Two powerful exhibitions featuring the work of clients from Start Me Up Niagara (SMUN) and Brock alumna Natalie Hunter, respectively, will open at Rodman Hall Art Centre Thursday, Jan. 31 at 7 p.m.
The first of two new Rodman Hall offerings, the Art Me Up Niagara group show is a play on the name of the organization that works with individuals facing significant life challenges, such as poverty, addiction, homelessness, mental illness and unemployment.
SMUN participants have created artwork in response to Rodman Hall’s current Northern Oracle installation, which aims to inspire people to share their message, whatever it might be, with the world and have their voice heard.
“In developing the public programs activating this installation, I was guided by inquiry into why this work might be important to the Niagara community, and homelessness immediately arose as a critical issue,” says Elizabeth Chitty, Interim Grants and Programming Officer at Rodman Hall. “We will all benefit from seeing and listening to the artistic voices of those with lived experiences of homelessness in St. Catharines.”
The second exhibition, Hunter’s “Staring into the Sun,” features photo-based sculptures and installations that explore the relationship between memory and physical space.
Hunter (BA ’11) uses vibrant colour filters and multiple photographic exposures in her creation process. The works are printed on translucent films that hang, ripple and drape to interact with architectural features of the exhibition space.
Each viewer’s experience of the pieces, which allude to enduring routines and the passage of time, shifts with subtle changes in light.
Hunter will give a public talk about her work on Thursday, March 28 at 7 p.m. at Rodman Hall.
In addition to the launch of the Art Me Up Niagara showcase, another event will be held this week related to the Northern Oracle exhibition. Rodman Hall is partnering with the American Sign Language Community of Niagara to present a public lecture by deaf Bahamian photographer and graphic designer Will Henfield at the art centre on Friday, Feb. 1 at 6:30 p.m.
A full list of community events related to the ongoing “Northern Oracle” exhibition by Heather Hart can be found on the Rodman Hall website.
The Art Me Up Niagara and Staring into the Sun exhibitions run until Feb. 10 and April 28, respectively.