Home Arts Concordia artist remembered

Concordia artist remembered

by Archives October 23, 2007

Katja MacLeod Kessin’s work deals with harrowing subject matter in a poetic and thoughtful manner. She was a painter, mixed media artist and Concordia teacher whose work is rich with symbolism and iconography.
Kessin was a German born and bred artist who emigrated to Montreal in 1981. She received a Bachelor’s degree in Studio Arts as well as a Master’s degree in Painting, and completed a PhD in Humanities in 2003.
Tragically Kessin passed away from illness in April 2006. The Katja MacLeod Kessin memorial retrospective is being held at Concordia’s FOFA gallery. The exhibition is co-curated by Kessin’s close friends and colleagues including David Elliott, Lynn Hughes, Loren Lerner and Sara Morley. The show will feature Kessin’s final painting installation series entitled 366 Days in which she created a painting each day for one year from 2003-04.
This installation is particularly interesting because Kessin created it when she learned of her illness. She explores her emotions about the illness using various symbols.
Some of Kessin’s other work is featured as well, including childhood drawings she recreated on a much larger scale that demonstrates the violence growing up in Germany through a child’s eye.
Kessin’s last piece before her death was wood burning entitled Burning from Hell (2005) is also presented; as well as, the painting installation Aryan Household which deals with racial stereotypes Kessin was confronted with as a child. A video is shown in the projection room of FOFA of her performing the piece in Germany, 1998 and in Montreal during Black History Month.
A selection of Kessin’s interviews and performance pieces will be screened & discussed at 7:30pm in lecture hall 1-605.
Proceeds of the sale of an exhibition catalog will go toward an undergraduate Fine Arts scholarship in Kessin’s name. While proceeds from the sale of paintings from Katja’s 2001 Earth Odyssey for sale on www.katjamacleodkessin.com will also go toward this fund.
The exhibition is featured at the FOFA Gallery (EV building) from Oct. 17 until Nov. 16. Vernissage: Oct. 25 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

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