A septet emerges

At the end of its second year, Union Gallery’s Art Shift presents the diverse projects of seven emerging artists

Erik Satie’s “Vexations” gets a facelift in Michael Davidge’s piece for 7 Courses.
Image by: Asad Chishti
Erik Satie’s “Vexations” gets a facelift in Michael Davidge’s piece for 7 Courses.

Over the summer, Union Gallery will showcase the work of seven new artists. Union Gallery’s program Art Shift matches emerging artists with mentors who provide guidance on their craft, Artists also learn the more practical skills—like applying for funding.

The seven mentored artists will exhibit work in Union Gallery’s 7 Courses until Aug. 12.

“I really wanted to focus on fine tuning all aspects of my portfolio so that I could feel confident in sending it to galleries and applying for exhibition proposals,” Celia Piper told the Journal via email. “Above all, participating in Art Shift has really motivated me to keep on creating.”

Union Gallery created Art Shift two years ago. In order to be eligible for the program, participants must have completed post-secondary education or four to six months of accredited training.

“I’ve only just realized that the studio of my dreams I’ve been waiting for is an urban legend,” participant Melinda Richka told the Journal via email. “I can create work anywhere and everywhere, regardless of community or lack of community.

7 Courses presents each artist’s work over a two week period, allowing the diverse projects to be shown in their own space.

JoAnn Ralph’s selected work for the exhibit was done on paper that had been in storage for approximately 30 years.

“Occasionally I would look at this paper and hope to have the opportunity to use it,” Ralph told the Journal via email. “Some have said that it resembles what might appear under a microscope or else a cityscape seen from above. Others have said that my drawings bring to mind aspects of Chinese, Mayan or Aboriginal art.” The exhibit is incredibly multi-faceted with some artists choosing to branch out from the canvas.

Michael Davidge’s work, “The square root of Vexations to the power of three” is a new arrangement of Erik Satie’s 19th century piece “Vexations.” Davidge’s exhibit has framed sheet music on the walls, with more on the floor and the corresponding music playing on speakers. Davidge performed the music with a band on the opening night of his show at Union on May 18.

“I have been thinking about doing a version of “Vexations” for some time,” Davidge told the Journal via email. “I have often referred to my art work with musical terms such as “an improvisation on a theme” and this is perhaps my most literal realization of that phrase.”


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