A theme of “Purposeful Play” runs through student-created works shown at Surrey Art Gallery this month and next.
The biannual Art by Surrey Secondary Students exhibition features 50 pieces of art, including acrylics, graphite drawings, abstract work, landscapes, photographs and more.
The art show is new to the gallery lobby, along with Pareidolia, a “psychedelically inspired digital portrait of Surrey Art Gallery’s physical space” created by Steve DiPaola.
The “Purposeful Play” exhibit theme, developed in collaboration with the Surrey Art Teachers Association and Surrey Schools, highlights the role art education can play in nurturing creative thinking.
Among the art featured is “Sneaky Chameleon,” a drawing by Sullivan Heights Secondary student Hashanah Pangli. Upon close inspection, the work is comprised entirely of the printed word ‘sneaky.’
Also beyond the norm, Olivia Finlayson’s representation of Holland Park draws the viewer into a familiar Surrey locale “with its uncharacteristic array of patchwork colours and interesting, often intricate, patterns,” explains a post at surreyschools.ca.
“We’re always impressed with the maturity and skill of Surrey’s students,” gallery assistant curator Rhys Edwards said in a release. “These youth are bursting with creative energy and we are delighted to share their voices with the world at large.”
The art show opened on Feb. 16 and continues until April 21. Admission is free at the gallery, 13750 88th Ave., at Bear Creek Park.
Since 1983, Surrey Art Gallery has hosted an annual exhibition showcasing the creativity of students in Surrey school district’s art education programs.
For a year-long run on the video wall in the gallery lobby, Pareidolia showcases work by Steve DiPaola, a professor at SFU’s School of Interactive Art and Technology.
His “generative art uses pattern-recognition software to reconfigure the world around us,” according to a post on the gallery’s website, at surrey.ca.
“His synesthetic compositions call to mind a dreamlike reality. Aping the process of pareidolia – the detection of patterns in an environment where there are none – he blends found images and patterns from the natural environment and art history with recorded footage of people and places. Nothing is quite as it seems.
“DiPaola’s work juxtaposes footage of the nearby space with gallery patrons and staff, creating a space in which each is absorbed into the other,” the website explains.
Edwards, who appears in Pareidolia, says it’s not often people find themselves the subject of an artwork.
“Steve’s work speaks to how deeply embedded we are in a world of machines,” Edwards says. “Across every level of society – from individuals to entire institutions – we find ourselves conjoined within a virtual reality that influences how and what we see.”
Meantime, the gallery will host an Art + Feminism Wikipedia Edit-a-thon on Saturday, March 16, from noon to 4 p.m., in partnership with Rungh magazine, “to support increasing the representation of women and non-binary artists on Wikipedia.”
SAG has also announced a solo exhibit by Omer Arbel, an internationally renowned designer, sculptor and artist. His Particles for the Built World opens a two-month run at the gallery on Saturday, April 13, with an artist talk at 6:30 p.m.
“See sculptural and home building experiments in fabric-formed concrete,” the gallery’s website explains.
“Experimentation drives Omer Arbel’s art and design practice. He manipulates basic materials by applying heat, force, pressure, electricity, or movement to achieve surprising results.”
Also currently featured at Surrey Art Gallery is Surrey-based artist Nicoletta Baumeister’s In the Realm of Perception, the short film Triangle Trade (by Camille Turner, Jérôme Havre and Cauleen Smith) and Colette Urban’s Gambler, an interactive jigsaw puzzle.