We Need Help Planning the Closing Reception for Our Show Medium of Exchange – Process

In light of increased Covid-19 case numbers and increased public health restrictions here in Alberta it seems unlikely we will be able to physically welcome you to the gallery for our closing reception on the afternoon of May 20th 2021. So since we are all new to this virtual event thing we would like to ask for your help deciding how, where and what to do in lieu? 

We have a brief 3 question survey below and would appreciate your feedback. We’ll share details for the event once we’ve had a chance to discuss the feedback. Thanks!

Artist’s Statement, Medium of Exchange – Process:

The Artist’s of Medium of Exchange c. 2010:
L-R: Jesica Campbell, Koren Scott, Jessica Hauser, Penny Chase and Debbie.lee Miszaniec

Five women walked into an art school… 

Three straight women, one gay woman and one who says it’s nobody business walked into an art school… 

An agnostic, a Wiccan, a Catholic and two atheists walked into an art school… 

Three settlers, an Inuit and a Metis walked into an art school… 

Five artists of diverse backgrounds walked out of an art school… 

…and had a conversation: 

They called themselves Medium of Exchange. They made work together and apart about topics relevant to them all. Then their lives and professional practices diverged again. After a decade Jesica Campbell, Penny Chase, Jessica Hauser, Debbie.lee Miszaniec and Koren Scott have re-converged for Medium of Exchange: Process

Process is about the process of making art: the process of the development of the artist over time. The individual’s process of art making. The process of creating a dialogue between diverse individuals through art. 

Our History:

We graduated from the AUA (formerly ACAD) fine arts program in 2008 and shortly thereafter formed an informal critique and breakfast group. In 2010 we organized our first show as Medium of Exchange, exploring the idea of Debt as discussed in Margaret Atwood’s book, Payback: Debt and the Shadow Side of Wealth (2007), from our unique perspectives, but in the medium common to us, visual art.

This history forms another window into the idea of process, as in the process of our evolution as a group, and as individual artists. The question of how each of us processes the ideas Atwood writes about given our unique backgrounds. While you are exploring the rest of the virtual exhibition for Medium of Exchange – Process, I hope you will not miss a peek into that early show here.

Virtual Exhibition Launched!

Gallery View, Medium of Exchange: Process, Alberta Society of Artists’ Gallery, Calgary AB 2021

Medium of Exchange, Process

The culmination of 3 years of work and planning has, even in the face of a global pandemic, come to fruition.

It was a long journey for Jesica Campbell, Penny Chase, Jessica Hauser Koren Scott and myself, with many twists and turns, but there was definitely a sense of great satisfaction as we finished installing the last label for the show last week at the Alberta Society of Artists’ Gallery in Calgary.

The exhibition will run to June 5th. However due to Covid-19 the gallery is currently closed to the public and will remain so until Stage 3 of Alberta’s relaunch plan. We were on the verge of reaching Stage 3 prior to installation and had hoped to be able to have an in person opening reception for friends and family. Since we have moved back to Stage 1 instead, we decided it would be prudent to offer the public the opportunity to see the exhibition virtually so as of April 14th we also launched a website for the exhibition. While we still hope the exhibition can open to the public before closing, and have reserved the 20th of May for a possible closing reception, we hope that you will enjoy the virtual exhibition, leave us comments and subscribe for updates to be notified if/when the show is available for IRL viewing. Click here to be taken to the exhibition website.

Cravings: My New WebGallery

Detail of Happy Birthday, 2020

I realize that Covid-19 Has taken over the world, and certainly my practice of the last few months with the Covid Chronicles and the related attention that that has brought to my studio. However, earlier this year I blogged about discovering a new /growing fascination in my work when I realized I had been painting a lot of food for the past few years. So I decided to make it formal and introduce a new gallery section to my website. Cravings will showcase all of my food related paintings, wherever they might fit in to my other themes and bodies of work. Check it out, watch it grow, & shoot me an email and let me know what you think!

Saskatoon Berry Jam II

Virtual Exhibitions

So Covid-19 #9 has been included in a virtual exhibition, the Covid-19 Artwork Showcase, presented in conjunction with Fortune Live Media’s Health Brainstorm Virtual Event which opens tomorrow and runs for three days. I think it sounds pretty cool to be part of an exhibition of international artwork & artists put on by a major media force like Fortune Magazine’s live media branch.

In addition to this event, I’ve also been invited to contribute work to virtual exhibitions and archives including the Women’s Art Museum of Canada, the Immortal Artist’s Pandemic Archive Project, a residency project organized by artist Pamela Moon, Life As We Know It: 2 Meters Apart, and to various institutions actively soliciting archive material documenting the pandemic.

