraiture in a digitally-obsessed world. Carly Butler Verheyen compares the communication of the past with the communication of today, and Mallory Donen examines the relationship between the artist and computer as technology continues to push the boundaries creative possibility. Whether we like it or not, technology has become deeply rooted in our everyday lives. This exhibition demonstrates that we must continue to participate in the technological debate and be aware of how it may impact our future.
– Alisha Deddens, Emerge Curator

Buy One, Get None: Conformity, Consumerism and The Collective Voice

March 5 – April 19, 2015
Alisha Deddens, Candice Okada, Kendra Schellenberg, Julie Epp, Diana Hiebert, Chantal New, Daniel Hurst, Fiona Howarth

Do you feel overwhelmed by the oppressive forces of capitalism that indoctrinate us to believe we are only worth what we buy? You are not alone.

This exhibition considers the complexity of living in a capitalist society founded on excessive material acquisition, extravagant waste and the exploitation of others. It also aims to shed light on the enduring and paradoxical struggle created by this behaviour: our reluctance to dissent and the corresponding desire for a collective voice in response to the din of consumer culture. In unmasking the uglier aspects of capitalism, the emerging artists in Buy One, Get None explore how we, as individual agents, can respond critically to capitalism’s pervasiveness.

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The cycle of consumption and waste is an untenable arrangement. It not only affects us as individuals, but it also has an irreversible impact on our global ecosystem. Often our destructive lifestyles are dependent upon the merciless exploitation of those less fortunate. Though the consequences of capitalism present a number of uncomfortable truths, opposition to this powerful system can feel futile and we instead resign ourselves to silence. Rejecting consumerism entirely is easier said than done.

There are no easy solutions to this deeply entrenched pattern of living. However, we can actively participate in the debate concerning capitalism and consumer culture. This exhibition demonstrates that today’s youth are aware of capitalism’s damaging tendencies and are willing to challenge its unrelenting call for obedience.
—David Seymour, Curator

Non Compos Mentis

October 31 – December 22, 2014
Ian Love

Ian Love is a self-taught and self-representing airbrush artist practicing in the Fraser Valley. His work has shown at the Kariton Art Gallery, as well as previously at The Reach. He often works with tattoo artists and his work has been featured at the Penny Black tattoo shop in Vancouver. His influences include Chet Zar, Michael Hussar, Chris Mars and Jaime Rodriguez. Love belongs to the Young Contemporaries program at The Reach, which provides everything from professional development workshops to exhibition opportunities for emerging artists.

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As a schizophrenic, Love attempts to create visual representations of the reality that a psychotic person experiences. His technique of repeatedly adding and erasing layers of paint to achieve beautiful contrasts of rich darkness and bright highlights, mirrors his personal approach to coping with his schizophrenia. With Non Compos Mentis, Love attempts to pull you into his experiences of sleep paralysis, lucid dreaming, astral projection, hallucinations and the primordial feeling of fear.

Image credit: Ian Love, Reincarnated as a Tree(detail), 2013, acrylic on styrofoam core