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Art Gallery to launch experimental exhibit

A secondary gallery exhibit displays 130 colourful mandala weavings
1708 Art Gallery 1 sup CC
Edmonton-based weaver Teresa Stieben displays her mandalas and masks at the Art Gallery of St. Albert until Saturday, Nov. 5, 2022. SUPPLIED/Photo

For the first time in Canada, The International Society of Experimental Artists (ISEA), a global organization with about 500 members, has partnered with the Art Gallery of St. Albert to present a contemporary public art exhibit. 

The new exhibition, which aims to explore experimental art, kicks off Thursday, Aug.18 at the Art Gallery of St. Albert.  

The concept behind the 31st annual Innovations 2022 is sharing cutting-edge ideas and techniques. It encourages artists to attempt new techniques using diverse media, discover fresh compositional approaches, and find new concepts to create. Radical yet refreshing, it allows local artists to connect and collaborate with artists from around the world.  

The exhibition will feature about 80 pieces of two-dimensional and three-dimensional art in all forms of media, including art installations, digital photography, film, and video. 

“Some of the art is sculptural. Some is very delicate. There’s one piece of crushed gems and concrete that looks like a geode turned inside out,” said gallery curator Emily Baker. 

ISEA and the gallery are also set to host the Pushing Boundaries Symposium from Sept. 1 to 5 through a series of visual art demos, workshops, lectures, and tours. Registrations are still being accepted. The exhibition of exploratory art ends Saturday, Oct. 1. 

The Art Gallery of St. Albert’s secondary exhibition is mandala weaver Teresa Stieben’s Hidden Secrets. It runs until Saturday, Nov. 5. 

“Teresa works in Edmonton and created a whole exhibition as part of a human journey. She suffered from whiplash and was limited in what she could do. She couldn’t read. She couldn’t paint,” Baker said. 

“By weaving and threading yarn and feeling that tactile sensation, she found it calming for her mind. She credits it for healing the mind and calming herself.” 

The mandala exhibit, displayed on the wall by the stairs leading to the second-floor gallery, showcases 130 mandalas. The smallest bracelet is about seven centimetres wide. The largest weaving is 50 centimetres in diameter. Stieben’s fibre art also includes four large figurative masks. 

“This exhibit celebrates women’s stories. While Teresa was weaving the mandalas, she was thinking of how women through the ages created blankets, lace things, and clothes. Through their work, these weavers would bring together people in the community, not only on a personal connection, but throughout time. This exhibit is very multi-layered.” 

The Art Gallery of St. Albert, located at 19 Perron St., is open Tuesday to Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Thursday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Admission is free.

Anna Borowiecki

About the Author: Anna Borowiecki

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