The question is, without the personal interaction of hanging the work in a physical space and interacting with viewers at an opening event, do these virtual exhibitions have the same impact for you as an artist or as a viewer? The reach they can have is far greater than a physical exhibition, and I have had people across the globe reach out to me, but is the impact of the encounter as potent when we cannot be physically present?

I will be curious to see what sort of long term response comes out of these virtual exhibitions.

Pre-sale is Open!

June 28th to July 19th.
Originals Drawings and Limited Edition Prints.
Zine’s, greeting and post card sets and a 12 x 12 book of the complete series of drawings.
All purchases made during the pre-sale will receive a free 11 x 17 portfolio of the second set of Covid-19 drawings. 1 per customer.
Visit the page, and then visit again, I’ll be updating product photos as the pre-sale goes forward.
Cheers!
All purchases made during the pre-sale will receive a free 11 x 17 portfolio of the second set of Covid-19 drawings. 1 per customer.

Covid-19 Sketchbook Tour 2

It has been over a month since my last blog post and even while the world whirs on with Covid-19 and police brutality protests I have been playing studio catch-up and still don’t feel like I have had time to catch my breath.

So I am really happy that I finally got the second sketchbook tour together for you and uploaded this week. I think you will find some of the images a bit darker, maybe a bit resigned to the craziness that is the human response to a crisis of this nature. Others are clearly looking forward to sunny summer days ahead. Please enjoy!

Below you can see the final four drawings in the second series of Covid-19 drawings, which I completed on May 18th (a full 3 months after I did the first drawing). Covid 19 #35 looks at the rising importance of online shopping and delivery, #36 thinks about how Covid-19 will be integrated into our daily routines as we move forward to economic reopening. #37 is about the state of limbo one lives in while awaiting Covid-19 testing and results. Finally #38, perhaps the most dualistic of the series, explores social anxiety, how people have both fought against the measures taken to slow the disease and have risked spreading the disease in the effort to bring overdue social reforms.

In other news, I wanted to share with you a tasty turn that the project took! I was thrilled to find myself tagged in this video on Instagram from Scott Bradshaw and Seven Ravens Bakehouse. He re-created my drawing Covid-19 # 35 as a cake! I’m sharing the video here for you now, what do you think?

The Covid-19 Shop is back up with originals from the first 19 for Covid 19 available to purchase, as well as limited edition prints of #5, 7, 8 & 9, and the 11 x 17 portfolio of the first 19 images for sale. Check it out now to make a purchase.

Also this month I was approached by Fortune Conferences (of Fortune Magazine) to showcase Covid-19 #9 during their upcoming Virtual Brainstorm Event on Covid-19, healthcare and business. I will have to share with you what happens with that.

Covid-19 #9 at the next Fortune Conferences Brainstorm Event?

In Sunflower Project news, I participated in the Rumble House Soul Auction, where owners Rich & Jess used their weekly (now online) live art auction to raise donations of time, actions and money for good causes (of the donor’s choice), with a special focus on the Black Lives Matter movement. Thanks to this collaboration we are welcoming two new members to the Sunflower Project, with their agreement to share their 1000 gifts with the world.

Coming Soon!

Finally, this week I am working on getting the next pre-sale up for Sunday June 28th on my website. I will be making available for purchase originals and select limited edition prints from the final 19 for Covid 19 series, as seen in the video. I will post the opening announcement when the Pre-sale is ready to open.

Thanks for catching up with me!

Studio Life & Covid-19 Part 5

It is almost a month and a half now since Covid-19 was declared a global Pandemic and our lives here in North America went topsy turvy. I think a lot of people are appreciating the warmer weather, but not sure how they are going to enjoy it this summer. All of our plans are under revision now.

Amidst a whole raft of summer event cancellations, it was announced this week that the Calgary Exhibition & Stampede is officially cancelled for 2020. I anticipated this, however I know that the organizers, competitors, exhibitors and vendors were all hoping that somehow it could go ahead. The event brings millions of visitors from all over the globe to Calgary, and generates multi-millions of dollars of revenue. There are visual artists in the Artist’s Studios section for whom substantial incomes are made from just this one 10 day event. I am not one of them; this would have been just my second year participating in the commissioned sales section. However I will miss the chance to connect with art lovers and build audience while making a few sales and engaging in the lively spirit Stampede brings to the city. If you are interested in buying one of the paintings I would have shown, contact me. They are 6″ x 8″ oil on canvas and priced at 295 CAD each.

We are a little over a week into the pre-sale on originals and limited edition prints of a selection of the Covid-19 drawings. I am really appreciative of the people who have already purchased originals and prints. Each person who purchases during the pre-sale will also receive an 11 x 17 portfolio of the first 19 for Covid-19 Sketchbook drawings. Be sure to order before the pre-sale closes on May 11th to get that.

