Coalition Gallery, TELUS Spark, and Northern Lights

Just returned after a short but exhausting trip to Calgary and Chicago. With all the connections between Calgary and Chicago and back, I ended up taking 6 flights in 6 days. However, it was good to be moving, and the trip turned out to be quite productive.

Midwestern Voices and Visions Exhibit at the Chicago Artists’ Coalition Gallery

On Friday, I attended the artist reception for the Midwestern Voices and Visions Exhibition, which was running as part of the Alliance of Artists Communities’ 2011 Annual Conference in Chicago. It was great to finally meet some of the other MVV artists in person, as well as to catch up with the wonderful people behind the Alliance and the staff from the Bemis Center.

If you didn’t get a chance to check out the exhibit at the Coalition Gallery, I’ve added the piece I presented, Roller Coaster, to my portfolio. Below is the actual video:

I had taken this series of photos during my residency at the Bemis, and if you look past the balloons, you can see what the rest of the studio looked like. I had been accepted on the basis of my balloon work, but for quite some time had been interested in exploring animation. During my time, I began to play around with both hand-drawn animation as well as stop-motion. The idea of turning one of my sculptures into a roller coaster ride just popped into my head one evening, and with the help of a fellow resident artist and a ladder we found on the floor, we made this short film. I didn’t get around to mixing and editing it until about a year and a half afterwards though.

While in Chicago, I also had the chance to catch up with an old friend, Annie Peacenik, a tap dancer and historian. Two years ago, Annie and I had gone on a small tour to New Orleans, combining tap dancing with balloon twisting.

TELUS Spark VIP Opening & Shadow Rock ‘Behind the Scenes’

The next day, I took a 7 AM flight back to Calgary to attend the opening of Calgary’s new science center, now named TELUS Spark, along with the Aesthetec crew. While there, I also got to capture footage of Shadow Rock being installed and people interacting with the exhibit during opening night.

Northern Lights

During the flight back to Toronto from Calgary, the captain announced that the northern lights were actually visible from the windows. Thus began a game of musical chairs between myself and seat mates in the same row, standing in the hallway and climbing over each other to catch a glimpse of the phenomenon. It was definitely worth the havoc, and we saw shades of green as well as red. Unfortunately, I had forgotten to take any photographs, but I doubt that they would have properly captured the moment.

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