Local Calgary art enthusiasts gathered at the Southern Jubilee Auditorium last winter to attend The Alberta Society of Artists’ Memory & Dreams, a traveling visual art exhibit. From Dec. 2022 to April 8, 2023, the exhibition showcased a diverse collection of pieces carefully selected from Alberta artist’s submissions. 

The artworks ranged from traditional paintings and drawings to mixed media and digital pieces, showcasing the talent and creativity of Alberta’s art community. According to the Alberta Society of Artists website, this collection of pieces was carefully selected by a “blind jury” using specific criteria who had no prior knowledge of the artists’ identities.

David Harrison is one of the artists who participated in the show, displaying a mixed-media work of art. He is both an artist and art educator with a MA from the University of Calgary.

Harrison’s piece is titled  I AM WHAT I AM…, a nod to the fictional cartoon character Popeye. Describing the artwork, he recalls the tragic story of his uncle, who suffered a childhood accident rendering him disabled and illiterate, and how he regrets not embracing him before he passed away.

“It’s a piece of the past and things are what they are,” said Harrison You can’t go back and change history. So it is what it is. I wish I would have known this guy better.” 

Like Harrison, many of the other artist’s descriptions of their artwork were deeply personal, drawing on the artist’s own memories and experiences. Other artists explored the concept of memory and dreams more broadly fitting into an overall unifying theme.

The exhibit moves on to the Northern Jubilee Auditorium in Edmonton running from April 17 until August 14.

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