Martha Street Studio was honoured to host series of artist talks, taking place virtually every Sunday afternoon, between March 13th and April 24th, 2022. A new artist presented their work, passion, influences and ideas about art and life each week. The talks were all free to the public and streamed via Zoom. You can see all recorded talks on our Vimeo page here: https://vimeo.com/user82891620
Five artists presented during this series:
In addition to the talks, a series of free, limited edition risograph and screen print posters were produced in collaboration with Martha Street Studio and participating artists. These posters were distributed across Canada in the spring and summer of 2022.
This series was made possible thanks to the Canada Council for the Arts – Arts Across Canada.
Presented Sunday, March 13, 2022
Emma Nishimura works with a diversity of media, including printmaking, photography, sculpture and installation. Her work addresses ideas of memory and loss that are rooted within family stories and inherited narratives. Emma received her BA from the University of Guelph, and her MFA from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She has exhibited nationally and internationally at venues including, the Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto, ON; the Royal Academy of Arts, London, UK; the International Print Center New York, NY; and the Taimiao Art Gallery, Beijing, China. Emma’s work is in a number of public and private collections, such as the Royal Ontario Museum, the Art Gallery of Ontario and the Library of Congress. She has received grants from the Ontario Arts Council, and won awards from Open Studio, the International Print Center New York, Art in Print, and The Print Center. She is the recipient of the Queen Sonja Print Award 2018. Emma is an Assistant Professor and the Chair of Photography, Printmaking and Publications at OCAD University.
My research and art making practice focus on the complicated experiences my paternal grandparents and thousands of other Japanese Canadians endured throughout their forced incarceration during the Second World War and in the years after. Exploring the different forms and incarnations that memory can take, I am investigating how specific memories can be navigated, remembered and revisited. In doing so, I am looking at various ways of story-telling, including historical and fictional narratives. Currently, my primary focus of research is on oral narratives and personal / community engagement. A secondary focus of my research is on the theory of postmemory, a term coined by Marianne Hirsch, that looks at how trauma continues to affect and form the foundation of cultural communities. Pulling inspiration from my research, my studio practice involves working with traditional and non-traditional printmaking processes, digital printing, drawing, papermaking and installation based approaches.
Presented Sunday, March 27, 2022
Joseph Pilapil (he/him) graduated from digital media design at Red River College in 2011. He worked as a designer and audio technician for 7 years while working on various creative projects on the side. Joseph has always had an interest in design, art, lettering, and graffiti and those interests led him to the world of sign painting.
Joseph started learning sign painting from a Winnipeg based sign maker named Rick Wagner at his sign shop Signmiester. Since then, Joseph started the Travelling Sign Painters which he now runs full time. He works on a variety of signs for both commercial and personal projects through the Travelling Sign Painters. He also tries to continuously better himself as a designer and as a sign maker while also exploring how to express his ideas through the medium and techniques of lettering and sign painting.
Presented Sunday, April 3, 2022
My inninew name is flying overhead in circles eagle woman, my professional name is KC Adams and I am a relational creator, a term used for people who make art that connects to Indigenous worldview. I am also an educator, activist and mentor. I specialize in social activist art and my focus is on the dynamic relationship between nature (the living) and technology (progress). I create work that explores technology and how it relates to identity and knowledge. My process is to start with an idea and then choose a medium that best represents that thought. I work in video, installation, drawing, painting, photography, ceramics, welding, printmaking, kinetic art, adornment art and public art.
KC Adams will be speaking about her past work Gage’gajiiwaan (Water flowing eternally brings people together), from her 2020 solo exhibition at the Art Gallery of South Western Manitoba, as well as providing a preview of her new work for her upcoming solo exhibition at the C2 Centre for Craft. Gage’gajiiwaan reflects on the relationships between ancestral knowledge, memory and the sacredness of water. Using a variety of media, including copper, pottery and “birch bark technology,” the exhibition is a visual reminder of the knowledge bundles (traditional teachings) that are passed onto the next generation of life givers and water protectors. Mazes of digital circuit boards along swaths of birch bark reveal the dynamic relationship between nature and technology; copper and clay pottery, created using ancestral methods, reflect traditions of caring for water. The exhibition asks: How can traditional ways of being in relation with water guide relationships to water in the future? Can ancestral knowledge systems inform new technologies of caring for water in Indigenous communities? In the context of limited access to safe drinking water in too many First Nations communities, calling attention to the inherent sacredness of water is critically important. KC Adams shares her ongoing personal endeavour to recall lasting pathways of blood memory and transmit knowledge of traditional relationships with water for future generations.
