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A Visit to the Art Gallery of Alberta

I love visiting art galleries. It is one of my favorite things to do. Typically, I either leave inspired or disappointed, sometimes neutral. I use the word ‘inspired’ when I’ve seen some truly interesting work that revs me up to get into my own studio, regardless of whether the artwork I saw was paintings, sculpture, photography or instillation art, – or – ‘disappointed’ because I failed to connect with the curator’s vision or the work simply didn’t speak to me.

Claude Tousignant, "Gong" 1966, acrylic on canvas, The Double Bind: Conversations Between Modernism and Postmodernism

Claude Tousignant, “Gong” 1966, acrylic on canvas, The Double Bind: Conversations Between Modernism and Postmodernism

 

Art is so personal. It’s okay to love it – just like it’s okay to hate it. Different art forms/artists/concepts/etc. speak to different people, each in their own unique way.

My recent visit to the Art Gallery of Alberta was a mix. The Jack Bush exhibit was fascinating and I learned so much. I’m eager to find a biography of Bush’s life. If anyone has read a good one, please let me know! The Modern/Postmodern show was a bit confusing. The description to differentiate the successive artistic periods was excellent, but I was hoping the visuals exhibited would bring the words to life. Unfortunately, the gallery room was a bit sparse.

 

Jack Bush

May 30 – August 23, 2015

The Double Bind: Conversations Between Modernism and Postmodernism

May 2 – September 13, 2015

 

If you make it out to any of the Art Gallery of Alberta shows, let me know what you think!

Have you seen any interesting exhibits lately?

 

Here are some photos from the visit:

Jack Bush exhibit at the Art Gallery of Alberta

Jack Bush exhibit at the Art Gallery of Alberta

The Double Bind: Conversations Between Modernism and Postmodernism

The Double Bind: Conversations Between Modernism and Postmodernism

Sculpture by Barbara Hepworth, The Double Bind: Conversations Between Modernism and Post Modernism, Art Gallery of Alberta

Sculpture by Barbara Hepworth, The Double Bind: Conversations Between Modernism and Post Modernism, Art Gallery of Alberta

Brian Jungen, "Companion" 2013, steel, deer hide, Audi fenders, freezer

Brian Jungen, “Companion” 2013, steel, deer hide, Audi fenders, freezer

Inspiring Quotes for Artists

Here are eleven quotes by great minds on the topic of creativity. These words encourage me and I hope they do the same for you. Below you will find the list, but over the next few months I will take each one of these quotes and write a little reflection on life as an artist inspired by the quote. I’m looking forward to it already! For now, just soak up the words:

quotation-marks

“If you hear a voice within you say, ‘You cannot paint,’ then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced” – Vincent Van Gogh

 

“Have no fear of perfection, you’ll never reach it” – Salvador Dali

 

“Curiosity about life in all of its aspects, I think, is still the secret of great creative people” – Leo Burnett

 

“You can’t wait for inspiration, you have to go after it with a club” – Jack London

 

“Imagination is the beginning of creation. You imagine what you desire, you will what you imagine, and at last, you create what you will” – George Bernard Shaw

 

“Think left and think right and think low and think high. Oh, the thinks you can think up if only you try” – Dr. Seuss

 

“Creativity is more than just being different. Anybody can plan weird; that’s easy. What’s hard is to be as simple as Bach. Making the simple, awesomely simple, that’s creativity” – Charles Mingus

 

“Creativity comes from a conflict of ideas” – Donatella Versace

 

“Don’t think. Thinking is the enemy of creativity. It’s self-conscious, and anything self-conscious is lousy. You can’t try to do things. You simply must do things” – Ray Bradbury

 

“Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, the just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while” – Steve Jobs

 

“You see things; and you say, ‘Why?’ But I dream things that never were; and I say, ‘Why not’?” – George Bernard Shaw

 

 

Merry Christmas Creative Ones!

Christmas reminds me of the magic of my childhood back when I believed in impossible dreams. As a kid my imagination was wild and uninhibited. Now, as 30+ year-old, I do my best to capture those qualities in my life and artistic practice because I know the amazing power they hold for the creative spirit.

This Christmas, I wish you the unlimited belief that your BIG dreams will come true and all the potential of your imagination to make them happen.

Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays!

 

To learn more about Alexis Marie Chute, read her BIO and check out her artwork:

The Quiet Rebuild – Portraits

The Quiet Rebuild – Sculptures

Unfulfilled Precognition

The Beginning of All Things

Paintings 2013-2014

Mixed Media 2006-2007

A New Kind of Beauty

Read Alexis Marie Chute’s Artist Statement and her CV

 

Healing by the Creative Arts

Through making my art, I discovered art therapy in a natural, organic way. No one told me to try it to help me heal. I wasn’t recommended a set of exercises to do in order to find myself. I just sat down in my studio with a pile of small woodcuts and got started without any direction or even conscious intent. The first wood sculpture I made I named The Quiet Rebuild and it was the beginning of that larger body of work.

