Among All These Tundras

January 16 – March 18

Artists: asinnajaq, Laakkuluk Williamson Bathory, Carola Grahn, Marja Helander, Kablusiak, Sonya Kelliher-Combs, Joar Nango, Taqralik Partridge, Barry Pottle, Inuuteq Storch, Couzyn van Heuvelen, Allison Akootchook Warden

Curated by Heather Igloliorte, Amy Prouty, and Charissa von Harringa

Among All These Tundras, a title taken from the poem “My Home Is in My Heart” by famed Sámi writer Nils-Aslak Valkeapää, features contemporary art by Indigenous artists from around the circumpolar world. Together, their works politically and poetically express current Arctic concerns towards land, language, sovereignty and resurgence.

Artists from throughout the circumpolar north share kinship with each other and their ancestors, love for their homelands, and respect for the land and its inhabitants. Yet they also share histories of colonialism and experience its ongoing legacies and are united in their desire to protect northern ecologies, languages, peoples and knowledge from the nefarious effects of climate change, encroaching industry and competition. These resistance efforts do not merely express, they give shape to a collective ecology of care, a “decolonial love” (in the words of Leanne Simpson and others) that is both generous and generative. These works invite viewers to contemplate relationships between textual and embodied Indigenous knowledges, innovation and sustainability, humour and resilience, and our collective responsibility to northern life and land.

Marja Helander, “Dolastallat” (To have a campfire), 2016. Video still. Courtesy of the artist.

Produced and circulated by the Leonard & Bina Ellen Art Gallery, Concordia University with support from: Canada Council for the Arts, Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (Mobilizing Inuit Cultural Heritage), Initiative for Indigenous Futures, Concordia University.

The CRAG lined up some exciting programming around the exhibition including a book club for youth and adults, “Sanaaq: An Inuit Novel” by Mitiarjuk Nappaaluk by, a guided tour by co-curator Dr. Igloriorte, a powerful two-part performance by Allison Akootchook Warden as well as interpretive tours by the CRAG’s own Jenelle Pasiechnik.

The CRAG acknowledges the generous support of the Canada Council for the Arts, The British Columbia Art Council, the Province of British Columbia, the City of Campbell River, as well as our members and donors.

The presentation of the exhibition in Campbell River is generously sponsored by Boston Pizza.

Allison Akootchook Warden.
Carola Grahn.
Carola Grahn.
Barry Pottle.
Innuteq Storch.
Innuteq Storch.
Joar Nango.
Kablusiak Jade Nasogaluak Carpenter.
Marja Helander.

38th Annual Members’ Show

June 4 to July 4

The 38th Annual Members’ Show is a celebration of the talent of local and regional artists. Together the CRAG and the CR Arts Council show our appreciation and support for local artistic talent through exhibition, supportive development, and recognition. While this year’s show was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the closure of the Gallery, the CRAG was especially pleased to be able to welcome visitors back with a shortened but very popular run of this exhibition.

Each year we are amazed by the skill and variety of the artists local to this area. We are treated to a glimpse of what drives the artists in this locale to create, with wonders of natural scenery and evocations of the beauty we are surrounded with, as well as experimentation and abstract, conceptual, and political approaches to the world in which we live.  The exhibition draws together a diverse range of artistic practices including film, video, photography, sculpture, installation, performance, and mixed media. As described by the co-curators, the artworks presented in the “Members’ Show” invite viewers to contemplate relationships among North Island residents, the natural environment, culture, and the regions beyond. How we translate our experiences through art’s varied media is a powerful representation of the time and place we live in. How our public institutions, local governments, and population support the pursuit of culture is a reflection of our priorities and the value we place upon artistic expression.


