National Billboard Exchange

National Billboard Exchange

National Billboard Exchange

Billboard project by Meghan Price
AKA/PAVED Billboard space
Co-presented by AKA, Hamilton Artists Inc., and PAVED Arts

July through August 2019

Price’s New Balance series features pattern and waste plastics in an aggregate of image, material and structure to link human and geologic time, consumer culture and ecology. Composed of deconstructed, used athletic shoes, these sculptures are made of grimy but still vibrant layers of high- tech textiles, foams and rubbers. Recalling striations of Earth’s crust, this work specifically references its uppermost layers as they are embedded with environmental pollutants including textile materials and residues from their manufacturing. The textile industry being the world’s second most ecologically harmful industry, positions the environmental significance of athletic shoes at odds with the aura of fitness with which they are marketed. Substituting stone with shoes and mimicking the patterns of Earth’s layered geological timeline, New Balance signals the disconnect between human pursuits of self-improvement through sport and our physical dependence on ecological health.

This installation is part of a national billboard exchange between Hamilton Artists Inc., AKA Artist-run and PAVED Arts in Saskatoon.The three-way collaboration also includes billboard projects by artists Catherine Blackburn at Hamilton Artists Inc from June 2019 to May 2020 and Janet Wang at AKA/Paved in July through August 2020.

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Catherine Blackburn was born in Patuanak Saskatchewan, of Dene and European ancestry and is a member of the English River First Nation. She is a multidisciplinary artist and jeweler whose common themes are often prompted by personal narratives to explore the complexities of memory, history and identity. Her work has exhibited in notable national group exhibitions, including; Worlds on a String: Beads, Journeys, Inspirations, the renowned 2017 Bonavista Biennale, and most recently, My Sister: The Contemporary Indigenous Art Biennial 2018 in Montreal, Quebec. She has received numerous grants and awards for her work, including a Governor General History Award, the Saskatchewan RBC Emerging Artist Award, the Melissa Levin Emerging Artist Award, and most recently, she has been long-listed for the national Sobey Art Award 2019.

Meghan Price has exhibited nationally and internationally, including recent shows at the Walter Phillips Gallery (Banff), Fiberspace Gallery (Stockholm); AKA Artist-run (Saskatoon); Untitled Art Society (Calgary); the Center for Craft, Creativity & Design (Asheville); the Art Gallery of Southwestern Manitoba (Brandon); and Blackwood Gallery (Toronto). She has held residencies at the Icelandic Textile Center (Blönduós); the Museum of the Flat Earth (Fogo Island); Artspace (Sydney); the Scottish Sculpture Workshop (Lumsden); and the Banff Centre. Price holds a degree in Textile Construction from The Montreal Centre for Contemporary Textiles (2003) and an MFA from Concordia University (2009). She lives in Toronto and teaches in the Textile studios of OCAD University and Sheridan College.

Janet Wang is a visual artist working within a traditional painting practice, integrated with sculptural installation practices and digital media. She received her Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of British Columbia and her Master of Arts in Studio Practice from the University of Leeds in England. Her work explores the construction of identity through the appropriation and disruption of social patterns and familiar gestures. The artist borrows heavily from the canons and traditions of history, both the artistic and the quotidian, in order to use the familiar as a meeting point with the viewer. Her work has been exhibited internationally, and is represented through the Art Rental and Sales, operated by the Vancouver Art Gallery.  She has been awarded residencies from the Arts Council of England, ArtStarts, the Burnaby Arts Council, and received awards from the Vancouver Foundation and the BC Arts Council.

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Hamilton Artist Inc.(The Inc.) is a not-for-profit, artist-run centre that empowers artists of all career levels to take risks with their contemporary visual arts practices and present their work in a critical context.

AKA Artist-run is a non-profit artist-run centre, run by a board of Saskatoon-based artists and cultural workers. Funded by the federal, provincial, and municipal governments, AKA pays fees to artists to support the research, creation, and exhibition of visual art work. A centre for emergent practices for artists at any stage of their careers, AKA provides space and support for critical, safe, and open exchange and is committed to creating space for experimentation, artist-led research, and self-determined direction. AKA aims to build connections between artists, local communities, and national and international audiences, posing questions without knowing the answers.

 

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