A bizarre thing will happen in Lethbridge on June 27: a solitary asphalt parking stall (complete with a ticket booth and wooden barricade) will appear in the middle of Galt Gardens, a large historic park in the centre of the city that is home to the Southern Alberta Art Gallery. The asphalt will be surrounded by the sprawling lawns of the park, protected from wayward cars that might be tempted to jump the curb and use the space.
Multi-disciplinary artist Theo Sims is creating CarPark as part of Into the Streets: Avenues for Art. The artist has garnered a reputation for an art practice that sites sculptural projects in social contexts often outside of the gallery. Wielding a sharp sense of humor, his objects include a working simulation of an Irish pub — The Candahar — which almost effortlessly prompted occasions for debate and dialogue. The startling displacement of such common urban vernacular, the parking stall, asks us to reconsider our relationship to natural lands versus manufactured landscapes, disrupts our expectations of public art, and serves as a literal platform for planned and spontaneous events and interventions.
About the Artist
Theo Sims lives in Winnipeg, Manitoba and is a multi-disciplinary artist who creates site and context specific work. He received his B.F.A. from Brighton Polytechnic, England in 1992 and his M.A.(Fine Art) from the University Of Ulster, Belfast, N.Ireland in 1994. Sims previously served as Co-Managing Editor at BlackFlash Magazine (Saskatoon), Program Coordinator at Ace Art Inc. (Winnipeg), and Director at The Context Gallery in Derry (N.Ire). His most recent curatorial experiment, The Lewyc Institute of Contemporary Art (LICA) is a gallery specializing in context and site-specific works produced in (and sometimes on) Sims’s own home.