Gallery calling for winter festival submissions

Herald file photo. The annual Mann Art Gallery Winter Festival Show and Sale always attracts a crowd.

The Mann Art Gallery is calling on artists to put their best work forward as they continue planning for the 2020 Winter Festival Art Show and Sale.

Next year’s show, which will be the gallery’s 44th annual, will be guest curated by Tim Moore. Moore, who has strong ties to the Prince Albert arts scene and had a solo exhibition at the gallery in 2015, has since moved to southern Saskatchewan.

“It is our annual members’ show and sale,” said Lana Wilson, acting curator of the Mann Art Gallery.

“Here’s what really makes it unique— It is a show where we adjudicate for prizes, but as long as your work meets the eligibility criteria, we will display the artwork that you submit. We don’t jury to exclusion. That means it’s a fantastic way for amateur and professional artists to show their work together, side-by-side.”

Wilson described it as a “learning experience” for new and emerging artists.

“People have to think about how to frame their work, how to price their work, make sure it meets the eligibility criteria and then they get to meet the guest curator who is an art professional or professional artist themselves and hear the adjudication comments at the… walkthrough.”

As with last year, artists will be limited to one work each. That’s after two years ago, when the gallery received 243 works.

“It really got to a point where it had to be done, Wilson said.

“I know that some people are disappointed, but we had so many positive comments last year when (the new limit) was first implemented about how people felt that they could appreciate each individual work of art, that it had breathing room. We believe that resulted in us selling more works from the exhibition.”

In previous years, the guest curator has been someone from outside of the Prince Albert artistic community. This year, the gallery is going in a different direction.

Tim Moore, in addition to having previously had a solo exhibition at the gallery, currently has a semi-permanent piece up on display in the project, or front, gallery. Known affectionately as the giant rearview mirror, it is a collaborative piece with Heather Benning called Go Forth and Prosper. It was commissioned by the gallery as part of a summer art tour a year or two ago.

“We also have other works by Tim in the collection,” Wilson said.

“He is quite well-known for his epoxy collage works that often have subversive themes that combat colonialism and racism. We have several collages in the collection, as well as early paintings.”

According to Tim Moore’s bio, posted to the Slate Fine Art Gallery (some of his works are available for sale through Slate) Moore is “a regional artist of national note.”

He’s been featured at the Dunlop Art Gallery in Regina, the Art Gallery of Ottawa in 2011 and an exhibition in Montreal. He is also a member of the Indigenous Peoples Artists Collective.

While Moore is better-known for his collage work and his early paintings, he’s also becoming more and more recognized as a sculptor.

His 2015 show in Prince Albert, ‘A Day at the Races’ featured a roadster pulling a mannequin behind it called ‘Union Royale.’

Photo courtesy Mann Art Gallery.
‘Union Royale’ from Tim Moore’s 2015 exhibition ‘A Day at the Races.’

Wilson explained why Moore was brought in as the guest curator for the 2020 show.

“I really liked the idea of working with an artist that I had some familiarity with,” she said.

“I wanted to see what someone like Tim, who did grow up here, who has participated in the Winter Festival before but now has more national exposure, what he might see when he comes back to this community to re-engage with the Winter Festival.

“I’m really curious. It’s also fantastic to be able to let people know about his works and his new projects.”

The call for submissions for the Winter Festival show has been released. Artwork drop-off is Jan. 26 and 27. The show’s opening gala reception and awards are set for February 7 at 7 p.m., and the guest curator’s talk and tour the following day.

“Artists are reminded that their artwork is for sale. Purchasing of the artwork is allowed. Last year there was a lineup five people deep to purchase one artwork right at 7 o clock when the purchasing began. Make sure that you come early and then you can get some fantastic artwork,” Wilson said.

“Please read the eligibility instructions, and please remember that you must be a member of the gallery.”

Gallery memberships are sold on drop-off day or can be purchased from the Mann Art Gallery.