October 21 – December 23, 2016
Helen Christou Gallery, University of Lethbridge
Artists: Maria Madacky with M.E.D.I.U.M.
Curated by Josephine Mills
This exhibition is a preface to a major series that the University of Lethbridge Art Gallery will present throughout 2017. Titled You Are Here: art, discussion, and complex social change the series will consist of exhibitions, workshops, performances, and presentations designed to invite a diversity of people in Southern Alberta to find new ways to think about the future of their environment. Trash Talkcame about as a direct response to recent events at the University and in Lethbridge. There has been active discussion amongst city residents and on campus about waste disposal and alternative options because the university recently implemented composting and expanded recycling while Lethbridge’s city council also recently voted to turn down curbside recycling. As is evident in these two opposing actions, the discussion about the environment can feel like rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic with the same points being raised over and over along with the never-ending argument with those who still deny this reality. Paralyzed by the details, one is left feeling unable to make much-needed change. This exhibition, and next year’s You Are Here series, aims to work with the specific property of visual art to spark the imagination in order to open up new perspectives on the discussion about our environment and support productive possibilities for the future.
In preparation for Trash Talk, local artist Maria Madacky sketched at recycling sites on campus and took photographs at the City of Lethbridge Waste and Recycling Centre as well as discussed issues related to waste reduction and processing with the University of Lethbridge’s Facilities and with City of Lethbridge staff. The paintings are oil and done on recycled materials. Wanting to invite other artists into the process, Madacky included M.E.D.I.U.M. (Metaphysical Explorations Divinations & Investigations Utilizing Magic), a performance group of which she is a part. Together they produced ‘exquisite corpse’ drawings that involved all 4 artists completing one work with the earlier portions covered so the artist only knew the title, but not what the others had drawn. As well, M.E.D.I.U.M. worked with White Night Media to produce the video screened on the end wall, Reduce, Reuse, Re:psychic.
Madacky and the Art Gallery hope to include more people in the discussion through a variety of events that will be held in November: Coffee’s On at the Gallery (November 2, Main Gallery, 9 – 10:30 am); Culture Vulture Saturdays (Main Gallery, November 19, 10 am – 5 pm); and the Drawing Bar (Main Gallery, Nov 24, 7 – 9 pm).
Maria Madacky gives a special thank you to:
the Alberta Foundation for the Arts, the University of Lethbridge Art Gallery, Judy Jaeger and the University of Lethbridge Services and Facilities, Casa Arts Centre, the University of Lethbridge Theatre Department, and White Night Media