Translations

July 9 to September 2

Artists: Jamelie Hassan & Soheila Esfahani

Curated by Jenelle M. Pasiechnik

The exhibition Translations is about understanding the movement of people and ideas of Arabic and Iranian cultures into the Canadian context. How does one share and bring people into a worldview and experiences of life outside their realm of understanding? Art is a powerful vehicle. In this exhibition you will encounter a diverse array of mediums and approaches including: video, painting, mixed media sculpture, and installation. Artworks created through cultural communication, the performance of lived experience, and the interrogation of power structures that command history and language. When the viewer meets the artwork and engages, it is an integral point of cultural translation and meaning making. Experiencing artwork that communicates an alternative worldview, culture, or language system causes one to enact two forms of translation, the translation of experience and the translation of culture. The artworks presented, and the way they “speak” to one another, will help us to better understand the perspectives and positions of people who have lived in both the East and the West and exist in the space between. 

This exhibition was made possible through the generous support we receive from our funding partners: the Canada Council for the Arts, British Columbia Arts Council, and the City of Campbell River. We would like to thank Rungh Magazine for their generous support and partnership. 


Translations, installation view, Campbell River Art Gallery.
Jamelle Hassan, Al Haq al Canadiyaa, 2017, mixed media. Jamelie Hassan, Magic Square, Talisman (letters), 2019-20, glass mosaic tile mounted on plywood, on loan from the collection of Sharon and Hamoody Hassan, London, Ontario. Jamelie Hassan, Magic Square, Talisman (numbers), 2019- 20, glass mosaic tile mounted on plywood. Jamelie Hassan, Souvenir of Lebanon Made in Canada, 2009, cedar. Jamelie Hassan, Internet, 2020, glass mosaic tile mounted on plywood.
Photo credit: Sarmad Almouallem.
Translations, installation view, Campbell River Art Gallery.
Jamelie Hassan, Magic Square, Talisman (letters), 2019-20, glass mosaic tile mounted on plywood. Jamelie Hassan, Magic Square, Talisman (numbers), 2019- 20, glass mosaic tile mounted on plywood, on loan from the collection of Sharon and Hamoody Hassan, London, Ontario. Jamelie Hassan, Souvenir of Lebanon Made in Canada, 2009, cedar. Jamelie Hassan, Internet, 2020, glass mosaic tile mounted on plywood.
Photo credit: Sarmad Almouallem.
Translations, installation view, Campbell River Art Gallery.
Jamelie Hassan, Magic Square, Talisman (numbers), 2019- 20, glass mosaic tile mounted on plywood. Jamelie Hassan, Magic Square, Talisman (letters), 2019-20, glass mosaic tile mounted on plywood. On loan from the collection of Sharon and Hamoody Hassan, London, Ontario.
Photo credit: Sarmad Almouallem.
Translations, installation view, Campbell River Art Gallery.
Jamelie Hassan, Souvenir of Lebanon Made in Canada, 2009, cedar.
Photo credit: Sarmad Almouallem
Translations, installation view, Campbell River Art Gallery.
Jamelie Hassan, Souvenir of Lebanon Made in Canada, 2009, cedar.
Photo credit: Sarmad Almouallem
Translations, installation view, Campbell River Art Gallery.
Jamelie Hassan, Habibye, (My love, male) & Habibitee (My love, female), 2018, glass mosaic tile mounted on plywood. Soheila Esfahani, Made in Iran: The Break in the Tip of the Lotus Leaf, 2018, wood plaques. Soheila Esfahani, Made in Iran, 2018, mixed media.
Photo credit: Sarmad Almouallem.
Translations, installation view, Campbell River Art Gallery.
Jamelle Hassan, Habibye (My love, male) & Habibitee (My love, female), 2018, glass mosaic tile mounted on plywood.
Photo credit: Sarmad Almouallem
Translations, installation view, Campbell River Art Gallery.
Soheila Esfahani, Made in Iran: The Break in the Tip of the Lotus Leaf, 2018, wood plaques,.
Photo credit: Sarmad Almouallem
