Fresh! AiR Partnership Returns

The Caetani Cultural Centre and the Allan Brooks Nature Centre’s Fresh! AiR (Artist in Residence) Partnership Returns.

maria-printThe Caetani Cultural Centre and the Allan Brooks Nature Centre are proud to kick off this year’s Fresh! AiR (Artist in Residence) program with the arrival of artist Maria Whiteman. The collaborative program focuses on the intersection of art and the environment.

Whiteman comes to the Fresh! AIR program from her post in the Fine Arts department at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, where she has taught graduate courses in contemporary art theory and studio courses in mixed media, photography, video, drawing and installation art. Whiteman works in video and photography, and is also working on a longer project that will take the form of a book.

While in Vernon, Whiteman’s work will focus on air, a topic she’s been thinking about and exploring in previous bodies of work.

“Air has become something I’m strongly drawn to visually because you can’t see it, but carries a significant importance because it becomes an object on its own, in our minds, as if we can see it in our consciousness as a form, hence, an element.” she explains.

Whiteman finds other ways to represent this elusive element. Her focus will be on objects and other phenomena that have a direct relationship to air, such as breath, the flight of birds, bubbles, clouds, etc. The aviary specimens of the taxidermy collection at the Allan Brooks Nature Centre have already caught her eye and imagination.

“I want to only film the tops of everything to keep the focus away from the objects but with the focus on the sky and to keep in mind the significance between object and air. The mediums I will work with are video and photography. I see this project as an installation and also a book that I am putting together on the four elements”, Whiteman explains.

Also new to the Fresh! AiR (artist in residence) program is local Vernon artist and Curator Katie Brennan. Brennan will oversee programming and events for this summer’s artists and to further activate and connect them to the community. Both the Caetani Centre and the Allan Brooks Nature Centre are looking forward to working with Katie to bring additional educational and networking opportunities to artists in the North Okanagan community.

“I’ll be the liaison between the community and these artists, introducing them to each other and seeing what happens. I’m really looking forward to seeing what Maria Whiteman produces while she’s here. Her work has a lovely poetic quality to it. Her video work of walking across various landscapes and her encounters with stuffed animals are strikingly lovely and call for you to pause in your daily encounters with your immediate surroundings”, says Brennan.

To hear more about Whiteman’s work and to meet the artist, a public artist talk will be held at the Caetani Cultural Centre, located at 3401 Pleasant Valley Rd in Vernon, at 6:30pm on Thursday, May 14th, 2015. Parking is limited, so visitors are invited to please use available street parking nearby. This talk is free of charge and open to the public.

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