A montage of Philip Hoffman frames
Canadian filmmaker Philip Hoffman is featured this March on Arts Commons’ video monitors | Image: Courtesy of Arts Commons

Spring at Arts Commons

Exhibitions explore taboo subjects, the ocean biosphere, and much more

Amy Jo Espetveidt

It doesn’t matter if you’re there for a show or just for an adventure, Arts Commons is a great place to go for a wander. And a new season brings a whole fresh batch of visual and media arts to check out.

$100 Film Festival Visiting Artist – Philip Hoffman

March 1 – 31, 2017
On the Arts Commons three video monitors

The Gallery of Alberta Media Arts joins forces with the $100 Film Festival to screen this retrospective on Canadian filmmaker Philip Hoffman. Running continuously day-and-night, catch his autobiographical works that combine hand-developed photographic film with digital image transformation and montage.

The Ocean Inside

March 6 – May 28, 2017
The Ledge Gallery at Arts Commons (+15 level overlooking Centre Court)

This installation of printmaking and sculpture from Calgary-based artist Eveline Kolijn explores nature, water, and our biosphere. Found in The Ledge Gallery, The Ocean Inside uses synthetic materials to express forms and patterns found in nature.

Bound, Hatfield Cemetery, Cut Out, Newborns

March 6 – May 28, 2017
Window Galleries, Arts Commons (beside Max Bell Theatre)

Four contrasting artists explore taboo subjects through different artistic mediums in this season’s Window Galleries. Using sculpture, textiles, photography, and mixed media, these exhibits feature artists Dayna Ellen, Felicia Hart, Jocelyn Reid, and Violet Costello.

Sankalpa Centre for Dreams and Visions

March 7 – May 28, 2017
Lightbox Studio, Arts Commons (beside Martha Cohen Theatre)

A meditative work of art as a community body, local artist Chelsea Rushton takes over the Lightbox Studio with meditation and dedicated ritual. Rushton combines her 500-hour certification as a yoga teacher with her MFA in visual art to focus on the interaction of art, ritual, and spirituality. Patrons are invited into the studio to join a meditation practice and help her create a larger body piece.

+15 Window Galleries Closing Reception

March 16, 2017, 6:00 – 7:00pm
+15, Arts Commons

Celebrate each of the exhibits hosted in the +15 at this closing reception. Artists will be on hand to speak about their work and everyone is invited to head to the Palomino (109 7th Ave. SW) for drinks afterwards (save 15% off your bill by showing a card from one of the exhibitions). Admission is free and all are welcome.

Nothing but Us

March 27 – May 26, 2017
The New Gallery’s +15 Window

Multi-instrumentalist with a diverse background encompassing visual art, industrial design, public art, and carpentry, Dara Humniski uses the natural world as a starting point. Experimenting with scale and media, her work creates fictional worlds with open-ended narratives about the human condition.


April 1 – May 31, 2017
Stride Gallery’s +15 Window

Ryan Danny Owen questions the dynamics of finding an identity within a history of loss with photographs are taken in the 1980s. These images, taken during the early stages of the AIDS crisis, maintain a closeness to ruins and memorials.

The blind pale distances

April 5 – May 31, 2017
Untitled Art Society’s +15 Window

Andrew Rabyniuk’s The blind pale distances keeps people apart while configuring moments of connection and separation along ideological lines.

The Junk Drawers in Model Homes

April 6 – May 31, 2017
TRUCK Contemporary Art’s +15 Window

Emerging multimedia artist Nicole Levaque creates this shifting display with an inherent mistrust of beauty. The Junk Drawers in Model Homes imagines the hidden spaces behind the staging of showrooms now brought out to buy.

what do you call, WE, Lily Gets a Pet

April 3 – May 28, 2017
On the Arts Commons three video monitors

Three playful films take the stage for Calgary International Children’s Festival as the Arts Commons Broadcast Lab (formerly Gallery of Alberta Media Arts) presents work that captures the passion of movement and showcases a group of young storytellers.

Caverns of Sound

April 21 – June 30, 2017
+15 Soundscape, Arts Commons

A unique soundscape by media artist Aidan Lytton, Caverns of Sound explores an otherworldly cave environment. Part meditation, part atmospheric journey, the piece is a mysterious and playful multi-layered soundscape that transports you deep underground.

Happenings #8

April 24, 2017, 6:00 – 9:00pm
Arts Commons, Mezzanine Level of Centre Court (above Ca’Puccini)

Celebrate all the great creations at the next Happenings—an art party that is free and open to all ages. Head to Arts Commons for a Monday night of hands on activities, live performances, and so much more.

+15 Window Galleries Closing Reception

May 11, 2017, 6:00 – 7:00pm
+15, Arts Commons

Celebrate each of the exhibits hosted in the +15 at this closing reception. Artists will be on hand to speak about their work and everyone is invited to head to the Palomino (109 7th Ave. SW) for drinks afterwards (save 15% off your bill by showing a card from one of the exhibitions). Admission is free and all are welcome.

Ongoing Exhibitions

Images of hands

Tanya Lukin Linklater’s Hands is paired with Celia Perrin Sidarous’ Chorégraphie de la main et de l’objet in TRUCK’s +15 Window, part of A Few Similar Things | Image: Courtesy of TRUCK

A Few Similar Things

Until March 24, 2017
The New Gallery, Untitled Art Society, Stride Gallery, and TRUCK Contemporary Art’s +15 Windows

Curated by Natasha Chaykowski and Alison Cooley, A Few Similar Things comprises four pairings of similar works, made autonomously by different artists. See them stretch across four different artist run centre +15 windows allowing each installation to be a coupling that in some way—aesthetically, conceptually, formally—are alike.
thenewgallery.org, uascalgary.org, stride.ab.ca, and truck.ca

Sometimes My Hands Don’t Feel Like My Own

Until March 24, 2017
Marion Nicoll Gallery +15 Window

Julie L. Turner’s work combines equal parts photography and memory to form embroideries that capture temporary moments in nature. Turner is currently completing a BFA in Fibres at the Alberta College of Art + Design and you can see her work in the Marion Nicoll Gallery +15 Window.

River Alms

Until April 29, 2017
+15 Soundscape, Arts Commons

The second piece of this season’s +15 Soundscape can be heard starting in January and is part of Arts Commons’ curated program showcasing three new soundscapes created by Aboriginal identified artists. An experimental pop soundscape inspired by both the living and spirit world of Blackfoot culture and Siksika Nation, Chandra Melting Tallow’s work is emotionally charged and haunting.