Artwork in response to Husky oil spill included in new exhibitions at Mann

The exhibitions opened on Tuesday and will close on Jan. 16

Artwork from As Long As The River Flows exhibition (Kelly Skjerven/Daily Herald)

The Mann Art Gallery opened up three new exhibitions on Tuesday.

One of those exhibitions is entitled As Long as the River Flows, a collection from various artists across the province.

In 2017, Leah Garven of Chapel Gallery in North Battleford and Jesse Campbell formerly of Mann Art Gallery, made a call out to artists for work that responded to the 2016 Husky oil spill in the North Saskatchewan River.

The exhibition was originally shown in North Battleford. There is a variety of work featured, including plastered feet made from “wastecake” from the Saskatoon Water Treatment Plant and sediment from the river. Another piece on display features tree branches resembling IV poles with charts behind them.

“None of the art here is really a direct statement on oil spills or the carbon-based economy, it’s not really like that, it has a much more sort of poetic relation to the oil spill,” Director/Curator Marcus Miller said.

Another exhibition presented at the gallery is Popescul and Forsyth: Living in Colour.

Art by Dana Popescul

Miller wanted to feature work that was bright and colourful.

“Because it’s winter, it’s getting grey, the days are shorter, COVID, we all need some uplift now,” He explained.

Registrar and curator, Tia Furstenberg, agreed and pulled pieces by Dana Popescul from the gallery’s permanent collection. The pieces include an armchair, table and lamps painted with bright and vibrant colours with mirrors and jewels attached.

“When Marcus asked me ‘what kind of show could we put in the project space, I want something bright, and colourful, and fun’ and I automatically thought of Dana Popescul’s painted furniture and crazy decor,” Furstenberg said.

Both Miller and Furstenberg describe Popescul’s work as psychedelic.

The exhibition also features geometric abstract paintings from Mina Forsyth.

Miller said he admires how Furstenberg curated both of the artists’ work.

“I think Tia was brilliant in putting both of these two things together because they don’t naturally go together but I think the juxtaposition is just brilliant and they set each other off,” Miller said.

For their third exhibition, the gallery is displaying two series of Leah Dorion paintings from the permanent collection. Dorion donated the paintings in 2015 along with others.

The series’ Giving Thanks and Métis New Year were selected because they were bright and colourful and tied into the winter and holiday season, Furstenberg said.

She added that Dorion has her own unique style and she loves to play with colour, shape and composition.

“It’s really evident, each piece kind of speaks to that and you have to kind of get up close and you notice things that you didn’t otherwise and it forces you to spend time with it,” Furstenberg explained.

“(We wanted to) give people a chance to come and take a breather and a break from the outside world and just spend some time looking at beautiful art,” she added.