by Pamela Gill
Fourth-year visual arts student Austin King of Badger's
Quay was in the gallery recently positioning the prints
that were installed for his first exhibition as a curator.
He is curating Expressionist Print: Contemporary Abstract
Expressionism at Open Studio, being shown at the Grenfell
art gallery until April 8.
By Pamela Gill
Fourth-year visual arts student Austin King is turning the abstract
into something a little more tangible. Last year, visual arts
instructor Marlene MacCallum assigned a “virtual”
exhibition project to her third-year printmaking students: if
you could create your ideal print media exhibition, what would
it comprise? For this class assignment Mr. King researched and
compiled a theoretical exhibition of abstract expressionist
Today, “what if” is about to become “what
is.” Mr. King’s theoretical collection, with a few
additions, is now open at the Grenfell College Art Gallery.
After attending the class presentations and commenting on the
exhibitions, gallery director Gail Tuttle invited Mr. King to
expand on his initial project and curate an exhibition of expressionist
prints from the Open Studio archive in Toronto. The result,
The Expressionist Print: Contemporary Abstract Expressionism
at Open Studio, will be on display at the art gallery until
April 8, along with X Folder, an exhibition of contemporary
serigraphs curated by Ms. Tuttle.
“The class project was meant to stimulate the students’
interest in other print artists, to create a critical perspective
and to give them an opportunity to develop a professional skill,”
said Ms. MacCallum. “Gail attended the in-class presentations
which increased the dynamic of this session. Gail and Austin
deserve all the credit for making this exhibition a reality.”
Ms. Tuttle said Mr. King selected “an exciting body of
work” by Anne Abbass, Paul Cloutier, Faye Digulla, Astrid
Ho, Maggie DoRego and Heather Yamada – artists who created
and editioned the prints within the Open Studio print residency
This is the first time that a Grenfell student has curated an
exhibition at the gallery.
“It’s been an enriching experience,” said
Mr. King. “It’s great that I would get to do something
like this. It was an interesting project, but I never thought
it would actually manifest itself this way.”
The curatorial essay for the exhibition will also be part of
his course work in art history with Dr. Gerard Curtis.
Sir Wilfred Grenfell College Art Gallery gratefully acknowledges
the board of directors of Open Studio, director Heather Webb
and archivist Astrid Ho for their generous support of this project.
The prints were made at Open Studio, Canada’s foremost
printmaking facility for artists. Open Studio offers a Visiting
Artist Residency Program as well as courses and workshops on
serigraphy, lithography and etching. Open Studio also operates
a print sales program and gallery, which exhibits contemporary
work in any print media.