December at Artpoint

Opening in the Main Gallery:

Michael Abel

Opening Reception December 14, 2012 5pm-9pm


Art and architecture to shock and awe

Michael Abel, winner of My First Professional Exhibition, will showcase his work at ArtPoint Gallery in December.
Michael Abel, winner of My First Professional Exhibition, will showcase his work at ArtPoint Gallery in December.

By Caitlyn Spencer

 Michael Abel, the winner of the first My First Professional Exhibition competition, didn’t come to the University of Calgary with a fat portfolio.

“My background in art was pretty minimal,” he says. “I took one art class before university. I made a portfolio because I wanted to go into architecture, and it seemed like a good place to start.”

Abel’s progress is clear from his win of the competition. My First Professional Exhibition sees students in the art department’s Studio Concentration compete to receive reimbursement for some of their course work and materials, and secures a solo exhibition at a gallery in Calgary. Abel’s show, Monumental Contradiction, will open in December at ArtPoint Gallery.

“It was a really strong pool of applicants, all outstanding students,” says Linda Carreiro, associate professor in art and the organizer of the jury. “But Michael was the unanimous choice by the jurors. His work is powerful and intelligent. His minor in architecture contributed to the solidity of his concepts.”

For Abel, pairing of art and architecture is a natural choice. “I look at architecture as an art form itself,” he says. “You take an idea and turn it into a machine someone utilizes.” This fall, he will begin his Masters of Architecture at the University of Toronto.

The paintings in Monumental Contradiction reflect this focus. Abel is producing large-scale paintings of iconic architecture in eight North American cities, painted in the theme of each city’s National Basketball Association team.

“The paintings are intended to be so graphic and filled with relatable forms that the viewers will be distracted from the underlying meanings,” Abel says. “It’s the same as when someone goes and looks at a piece of really iconic architecture. There’s shock and awe, but in reality a lot of these pieces have hidden meanings and historical meaning that most people don’t catch.”

Previously, Abel was surprised when viewers failed to catch the hidden symbolism in his paintings, but this time, he’s embracing it. “I want to fill the viewers with the same kind of shock and awe they’d feel seeing these monuments,” he says. “I want to distract them from the academic, conceptual dialogue with colour, paint viscosity, hard lines, and relatable subjects. I no longer expect or even want the viewer to ‘understand’ the work of art.”

To read Article in FFWD magazine on Michael Abel’s show at Artpoint click HERE

Opening in the Red Gallery:

In Honour of Dorothy McFarlane

 Opening in the Stairway Gallery at Artpoint:

“Lit” by Nicole Lalande

Nicole Lalande will be in attendance at Artpoint December 22, 2012 and December 29. 2012.


December 2013 has been a terrific month at Artpoint. This month Kelsey Cronje presented “Interzones” in the main gallery. She is the recipient of ”My First Professional Exhibition” Scholarship, from The University of Calgary. Christine Wignall exhibited “Sculpture” in The Red Gallery and Sally Baydala & Yin Hoskins showed “Free/ form” in The Stairway Gallery.  There were eighty visitors that extremely, cold December evening!

In January, 2014 Carole Bondaroff and Stan Phelps will be exhibiting “Urbane Burlesque” In The Main Gallery. This exhibition of drawings, paintings, etchings and lithographs explores the social aspects of urban life. The images interpret musical performances, sporting events and Calgary Street Theatre. Vanessa Kary will be presenting “Dream Series” in The Red Gallery & Stairway Gallery. Dream series is a collection of 36 original abstract paintings using colour, movement, and the feelings from each dream as inspiration for each piece. The series is part of the Liquid Landscapes collection and was inspired by the fascination with dream, psychology and the desire to understand the subconcious meaning behind my own dreams. The opening reception will be held on January 10 from 5-9pm, please join us.

 Please note the Artpoint office will be closed from December 22 – January 2.

Artwork is needed for the next production “Major Barbara” at Theatre Calgary. Here’s a little about the play: Young Major Barbara of the Salvation Army is dedicated to saving souls. When she is reunited with her father, a millionaire weapons manufacturer, it seems the two are destined to see the world through very different eyes. In this battle of good versus evil, finding a winning side is never as simple as it seems. Smart, funny and delightfully relevant. The play runs from February 11 to March 9, 2014.

Please bring your submissions for Major Barbara at Theatre Calgary in to the office and mark with a piece of green tape by Saturday January 25, 2014. Thank you.

Looking for a way to volunteer? Bartenders and greeters are needed for the reception on January 10 from 5-9. A volunteer is needed to help install the artwork at Theatre Calgary on February 6. Contact the office if you would like to help out.

There is exhibition space open for 2014 in the following galleries; The Red Gallery is available in October and December. The Stairway Gallery is available in March, May, June, October and December.

Please bring in new artwork for the hallways! Please pick up artwork that is in storage at Artpoint. Thank you.

If you have items in any of the common rooms in the Red building at Artpoint please move them to your studio or home. Unclaimed items in the furnace rooms, hallways and storage rooms will be discarded by the beginning of January. Here is a list of some of the items that will be going – so if you are interested pick them up: Glass coffee table, air conditioner on wheels, metal cupboard on wheels, computer tower, disassembled frames, drift-wood, metal rack.

A BIG THANKYOU to Christine & Trevor Wignall for cooking a fantastic turkey. It was a great time at the annual potluck, and gift exchange, thank you Pat for hosting that! Another thank you to all those who helped with the clean – up , thanks Nadine for washing the glasses!


Have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. Season’s Greetings to you all!!







October 5-27 at Artpoint Gallery & Studio Society, Calgary AB.


As I enter the Main Gallery, the first thing I see is, “Aqua Vitalis”, a mural by Liba Labik, which consists of 13 paintings tightly joined to create a large composition. It is a large fantasy in soft colours. The panels are laid out in an interesting and intricate manner.

The perspective and allusion to depth give the work a sense of spatial layers. Although the palette is cool, there is a juxtaposition of warmth in the recreation of life that lays beneath the surfaces.

“Tres”, by Pam Sims Dalsin is an engaging sculpture. It is not large, approximately 30 inches in height. Made of mixed materials, there is metal rod and pipe visible amongst the three “pillars” that are placed next to each other, as if tall relics in a deserted landscape.

The metal rod and copper pipe offset the organic nature of the rest of the piece. The eye is drawn across the base and upward through the spaces, where it’s linear and chaotic paths intertwine.

Reviewed by Jason Gogo.