Coming up this week at Prairie Wind & Silver Sage in Val Marie, a festive reception for two art exhibitions. Please come and meet the artists on Thursday, June 22 from 7:30 to 9:00 pm and enjoy snacks and a cash bar and conversation. On show is Meditations on the Grasslands, an exhibition of salt print photography by John J. Penner of Saskatoon, and Apron Pocket Archives, mixed media collages by Val Marie’s own Madonna Hamel. Everyone is welcome
In the Cloakroom Gallery at PWSS, Saskatoon photographer John J. Penner presents Meditations on the Grasslands, an exhibition of salt-printed photographs that invite the viewer to enjoy a moment of contemplation and fill their eyes with the expansive spaces that are the great Canadian grasslands. “In a digital age, images are ubiquitous and consumed voraciously, then discarded without much thought,” says Penner. “Handcrafted images slow down this process and allow for a more contemplative approach.” The salt printing process was invented in the 1840s and was the first reproducible process to yield an image on paper which could be waxed to make it transparent enough to act as a negative. The photographs in this exhibition seem to take the viewer back in time to imagine the past when vast herds of buffalo roamed the North American central plains.
In the Museum Gallery, Madonna Hamel is showing Apron Pocket Archives, colourful mixed-media collages that are the result of two years of research, writing, collecting, corresponding, conversing and musing about the apron. “As a portal into the history of women, whose role and presence in society have, for the most part, served as supporting characters advancing the biographies and stories of the men in their lives, the apron contains gleanings of wider stories,” says Hamel. “Apron Pocket Archives is a creative attempt at exploring encounters between settlers and indigenous people, past and present, dreams and waking, animals and humans, by use of “traces”, “ghosts”, juxtapositions and introductions of characters who more than likely never had a chance to meet.”
Prairie Wind & Silver Sage is open seven days a week from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm until August 31, and then weekends until September 16. The exhibitions continue throughout this summer season.