Regina, Saskatchewan – Wednesday, 11 September, 2019: The MacKenzie Art Gallery is pleased to present VampSites, the latest exhibition from Regina-raised artist Mitchell Wiebe. Organized by the Confederation Centre Art Gallery in Charlottetown, PEI, and curated by Pan Wendt, Wiebe’s paintings have a fantastical, carnival theme to them, and he imports the chaos and theatre of his studio into the well-lit, rational architecture of the art gallery. VampSites will open on 19 September at 7 PM. The reception will include a performance by Mitchell Wiebe and fellow-Saskatchewan-raised artist Graeme Patterson inside of the MacKenzie café, Craft Services.
“We are thrilled to be hosting Mitchell Wiebe back in Regina at the MacKenzie Art Gallery,” says Anthony Kiendl, Executive Director and CEO of the MacKenzie Art Gallery. “Wiebe’s exhibition will offer our visitors the opportunity to interact with our installations in a way they aren’t normally able to—as our team, alongside Mitchell, allows the audience a glimpse into our processes and decision-making leading up to the opening.”
From 12 September to 19 September, guests are invited to witness the installation of the exhibition during Gallery hours. Wiebe constructs his exhibitions based on the architecture of the specific galleries he is working in, so no iteration of VampSites is ever quite the same. Guests will have the opportunity to see the process as it happens and have the opportunity to provide input on the exhibition in an organic way. In the last installation, the involvement of the audience led to the creation of a mobile that hinged to the floor and could be activated by pulling a string.
“The most inspirational shows I’ve experienced have been installations that allow the audience a glimpse into decisions made in the paintings and art-making process. The context is so important, and I am thrilled to be allowed to work with the architecture of the MacKenzie Art Gallery,” says artist Mitchell Wiebe. “I like a painting to read as if the imagination of the viewer can have a conversation with another world. I hope audiences will be inspired to make art, or even invent a joke.”
“Mitchell Wiebe’s VampSites is a testament to the MacKenzie’s mission to provide transformative experiences of the world through art,” says Nathan Schissel, President of the MacKenzie Art Gallery’s Board of Trustees. “The interactive component of this exhibition is unparalleled, and we are thrilled that Mitchell has also agreed to have his exhibition play a prominent role in the MacKenzie Gala on November 1.”
This year’s MacKenzie Gala will feature the work of Mitchell Wiebe. His bold colours and black lights will give Gala guests the rare opportunity to party inside an exhibition on November 1.
Growing up in Regina, Wiebe was influenced by an early appreciation of the local whimsical approach to art and ceramics. Wiebe first considered making art, particularly making art in a public space, at the University of Regina, where he participated in a 3D class with instructor Gisele Amantea.
Mitchell Wiebe will be available for interviews throughout the installation process. Please contact a member of our Communications team below to set up a time.
About Mitchell Wiebe
Mitchell Wiebe lives in Halifax, Nova Scotia, where he practices painting, music, installation and performance. The climate of this village allows for time to stretch and bend. And the windy coast stirs the air. Growing up in Regina, and influenced by an early appreciation of the local whimsical approach to art and ceramics in particular is evident. Often populated by strange characters, Wiebe’s paintings echo social scenarios in a bombastic, pointed and playfully blurred manner. Collaborations with artists such as Ray Fenwick, Graeme Patterson and Craig Leonard inevitably get distilled back at the studio, where large canvases carry blobs and impressions of the rich experiences. Wiebe’s paintings can be found in collections throughout Canada, the USA, Germany and Venice, Italy. He received his MFA from NSCAD University in Halifax, and his BFA from ECUAD in Vancouver.
About Graeme Patterson
Graeme Patterson (born in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan) graduated from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design in 2002, and now lives in Sackville, New Brunswick. His work has been exhibited and screened internationally, including national solo tours of Woodrow and Secret Citadel and shows at the National Gallery of Canada, MASS MoCA, the Art Gallery of Hamilton, the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, and Galerie de l’UQAM. His recent accomplishments include the 2012 Canada Council for the Arts Victor Martyn Lynch-Staunton Award (media arts), finalist for the 2010 Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia Masterworks Arts Award, and Atlantic finalist for the 2014 and
2009 Sobey Art Award.