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The Esplanade Art Gallery Celebrates First Exhibitions of 2017
Posted Date: 2/2/2017 10:30 AM
Medicine Hat, AB – The Esplanade invites you to its first reception of the year in the Art Gallery for the exhibitions Retailles and Play-Thing. Live local music by Jake Lennox, great food and informal exhibition tours by local artist Koi Neng Liew (Play-Thing) and SK artist Joe Fafard (Retailles) round out the evening on Friday February 3 at 7 PM. | Free Admission | Refreshments | Cash Bar

Retailles: Joe Fafard | January 14-Feb. 25, 2017

The internationally renowned Joe Fafard is one of Canada’s most recognized and prolific artists. Spanning decades, Fafard’s artistic practice is always evolving, driven by his endless experimentation with subject matter, media, process and technology. Whether in clay, bronze and steel sculpture, or in drawing and printmaking, Fafard’s work reveals his connection to his rural roots, his reverence for art history, and his ongoing inquiry into form and three-dimensional illusion and perspective. Generously laced with his trademark humour, Retailles also offers an insight into Fafard’s exploration of the laser-cut process and his creative renderings of its by-products in this collection of laser-cut and welded metal sculptures, along with embossed and woodcut prints. French for scraps or trimmings; that which is cut away, Retailles not only refers to the act of removing the negative from positive space to create form, but also to the act of recycling these “out-cuts” to create new works.

Born to French-Canadian parents in the small agricultural community of Ste. Marthe, SK, Fafard attended the University of Manitoba (BFA 1966) and Pennsylvania State University (MFA 1968). He has since received three honorary doctorate degrees, been named an Officer of the Order of Canada and awarded the Saskatchewan Order of Merit. His 2007-2009 nationally touring retrospective exhibition was organized by the National Gallery of Canada and the Mackenzie Art Gallery in Regina, and three of his works were chosen by Canada Post for their “Art Canada” series of postage stamps in 2012.

This exhibition was curated by Jennifer McRorie and Kim Houghtaling; organized as a partnership project between the Moose Jaw Museum & Art Gallery, Art Gallery of Swift Current, Burnaby Art Gallery, Esplanade Arts & Heritage Centre, Strathcona County Art Gallery @501, Art Gallery of Grand Prairie and Yukon Arts Centre. The exhibition is accompanied by a full colour catalogue that is available for purchase.

Joe Fafard

Muybridge B, 2012, powder coated laser cut steel, 49.5 x 77.5 x 9.0 cm

Joe Fafard’s visit to Medicine Hat

Joe Fafard will be in Medicine Hat from February 2 to February 4. He will take part in school tours, workshops with students in both French and English, and the Art Gallery reception. Below is his schedule:

Thursday Feb. 2nd
9.30 – 11am School tour and workshop
1pm – 2.30pm School tour and workshop

Friday Feb. 3rd
9.30 – 11am School tour and workshop
2pm Guest at Medalta
7pm Art Gallery reception with informal exhibition tour

Saturday Feb. 4th
10am French exhibition tour.
This tour is free and open to the public. Contact Jasmine Keillor to sign up:

Play-Thing: Koi Neng Liew | January 14-Feb. 25, 2017

Koi Neng Liew’s large-scale sculptures have a powerfully physical presence inhabited by an elusive yet evocative sense of human spirit. In this new work he presents a meditation on childhood and fatherhood, as seen through the lens of playing with his son.

Liew comments: “My son has a very different childhood than I did. He has hundreds of toys: cars, planes, guns, action figures, videos and Lego. I watch him as he imagines he is Megatron or Iron Man; he creates his own alter ego, embodying the toys we play with. Fatherhood has created an opportunity to relive my childhood. I play as though I am a child again, but realize that in my son’s eyes I am just as much a toy as the ‘play-thing’.”

Koi Neng Liew is originally from Singapore, where he studied at the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts. He received a BFA from the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University in 2001, and an MFA from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 2005. Liew is the recipient of numerous awards including the Roswell Artist in Residence 2008 grant in New Mexico, and a 2005 Taunt Fellowship at the Archie Bray Foundation in Montana. He is a featured artist in the Clay Art International Yearbook published in Athens, Greece, and has exhibited in Canada, the United States and China over the past 10 years. In 2010 Liew undertook the year-long Artist Residency in the Medalta IAIR program and now is a faculty instructor at Medicine Hat College in Visual Communications.

Koi Neng Liew

Skywarp, 2017, ceramic and acrylic paint,, 89 x 71 x 38 cm

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For further information, interviews or images please contact:

Joanne Marion
Director/Curator, Art Gallery
Esplanade Arts & Heritage Centre

Tobie Laliberté
Marketing and Promotions Coordinator
Esplanade Arts & Heritage Centre