By Leah Ching
This year, Manifestation is the theme for Definitely Superior Art Gallery’s Annual Regional Juried Exhibition. Running until January 13, this year marks the 29th installation of Def Sup’s show. Offering local and regional artists the opportunity to consider the relevance of manifestation in their own experiences, interpretations, and relationships to contemporary art, this year’s show welcomed the work of 50 artists from across the region.
“We had 90 artists that submitted, and if you look at Galleries 1 and 2, 50 artists total were selected,” explains David Karasiewicz, executive/artistic director for the gallery. “A juried show is a bit more challenging. In judging which artists are selected, we look at not only artistic excellence, but also how the artist connects to the theme of the show.”
Manifestation features talent and diversity that brings to light the vibrancy of the contemporary arts community in northern Ontario. Both emerging and established artists are showcased, with each creation making connections to the theme of manifestation in unique ways. There are works featured from budding art students at Lakehead University alongside well-known, established professionals in the field, with each creative work representing the diverse backgrounds and experiences of their creators. With an incredible diversity in style, media, and ideas, the exhibition allows visitors to enjoy and reflect on an excellent selection of art.
“The show offers artists the chance to challenge themselves, and that’s really important for an artist. They get to take chances, and sometimes it just works,” says Karasiewicz. “Because of this being a juried exhibition, artists are putting forth their best work. It allows for artists to step up to a challenge, and they do. Out of that comes out of some of the best work in contemporary art in northern Ontario.”
Alongside the juried art show, Facade, an art film installation by Piotr Skowronski, is featured in Gallery 3—a thoughtful accompaniment to the manifestation theme. Through the filmmaker’s up-close portrayal of faces in reaction to stimuli without presenting the viewer with the correlating subject matter, he creates an intimate glimpse into emotion and connection. Breaking down the barrier between viewer and subject, what is manifested is a connection solely through the ability to recognize, relate, and interpret ranges of expression on the human face.
Manifestation, as the 29th installation of Def Sup’s Annual Regional Juried Exhibition, is a dynamic display of talent in the heart of Thunder Bay’s north core, and the only showcase of its kind in the region. “Visitors are often surprised when they come to the gallery,” Karasiewicz says. “For a city as small as ours, this really shows how talented the contemporary art community is in the region.”
For more information on Manifestation, visit definitelysuperior.com.
Featured image: Duncan Weller, “Ocean Guard”