There are several pandemic-induced lifestyle changes that we aren’t ready to give up just yet. But being able to see art in person once again is something that will happily get us off our cozy couches. Thankfully, galleries like Contemporary Calgary are making sure we get our fill of art with plenty to see along with a host of talks, workshops, film screenings and more! 

The planetarium-turned-art gallery is back with three new exhibits. And living up to their contemporary identity, the exhibits are inspired by and relevant to the times we live in. Each unique and immersive in their own ways. 

While all three are great exhibitions, Rerouting simply blew our minds. Why? You’ll see!

Here’s a sneak peek into these remarkable displays…

Rerouting (March 3 − May 22)

Contemporary Calgary
Artists: Rhonda Weppler and Trevor Mahovsky, Pom Pom Jam Work Hub (2022).

Stemming from Collider: In-Residence Artist Residency, the exhibition brings together 12 artists from all corners of the world.l. Amidst a global lockdown, artists were contending with isolation, disconnection and a host of challenges in making and displaying art.  In Rerouting, the idea was to explore new modes of artistic practice and ultimately, to find ways of maintaining human connection. The result is a collection of spectacular and inspiring pieces of art bringing together digital approaches, tactile objects and social practices.

There’s a vibrant seating installation of giant brightly coloured pom poms made by Rhonda Weppler & Trevor Mahovsky. . You can actually make pom poms yourself. Then there is the hi-tech interactive digital GLUV by Calgary-based artists Matthew Waddell & Laura Anzola that seduces users into unrealised digital data consent.

Another amazing collection is Catalina Tuca’s The Sensitive Project (2020 – Ongoing). Don’t ask us how but the artist is converting feelings into sculpture. And it is as mesmerizing as it sounds.

There are several other installations, sculptures and documentaries making the exhibit a hit. Just FYI, Stephanie Mei Huang’s beautiful and heartfelt Hi, How Are You (2021)- or ‘Angry Art’ as the work reads- will leave you emotional.

The Further Apart Things Seems (March 3 – May 22)

Artist: Brendan Lee Satish Tang, Reluctant Offerings, Roadside Tribute (2021)

This is a follow-up of sorts to co-curators Shannon Anderson and Jay Wilson’s last exhibition, The Closer Together Things Are. The show takes inspiration from various artistic responses to current feelings of uncertainty and divisiveness on the rise across the planet. Seven artists and one artist duo express their version of resistance by way of dramatic videos, elaborate installations, beautiful sculptures, mixed media presentations and more. The imagery brings out the connection between unlikely forms and the subtle resistance it comes with.

Brendon Lee Satish Tang’s Reluctant Offerings: Roadside Tribute (2021) and Anna Binta Diallo’s Rancher, Voyager/Almanac Series (2021), in particular, are exceptional pieces.

#3 Ordinary People (Like Me) – February 10 − May 22

Artist: Dona Schwartz: Ordinary People (Like Me)

This is a solo exhibition by Dona Schwartz who originally started working on the iconic multi-media artist, Yoko Ono’s instruction to photograph “ordinary people.” Dona, however, deflected the responsibility of “judging” what ordinary is to people she met in her daily life. This led to a referral chain of subjects all of whom are “ordinary” in someone’s eyes. Dona photographed her subjects in settings where they could be themselves, aka, ordinary to them. The final photographic portraiture is a beautiful, close-knit fabric of social connections.

Ready to hit the old Centennial Planetarium? Well, you might want to check out their membership program which starts at as little as $20. And it comes with its own perks too. 

Contemporary Calgary

When: Wednesday – Saturday, 12PM-7PM & Sunday 12PM-5PM 

Where: #701 11th Street SW

Cost: $10+ (Free for children 12 & under)