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New Casa exhibits examine space and movement

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Two new exhibits at Casa explore the concept of space usage.

Darcy Logan examines one of Mandy Espezel’s works from her Pine Cones in Soft Mouths at Casa. photo by Richard Amery
 Kelsey Stephenson’s exhibit Divining and  Mandy Espezel’s “Pine Cones in Soft Mouths” opened on the weekend and run in the Casa gallery until  April 15.

“Kelsey Stephenson is a local artist who just graduated with an MA in Fine Arts  from the university of Tennessee,” said Casa curator Darcy Logan.

  She explored  the idea of topographical maps painted on dozens of sheets of Japanese mulberry paper.
“It combines print and painting to evoke topographical maps reflection of geological impact of erosion,” Logan said, observing she used  a map of the Drumheller badlands as the base for her exhibit. The individual frames move as the viewer move pst them enhanced by a spooky soundtrack composed by  Alex Gray which plays in the gallery.

“They are actual topographical  maps of Drumheller badlands, but they are supposed to be altered  to look like aerial photographs. The badlands were her inspiration,” logan said, adding she worked off actual maps and created the works on Japanese mulberry paper, which is the toughest paper produced, the the movement won’t  harm it.


New U of L exhibit explores transience in Everything is Temporary

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Emerging University of Lethbridge artists show their  work at Everything is Temporary: The university of Lethbridge Annual Student Art Exhibition opening March 3 in the Dr. Penny Foster Building downtown.

Ildiko Barraclough and Amy Parks set up their exhibit in the Dr. Penny Foster building. Photo by Richard Amery
“There are 25 students involved, though some have more than one work,” said fourth year student Amy Parks, who  is co-curating the exhibition with fellow fourth year student Ildiko Barraclough as part of their  BFA museum curating program.
“They went through a jury panel which examined many submissions,” Parks continued.

“We wanted works a that really explore  the serious issues in the world,” added Barraclough.
 “We have some really exemplary local artists.

We have  some indigenous  artists and some artists expressing the hybrid of the Japanese Canadian experience,” she continued.


Local artist Rick Gillis releases new novel

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Lethbridge artist and writer, Rick Gillis  officially releases his new novel “The Boy Who Couldn’t Die” at Casa this Saturday, March 4 from 1 to 4  p.m.

Rick Gillis releases his new novel on the weekend. Photo by Richard Amery
The novel is loosely based on his life growing up in the Crowsnest Pass in the 1950s and 60s. It was a time when the Pass was a booming coal mining and lumbering centre. The novel, titled  traces a period of time in the life of the Callaghan family, more specifically that of Little Ricky Callaghan, as told through the memories of his older sister, Kathryn.

The novel runs its reader through a rollercoaster of emotions, from humour, love, sadness and a surprising twist to its plot line.

The book is currently being made available through Casa in Lethbridge. Gillis returned to the Pass in March of last year and took a residency at the Gushul Writers’ Cottage in Blairmore for a month, a return to his hometown and more importantly to the very neighbourhood in which he grew up. It was at the Gushul that he wrote the lion’s share of  “The Boy Who Couldn’t Die.”

“Though the novel draws upon my own life experiences growing up in that neighbourhood, the story line diverts sharply from reality as the tale unfolds,” says Gillis.

“It definitely is not your standard fare, since few elements resemble anything close to a formulaic novel. Much of it seems reminiscent, but it is far more than that. As ridiculous as it appears at times, the anecdotes as told through the memories of Kathryn Callaghan are all, without exception, true, though at times altered or embellished in the interest of good story telling.

“To say that my decision to return home to write this novel was inspirational would be an understatement,” Gillis added.

  “Though sequestered for long periods of time at the writers’ cottage, my frequent walks through the old neighborhood brought back long buried memories, and with them a host of emotions and deeply-felt sentiments.”
In addition to being made available locally, “The Boy Who Couldn’t Die” is also available on line through (not as well as

— Submitted

Artists explore different mediums in three new exhibits at Casa

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New exhibits opening at Casa this weekend show the diverse artistic palates of three different artists.Janice Rahn polishes one of her etchings on steel in her exhibit Composition in the shape of A Pod at Casa. Photo by Richard Amery

Local artist  shows both his dark side as well as his more whimsical side in his exhibit, “ The Age Of Man,” on display  on the second floor of Casa in the concourse gallery.
 The exhibitions officially open, with a reception, Jan. 7. They run until Feb. 18.

 The Age of Man includes two cabinets of sculpture  created out of found items as well as a series paintings hanging on the walls of a more lighthearted, pastoral nature.

“I used to work in a mine. There]s wood salvaged from a mine. There were a lot of widows and husbands injured  from working in the mines. So this is a comment on that,” he said of one of the pieces.
 Another piece also created out of wood salvaged from a mine featuring a face peering through a roughly hewn wooden window, is about the plight of immigrants coming to Canada from Europe. Anybody who has a great great grandfather or grand mother mother who came here, they probably come over in steerage and that was not a peasant experience,” Gillis commented.

 Other pieces look at popular children’s tales, like “Rumpelstiltskin.”
“It is a pretty grim story,” he said indicating his piece “Rumpelstiltskin.”
“The paintings are a little more lighthearted,” he said, indicating a series of paintings reflecting tranquil scenes and memories of the past.

Janice Rahn was inspired by the intricate details of poppy pods for her exhibit “Composition in the Shape of A Pod: surrounded by exquisite detail.

The exhibit includes a variety of lithographs, sculptures, textile prints and etchings on steel and mirrors placed throughout the main gallery inspired by  a variety of her passions including traveling, teaching, gardening and history.
 There are some of her sculptures set in the middle of the gallery, etching on burnished steel on the west wall and prints on the north wall. The back room has a display of curiosities.

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