Artist Cory Nespor joins multiple other local artists in Udell Xhibitions’ Spring Group Show
After being taken over nearly a year ago by Andrew Udell—well-known Edmonton art collector and curator Douglas Udell’s son—Udell Xhibitions has kept a healthy pace for their first year. With a menagerie of seasonal group shows held throughout the year, the 124 Street gallery is staying true to their dedication to a diverse collection of rising talents in the local industry and breaking down barriers of art as inaccessible.
Calgary-based artist Cory Nespor is one of the gallery’s featured artists with his work regularly sprinkled into each of the gallery’s group shows. His Face Value and Archetype series were both shown at the gallery’s opening solo exhibition last June, and the beginning works of his newest series will show in the Spring Group Show, the sixth of the gallery’s first year.
Nespor’s art is unique in the way it incorporates words and text.
“You can read the same quote a hundred different times, and a hundred different times it’s going to mean something different to you,” Nespor says.
What began as a journal to document a summer adventure became the impetus that led Nespor into his artistic career. Running into the phrase: “somewhere deep inside is the ticket to the ride of your life” written in his book inspired him to create 11 full-scale pieces in a mere three months while in New Zealand. Not long after, on his 30th birthday, Nespor had his first solo show and sold every painting in a week.
“It was just life telling me that this is what I needed to do,” he says. “Since then, it’s just about sharing these ideas that we all hold dear. And as messy as this world is, I think we’re all trying to be pretty good.”
Eighteen years later, Nespor now holds 18 books filled with insight, humour, and words from people he’s met from around the world.
“It’s a really weird experience where you just go up to a complete stranger and ask them to share something in your notebook,” he says. “It’s always tough to begin a brand new book because it’s empty and people think like ‘This is insane; you’re hitting on me or you want money.’ But when they can see that so many other people have shared, people get a little more comfortable with it.”
He’s definitely gotten every type of reaction, including being told to fuck off, contrasted by those that light up, excited to share their words. In his books, certain themes will sometimes emerge, including the most prevalent quote in his books: “Not all those who wander are lost.”
For his newest series, Nespor was inspired by the toys we grow up with, which often become iconic generational symbols of childhood and all its represents to us. He also plans to incorporate the words: “the days of our youth are the days of our glory,” taken from the book, mentioning toys like roller skates, Lego, and Rubik’s Cube.
In the past year, Nespor has become proof for the gallery that the support and space they offer to artists can be the springboard a talented artist needs to make it in the art industry.
The Spring Show will also feature works by Hua Jin, Jori Warren, and Grady Wallace alongside select works by Jack Bush, Alex Colville, Dorothy Knowles, Robert Scott, William Perehudoff, Wilf Perreault, David Thauberger, Andrew Valko, and Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas.
Until Sat., Apr. 21
Spring Exhibition Group Show
Opening Sat., Apr. 7 (2 – 4 pm)