Alison Norlet at work at Esplanade
At the invitation of the Esplanade Art Gallery, Saskatoon artist Alison Norlen will be drawing on site in the Medalta factory museum in the Historic Clay District, until the end of May.
Entitled Specter, the chalk and charcoal drawing on paper will be impressively large (3 metres by 6 metres/10 ft x 20 ft) and is destined for the Esplanade Art Gallery’s Permanent Collection of Art. This will be the second piece by Alison Norlen acquired by the Art Gallery after her solo exhibition here, Glimmer, in 2011. Director/Curator Joanne Marion comments “Alison Norlen’s work is internationally acclaimed and absolutely spectacular. It is a wonderful tribute to our city that she has decided to create a work here.”
Visitors to Medalta can see Alison Norlen at work on the drawing until the end of May. “The space is amazing and has been set up perfectly for me. It is very conducive to my process,” says Alison Norlen.
As the host site for the creation, Medalta has been an excellent partner. Darcy Howells, Facility Supervisor, built the structure necessary to accommodate the large piece and Jenna Stanton, Medalta’s Curator, coordinated the project on site at a very busy time of the year for all Medalta staff.
“For the month of May the creative community is buzzing at Medalta, and we are very excited to have Alison bringing her creative process and energy to the mix. We look forward to seeing the ongoing process in Alison’s work as she interprets the space of our old factory at Medalta; one of the original spaces that has been left as it was since the factory closed in 1954. It is a welcome opportunity to work with our cultural collaborators at the Esplanade to help facilitate this project,” says Medalta Curator, Jenna Stanton.
The finished drawing will be shown in the Esplanade Art Gallery from June 21-August 9, alongside two other Medalta-related exhibitions: Jody Greenman-Barber’s Mimesis and Sheridan Bullman and Barbara Mitchell’s ReHistory. The public reception for these exhibitions will be on July 11 at 7 PM as part of the Downtown Medicine Hat Art Walk Roving Art Reception.
For the duration of her time in Medicine Hat, Alison Norlen will be staying in the Ewart Duggan House as part of the “Residency Program for Arts and Heritage Professionals”. For more information on the residency, please visit http://www.esplanade.ca/ewart-duggan-house-residency/.
Alison Norlen Biography
Alison Norlen received her Bachelor of Fine Arts (Honours) degree from the University of Manitoba in 1987, and her Master of Fine Arts from Yale University in 1989. Her work has been exhibited in solo, two person and group exhibitions nationally and internationally. Selected solo exhibitions include Edifice, the Art Gallery of Kitchener-Waterloo, 2007, ala, Oboro, Montreal, 2004, Float, Mendel Art Gallery, Saskatoon, (traveling 2002-2004), Plug In, Winnipeg, 2002, and Stride Gallery, Calgary, 2002. Selected group exhibitions include Combine (World Loves Saskatchewan), York Quay Centre, Harbourfront Centre, Toronto, 2010, “Drawn Positions”, National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, 2008, Imagineacity: Architectures for Creativity, Owens Art Gallery, Sackville, NB, Ladder Factories and wheat fields, National Gallery of Canada, 2007, Intangible Evidence, The Rooms, St Johns, Newfoundland, 2006, Just my Imagination, Museum London, (travelling 2004-2006), Art Gallery of Windsor, MOCCA, Mendel Art Gallery, Art Gallery of Algoma, Wonderland, Museum London, 2006, Inklinations, York Quay, Toronto, 2003, In My Solitude, Manny Neubacher Gallery, Toronto, 2003, Occur/Blur, Winnipeg Art Gallery, Winnipeg, 2003, and Figment, Two Rivers Art Gallery, Prince George, 2002. International exhibitions include MosaiCanada; Sign& Sound, Seoul, Korea, 2003, Tekeningen III, Quartair Art Contemporary Art Initiatives Dutch/Canada, Den Haag, Holland 2002, and the LA International Biennial Invitational, 1997.
Her work is in private collections in the United States and Canada, and included in public collections of the National Gallery of Canada, The Mackenzie Art Gallery, the Confederation Centre for the Arts, the Rooms Gallery of Newfoundland and Labrador, the Winnipeg Art Gallery, the Mendel Art Gallery, the Manitoba Arts Council, the Canada Council Art Bank, and the Saskatchewan Arts Board. Alison has received grants from the Canada Council for the Arts, the Manitoba Arts Council, and the Saskatchewan Arts Board, and has been the recipient of an International Artist Residency in Trinidad by the Canada Council for the Arts.
Alison teaches at the University of Saskatchewan and lives and works in Saskatoon.
Report courtesy Esplanade Art Gallery