June 24th, 2024

Casa’s current exhibits well worth viewing

By Cal Braid - Lethbridge Herald Local Journalism Initiative Reporter on February 22, 2023.

Casa is the city’s house of art, and it’s the fascinating visual art that grabs your attention upon entering the upper concourse, the mezzanine, and the main gallery. It’s the blend of colours and unexpected imagery that makes you stop, tilt your head, and interpret what your eyes are seeing.
Darcy Logan, curator and gallery services manager, spoke recently about the newest exhibits on display in the building.
“We have eight new exhibitions that just opened on Jan. 28. They will be running until March 25. We have several exhibitions at Casa; we have our main gallery as well as a series of different project spaces around the building, and each area has a different kind of thematic focus on who we show there. In the main gallery we show the work of professional artists at all stages of their careers. We have three exhibitions in there: Wood Works by Adrian Cooke, Pack Ice by Julie Duschenes and Plotting Murder by David Dunlop.
At the top of the west staircase on the second floor is the Saokitapi gallery, a display area dedicated to Blackfoot artists. A striking new exhibition from Hali Heavy Shield called Postcards from the Rez is right there to catch the eye of any visitor climbing the stairs.
When asked for the proper pronunciation for Saokipati, Logan repeated it and said, “It means prairie people. We exhibit the work of both emerging and established artists. Some are at the very start of their careers and some have national or international reputations. (We also) try to engage diverse audiences. It’s community focused. All the artists that we show are either local artists or have a connection to our community. Always there’s a local connection to the art we show at Casa.”
Casa predominantly features visual art, which includes some performance and film. The Allied Arts Council of Lethbridge administrates Casa, and the building is shared with the U of L’s Conservatory of Music. There’s also a dance studio in the building that Casa both rents out and runs its own classes out of. Logan said that Casa puts out a call for visual art submissions every year and invites artists to submit proposals for shows.
“We try to build a balanced yearly exhibition schedule that kind of hits all the salient points and then present as diverse a schedule as we can.” At the beginning of every exhibition, Casa holds an opening reception that the public is invited to attend. With one just past, the next opening is scheduled for April. “There’s lots of visual interest at Casa if you want to take photographs. Even if it’s not event-based, the art is really interesting.”
The other exhibits currently on display are Space Talk by Myken McDowell in the Casa project space, WYSIWYG by Jordan Mudrack in the Passage gallery, Past, Present, and Friendship by John Chief Calf in the Concourse gallery, and the weight by Jessica Colley in the Platform gallery. Ambitious artists can visit casalethbridge.ca and go to the ‘artist opportunities’ tab in the drop-down menu. The Gallery at Casa is free for visitors.

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