A call has gone out for Lambton County artists interested in seeing their work “pop up” at the Judith and Norman Alix Art Gallery.

The county’s public art gallery in downtown Sarnia is seeking entries for its Look and See program, open to all Lambton artists, including those haven’t shown before in a formal exhibition.

“Look and See is an opportunity for artists living in Lambton County to receive a curatorial studio visit, have their art considered for a ‘Pop Up’ exhibition at the Judith and Norman Alix Art Gallery, and present a public talk and tour about their work,” said gallery curator-supervisor Lisa Daniels.

Artists selected will have their work presented at the gallery June 1 to 17 or July 6 to 15.

“This is an opportunity for us to discover artists out in the community that we may not be aware of,” Daniels said.

“Building relationships with galleries is very important, and this can be the start of that.”

Any media will be considered but all the work must be original, and artists who have had an exhibition at the gallery in the past three years, or are scheduled for one in the coming three years, aren’t eligible.

Artists who have applied to Look and See in the past, but weren’t selected for a pop up show, can apply again.

Submissions must include an artist statement, $25 entry fee, a USB with JPEG images of up to 12 works or a short video of time-based work, and special installation instructions if required.

All submissions must be mailed or dropped off at the gallery by Feb. 18.

Application forms and submission details can be found at the gallery’s website, www.jnaag.ca.

The process used for Look and See matches what artists would use to apply to another gallery or for grant funding, Daniels said.

“We see this both as a learning opportunity for local artists who want to sort of get to that next level,” she said.

“And, it’s also an opportunity for us to go out and discover new artists and have additional conversations with them.”

Daniels said they found in the past that some photographs of artist’s work being submitted with applications didn’t well represent their work.

So, the gallery offered a workshop with a professional art photographer and made that available to artists in the community.

“Because,” Daniels said, “that’s really critical if they want to apply for grants or other exhibition opportunities.”

The gallery put out a similar call for Look and See entries in 2016, leading to two short exhibitions.

“The way the schedule works out, this is kind of a little pop up between exhibitions,” Daniels said.

In 2016, Sarnia artist Gary Nixon was selected for one of the pop up shows. His work was shown alongside a selection of work from the gallery’s permanent collection to place his pieces in the broader story of Canadian art history.

“It made for a very interesting exhibition,” Daniels said.

A second pop up show in 2016 included two of the applicants.

“It’s an opportunity to have your work curated, which a lot of individual artists may not have had the opportunity for,” Daniels said.

“It’s also an opportunity to see your work in a big gallery.”

Exhibitions by local artists have been a regular part of the gallery’s schedule since it opened downtown, Daniels said.

“This is a way to open the doors even wider.”

By Paul Morden, Sarnia Observer

Original Article