Presented Sunday, April 10, 2022
Jin-me Yoon is a Korean-born, Vancouver-based artist. Since the early 1990s, her lens-based practice has critically examined the construction of self and other in relation to her own direct and inherited history, as well as within broader geopolitical contexts. Unpacking stereotypical assumptions and dominant discourses, Yoon’s work has examined gender and sexuality, culture and ethnicity, citizenship and nationhood. Adopting a wider and wider lens over time, her practice has become a deep investigation into entangled local and global histories existing at specific sites within the context of transnationalism.
Jin-me Yoon’s practice, which stretches over thirty years, has witnessed the presentation of her work in over 200 solo and group exhibitions across North America, Asia, and Australia, as well as select institutions worldwide. Her work is held in 17 Canadian and International public collections, including the National Gallery of Canada, Royal Ontario Museum, Vancouver Art Gallery and Seoul Museum of Art.
As Professor of Visual Arts at Simon Fraser University, she has mentored many students over the years, and has delivered 80 guest lectures throughout Canada and the United States, as well as in Korea, Mexico, Ireland, Japan, Spain and India. Recognized for her research contributions in the field of Art, in 2018, Jin-me Yoon was elected as a Fellow into the Royal Society of Canada, a council of distinguished Canadian scholars, humanists, scientists and artists. In 2009, she was selected as a finalist for the Grange Prize (AIMIA, the AGO’s Photography Prize); in 2013 she was awarded the Smithsonian Artist Research Fellowship; in 2017, Yoon was included in Landmarks/Repères, one of 12 leading Canadian artists commissioned to make work for Canada’s 150th anniversary, and in 2020 she was a finalist for the prestigious Scotiabank Photography Award, celebrating excellence in Canadian Contemporary Photography.
Presented Sunday, April 24, 2022
Juan Ortiz-Apuy is a Canadian-Costa Rican artist who has been living and working in Tiohtià:ke/Montreal since 2003. Ortiz-Apuy has a BFA from Concordia University (2008), a Post-Graduate Diploma from The Glasgow School of Art (2009), and an MFA from NSCAD University (2011).
His work has been exhibited across Canada and internationally in venues such as Les Abattoirs Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art (France), IKEA Museum (Sweden), Pamflett (Norway), DHC/ART Fondation Phi pour l’art contemporain (Montreal), Owens Art Gallery (Sackville), Carleton University Art Gallery (Ottawa), MOMENTA Biennale de l’image (Montreal), Quebec City Biennial: Manif d’art 7 (Québec), Truck Contemporary Art (Calgary), Museum London (London), Gallery 44 Centre for Contemporary Photography (Toronto), VOX Centre de l’image Contemporaine (Montreal), and The MacLaren Arts Centre (Barrie).
His work has been awarded numerous grants from the Canada Council for the Arts and Le Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec, and has been reviewed in various publications such as Canadian Art, MOMUS, esse arts + opinions, The Gazette (Montreal), Le Devoir (Montreal), and Public Parking.
Ortiz-Apuy has completed several artist-in-residence programs, most notably at The Vermont Studio Center (USA), The Frans Masereel Centre (Belgium), and the Guldagergaard International Ceramic Research Center (Denmark). Ortiz-Apuy is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Studio Arts at Concordia University.
My research and practice focus on materiality and commodity fetishism as viewed through the lenses of postcolonialism and environmental exploitation. The foundations of my practice are rooted in my identity as a Costa Rican Canadian, and my experience of geographic and cultural relocation, for example, my installation La Guaria Morada inverts the idea of ecotourism through the creation of an artificial tropical ecosystem that simultaneously supports and hinders the growth of the national flower of Costa Rica—a rainforest orchid. This environment is achieved through the use of an industrial humidifier, dehumidifiers, and the labour of gallery staff, who are charged with caring for the plants.
In a time of environmental crisis, when the abundance of commodity production threatens to replace natural diversity, attending to stuff matters more than ever. I use juxtaposition, assemblage and collage as a way to sort through, understand and deal critically with our image and object-saturated era of advanced capitalism. My video installation The Garden of Earthly Delights presents a collage of YouTube unboxing videos in which tantalizing hands and seductive narrators delight in unveiling Apple Watches, Fruit of the Loom men’s briefs, live turtles and more. I am, as a sculptor, genuinely amazed by the profound relationship that we, as consumers, have to matter and material.
Such conflation of living and inanimate objects, and of natural and artificial environments is reflected in advertising, where products are infused with zoomorphic or anthropomorphic properties through the use of mimesis, sympathetic magic and animism. I approach mass-produced objects as autonomous animated entities that amass pleasures, sensations and fetishes. My installation Tropicana uses found objects, stock footage of animals, and digital rendering to explore the visual rhetoric that surrounds product identity, especially ideas of tropical exoticism, naturalness, and freshness.