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Portage College Arts students join in for COVID art exhibit

Portage College Arts students are taking part in an art exhibition at the Stuart MacPherson Public Library with the help of library staff, Administrative Assistant, Kristy Arsenault, and Library Director, Maureen Penn. The exhibition, titled Time Stamps: The Art of Relief, opens June 21 and includes 60 artworks, created in various art media from arts students and instructors from Portage College, the University of Alberta, and Sapporo Otani University, in Sapporo, Hokkaido, Japan. The art pieces reflect a time during the COVID-19 worldwide pandemic.

“This exhibition had us explore the idea of a ‘time stamp’ and a feeling of ‘relief’, with participating artists creating small and reflective artworks that speak to this era of COVID-19,” said Pierre Oberg, Instructor with the Fine Arts Certificate Program at Portage College. “The artworks will include some aspect of ‘art stamping techniques’ or ‘relief’ art making processes, further expanding the interpretation of these key words in the title.”

The idea for the exhibition was inspired by a recent CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) radio interview on The Current, with host Matt Galloway, and Jill Lepore, a professor of American History at Harvard University and award-winning author and staff writer at The New Yorker. Oberg had listened to the show and replayed it for his students. The class used the topics and conversations from the interview to begin the creative planning for an opportunity with the local library, and guest artists, for a community arts project.

The art exhibit not only marks the significance on how the pandemic has had a huge impact on everyone’s day-to-day life, but also what a sense of relief it will be for people when that moment in history happens, and we will be able to get vaccinated.

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Along with the many different art pieces, the exhibition will also be showcasing a polio vaccine certificate to represent a different moment in history and a similar time, which Jill Lepore talks about with The Current interview. The Fine Arts Certificate Program would like to welcome the public to attend and join us in this historical moment.

The art exhibition is open to the public from June 21 – August 27.

From a Portage College press release

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