Futures Barren/Futures Abundant // April Dean

Still image from a video work by April Dean. In this still, a print of a black and white image has colourful paint streaked in thin lines horizontally across it. The paint is in all the colours of the rainbow. The image is a plant cutting floating in a glass jar with water.
Futures Barren Film Still: II by April Dean. Inkjet print and screen print. 36 x 24". 2021.

Exhibition dates: March 12 – April 16, 2021
Please review our COVID-19 procedures in full here.

Virtual artist talk: Saturday March 20, 2pm CT
ASL interpretation is available by request for Deaf attendees. Requests must be submitted by 5pm on Wednesday March 17 to askmartha@printmakers.mb.ca.

The virtual artist talk will be delivered via Zoom. The Zoom link will be posted a week prior to the event. Zoom’s automatic closed captioning function will be enabled during the presentation. You do not need to download Zoom ahead of time, but you may do so at https://zoom.us.

This event will be recorded. Please turn off your video when joining the Zoom meeting if you prefer not to be recorded.

Exhibition text by Francesca Carella Arfinengo (to come!)

Reception: TBD

Some lucky Martha Street Studio members will receive an artist poster by April Dean with their next newsletter–renew your membership today!

These events are free to attend and open to the public.

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Martha Street Studio is pleased to present Futures Barren/Futures Abundant, a solo exhibition of work by April Dean (AB).

Futures Barren/Futures Abundant builds a connection between the regenerative qualities of plants through propagation from clippings, the generosity of the printmaking medium through disbursement of the multiple, and the potential for humans to better understand themselves as a multiple and regenerative part of a much greater and abundant whole.

Artist statement:

Late-stage capitalism has us trapped in our role as consumer and in fierce and almost constant competition for what is sold to us as limited resources and a threat of scarcity. Looking for ways to resist this narrative, affirm my belief that we are living in a time of abundance, and that there is, in fact, “enough,” I turned my attention to the houseplant as a locus, symbol, and metaphor to work through these ideas. In my art practice and my life outside the studio the houseplant has continued to foster a sense of growing care and value for relationships that exist beyond language. It has also been a constant reminder of the extractive and deeply problematic colonial worldview where ”nature” is something to be owned rather than cared for. Gazing out the window upon a manicured lawn, carefully organized garden or urban park, I’ve been trained all my life to understand the outside, the other side of the window pane, as a separate system and not as one I am inextricably a part of. Can the work of trying to unlearn and relearn better systems of coexistence be accomplished through work in the studio? What does the context of art making have to do with reimaging an abundant future? Does printmaking and all the community mindedness inherent to its practice offer lessons in how to move forward? The works offered in Futures Barren / Futures Abundant  feel fragmented and layered much like these questions, as they keep coming together and then drifting apart, resisting any sense of solid ground but rather forming more questions and framing more views of possible futures.

April Dean is a visual artist living in Treaty 6 territory, in Amiskwaciwâskahikan (Edmonton, Alberta, Canada). Her work has been exhibited across Canada and Internationally in a number of group exhibitions. She is an arts & culture administrator, community advocate, sometimes writer, and often a teacher. With formal training in photographic technology and printmaking, her work is constructed of lens-based and language fragments. In 2012 she was granted a Master of Fine Arts Degree in Fine & Media Art from NSCAD University in Halifax, Nova Scotia. She is the Executive Director of the Society of Northern Alberta Print-Artists (SNAP), a non-profit & artist-run centre.

Dean’s work can be viewed online at www.aprildeanart.com and on Instagram @adeanartallthetime.

February 18, 2021