The Vernon Public Art Gallery is about to open an exhibition of mixed media paintings produced by Victoria-based artist and educator Neil McClelland.
The conceptual focus of the exhibition, Apperception, is centered on the notions of appropriation and reinterpretation of works of art and how they are presented in museum spaces, says McClelland.
“(The series of paintings) explore connections and disconnections between historical precedents and digitally-mediated ways of looking (at art),” he said.
Based on screen shots from virtual gallery tours, which often distort the gallery spaces, the exhibition aims to incite public dialogue about historic and contemporary painting practices within the context of digitally-mediated visual culture.
McClelland’s works are said to draw attention to the nature of viewing the works of art, whether in real physical spaces or in digitally-mediated virtual environments.
McClelland grew up in Quebec and has lived and worked in Toronto, Montreal, Edmonton and Victoria.
He has exhibited his work in commercial galleries and art centres across Canada and was artist in residence at Edmonton’s Harcourt House Artist Run Centre in 2009-10.
McCleland has taught at the University of Victoria, Art Gallery of Alberta, and in other art education programs and is represented by galleries in Edmonton, Calgary and Ottawa.
His work is driven by a passion for mark-making and a deep engagement with the tradition of painting. He is guided most by his desire to emphasize the physicality of the materials and the history of the construction of the image by showing evidence of the process.
“We look forward to bringing Apperception to the citizens of the North Okanagan,” said VPAG executive director Dauna Kennedy-Grant. “Neil’s contemporary approach to viewing classical art is sure to encourage interesting dialogue regarding how we view the world around us today through new media.”
The opening reception for Apperception is Thursday, Jan. 15 from 6 to 8 p.m. Refreshments and appetizers will be served. The VPAG is located at 3228 31st Ave. underneath the downtown Vernon parkade.