Winter Festival Art Show & Sale a ‘challenging experience’ for guest curator Tim Moore

The 44th annual Prince Albert Winter Festival Art Show & Sale's guest curator, Tim Moore, poses in the Mann Art Gallery on Jan. 28, 2020. (Jayda Noyes/Daily Herald)

Tim Moore has come full circle.

One of the first professional exhibitions where the Swift Current-based artist showed his work was the annual Prince Albert Winter Festival Art Show & Sale. Now, he’s that same exhibition’s guest curator.

The 44th annual exhibition, which is estimated to have pieces from 136 artists, is showing at the Mann Art Gallery from Feb. 7 to Mar. 21.

Tuesday was Moore’s first of two days of curation. Artwork of all sorts was scattered across the gallery’s main and project galleries, as well as in the education studio.

“You can’t get into a situation like this with 136 artists and not have this massive variety,” said Moore.

“You’ve got everything from tapestry fibre, felting, mixed media sculpture. You’ve got paintings of all sorts, everything from oil to encaustic, acrylic. You’ve got drawings, a wooden sculpture.”

Moore says this felt piece by Reanne Settee was inspired by a song. (Jayda Noyes/Daily Herald)

Moore is a founding member of the Indigenous Peoples’ Artist Collective (IPAC).

He grew up in the city’s West Flat before moving away to B.C. for about four years. This, he feels, is a way of reintroducing himself into Prince Albert’s arts community.

He and his wife have a cabin in Round Lake, which is about half an hour northwest of Prince Albert, but reside in Swift Current where they both work at the gallery.

Moore said he’s been familiar with the Winter Festival Arts Show & Sale for about 20 years.

“If you’ve been kind of keeping tabs on this exhibition long enough, you will notice…there was a cohesive group of artists, so you got familiar with everybody,” he explained.

“I’m not familiar with all of the work anymore. There’s a few that I can still pinpoint,” Moore added.

“There’s definitely new blood coming into the exhibition these days.”

This artwork is by Jim Mason, a Melfort-based carver and sculptor. (Jayda Noyes/Daily Herald)

Moore considers himself a mixed media or interdisciplinary artist. Not only does he draw and paint, but he does a lot of collages and mixed media sculptures.

In 2015, his show A Day at the Races toured to Prince Albert’s Mann Art Gallery.

Moore said because there’s so many artists in the Winter Festival Art Show & Sale, curating is more of a challenge.

“Sometimes you get things set and you think that’s going to work. About an hour later, everything has changed,” he said.

“It’s very different than say, you’re curating an exhibition with just one artist, so you will have 30 or 40 works that usually will run in some kind of a theme.”

He said he likes to start with a work that grounds the room, pointing to a large tapestry on the floor that had yet to be hung up.

Surrounding the tapestry were pieces of a similar, colourful tone.

“I tried to choose everything along it that would work with it and help to set it off and the others off,” said Moore.

When asked to pinpoint a piece that stands out to him, Moore walked towards one by Michel Boutin. The work, which Moore didn’t yet have a title for, is a bull skull crushed between two boards. A red piece of fabric drapes around the horns.

One of about 136 artists participating in the Prince Albert Winter Festival Art Show & Sale is Michel Boutin. Moore believes this piece showing a skull being crushed was used in performance art. (Jayda Noyes/Daily Herald)

From what he knows, the piece was used in performance art.

“I guess the performance had a lot to do (with)—it’s a vice, and he crushed, continually crushed skulls,” said Moore.

“I just like the ruggedness of this and kind of the steel, wood and everything. Often art, everybody thinks it has to be beautiful,” he said.

“Art can look like a lot of different things. As long as it has a certain message and a certain presence, so this is a good example of that.”

Another work is by Kylee Blackburn, who used film emulsion to create a camera.

“I really quite like the use of material, the design is very simple. It’s not overly done,” said Moore about her piece.

Artist Kylee Blackburn used film emulsion to create a camera. (Jayda Noyes/Daily Herald)

Artists from all over the province have pieces in the show. All Saskatchewan residents are eligible to submit work as long as they’re members of the Mann Art Gallery.

The Prince Albert Winter Festival Art Show & Sale opening gala reception takes place on Feb 7 at 7 p.m. Admission for participating artists is free, for gallery members is $10 and for the general public is $15.

The Guest Curator’s Talk & Tour is on Feb. 8 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.