I am amazed that, even though times are uncertain, so many people are supporting the studio. Because of this, I am making a few videos about my experience making art during Covid-19. The first one (below) was posted to my Youtube channel yesterday, and asks the question: can an art business grow even during Covid-19? I answer that question with my story (spoiler, the answer is yes).

I am still thinking about why this is possible; it makes no logical sense to me. I have always been told that art is a luxury, and the first thing to be sacrificed during times of insecurity. Perhaps art is not such a luxury after all? Perhaps it serves some vital purpose? My next week video will be about lessons I learned making art during Covid-19. If I have any insights to that question by then, I will share them in that video. If you are curious to see that video be sure to subscribe to my Youtube channel so you don’t miss it. I appreciate your subscriptions as, should one day I reach 1000 subscribers (I’m a long way from that yet), Youtube will actually send a little money my way when people view my videos. It is a great way to support my studio at no additional cost.

Okay, how about we all get some sun with a socially distanced walk or some yard work? I think I will be cleaning and setting up my patio after my work is done today. Thanks for reading, see you next week!

Studio Life & Covid-19: Part 4

While the weather and the news had its ups and downs in the outside world, it was another busy week in the studio. As an artist who is perpetually in isolation, there is never a shortage of things to get done, even while others post about not knowing how to fill the hours suddenly vacated by their jobs.

However, it can be difficult to motivate myself to actually get things done as some projects seem to be futile when their fate is currently unknown due to all the uncertainties of the Covid-19 pandemic. Such is the case with my preparations for The Calgary Exhibition and Stampede Art Show.

Currently we have no news one way or the other on the fate of the Calgary Exhibition and Stampede this year, so I have been proceeding as planned completing work for the Mini-masterpieces Salon. I finished Saskatoon Berry Jam II, as Saskatoon Berry Jam was snapped up while still wet on the easel and is soon headed to England. I am thankful for that early sale, and given the current situation I wouldn’t hesitate to sell the others early too, although that means painting replacements (contact me to inquire about purchasing one of these delectable delights).

Above is the video of Saskatoon Berry Jam II coming together. This is actually painted over 2 sessions last week, as the painting reached a point where it needed a day between sessions to dry.

On the Covid-19 drawing front, CBC Calgary published another instalment of the Covid-19 Drawings to their Instagram feed. Thank-you to CBC for the continued support!

Now for the big news: Drumroll Please!

A Pre-sale for a selection of the Covid 19 drawings, and limited edition prints, opened on Sunday morning. The pre-sale will close May 11th and orders will be sent to the printer to be shipped the week of May 20th.

Currently 4 of the 13 originals available are SOLD. The print editions of these are still available, although the edition will be limited to 100 prints per image. To maintain the same feeling of the original drawings, the print editions are at the same scale as the original drawings on 9 x 12 paper. To make a purchase visit Covid-19 Chronicles page before May 11th 2020.

So that wraps up this week, visit the Pre-sale, purchase a print, and we will talk to you next week!

Studio Life During Covid-19 Part 2

So it is another interesting week as we see the progress of the Covid-19 crisis on the global stage and I have continued to document it in my Covid 19 series of drawings

I uploaded the final instalment of Kathleen and Quinnton’s Wedding Painting to Youtube last week, so here together for the first time are all three videos so you can see the process from start to finish!

Each video represents one day of work on the painting. So why are the lengths so different? I’m recording the time-lapse video’s using my iPhone, so I need to press stop periodically to adjust the number of dropped frames per session. In the shorter ones I stopped recording less frequently. So it appears I am a super fast painter in them! Oh the magic of video.

I also found out this week that while I got turned down for the Western Art Gallery, my food paintings were accepted into the Mini-Masters Salon at the Western Art Gallery. So you will be seeing these (except Saskatoon Berry Jam) and a few more for sale at The Calgary Exhibition and Stampede Art Show in the Western Oasis, provided the Stampede goes ahead this year. Saskatoon Berry Jam has already been sold and is waiting to be shipped to its forever home in England.

We also had three more people join the Sunflower project this week, with 1, 2 & 3 of my 12 days of Christmas series going out to them. I am encouraged to see two of the new collectors are American, meaning we are building bridges across borders at a time when borders are otherwise becoming much more rigid.

This week I finished the initial 19 drawings in the Covid-19 sketchbook and set up a page, The Covid-19 Chronicles, on my website for them. 17 of the drawings are posted there now and I will be updating that as I go along with new drawings and news about the project.

I will be continuing the series but moving from daily drawings to a three day per week schedule as I work on the Sketchbook tour video and look for ways, and possibly partners, to reproduce them and get them into the hands of more people.

The Sketchbook tour video should go live on Friday, watch for that on my Youtube channel and for notifications of that on my social media channels.

In Covid-19 Sketchbook news, it has been also covered in this article in the Calgary Herald. Check it out!

Alright, that is it for this week, Stay safe and stay healthy out there!