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Casa opening seven new exhibits plus galleries for U of L and Indigenous artists

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There is a alot going on at Casa with seven new exhibits opening, Se[pt. 10 at 7 p.m.

Bekk Wells sets up Schochastic Mystery Hotline at Casa. Photo by RichardAmery

“ We have a new display case integrated for University of Lethbridge students,” said Casa curator Darcy Logan.


 Kaela Murphy’s  “entangled” is the first  exhibit in the gallery, exploring the importance of hair to the Black identity


 Nicole Riedmueller’s  “Materialize Mood” is in onehalf of the  main gallery.


“She has ceramics works  that reflect domesticity and care work,” Logan said.


Casa welcomes back Grande Prairie based artist Bekk Wells, who brings an elaborate interactive exhibit “ Schochastic Mystery Hotline” to Casa.


“ It’s an exploration of mystery,” Logan said.


“ There is a phone that rings. And if you answer it, you will get a message,” said Wells, setting up his exhibit.


 The exhibit explores the chaos and unpredictability of interaction.


“I came up with the idea doing my Masters degree in London, England and it took four years how to figure out how to so it,” Wells continued.


“It’s an uncontrolled interaction without a coherent narrative. So I was thinking about how to put it all together. There’s so much always happening. I was looking at my phone and thought you never know what you’ll get when it rings,” he said.


 In addition to the phones, there is also a video component— a TV show with the credits of  the poeple reading the phone messages.


 He has had local exhibitions at casa as well as the Bowman Art gallery.


Bunka Centre officially opens at Nikka Yuko Japanese Garden

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It’s been the culmination of a lot of work, fundraising and co-operation, but the Nikka Yuko  Japanese Garden opened their new Bunka Centre, Thursday, July 14.


Booming Tree Taiko open the Bunka Centre at the Nikka Yuko Japanese Garden, July 14. Photo by Richard Amery

“ It’s a wonderful building,” summarized Brad Hembroff, president of the Nikka Yuko Japanese Garden committee.


 The building, designed by Elizabeth Songer, provides a cultural hub for visitors to experience and learn more about Japan and the history of Nikka  Yuko Japanese Garden through exhibits, workshops, and ongoing programs and events. While the  garden and the structures inside it reflect traditional Japanese culture, the Bunka Centre offers visitors a modern technology-enhanced experience using augmented reality and interactive experiences, including a memory booth, meeting rooms, display rooms and rooms for art exhibits.

 Bunka means culture in Japanese.


Lethbridge’s Songer architecture inc designed the new Bunka Centre to suit a variety of uses and was recently announced as the winner of the 2022 Prairie Wood Design Awards in the industry award 

category for the Centre.


Hembroff noted the Nikka Yuko Japanese Gardens has been a hub for cultural activities and fellowship since it first opened in 1967.


“The Bunka Centre tells the story of the Japanese Gardens. It’s history is not static. It will continue to evolve,” he said.



New exhibits at SAAG explore PLASMA and portals

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The Southern Alberta  Art Gallery has new exhibits for summer.

Grande Prairie area artist  Peter Van Tiesenhausen brings PLASMA  back to the SAAG main gallery. He is from Demmit, which is west of Grande Prairie near the B.C border.

 He spent Covid at home making art out of whatever he could find around his home and considering how important the element of carbon is to life.

“ Carbon is the basis of all life and plasma is the transference of energy,” he described, setting up his exhibit.

 There are a couple  main pieces to the installation, all from within 300 metres of his house.


Peter Van Tiesenhausen’s PLASMA opens at the SAAG this week. Photo by Richard Amery

 The most  prominent is a log  with a burnt out core surrounded by a structure constructed with sheets of paper from a paper mill from his scrap pile illustrating how carbon can change it‘s form.


“ I set the log on fire in my backyard and it went out. But it had reignited in the morning,” he observed.

, adding patrons to look at  the result through the paper sheet  frame.

“The fire  played a large role in the exhibit,” he said.


Casa celebrates Lethbridge history in “Heavy Metal” of third Ave in new exhibit

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It’s heavy metal history at Casa  —literally . The new exhibit “Heavy Metal” which opens June 25 until Aug. 20, as it was inspired by and incorporates elements of the trolly tracks, uncovered during renovations to 3rd Avenue.

Darcy Logan examines one of the pieces in Casa’s new exhibit ‘Heavy Metal,” which opens , Saturday, June 25. Photo by Richard Amery

“Lethbridge had a trolly running from 1912 to 1947, so we asked for several sections of the track for our artists to use. The result became ‘Heavy Metal,” said Casa curator Darcy Logan.


“A lot of the artists built sculptures, others explored the history of the trolly. Another artists  did more abstract works,” Logan said. 


 Most of the 28 artists involved with the project are from Southern Alberta, however there are also artists from Calgary, Edmonton and the Crowsnest Pass.


 One artist polished and nickel plated a piece of the track.


 One Calgary artist submitted a massive installation of speakers complete with a recorded accompaniment 

“She has asthma. That”s her breathing,” Logan said.


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