November 4 – December 27, 2017
Reception: Saturday, November 4, 7:00pm
Cash bar and refreshments
FACES AND FACADES
work by Ethan Roth
The artist encourages costumes and cosplay at the opening reception.
Roth is based in Lethbridge, where he is a ceramic artist and pottery instructor. He is also an avid cosplayer and gamer, which was the stimulus for this exhibition. The pieces Roth makes are not just costumes of characters from pop culture, but also sculptural works of art that evince labour and material engagement. Popular culture has created new mythic narratives and given us new heroes that encode cultural values through media as diverse as television, comic books, games and movies. It is from this rich world that Roth draws his inspiration.
Cosplay is a portmanteau that combines the words costume and play. The phenomenon involves individuals donning unique outfits and role-playing as their favourite characters. Serious cosplayers fashion their elaborate costumes by hand and show off their work publicly when they congregate at any number of festivals and conventions. Modern cosplay has its origins in America, where attendees at the first World Science Fiction Convention in 1939 came disguised as their favourite characters. In the 80s and 90s, this tradition began to be adopted by Japanese animation and comic aficionados, who not only named the phenomenon, but amplified what had merely been an elaborate costume party by transforming it into an expansive subculture. In the last 20 years, it has grown into an explosive and pervasive global phenomenon.
Roth will be displaying his elaborate sculptural costumes, which are heavily process oriented. Starting with computer modelling, and moving on to cutting & folding paper, his creative journey ends with layers of hardening resin and paint.
Faces and Facades reflects the culture of cosplay and the process of creating and building characters. I have been actively participating in this art form for 3 years, creating costumes inspired by game and anime characters, attending conventions to wear and interact in costume.
Although, I have used various methods and materials to create costumes, including fabric, foam and plastic forming, the method showcased in this exhibit is created using 3D modelling in a program called Pepikura. This program is used to convert 3D models into cuttable surfaces, creating paper patterns that are glued and then fitted together in a final custom fitted costume. The rest of the process involves resins to harden and strengthen the material. Paint and other materials are then used to customize and finish the costume. The transformation from a delicate to a resilient form parallels the transformation into a character – using a mask to conceal and reveal a character at the same time is part of the appeal of cosplay. The paper reveals itself as armour, and the cosplayer reveals their true self.
Cosplay is an art form for me that combines my experiences in engineering, education, ceramics creation, ceramics instruction, and my passion for gaming and design. Form, function and fantasy come into play equally. Cosplay allows me to express my interests and have fun in an inclusive community of like-minded people and inspires me to continue to explore the art form.
– Ethan Roth
Ethan Roth was born and raised in Lethbridge and completed the Engineering program at Lethbridge College in 2015. Ethan volunteered and trained at the Bowman Arts Centre through high school. He has been teaching and working at Casa as a pottery instructor and facility attendant since it’s opening in 2013. Cosplaying as various characters for the past 4 years, Ethan has been attending and participating at conventions such as SakuraCon, Animethon and various Comic Expos across the province.
NORTHWEST / SOUTHWEST
work by Peter Greendale and Edward Bader
NORTHWEST / SOUTHWEST is a two-person show of the work of Cochrane based artist, Peter Greendale and Peace Country resident Edward Bader. Both artists use a collage technique in their works to respond to their locales. Peter Greendale’s photographs the various towns and cities of Southwestern Alberta while Edward Bader’s collage works are based on photographs taken at the North Country Fair, May 2010. Viewed in tandem, the work by these two artists provides a unique take upon the similarities and differences between the prairies of Northwestern and Southwestern Alberta.
My contribution to the NORTHWEST / SOUTHWEST is a series of what I’ve come to term ‘Photographic Collages.’ However, they are not the result of a ‘cut and paste’ exercise, in which parts of pre-existing photographs are cut out and reformed into a new image, but are ‘made’ in the camera using the rectangle supplied by the camera as the structural framework of a composition. In this way, I see them as collages, where an artist takes images or objects away from their usual context and arranges them as visual elements towards creating new imagery. All of these images were the result of serendipitous strolls through the streets and alleyways of the towns and cities of southern Alberta. I don’t venture out seeking to document a specific subject or place but seek out interesting compositions from my view. The actual subject matter is unimportant to me and only has value as visual elements of an over-all composition.
– Peter Greendale
I have executed a series of collages based on my photographs of the North Country Fair. The Fair is a recreation on a smaller scale San Francisco’s, “The Summer of Love,” with its wandering jugglers, clowns and numerous kiosks and festive tents selling alternative health remedies, workshops, massages, international crafts, souvenirs and CDs from the local to international groups that perform. I have appropriated the high key colors, flat florid graphics of California’s sixties art and counter culture i.e. the posters of Peter Max and the art style of the Beatle’s animated classic, “The Yellow Submarine.” The goal of this body of work is to celebrate the vibrant energy and values of Northwestern Alberta’s own counter-culture. – Edward Bader
Throughout Casa, we are presenting four new exhibitions in our auxiliary exhibition spaces.
In the Concourse Showcases, NOT TO BE TOYED WITH by Linda Hajash, uses the theme of children’s dolls to look at the way gender roles are encoded.
In the Passage Gallery, SMALL WORLDS by Len Komanac displays photo-based work using miniatures and forced perspective to create magical and unexpected tableaus.
In the Concourse Gallery, the NATURE OF TRANSITION by Lethbridge artist Criss Wiebe, who paints expressive canvases.
In the Atrium, a display of cross stitches by Bekk Wells entitled IMPERIAL DECREES based on text found on banners and signs from the Imperial Oil Strathcona refinery in Edmonton, where the artist worked during a maintenance shutdown in 2012.
January 13 – February 17, 2017
ACCUMULATION OF MEMORIES
Ryan Smitham & Yasunari Izaki
CHASING THE DEVIL’S ROPE
MY GIFT COMING BACK FROM THE EDGE
Valerie Ferguson & John Chief Calf
Ink Painting and Calligraphy by Dr. Junichi Saga
Paintings by Craig Talbot
The programming at The Gallery at Casa is made possible with the generous support of the Alberta Foundation for the Arts.