Upcoming at the Owens Art Gallery

Newly opened exhibits prompt viewer introspection about friendship and the outdoors.

With three new exhibits on display this season, the Owens has something for everyone. Secret Citadel is a stop motion film examining the effects of growing up and maturity in male friendship through the friendship of a bison and a cougar. Looking Out, featuring the work of several different artists, shows how different artists frame the outdoors differently in their works. Lastly, Handmade Assembly displays everything from jewelry to rugs, in its effort to showcase craftwork as another form of art.

Viewers witness Secret Citadel, one of the exhibits now in the Owens Art Gallery. The artist, Graeme Patterson, shows the animals as both wild and civilized, highlighting the struggle between humanity and brutality. Savannah Forsey/Argosy

Secret Citadel uses the unconventional medium of stop motion, with both puppets and real people portraying the main characters of the film. The artist Graeme Patterson reflects on themes of childhood loneliness, masculinity and growing up by showing the progression of one friendship from playing together in childhood to facing the world apart in maturity. All the music featured in the video is performed by the artist, with many pieces written by Patterson as well. On display alongside the film are four of the puppets used in its creation. The exhibit will be on display until Dec. 2.

The second exhibit, Looking Out, features the artwork of several artists, including Christopher Pratt, Gershon Iskowitz, Edward Burtynsky and Lawren P. Harris. This is not your average exhibit on the outdoors. A collection made up of different styles, the diversity of the pieces emphasizes how the artists use the outdoor environment in their works. Although not necessarily landscape paintings, each piece features an element of looking out to nature. Distinct interpretations of the outdoors feature everything from a dog caught with a bone to the spots of colour you see when flying high in the sky in an airplane, guaranteeing something for everyone’s taste. Looking Out is on display until Nov. 7.

The puppets in secret citadel, animated via stop motion to tell a heartfelt tale of friendship. Savannah Forsey/Argosy

A third exhibit, A Handmade Assembly presents pieces typically considered to be crafts and instead displays them as artwork. Leather works, teacups, stencils and willow wood sculptures are included in the exhibit, among other works. The repetitive and often time-consuming nature of many of these methods creates an appreciation for such work. A Handmade Assembly is on display until Dec. 2.

The Maker Maker workshop series started on Wednesday, Sept. 19, with the creation of DIY stickers. Keep an eye open for further workshops at the Owens this year.

As always, the Owens exhibits offer a unique perspective on the world outside its doors. Be sure to step in and take a moment to appreciate this season’s artwork.

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