April art is awesome!

By Olivia Komorowski

Nothing feels more delicious than a little procrastination before an exam. Get your school not on by finding lots of artistic venues to visit and help your brain unwind with activities that don’t necessarily include drinking. And when you are all done exams, going to art galleries is a promising way to find inspiration for your own creative outlets during the warm months ahead.

Truck Gallery is featuring The Neon God We Made by Keith Murray until May 9.

Make some time to visit the Carpenter’s Union Hall in Kensington Sat., April 18, because they will be hosting this month’s Calgary Market Collective. It’s a gathering of over 50 painters, sculptors, photographers, musicians, jewelry makers and clothing vendors offering their best wares. Admission is one dollar and the Rotisserie, one of Calgary’s best coffee shops, will be providing free coffee all afternoon. This is an opportunity for audiences to get a taste for Calgary’s diverse art scene. The fun runs from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m.

David R. Harper has a new show, The Last to Win, at Stride Gallery. His works are meant to break stereotypes, mirroring his appearance; the young man is handsome, buff and has some piercings and tattoos, yet it’s not uncommon for him to spend 15 hours a day knitting and embroidering. His current installation at stride combines taxidermy and embroidery in a very original fashion. Harper explained that he was inspired by the famous horses of great leaders and celebrities, like those belonging to Napoleon Bonaparte and Roy Rogers.

“Horses only really get mounted if they’re of great fame,” he says. “In the afterlife they’re forced into living in their fame and glory.”

And so, to explore this idea, the artist made his own horse, a very time and energy-consuming process.

“You become part of the piece because you invest so much of yourself into it,” he explains, “It makes your fingers bleed”.

Taxidermy has appealed to Harper since childhood because of the dichotomy it embodies.

“[The animal is] half man made and half nature made.”

The show closes May 9.

Also closing May 9 is Kristin Ivey’s work, The Phallus Series at the New Gallery. Ivey considers proms from the last 30 years as coming-of-age rituals, contrasting with today’s values where gender roles have generally been abandoned. She constructs penis-shaped soft sculptures from thrift store prom dresses, exploring nostalgia, the anonymous identity and experience of each dresses previous owner.

Ivey believes that soft objects, such as teddy bears, define our childhood and that our desire for them in adulthood invokes a mix of feelings within us.

“It is my hope that the phallus sculptures will provoke attraction, repulsion and humor in the viewer,” she says.

 At the Udell Contemporary Gallery is a Joe Fafard retrospective, highlighting both the variety of his work and mediums and its progress over the years. Fafard is a Canadian icon, best known for his humorous small sculptors of politicians, artists and friends and his large-scale bronze cows. He graduated with an MFA in 1968 and has been investigating the requirement for communal life within oppositions in our national identity, such as urban and rural, French- and English-Canadian ever since. Check it out until the end of May.

The Nickle Arts Museum mounts Line, Colour and Muscle: The first Exhibition Lithographs of John Snow and Maxwell Bates until May. Lithographs are a special process of creating prints using a flat smooth stone, which allows the artist to reproduce his/her work while making each piece unique.

Snow and Bates were pioneers of lithography five decades ago, making it an important art form in Western Canada. The exhibit explores some of their first works that, at the time, were sometimes considered bold and disturbing.

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