Translations, installation view, Campbell River Art Gallery.
Soheila Esfahani, Made in Iran, 2010, mixed media.
Photo credit: Sarmad Almouallem
Translations, installation view, Campbell River Art Gallery.
Soheila Esfahani, Found Text: Composition Series, 2016, hand-cut wood on birch panels. Soheila Esfahani, A Trace of the Traceless, 2009, acrylic and laser etching on collected objects, on wooden panels. Soheila Esfahani, Seven Must Have Elements of Willow Pattern: Two Birds, Fence, Weeping Willow, Orange Tree, Boat, Pagoda, Three Men on Bridge, 2019, glass paint on photograph. Soheila Esfahani, Birds: Pattern (dis)Placed, 2019, 3D printed resin.
Photo credit: Sarmad Almouallem.
Translations, installation view, Campbell River Art Gallery.
Soheila Esfahani, Found Text: Composition Series, 2016, hand-cut birch wood on birch panels.
Photo credit: Sarmad Almouallem
Translations, installation view, Campbell River Art Gallery.
Soheila Esfahani, A Trace of the Traceless, 2009, acrylic and laser etching on collected objects, on wooden panels.
Photo credit: Sarmad Almouallem.
Translations, installation view, Campbell River Art Gallery.
Soheila Esfahani, Seven Must Have Elements of Willow Pattern: Two Birds, Fence, Weeping Willow, Orange Tree, Boat, Pagoda, Three Men on Bridge (Read from left to right), 2019, glass paint on photograph. Soheila Esfahani, Birds: Pattern (dis)Placed, 2019, 3D printed resin.
Photo credit: Sarmad Almouallem
Translations, installation view, Campbell River Art Gallery.
Soheila Esfahani, Seven Must Have Elements of Willow Pattern: Two Birds, Fence, Weeping Willow, Orange Tree, Boat, Pagoda, Three Men on Bridge (Read from left to right), 2019, glass paint on photograph. Soheila Esfahani, Birds: Pattern (dis)Placed, 2019, 3D printed resin. Soheila Esfahani, A Trace of the Traceless, 2009, acrylic and laser etching on collected objects, on wooden panels.
Photo credit: Sarmad Almouallem
Translations, installation view, Campbell River Art Gallery.
Soheila Esfahani, A Trace of the Traceless, 2009, acrylic and laser etching on collected objects, on wooden panels.
Photo credit: Sarmad Almouallem.
Translations, installation view, Campbell River Art Gallery.
Jamelle Hassan, Al Haq al Canadiyaa, 2017, mixed media. Jamelle Hassan, Snowball Cafe, 1919-1920, reproduced vintage photo mounted on board. Jamelie Hassan, Magic Square, Talisman (letters), 2019-20, glass mosaic tile mounted on plywood, on loan from the collection of Sharon and Hamoody Hassan, London, Ontario. Jamelie Hassan, Magic Square, Talisman (numbers), 2019- 20, glass mosaic tile mounted on plywood. Jamelie Hassan, Souvenir of Lebanon Made in Canada, 2009, cedar. 
Photo credit: Sarmad Almouallem.
Translations, installation view, Campbell River Art Gallery.
Jamelle Hassan, Al Haq al Canadiyaa, 2017, mixed media.
Photo credit: Sarmad Almouallem
Translations, installation view, Campbell River Art Gallery.
Jamelle Hassan, Al Haq al Canadiyaa, 2017, mixed media.
Photo credit: Sarmad Almouallem
Translations, installation view, Campbell River Art Gallery.
Jamelle Hassan, Al Haq al Canadiyaa, 2017, mixed media.
Photo credit: Sarmad Almouallem
Translations, installation view, Campbell River Art Gallery.
Jamelle Hassan, Boutros Al Armenian/Mediterranean Modern, 1997-1998, salvaged oil painting on drywall, presented with a projection of filmwork. Jamelle Hassan, Snowball Cafe, 1919-1920, reproduced vintage photo mounted on board.
Photo credit: Sarmad Almouallem
Translations, installation view, Campbell River Art Gallery.
Jamelle Hassan, Boutros Al Armenian/Mediterranean Modern, 1997-1998, salvaged oil painting on drywall, presented with a projection of filmwork.
Photo credit: Sarmad Almouallem
Translations, installation view, Campbell River Art Gallery.
Jamelle Hassan, Snowball Cafe, 1919-1920, reproduced vintage photo mounted on board.
Photo credit: Sarmad Almouallem

Jamelie Hassan gratefully acknowledges the financial support of the Ontario Arts Council. 


