Curating an Art Show Part 1: Breaking Ground

Breaking Ground 2014 Exhibit Poster

Here’s an exhibit in which I’m involved with from the other side as an assistant curator. Towards the end of last year, I started meeting with another professional artist, Jeanne Krabbendam, to help guide my artist process and goals. There were probably things I didn’t know that I needed to know and that’s one of many reasons having a mentor is so beneficial for someone like me. Through our conversations I became curious about curating and Jeanne involved me behind the scenes in curating this year’s exhibit at the Britannia Mine Museum. It’s been helpful to be already familiar with the space and the theme based on my experience of exhibiting last year. I’m looking forward to hanging the artwork in April and have the show all come together. Stay tuned to part 2 of this post to come in May about my first curating experience.


Here is more background information about the show:

This exhibit is a showcase of new talent and an illustration of the work of a group of emerging artists. For many of the artists showing here, this is their first (museum) exhibition. This is a great opportunity to share with the public their love of art making, their joy in working with mixed media, and their challenges and victories while creating pieces on a theme.

They are all, in their own way, breaking ground!

Jeanne Krabbendam, the curator of this exhibition, is an instructor at Emily Carr University of Art and Design Continuing Studies in Vancouver. She teaches mixed media painting to students from a wide range of different backgrounds. Through her work as an artist and art educator, Jeanne meets emerging artists who are making pieces in an innovative and experimental style.

The moment Jeanne laid eyes on the Britannia mine buildings – long before the restorations took place – she felt a connection with her own art practice and that of her students.

In 2013 a first group of artists showed their work alongside their teacher. On invitation of the Britannia Mine Museum, Jeanne was invited back this year with a group of her students to submit work based on the themes of the mine. She curated the show, which can be viewed at the museum for the month of April, under the title: BREAKING GROUND.

The participating 13 artists in this show are approaching the themes of the exhibit in different ways: some more literally, others more symbolically, some through 2d painting, and others through creations in 3D materials. What brings them together is the work of building surface and the exploration of alternative ways of creating art.

Many of the artists attempt, through the discovery or distress of found objects as a departure point, to create statements, all of them using their own unique visual language.

Materials ‘found’ by the artists in the show range from rusted objects to wood, glass, various metals, fabrics, rocks, photographs and even cement! The evidence of the previous functions of most of these ingredients is not necessarily erased in these innovative works, but is nevertheless transformed by a rigorous exploration of concept, material, form and techniques and shines a light on the different aspects of the theme: the miners, the tools, the industrial physical environment and the geology.

Alongside the show of art work, students will offer artists talks to the public, which will be held on Saturday afternoon, April 26 between 2 and 4.30 PM.

Opening reception: Friday, April 4th, 2014 6-8pm

With a warm thank you to staff at Britannia Mine Museum and the artists who are breaking ground with this exhibition:  Sonia Sehat Niaki, Soheyla Mohazab, Miralda Reyes Retana, John Kerr McRae, Amberlie Perkin, Karen Holland, Meredith Aitken, david, Margriet Mastenbroek, Francine Desjardins, Sharon Habib, Josée Ménard, Lee Tidmarsh

Jeanne Krabbendam, guest curator
Vanessa Lam, assistant curator

Comments are closed.