New Exhibits — Arizona & Alberta: People & Places
Today I’m very happy to announce a series of photography exhibits on behalf of The IRIS Photographic Society of Alberta and Phoenix-based Through Each Others Eyes. As I’ve been writing about here on the blog, this past summer I collaborated with fellow Albertan Peter Carroll and Arizonans Ken Ross and Colleen Miniuk-Sperry on an international photography exchange project.
Our goal was to experience the places and cultures of our respective homes together as a group, collectively photographing new bodies of work in both regions. Then create a group exhibit that would present each place through the eyes of the visitors — so Pete & I would show photographs made in Arizona, while Ken & Colleen would display work created in Alberta. Our work would be shown all together in exhibits put on both in Phoenix and Calgary. In this way we’d develop a new appreciation of the people and places of both areas — but more importantly, bring that experience to our respective communities through photographs and associated stories and presentations over the coming year.
Well, I believe we’ve succeeded so far on the first two major counts. First off, we did indeed develop a new appreciation for our respective home turfs. Not only did I experience and learn valuable things about Arizona through our work there, but acting as a host while guiding Colleen & Ken around Alberta taught me a few things about my own home region as well. Next, we ran our initial group exhibit in Gilbert, Arizona last November, and it was a very fun event that appeared to be received well by the Arizona crowd in attendance. Now we’re poised to bring it home to Alberta!
When we first began setting up our plans for the project over a year ago, I set an early target for us to get an exhibition into the well-known and respected Exposure Photography Festival that runs every year for the entire month of February, across the cities of Calgary, Canmore and Banff. I’m very pleased to say that we have not one but two organizations that have partnered with us to put on events during Exposure 2013!
Early on during our planning process, we were very fortunate to connect with the enthusiastic program planning group within the Calgary Public Library. This is only the 2nd year that the Library is participating in Exposure, but the group has a strong interest in community outreach, culture and art. When we approached the team about our project, they grabbed the idea immediately and have worked at length with us to plan a series of photography displays and presentations during the Exposure festival this February. The first part of 2013, the Calgary Public Library is planning programs around the theme of Be the Change in 2013 — how appropriate!
You can read the up-to-date details of our Calgary Public Library events over at the IRIS web site events pages, but I’ll summarize the current plans here:
- Primary photography exhibit: Central branch, running February 1 – 28.
- Presentation: Central branch, the evening of February 13; a chance to meet Pete and Royce and hear some of the stories behind the scenes. Registration required.
- Photography display: Fish Creek branch, during “An Evening of Wine & Cheese”, the evening of February 1. Adults 18+ only; registration required.
- Photography display & presentation: Louise Riley branch, the evening of February 7. Registration required.
- Photography display & presentation: Village Square branch, the afternoon of February 22.
We encourage you to get involved with the Calgary Public Library! Show support for these kinds of programs, and check out one or more of the events on the above dates.
After we had begun working with the Library, an excellent contact within our team of IRIS founders introduced us to the staff of St. Mary’s University College on the south side of Calgary, occupying Father Lacombe Home heritage location. St. Mary’s offers a Catholic liberal arts program, and the organization places value on social outreach and cultural diversity, with past, present and future involvement in arts programming and events. It seemed like a good fit for our project, and we couldn’t have been more pleased when the excellent staff once again responded with enthusiasm and concrete ideas about exhibiting the project on their campus. As to the timing — well, why not double down and get even more exposure during Exposure 2013!
Up-to-date details about the St. Mary’s events can be found again on the IRIS web site events pages. Here’s a summary:
- Primary photography exhibit: Various campus buildings including Le Fort Centre, running February 21 – March 8.
- Opening reception: On campus, McGivney Hall, the evening of February 21; a chance to meet Pete and Royce, enjoy some wine & appetizers, and mingle with others.
The presentation of photography at the St. Mary’s exhibit will be the largest combined body of our work found in one location. In addition to enjoying the events at the Library branches through-out the month, everyone in the Calgary area is invited to come to the St. Mary’s campus as well and see the full exhibit.
Make this coming February a chance to get a little Exposure and support these great Calgary organizations. We’ve been extremely fortunate to have the chance to work together with St. Mary’s University College and the Calgary Public Library. We’d love to see you come out to one or more of these events!
Also, don’t forget that for the remainder of January, Pete and I have a “teaser” show of a selection of our Arizona work from this project on display at the Framed on Fifth art gallery here in Calgary.