Since then I have looked into the theory of art therapy and find it very stimulating and thoughtful for me in my professional art practice. In one of the semesters of my MFA I took an art therapy class as an interdisciplinary option and found it deepened my perspectives on art and healing. It gave me a new dimension in making, reflecting on and contextualizing my work. Since then the wood sculptures in The Quiet Rebuild grew to incorporate portraits of real people sharing their stories of resilience.

Now I am honoured to teach about the restorative potential of creativity. I offer two workshops: 

Healing through Visual Art

Healing through the Written Word

This summer and fall I will be presenting these workshops in Chicago Illinois, Amsterdam in the Netherlands, Sherwood Park Alberta and San Antonio Texas. If you are interested in having one or both of these presentations at your conference, event or association, please email me at [email protected]

I strongly believe that art must say something that matters. Within my work, I wrestle with the ideas of loss, struggle and survival. You can read more about my approach in my Artist Statement.

Fashion Art Fusion, Artist Portraits

I had fun posing for the camera with my artwork, called “The Quiet Rebuild,” in my studio. This work will be exhibited at Harcourt House Gallery in just a few days.

The Quiet Rebuild run October 24 to November 29, 2013

Opening Reception: Thursday, October 24, 2013

7:30pm –  I will be giving an artist talk about my work

8:00-10:00pm – Reception, snacks and mingling

Harcourt House Gallery: 3rd floor, 10215-112 Street, Edmonton, Alberta

http://harcourthouse.ab.ca/

Photograph copyright Alexis Marie Chute

Photograph copyright Alexis Marie Chute

Photograph copyright Alexis Marie Chute

Photograph copyright Alexis Marie Chute

Photograph copyright Alexis Marie Chute

Photograph copyright Alexis Marie Chute

Fall Harcourt House Artist in Residence Update

The Quiet Rebuild

“The Quiet Rebuild” – my art show at the culmination of my year as Artist in Residence at Harcourt House Gallery and Artist Run Centre – officially opens in exactly one week! I can hardly believe it! The year has gone by so quickly and I have cherished every precious moment of it.

 

Photo copyright Alexis Marie Chute

Photo copyright Alexis Marie Chute

My studio has undergone massive transformations as well. I started my residency with two loveseats and now there are none as I needed every square foot. If you come and visit my studio you’ll have to sit on a painting chair… but still come! When my residency began the walls were bare yet now it seems like every inch of space has been transformed. In November 2012 I set out with delicate, two foot tall wood sculptures and now have large, nearly 5 foot high, sculptures that weigh a ton. During the year I have also painted and worked with wood burning.

 

Photo copyright Alexis Marie Chute

Photo copyright Alexis Marie Chute

So what exactly is “The Quiet Rebuild” all about, you ask?

After my son died I discovered that art was a helpful tool to work through my grief and find healing. I also learned that people struggle in similar ways after all kinds of hardships and that one of the best traits of humanity is resiliency. My artwork in “The Quiet Rebuild” is an abstracted picture of my grief and journey to find healing. I also found inspiration in others who shared their stories with me from all kinds of struggle; these brave individuals have given me permission to share their stories with my viewers. The rebuilding process is quiet, unglamorous, but needed and soulful. I hope my work in “The Quiet Rebuild” will be a visual enjoyment and encouragement to many people.

Photo copyright Alexis Marie Chute

Photo copyright Alexis Marie Chute

When/Where/Why/How/Who

First of all, everyone is welcome!

Opening Reception: Thursday, October 24, 2013

7:30pm –  I will be giving an artist talk about my work

8:00-10:00pm – Reception, snacks and mingling

Harcourt House Gallery: 3rd floor, 10215-112 Street, Edmonton, Alberta

http://harcourthouse.ab.ca/

WHY: Because “The Quiet Rebuild” is quirky and beautiful; the artwork playful while deeply moving and thought-provoking.

Want an Invite to The Quiet Rebuild?

Do you want a personal invite to my solo exhibition entitled The Quiet Rebuild at Harcourt House Gallery and Artist Run Centre? I’d love to have you there! Please email me your address and wait by the mailbox! The countdown is on. Only two months till The Quiet Rebuild opens.

Art lovers, mark your calendars. Opening reception: October 24th. The exhibition runs until November 24, 2013.

Summer Artist in Residence Update

Summer? What summer? Oh, do you mean the heat wave that is passing through my art studio in the Harcourt House Annex? Ah, that summer. Yes, it’s true. I’ve been spending countless hours at work, despite the nice weather, as my solo exhibition in Harcourt’s main space is quickly approaching. It’s just over two months away. TWO months! I can hardly believe it.

