Friday, 13 February 2015

Urban Infill and 3 New DEFSUP Shows: 2015

    The Definitely Superior Art Gallery is back in full swing on a number of fronts, encompassing dynamic art shows in their three gallery spaces, infusing businesses and unoccupied spaces of the North core of the city by incorporating art into eighteen venues and by offering musical and video performances in different locales.
     The gala opening for all of this is tomorrow night, 7pm at the gallery, located at 250 Park Avenue, just up from the Casino.
     Ongoing since January and ending April 25th is Urban Infill-Art In The Core 9 with the lofty goal to revitalize downtrodden downtown. Port Arthur is already a hotspot for foodies with several new restaurants and the imminent opening of an espresso bar where Atkinson’s Jewelers was once located.
     Variety is key to Urban Infill with the idea to turn the Waterfront District, for a short while, into an arts and entertainment district. The event combines commercial venues with self-expression, which may not encourage sales directly, but allows individual artists to make statements publicly allowing them to reach an audience they might not ordinarily access. More so, Urban Infill temporarily decorates empty spaces and commercial venues, suggesting future alternatives and possibilities. A key factor is the element of surprise, pushing aside the mundane momentarily and giving you something to talk about. Also Urban Infill might present to businesses and local politicians the potential value of incorporating art into a business district.
     In Gallery One at DEFSUP is a painting and film instillation by Toronto based Cary Waito called Microgeographica. The show is comprised of paintings of minerals you might find in a rock shop, but painted lovingly to capture the light, texture and elemental nature of the stones and crystals. Without a setting the objects float freely as if created for a geology catalogue. If it weren’t for the wonderful handling of the paint and colours the realism would leave you a little cold.
     In Gallery Two, Polish Canadian artist Dagmara Genda is very accomplished at drawing and collage, creating dynamic apocalyptic and explosive scenes incorporating animals, architecture, and other objects. Her show is called Panorama/Corrupted Animals. As the title suggests, she is like a mad scientist, but on paper, where she rips apart things and recombines them to create swirling masses of floating chaos. Each work encourages close inspection as she uses lots of contrasting imagery to joggle your brain.
     In Gallery Three, another artist who likes to reanimate by recombining animal and human body parts is Julia Pott, an award winning British animator. Her films combine fear, sex and obscene violence enacted out on cute teddy bear like creatures. Although employing the macabre, the films will appeal to your dark side and draw out sympathies and empathy very quickly when you least expect it. For some it might be an emotional rollercoaster ride.
     Opening night features a musical performance by Nancy Pants, featuring Adam Waito. This is a Montreal based “dirty pop band” and described by one reviewer as performing “teenage ‘60s garage pop and weird ‘90s punk.” They are considered a band that is going places. And you will be able to dance to the music.
     For more information please go to: To see videos by Julio Pott go to:

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