Snap, Crackle, Pop explodes on the 2010 scene

The new year comes in with a bang at the U of L Art Gallery as Snap, Crackle, Pop opens with a reception on Friday, Jan. 15, at 4 p.m. in the U of L Main Gallery.

This contemporary group exhibition, curated by Gallery Director/Curator Dr. Josephine Mills, showcases the work of past and present southern Alberta artists who explore the iconography, materials and visual aesthetic of popular culture.

The works Mills has chosen for the exhibition are light-hearted and accessible, while also calling to mind current events as portrayed by modern media.

"There are disaster-inspired and macabre themes throughout the works, but with element of optimism," explains Mills. "We live in a world surrounded by doom and gloom – from the economy to global warming – but the artists in this exhibition find optimism through playing with pop culture."

The exhibit includes work by U of L alumni Shanell Papp and Len Komanac.

"Shanell works with fabric and textiles and this exhibition features her embroidered life-size human skeletons and crocheted blood-pools," says Mills. "Len's pieces depict four disasters in a trailer park such as a giant squid rising from a kiddy-pool to angry trees seeking revenge for chopping one of their own into firewood."

"Art duo Dave & Jenn create fantastic landscapes by layering paint within acrylic resin and by drawing inspiration from the Group of Seven's famous imagery," she adds.

Dave & Jenn will give a talk in Art NOW on Jan. 15 at noon in the Recital Hall.

Other featured works include Christopher Moore's sculptures of military paraphernalia covered in hot pink flocking and Lisa Brawn's highly stylized woodcarvings of Canadian icons and macho men. A series of paintings entitled Erstaz Bats by Jason Mathis references both comic book culture and pop art's devotion to multiples; each panel depicts one of Mathis' friends, dressed in a Batman costume.

Snap, Crackle, Pop is on display in the U of L Main Gallery and Helen Christou Gallery from Jan. 15 through Feb. 26. The Main Gallery is open weekdays from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and until 8:30 p.m. on Thursday evenings.