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  • Writer's pictureShanna Cheng

Dreaming Day by Day Series: #12

Updated: Jul 9, 2018

Hello Dreamers!

During my shift at Malaspina Printmakers, I received the most amazing opportunity to expand my role as volunteer and curate a show for this season's exhibition! My first curation!!! While I have installed the previous one for Malaspina's Holiday Showcase, I had the chance to choose the theme and prints for this year. There were so many artists to choose from our inventory and store, my eyes were devouring the colours, textures, images and concepts in automatic sensory overload. Since this was my first time curating a show that were not of my own works, I wanted to showcase works that I haven't seen being hung at Malaspina at my time there. Those who are familiar with my work will see my connection to these particular prints; what theme I'm running through this exhibition and what essence I am capturing for the reveal.

The first print that caught my eye was an etching chine colle print, "Curnival" created by artist, Mariko Ando Spencer. The line work of the hare image were so fine, detailed, and whimsical; it reminded me of Alice in Wonderland 1860's illustrations found in fairy tale storybooks. Using "Curnival" as the foundation of the show, I chose to expand from there. I picked prints that drew me in and encompassed the theme of the magical, other worldly and strange. I was drawn to the smaller prints and specific ones that told a story. All together, I chose 16 prints from various mediums; silkscreen, lithography, intaglio, digital and etc, all from different artists. While each artist had their own concept and techniques, they worked well together and enhanced each other's work. If you were to walk clockwise from the door entrance, you can follow the image and create your own stories as the prints guide you along. In my own interpretation upon reflection, they are stories that represent our inner consciousness, our minds and imagination that envelopes our curiosity and deepest dreams, however light or heavy they are. As the stories move along from print to print, there follows the journey of exploration while inserting oneself in its dimensions; expanding, growing and travelling into the unknown new worlds. 

Under recommendation from the Executive Director, I hung the prints as is, with the hangers attached, changing the overall atmosphere of the exhibition and it was for the better. It felt unique and carried a different feeling in comparison to the gallery standard of nail and frame. I had to consider the meaning and definition behind each work; to make room for reflection and translation of dialogue for each and every print. I wanted to give each one a chance to shine and to define themselves, individually and together, to prompt discussion as to how one would tell a story and interlace with one another as they reach an endpoint. During the debate with myself, I had to weigh in some questions on how to encourage public engagement into the Malaspina Printmakers space. Some questions involved were:

1. What will draw in the public? What would the audience want to see that was not shown in previous exhibitions? 

2. Does it reflect Malaspina Printmakers; the artists' techniques and talents? How may I showcase those ideals?

3. Is there balance and enough engagement?

4. Is the theme identifiable? Was everything captured?

5. How does it all tie in together?

I enjoyed the process and it was exhilarating. I got to experience the process from start to finish; choosing the theme and prints, organizing the layout, getting approval for the go ahead, setting the exhibition and installing them for opening the very next day. This exhibition was one of my favourites, though I am possibly biased since I chose the prints and managed the exhibition myself. I encourage my Dreamers to go check it out and support the amazing talents of the artists at Malaspina Printmakers, interpret it to your own satisfaction and open your minds to new worlds and conversation! The show is currently open, what a way to welcome spring than another fresh new exhibition!

We are open Monday to Friday 10am to 5pm and Saturday, Sunday and Holidays 11am to 5pm!

That is all for today!

Until next time...

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