Artistic stew of minds and visions

The Annual Fine Arts Faculty Exhibition held at the Leonard and Bina Ellen Art Gallery, is a unique and irresistible opportunity for curious students and faculty members to view, admire and freely scrutinize the works of 21 of Concordia’s fine arts painting and drawing area faculty members.
The show, which has been presented annually for close to 25 years, has always been well received and continues to uphold that standard this year under the gallery’s new director, Lynn Beavis.
What is most striking about the exhibition is its variety of pieces both in terms of subject matter and medium.
The dean of the fine arts faculty, Christopher Jackson noted that the show was particularly interesting as it showcased “a lot of new work from a cross-section of different generations from the faculty,” making for a different show from last year’s.
Indeed, from painted canvases and portraiture to digital video installations and digitally manipulated photos nearly all produced in the last two years, the exhibition offers a dynamic range of works whose striking differences only enhance each piece’s unique quality.
With the exhibition showcasing art conceived by 21 different minds with 21 different visions, the show offers something for everyone.
One work, among others, which attests to the richness of the exhibition is Earth Odyssey produced by Katja Kessin.
Kessin, who was born in Germany and returned there last winter for a four week workshop, conceived the series of nine 8 x10 paintings as a “visual diary” of her experiences during that time.
The bright, bold, simple canvases, arranged like a tic tac toe board, vividly capture and embody the artist’s thoughts and remain strikingly fresh, unpolished and personal.
Another memorable work is Adrian Norvid’s four-part collage entitled Devilry.
Composed in red, black and white, it jumps off the wall, stretching out 3 and half meters long. Through its seemingly random assemblage, the collage contemplates the ideas of organization, unity and construction. Norvid admits paradoxically when thinking about the work that “everybody seems like a misfit and it seems that anybody could belong,” which, is something that the entirety of the exhibition itself almost champions.
This idea is illustrated in his last collage of a panda with the words hell written underneath it- “an inclusiveness that stretches from panda to devil,” he reveals.
The Leonard and Bina Ellen Art Gallery is also hosting an organized event on Jan. 17th at 3 p.m. in conjunction with the exhibition which will allow both students, professors and the general public an opportunity to engage in an informative discussion of the works.
From Adrian Norvid’s Toque thoughtful collage to Katja Kessin’s striking series of visual diary paintings, the show leaves us with much to savor and discuss.

The Faculty Exhibition 2002 is free and runs until Feb. 9 at the Leonard and Bina Ellen Art Gallery located at 1400, boul de Maisonneuve Ouest, on the bottom floor of the J. W McConnell and Library building.
The gallery is open Monday to Friday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. For more information call 848-4750 or visit the gallery website:


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