How We Lead

July 20 to November 20

Artists: Lucie Chan and Justin Langlois

Artist Facilitator: Jill Banting

Curated by Vicky Chainey-Gagnon

This participatory exhibition involves two artists interpreting the statement “How We Lead” to ask larger questions about: civic engagement and the arts; social well-being; leadership and community building. Members of the public will be invited to free community workshops with local partners to ponder ideas of leadership for themselves.

All the impactful gestures we attempt, Lucie Chan

Within the overarching theme of how one leads, Chan has chosen the everyday wisdom gathered from protesters’ signs found while conducting online research. The text based artwork currently on exhibit is a joint portrait, representative of personal and individual forms of communication that become public.

Full Text From All the impactful gestures we attempt, To Be Free: Everything You Most Hate and Fear

So with this in mind: don’t use free speech for hate and DON’T SHOOT.
our bodies, our minds, our power.
You all know I want to grow up in my community.
this means our minds, our power…
but to be clear:
Same shit, different century.
We all know that Canada 150 is a celebration of White Supremacy.
there is no honor in killing. Hate does not make us great.
So let’s hope, not hate.

I’d call him a cunt but he lacks both in depth and warmth.
No to war. No to Islamophobia,
Don’t use free speech for hate. Again, there is no honor in killing so stop arming mass murderers.
Strong women will change the world because women who fight together rise together. I am a woman, feel me love. Hate does not make us great. Love is not a crime. HOPE NOT HATE and then there’s this: Where are our stolen sisters?
They are our bodies, our minds, our power.

Questions Worth Asking, Justin Langlois

September 25 to November 25

Justin Langlois is an artist, educator, and organizer. He is curious about what art can do in everyday and civic life. Questions Worth Asking will host questions gathered from youth in the community about the past, present, and future. Community members will have the chance to see an evolving text-based installation drawn from the inquiries of project participants based on  their reflections about leadership and civic engagement. 

I consider leadership to be about the imaginations we set for the future, what we will do, who we will become, and how we will get there. Those imaginations are built on questions, asking how else the world could be, and how else we could be in the world together. 

                                        — Justin Langlois

Through his Changeable Question Board and workshops Justin Langlois will focus on the question as an object. Youth will have the ability to ask questions about where they live. All questions will be elevated to the same status through the process of exhibiting them in the Changeable Question Board. 


Sugarbush Shrapnel

September 24 to November 18

Artist: Olivia Whetung

Curated by Kimberly Phillips, Contemporary Art Gallery, Vancouver Assisted by Julia Lamare

Olivia Whetung’s artistic practice extends across a range of media to examine how translation and the transfer of knowledge can be understood, in her words, as “acts of/active native presence.” A significant strand of the Mississauga-Nishinaabe artist’s research has explored ways that knowledge is carried by language, land and bodies of water.

Whetung’s most recent beaded works involve embroidery, a method where beads are sewn with needle and thread onto a surface material that provides the support and background for the imagery. For Whetung, beadwork is a mnemonic device. Knowledge is indexed not only in the beaded image itself, but through the artist’s technique—the embodied act of beading—and encoded in the materials with which she works.

Whetung also considers questions of climate change and its impact on the animals and plants of her home territories, as well as the transfer of cultural knowledge. Ultra-thin panels of maple, birch and cherry wood veneer stretch vertically from the gallery floor to ceiling like a stand of trees. In the sparest of bead-embroidered and wood-burned lines, sewn through and drawn upon the near-translucent surface of the wood, Whetung traces the fragile—and often undetectable—relationships between species in the forested region in which she lives.

“Stand” by Olivia Whetung

Whetung expands these material and conceptual investigations to consider her own connections to the complex ecosystem of her home on Chemong Lake, Ontario, particularly the importance of food sovereignty and the fragility of symbiotic relationships in an era of accelerating climate change and environmental destruction.


Acknowledgements

The Campbell River Art Gallery is grateful to the Canada Council for the Arts, the British Columbia Arts Council, the Province of British Columbia, and the City of Campbell River for funding.

The Campbell River Art Gallery would like to thank Rungh.org for its generous partnership and support.