Young Sarnia artist featured in new exhibition
Full Spectrum, running through Nov. 25 in a second floor gallery, looks at how humans perceive and understand colour, and includes work by Blair Tate.
A summer job led to work by student artist Blair Tate being included in an exhibition opening Friday at the Judith and Norman Alix Art Gallery in Sarnia’s downtown.
Full Spectrum, running through Nov. 25 in a second floor gallery, looks at how humans perceive and understand colour, and includes work by Tate, an art student at Montreal’s Concordia University, as well as selected pieces from the public art gallery’s own permanent collection of Canadian art.
Tate, 24, attended St. Clair Secondary School in Sarnia, and worked for three months this summer as a studio assistant at Lambton County’s public art gallery where he was invited to help curate an exhibition with assistant curator Sonya Blazek.
In the end, the exhibition includes three of his photo-based pieces.
“A lot of my personal work focuses on colour and light, so it kind of just meshed very well with the theme of the show that Sonya was looking for,” Tate said.
The exhibition was inspired by David Batchelor’s book Chromophobia.
“It’s a critique of Western society’s use and, I guess, fear of colour,” Tate said.
“The Full Spectrum exhibition questions some of the associations that colour has been saturate with for decades,” Blazek said.
“The artwork of Blair Tate comes together with works from the permanent collection to explore some of these relations.”
Tate, who spent a co-op term at The Observer while in high school, said he started out expecting to pursue a career in photojournalism but later found himself drawn to art.
“I felt that way of telling the story is what I wanted to do,” he said.
He spent time studying photography at Ryerson University in Toronto before attending Lambton College where he completed an electrical mechanical engineering program.
While at Lambton, he also took pottery and drawing courses and following graduation enrolled at Concordia to study art.
Tate has returned to Montreal for the start of classes and isn’t certain he will be able to return to Sarnia to see the completed exhibition.
“It’s still pretty surreal,” he said.
“I never really imagined it taking place when I started there.”
The exhibition Full Spectrum is set to open at the gallery, 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., as part of First Friday events downtown.
By Paul Morden, Sarnia Observer
September 6, 2018