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Current Exhibition 

May 24 – July 27, 2024     

Semiotics of Leisure 

Shinobu Akimoto, Terri Fidelak, Simon Fuh, Gerald Jessop

Curated by Sandee Moore

opening reception: Friday, May 24, 6:00 PM

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Leisure is essentially anticapitalistic. It is anti-work; it does not create value. While often dismissed in the larger society as a mere pleasurable diversion, art institutions often put art to work, its job being to educate about societal ills. Semiotics of Leisure promotes the subversive qualities of pleasure for artists and viewers. This exhibition responds to a surprising well-spring of artists concerned with activities that signify "free time" or "non-work." 

images: (from left) Meaning of Making Series: Natsu-mikan (summer orange) Marmalade 2019, Shinobu Akimoto, editioned photographic portrait of handmade jars of marmalade, (edition B3_22), 2019; [work-in-progress], Terri Fidelak, sculpture created from completed found, stacked picture puzzles, 2020-ongoing; Giant Unicorn, Gerald Jessop, acrylic on canvas; Memory Theatre, Simon Fuh, sound installation, 2019.

Terri Fidelek's minimalist cube sculpture constructed of layer upon layer of completed picture puzzles is encoded with endless hours of time-filling putting together banal images. Aimless directions to an after-hours club unfold in Simon Fuh's dimly lit room, quaking with muffled dance beats. While clubbing represents one type of aspirational non-work, both the dedicated act of painting that comprises Gerald Jessop's studio practice and his favoured subject - beach frolickers and their recreational accoutrements - represent avenues of escape from the predictable rhythms of Capitalism.

 

Since 2013, Shinobu Akimoto has been engaged in critiques of the "work" portion of "artwork," co-directing Residency for Artists On Hiatus, which values downtime as an essential aspect of making. Akimoto's limited edition multiple of handmade marmalade, Meaning of Making Series: Natsu-mikan (summer orange) Marmalade 2019, combines the trendy, twee nostalgia for preserving food with mourning the loss of a parent, a long-connection familial connection to a fruit tree and the artist's ongoing project to create a satisfying lifestyle through the means of art-making.

Artists' Biographies

Gerald Jessop was born in Ponteix, Saskatchewan in 1947. He completed his B.F.A. Degree in Winnipeg, Manitoba and earned a Masters' of Fine Arts in Regina, Saskatchewan in 1977. He worked as a Community Artist in Weyburn, Saskatchewan for two years and as Supervisor of the Enriched Art Program for the Division of Continuing Education in Calgary, Alberta for three years. He also served as a Summer Session Lecturer in Art Education at the University of Calgary in 1975 and as a Teaching Assistant at the University of Regina in 1976 and 1977. From 1977 to 1989, he was the Director/Curator of the Moose Jaw Art Museum, and from 1989 to December 1994, he held the same position at the Kelowna Art Gallery. Throughout his career he was an active volunteer as a juror, an art advisor for government and board member, notably, Jessop sat on the City of Kelowna's Public Art Committee for the City and the Healing Arts executive for the Okanagan. In 2006, he moved to Buena Vista, SK, and in 2020 to Regina, SK, where he practices Tai Chi Chuan and pursues his lifelong career of art making.

Terri Fidelak is an artist based on Treaty 4 Territory in Swift Current, Saskatchewan. Her work in sculpture, drawing, installation, and performance explores notions of attention, value, and interconnectivity. Collaboration is a staple of her creative practice. She has engaged in numerous community art initiatives over the years, including projects with the Dunlop Art Gallery and Common Weal Community Arts, as well as contributing as an artistic associate with Curtain Razors Theatre since 2016. Fidelak has participated in various artist residencies, such as Medalta International Artist Residency (AB), White Rabbit Arts (NS), MOTHRA (ON), and Signal Fire Arts (Oregon). Her work is among SK Arts’ Permanent Collection as well as private collections in Canada, the US, and Japan.

Simon Fuh is an artist and writer based in Toronto, ON. He has a Master’s of Visual Studies from the University of Toronto, where he was awarded the Joseph Armand Bombardier SSHRC Scholarship. His diverse artistic practice is broadly interested in the unending tension between desire and lack, and how collaboration can reframe lack as the site of potential. Often taking the form of video and sound installation, his work incorporates themes of utopian imagination, parties, and memory. Recent exhibitions include Memory Theatre, 1 Spadina Cres. (Toronto, ON) places where sounds turn to dreams…, Hearth Gallery (Toronto, ON), Eternal Wish Radio, Forest City Gallery (London, ON), and Down the Rabbit Hole, 330g (Saskatoon, SK). Simon has published writing with C Magazine, Hearth Gallery, and Susan Hobbs Gallery, and will be publishing an artist book with Gravitron Press in 2022.

A native of Japan, Shinobu Akimoto started life and art in Canada in the early 1990's and became known as a visual artist through national and international presentations of her "project-based" installations. She holds a BFA from the University of Victoria and an MFA from the University of Western Ontario, in addition to an undergraduate degree in Cultural Anthropology earned from a Japanese University. 

During the last decade, she has adopted an itinerant lifestyle that has interrupted a consistent involvement in any single art community; she has re-examined and re-evaluated her desire and capacity as a visual practitioner and now attempts to engage in contemporary art through extended means and pathways. Through such, she continues to use artmaking as a means to follow the lifestyle she wants to live, while addressing the ever-changing state and significance of "art" in our time. She seeks co-conspirators from all fields who may share a similar sentiment and imagination. She has been a co-director of  Residency for Artists On Hiatus (RFAOH) since 2013. #artmakingaslifestyle

Self-guided Tour Pamphlet

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Exhibition Audio Tour

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Thank you to SaskTel for sponsoring Audio Tours of our exhibitions

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Exhibition Audio Tour Transcript

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Press Release

Media Coverage

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The Art Gallery of Regina gratefully acknowledges its core funders and community sponors.

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