Circles & Wigs: Best Friends Forever
Kamloops Art Gallery
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- Ashleigh Bartlett
- Jessica Groome
CIRCLES & WIGS is a collaborative practice between Jessica Groome and Ashleigh Bartlett creating drawings, paintings and installations. Living in different cities, they have conducted intensive self-directed residencies in each other’s studios since 2015 to produce new work playing off each other’s practices. For this exhibition, the two artists worked from their respective cities for six months before coming together at the Kamloops Art Gallery for a two-week residency to complete the project in The Cube.
The exhibition uses Imi Knoebel’s series of paintings titled 24 fargen für Blinky (24 Colours for Blinky), as a departure point. Knoebel painted the series in 1977 as a tribute to his friend, artist Blinky Palermo, following Blinky’s death earlier that year. This was a turning point in Knoebel’s practice because of his embrace of painting and his selection of colours based on his feelings for his friend and the works he left behind. Groome and Bartlett will determine the other’s palette from a distance based on the idea of each other from memory. Using the selected palette, one artist creates circles while the other creates wigs consisting of shredded paintings. They will finish and install the work at the Kamloops Art Gallery in the final week leading up to the exhibition, and will continue with an open studio and an artist talk in the week following the opening. The title comes from an adolescent declaration of friendship that has come to have tongue-in-cheek connotations and a casualness in the abbreviated “BFF” shared through text messaging. CIRCLES & WIGS was concocted from text, Skype and email communication for the artists’ initial collaborative exhibition and continues in this manner since the artists still reside in different cities. They are poking fun at the term, but also embrace it as a link that identifies Groome and Bartlett as being something more than only being collaborators.
Location Information: Kamloops Art Gallery
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101 - 465 Victoria Street,
The Kamloops Art Gallery is a registered charity and not-for-profit society.
Incorporated in 1978, the Kamloops Art Gallery serves residents of and visitors to Kamloops (pop. 82,000) and the surrounding Thompson-Nicola Regional District (pop. 124,000) as well as national and international audiences.
In 1998, the KAG moved to a purpose-built civic building, designed by award-winning architects Peter Cardew and Nigel Baldwin, which also houses the Thompson-Nicola Regional District offices and the Kamloops branch of the TNRD Library System. The 20,853 square foot Gallery includes 4,500 square feet of exhibition space, an admissions/store area, two multipurpose studio/workshop/lecture rooms, a packing and acclimatization area, the collection storage vault with an adjoining workroom and, on a mezzanine above, administration and curatorial offices along with a research library. In 2006, the KAG was designated a Category “A” institution under the Cultural Property Export and Import Act.
The Gallery’s annual attendance has ranged between 24,000 and 37,000 over the last five years. It enjoys a national reputation for its touring exhibitions and publications and has developed relationships with national and international artists, curators, critics and scholars. The KAG is also well respected for its exhibitions, events and educational and public programs through activities organized and presented in the community and region involving both contemporary and historical art. Its collection as of December 2012 consists of 2,700 works that primarily reflect the Gallery’s exhibition history. In 2005, the KAG co-commissioned with the University of British Columbia’s Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery Canada’s participation in the 51st Venice Biennale with the work of Rebecca Belmore.
Governed by a Board of Trustees, the KAG maintains an effective organizational structure that includes a Management Team led by the executive director, a Program Team led by the curator and a Development Team led by the manager of operations. Teams meet monthly to report, evaluate, problem solve and plan.
The Kamloops Art Gallery brings art, artists and communities together.
The Kamloops Art Gallery is the principal gallery in the Southern Interior of British Columbia supporting contemporary and historical visual arts and practices on a local, national and international level. The KAG acknowledges art to be an essential part of the human experience in nurturing a healthy society. As a leading cultural institution, the KAG is an integral part of the fabric that draws intellectual, social and economic opportunities to our province and to our region.
The Kamloops Art Gallery fosters enjoyment of and interest in the visual arts by researching, developing and producing exhibitions, publications and programs that engage, challenge and inform its various audiences. The Gallery also oversees the development and preservation of a permanent collection that includes regional, national and international art in all media. It also strives to create rewarding opportunities for visual arts professionals and the public.
- Committed to art, artists and audiences
- Collaborative, respectful and ethical
- Tolerant, inclusive and diverse
- Relevant to local and regional communities
- Striving for excellence
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