Empowerment unabashed


Andréa Schmidt chose March to unveil her new exhibit at VASA because it timed nicely with International Women’s Day.

Her show, Uncovered and Unashamed, features a series of paintings with female nudes. She paints them for the challenge and to continue traditions of art history, but also because they serve to empower women.

“I specifically remember one of my art teachers in high school telling me that one of the hardest things to draw was the things that you were most familiar with. I took that as a challenge to see how I could realistically portray figurative art,” Schmidt said.

“I kept dealing with art and the figurative nude. A lot of these social issues kept coming up, especially within the last five years or so with body positivity, creating consent culture … it became more of a statement for women to feel empowered, expect respect no matter what you are wearing, how you look, what kind of a body you have, that sort of thing.”

One might think that men would have more interest in the work but she has found that it resonates more strongly with women.

“I think it’s more of a personal connection that they feel. I think a lot of people assume that it’s maybe sexual when it’s not. They just automatically assume that men will be more interested than women but it’s definitely way more women.”

Uncovered and Unashamed will have its opening reception tomorrow starting at 6 p.m. The artist will be in attendance. The show will run until Sat., March 31.

Call 780-460-5990 or visit www.vasa-art.com for more information.

Brad, meet grant

St. Albert intermedia artist Bradley Necyk is one of the recent recipients of the Edmonton Artists’ Trust Fund awards, which were handed out on Feb. 15 along with the Cultural Diversity in the Arts project grants.

The Edmonton Artists’ Trust Fund’s awards encourage rising artists to stay in our community. Since last year was Canada’s 150th anniversary and also the 20th anniversary of the trust fund awards, the Eldon and Anne Foote Fund made a special contribution to increase the fund to $150,000, which allowed the Edmonton Arts Council (EAC) to offer an award of $15,000 to ten recipients.

Necyk is a multidisciplinary artist and researcher who explores themes surrounding identity, psychology and pharmacology through manipulated digital imagery. He participated in the recent exhibit at dc3 Art Projects. Called FLUX, it was inspired by people with head and neck cancers. He will be using his grant to complete a major project at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto. Afterward, he will spend the following year travelling to sites of extreme weather events in order to document them for a new project called Speculative Psychiatry.

More information about the EAC and its grants and award programs can be found at grants.edmontonarts.ca.


About Author

Scott Hayes

Scott Hayes joined the St. Albert Gazette in 2008. Scott writes about the arts, entertainment, movies, culture, community groups, and charities. He also writes general news, features, columns and profiles on people.