Coldstream woman transforms synthetic waste into art

UBCO grad’s exhibit at Caetani Centre

The materials are elegantly arranged, so precisely placed next to and on top of one another that it looks, at first, as if the viewer has stepped into an off-kilter interior design display. Lush and contemplative.

Yet, on a closer approach, the materials reveal themselves as foam, folded and draped. Mattress. Pipe. String.

“I work with synthetic waste materials to re-instill value into objects that would otherwise contribute to pollution,” said local artist Carmen Winther, the Caetani Centre’s second UBCO Faculty of Creative and Critical Studies Caetani artist-in-residence.

Winther is a sculpture and installation artist residing in Coldstream.

“I create art that encourages spectators to take pleasure in and ownership over the means of production and our synthetic waste.”

Winther first studied industrial design at the Ontario College of Art and Design University before transferring to a BFA program with a focus on sculpture at UBC Okanagan. Industrial design instilled in her a desire to produce functional and usable objects, which has influenced her sculptural production.

“My exhibit, Prototypes For No Place, is a collection of experiments featuring discarded materials I’ve gathered and manipulated into speculative objects,” describes Winther.

Winther graduated with a BFA in Visual Arts from the UBCO in 2019.

“I’m interested in anti-capitalist theories and sustainability and I produce work that promotes self-sustainability and self-governance.”

The opening reception, with Winther in attendance, for Prototypes for No Place takes place Aug. 28 from 7 to 9 p.m., as well as during gallery hours on Aug. 29 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Caetani Cultural Centre Studio Gallery.

This partnership between UBC Okanagan and Vernon’s Caetani Cultural Centre is helping make artistic dreams come true for UBCO student-artists.

To have a residency funded through UBCO/Caetani partnership removes some of the financial challenges artists face working full-time on their art career, explained Bryce Traister, dean of the Creative and Critical Studies faculty.

Caetani Centre’s Artist-in-Residence programs are available to artists working on creative projects anywhere from two weeks to three months in length.

The artist stays and creates at the Caetani Cultural Centre and is invited to share workshops, readings and exhibitions with the North Okanagan community.

READ MORE: UBCO students awarded residency at Caetani art house


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A pop-up art exhibit at Vernon’s Caetani Centre by UBCO BFA graduate Carmen Winther takes place Aug. 28. (Submitted)

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