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Larger-than-life exhibits unveiled at Casa

Posted on November 6, 2013 by Lethbridge Sun Times

Casa presents two larger-than-life exhibits from southern Albertan artists, running until Dec. 28.

They opened at Casa, the city’s new community arts centre located on 3 Avenue South, on Nov. 2.

Brooks-based artist and University of Lethbridge graduate Eileen Murray’s exhibit, “the Space Between,” features gigantic paintings of pastoral scenes with a darker twist which literally couldn’t fit through the door.

“This one came rolled up as a canvas. We had to install it here,” said curator Darcy Logan, indicating one of the larger works dominating one wall of the gallery.

“She did a photo exhibition at the Bowman Art Centre, but these are definitely different. These are large monumental paintings,” Logan described.

“They are all paintings of idyllic scenes around the home-like dining rooms and kitchens and bathrooms,” he said, adding each one has a darker image or tone which should make the viewer question their ideas of the idyllic.

“She is interested in the idea that these are the things we really strive for, yet they are so far removed from our daily lives,” he said.

“We didn’t have the room for them at the Bowman. But I was very excited to have them here, he said.

Murray earned her BFA at the University of Lethbridge and her MFA in Saskatoon, before settling in Brooks.

Beany Dootjes decided to combine her love for gardening with art for her exhibit ”The Gardens,” which also opens Nov. 2 and runs until Dec. 28.

“It is about my interest in urban gardening and the production of food,” Dootjes described.

Her exhibit features an array of mediums including drawings on paper as well as panel board, plus a video component and most prominently a collage of approximately 300 peppers from her own garden, hung by invisible string, which is the first thing you see upon entering the gallery.

“I’m looking at the ways we preserve food, because with seniors dying, that knowledge could be lost,” she continued indicating a row of preserved vegetables and fruits in jars.

“I’m also looking at way to grow food organically and in a environmentally friendly way,” she continued..

“It is just such a big part of my life. I am an artist but I’m also a gardener,” she added.

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