Curare showcases a variety of artists from Edmonton and parts beyond
It’s surreal to see something so familiar represented in lush watercolours and oils. Being a commuter in the city, you’re bound to pass the same alleys, and the same houses, and that same river every day, to the point where they’re taken for granted. If not for artists and the people who care enough to showcase their work, living in this city might get dull.
This year, the Front Gallery’s Fall Gallery Walk is an exhibition featuring both local and international artists. Curare, as it’s called, is both an opportunity to showcase a wide array of artistic talent and a chance to discuss the nature of collecting.
“It’s a Latin word and it means ‘to care for,’ and curating is derived from this word,” says Front Gallery owner and artist Rachel Bouchard. “But I used it for the title of this show because simply put, that’s what I do. I just care for the work when an artist brings in their work. They’re trusting me that I’ll represent them in a way that preserves the integrity of their idea and the value of the time they’ve invested in their work.”
All of the work on display is available for purchase, and with the Front Gallery moving across the street in November, Curare is one of the last times the public will get to see the old location operating.
The exhibition features work from well-established painters like Tony Scherman and Antoni Tàpies, and sculptors like Blake Ward. Among the Edmonton talent represented at Curare are artists like Tom Gale and Kari Duke.
“This is a woman who has dedicated her life to her art,” says Bouchard. “She documents the areas south of the university, [the] McKernan-Belgravia area. It’s in a way documenting that area because of all the homes that are being knocked down and there’s a lot of infill there. She’s working from a lot of resource photos. People come in and see her work and they immediately connect with it, because it stirs that association in them. It’s home.”
While a healthy amount of preparation goes into exhibitions like the Fall Gallery Walk, the question of what audience will most enjoy is always a bit of mystery. Bouchard says it’s difficult to tell people what they can expect to come away with.
“That’s where my job ends,” says Bouchard. “When they come in, I want it to be pleasing to them and I want it to feel cohesive, and I want them to feel like they want to stay. I want them to think about it when they leave. I want them to think about a certain painting because I gave it enough place that it can stand on its own. But I want them to go out more than once and really think about the pieces and maybe want to learn more about the artist.”
Curare is on the surface, a nice afternoon spent looking at art. But, a little time spent perusing the space yields a better understanding of how much dedication goes into exhibitions like it. It’s a good reminder of all the care that goes into crafting art, and of all the care that goes into showcasing it too.
“In my gallery, I’ve always felt that artists held all the power because of their commitment to that passion and that being an artist their entire lives,” says Bouchard. “There would be no gallery, and more importantly, there would be no context for our local history without art. That’s what Curare means to me. It’s caring on several levels.”
Sun., Sept. 23 – Sun., Oct 15