It seems like only yesterday that I walked into the white walled space and set down roots in the gallery community. Now, I am completely out of wall space.  I feel like my work has taken on a life of its own and has grown in depth and breadth. It’s a good time.

Alexis Marie Chute Artist in Residence Harcourt House Edmonton-0006 blog

I am finishing sculptures, paintings, mixed media 2D work, no wait 3D work… it can’t decide what it is! I am presently embarking on a photographic component to my work as well, incorporating images of our local Edmonton construction that we all love so much. Plus photographs of people will also begin in just two days! (A huge thank you to all my lovely volunteers who have opened up about their struggles and what it has taken for them to rebuild their life.)

Alexis Marie Chute Art Studio Harcourt House Gallery Blog 001

All the artwork speaks to this one large message: the human heart can endure much and rebuild itself after hardship. Side note, the rebuild process is never easy and always creates something altogether new. I call my work, “The Quiet Rebuild.”

Mark your calendars for “The Quiet Rebuild”!

Thursday, October 24, 2013 – Opening Reception & artist talk

Visit the exhibition in the Harcourt House gallery from October 24 to Novemeber 24, 2013.

Alexis Marie Chute Art Studio Harcourt House Gallery Blog 002 Alexis Marie Chute Art Studio Harcourt House Gallery Blog 005

Open Art Studio, Open Heart

It’s time for the Artist in Residence meet and greet at Harcourt House!

This Thursday night I will be opening my art studio in the Harcourt Annex for visitors. I will also be giving a poetry reading and doing a demo of my woodworking techniques. This coincides with Harcourt’s annual member’s exhibition; this year the theme is Kinetic. It’s going to be a great night! Also in store: a complementary BBQ on the grass in front of the gallery (YUM!) and a free life drawing workshop.

I truly love what I am working on in my studio at Harcourt House. My art is full of color and shape. Come Thursday, June 20th and see for yourself.

I truly love what I am working on in my studio at Harcourt House. My art is full of color and shape. Come Thursday, June 20th and see for yourself.

The body of art I am creating during my residency is called “The Quiet Rebuild” and is a visual picture of healing and rebuilding one’s life after hardship.

For me, the hardship was losing my second child to a cardiac tumor in 2010. Since then I have been slowly (sometimes extremely slowly) and quietly rebuilding my life. I have found that art became and remains an important tool and expression of my grief and search for hope. Everyone will find meaning in this artwork.

I am working with a lot of wood, both natural and manufactured in “The Quiet Rebuild.” Other materials I am using include yarn, Jenga blocks, paper, and acrylic paint. Oh and photography as well. I feel such an amazing connection with my art and am looking forward to sharing it with our local community within my studio, where all the magic happens!

The poem I will be reading speaks to the time I lost my son, whom we named Zachary. I am currently working on branding (burning) the poem onto wood panels. I will share more about the meaning of the poem and my wood burning technique at the demo.

Click here for specific  info about the Kinetic exhibition and Artist in Residence meet and greet. Hope to see you there!!

This is a fish-eye photo of my poem I am branding onto wood panels. Come to the Artist in Residence meet and greet to hear a reading of the poem and see my wood burning techniques first hand.

This is a fish-eye photo of my poem I am branding onto wood panels. Come to the Artist in Residence meet and greet to hear a reading of the poem and see my wood burning techniques first hand.

New Work, Residency and the Groove

As February stretches onwards, I marvel that I am over a quarter of the way into my residency at Harcourt House Gallery and Artist Run Centre. To say time flies is an understatement; time tornados by! Yet, I make sure to slow myself to appreciate every precious moment of it.

I wanted to share some of my new work that has been my labor of love since November 2012. Really, I have too much to share here and will soon create a new category on my website in the portfolio section. Stay tuned.

 

Copyright Alexis Marie Chute

Copyright Alexis Marie Chute

I have been working with wood, both sculpturally and on flat surfaces. Currently I am holding my breath waiting on a big order of cut wooden pieces to arrive – then I will be feverishly creating even more unique “city-like” designs (so I’ve been told they resemble by visitors to my studio). The long wait would be negated if anyone reading this is skilled with a _________ (insert word here that names a wood cutting tool with the precision to cut very small squares) – if you or someone you know is able to give me a hand, please get in touch!

 

At first I wasn’t quite sure how my paintings relate to my wood creations but when the Harcourt House Executive Director, Derek Brooks, popped in one day and explained to me the correlation – I finally got it. It’s true, apparently, that artists can be too close to their own work to notice connections sometimes.

 

Wood sculpture 01 art copyright Alexis Marie Chute

I am in the groove working in my studio. It’s a romance with my materials and I am constantly exploring new ways of creating with them – truly a fun time.