The irony of hosting a major arts project like Urban Infill: Art in the Core, with the goal and theme of revitalizing the downtown core requiring lots of space is that should the project become successful the space required becomes limited year after year. And this year they almost lost out with empty spaces rented out last minute. Fortunately this didn’t stop a resourceful crew from finding alternates, which in the end provided Urban Infill with even more space giving this year’s show a completely new feel.
The big events are held this Saturday night where the public will be able to see work in a variety of locations with the help of a map and guides during the walking tour, but two main spaces have opened up that will be the primary draws: the 10,000 square feet of the lower level in the Eaton’s building, entrance on Park Avenue, and another 1,500 square feet on the main level. Combine this and other transformed spaces and it adds up to a total of about 13,000 square feet to host this extravaganza.
The variety of art, performance, installations are too long to list, which is good thing. To see the list you can go online: www.definitleysuperior.com.
“We adapt every year,” states gallery co-director David Karasiewicz. “Every year locations change and there’s new places with new performances appealing to a broader audience. More and more people are exposed to contemporary art.”
Definitely Superior Art Gallery and the many artists under its umbrella can take credit for that revitalization, along with the savvy restauranteurs opening businesses that have drawn both young and old. A long list of sponsors includes the local BIA, Canada Council, Ontario Arts Council, Walleye and a number of local businesses and other sponsors.
This year there are 400 regional, national and international artist represented in 25 locations including live bands, dance theatre, fashion performance, fire performances, “activated window spaces”, body suspension, a 360 film immersion installation, video projections, karaoke, fringe performance, catered food and refreshments, and more!
If it’s possible to narrow it down, there are nine shows/categories of art to see. The Defsup gallery features three shows, a video installation, a member’s show and recent acquisitions of art by Dr. Bob Chaudhuri. Window performances and installations will be on the map and tour. Film installations include visiting works/artists along with our filmmakers from our own Confederation College film and multimedia departments. Lakehead University art students are having a graduates show. The Die Active New Generation Neechee Studio is a youth group will span a number of locations with 24 different projects. Downtown commercial galleries and business are contributing with their own cadre of local and international artists. The number of local artists involved is thought to be over four hundred.
If you think that’s an exaggeration you’re welcome to come to the show and count.
The big event begins Saturday night at 7pm. Come early and get a map. The after party location is decided that night by a group of die-hards. All welcome to join.