1. What is Emerge and how did it come about?
A group of four young artists created the Emerge Artists Collective back in 2004, as a means for them to show their work collectively and become more familiar with the whole exhibition process. The original founders have scattered to all corners of the country since, but the collective continues to attract new emerging artists every year. We currently count a dozen members who, in typical fashion, work in a variety of media and techniques. In selecting new members, the collective looks for artists who tend to adopt a less traditional, more edgy or even quirky approach to their practice.
2. What does a collective like this mean for Fredericton/NB?
Artist collectives are few and far between in New Brunswick. There are professional associations, of course, but only a few tightly-knit groups whose members focus on specific, collective projects. In addition, it is rather difficult for emerging artists in the region to find opportunities to show their work, especially if the work falls outside the more traditional streams. Emerge, in part due to repeated exposure and its growing reputation, offers such opportunities. The collective allows its members to become more familiar with the whole exhibition process and often acts as a stepping stone for artists to advance their career. And from the community's perspective, the public gets to see art from local artists which would not be accessible otherwise. In general, we find that the buzz around Emerge openings is unlike that around other openings, perhaps because the mix of artists, artwork and audience is different.
3. Tell me a little bit about what I can expect to see when I come to the Charlotte Glencross Gallery and Culture Garden at the Charlotte Street Arts Centre to check out the exhibit.
The unifying theme of the current exhibit--'scape--is the landscape writ large, but approached non-traditionally. Some of the works on display hint at urban landscapes, others offer a more 'natural' perspective, yet others blend both natural and technological elements. Some perspectives are on a panoramic scale, others are very close and personal. There are works where the implied relationship between the human element and its environment could be disturbing and alienating to some. Most of the works are meant to raise questions and get people thinking about our place and impact on our environment. One particularity of 'scape is that it is Emerge's first exhibition with an outdoor component; visitors to the CSAC can see a couple of sculptures on display in the Culture Garden at the back of the centre.
4. Anything else you want our friends and community members to know?
'scape, our fifteenth show, is on display at the CSAC until July 31st. Some of the sculptures might remain in the Culture Garden well beyond that date. For more information about Emerge, about the members selection process, or to see photos from previous exhibitions or members' artwork (past and present), people are encouraged to visit the collective's web site at www.emergeartists.com.
**'scape is a part of the Garden and Gallery 2011 series at the Charlotte Street Arts Centre
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