Into the Streets: Art projects that explore the resilience of Lethbridge

Organization: Southern Alberta Art Gallery

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The Southern Alberta Art Gallery endeavors to support those artists that are pushing the boundaries of their discipline and it is frequently the case that those boundaries are the walls of the gallery itself.  Into the Streets: Avenues for Art is an exhibition program, now in its second iteration, that looks to art operating outside of conventional display, works that engage communities and challenge our perception of art and the roles of art institutions.  Exhibitions, demonstrations, performances, public art installations and other events will take place in venues ranging from city parks and public forums to abandoned lots and back alleys.

This year SAAG is pleased to be offering Into the Streets: Avenues for Art in collaboration with Musagetes, an international organization devoted to making art more central in our lives, and Cities for People, an initiative launched by the McConnell Foundation to explore the role of arts and culture in advancing urban resilience and livability.

The relationship between art and life has long preoccupied artists, and for many, that intersection is most pronounced when engaging in social practices within urban communities.  Among the projects taking shape for Into the Streets: Avenues for Art are: Matthew Walker’s Device for the Emancipation of Landscape, a massive sound cannon designed to emit compositions of field-recordings of the landscape directed at contextually charged urban sites; Theo Sims’ CarPark, an single parking stall, lined in industrial paint, complete with a ticket booth and wooden barricade, yet centrally located in the center of a city park; One Night Stand, a pop-up, one-night exhibition curated by Collin Zipp located at a private residence, yet open to the public; and, a community project bringing students together for a series of workshops with urban planners and architects to propose a new social space running parallel to one of the city’s major avenues.

These projects and many others will launch at varying times throughout the summer and fall.  Similarly, peripheral programming surrounding these artworks, from lectures and workshops to interviews and group activities, will serve as an integral component of the program prompting complex engagement and opportunities for reflection.

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