Emily Carr Grad Show 2011

Another year, another crop of art school graduates – I do love checking out the annual Emily Carr Grad Show. On my way in to the North Building I just happened to spot some notices posted on the cement walls outside. Lo and behold, they were printed pages excoriating Bob Rennie, the so-called Condo King, the man currently in charge of selling the remaining Olympic Athletes Village condos at cut-rate (for Vancouver, the third most expensive city in the English-speaking world) prices.

Once inside the Concourse Gallery, I enjoyed the playfulness and bright colours of several of the pieces installed there. My favorites here were the stack of ceramic copulating frogs, a tall construction of coloured yarn and the beautiful warm oranges, reds, and pinks of a long banner-like piece.

One of the few pieces with explicit political content here was this painting of detained Chinese artist Ai Wei Wei silenced.

The Charles Scott Gallery was home to work by Emily Carr’s graduate students in various media; I particularly liked the series of black and white etchings of body parts with what looked like topographical markings on them.

The South building’s three levels contained painting, sculpture, and quite of bit of design work, some of which was very professionally done.

I confess that I do not at all get the whole “little girl Lolita” thing …

Here I was interested to note the attention to “women’s issues”, with a bit of a soft feminist edge.

The piece above is a mock up for a new magazine for biking women – RideMTB. The piece below shows comics featuring female super heroes and villains – why should guys have all the fun?

Mostly what struck me was the neatness and tidiness of everything, especially in contrast with earlier years when big, bad, messy painting was the style du jour – very little of that was in evidence. Lots of small scale photography, very detailed, tight drawing, and multi-media sculptural pieces predominated, a very different situation from, say, twenty-five years ago when the “Young Romantics” were hot with their large-scale visceral painting.

See more here.

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