Dc3 Art Projects is an Edmonton-based contemporary art gallery determined to support artists in bringing their work to the public eye. The gallery’s current exhibition features Tammy Salzl’s “simplest of gestures” and Brandon Vickerd’s “Faltering Monuments.” The artists’ exhibits display transfixing watercolours and intriguing sculpture, respectively.
Tammy Salzl recently finished her master of fine arts at Concordia and has a number of upcoming projects. “I draw from contemporary issues and personal anxieties to make art that shifts familiar narratives,” Salzl says in her artist statement, acknowledging that her work can be “simultaneously saccharine and grotesque.” Toronto-based artist Brandon Vickerd explains that he uses his work as a “catalyst for critical thought,” according his artist statement. “[M]y goal is to provoke the viewer into questioning the [dominant] myth of progress ingrained in Western world views.”
The two artists’ work combined in the gallery can at first be quite shocking to the senses. Salzl’s strong use of colour and illusion in her portraits explicitly displays the psychological atmosphere her paintings convey. Vickerd’s installations of fallen monuments from history and pop culture depict the inner failings of characters who have been previously held on pedestals. Gallery director Michelle Schultz states, “What I really like about this work is that it challenges you, and elicits a reaction, which is the most important thing art should do.”
“Tammy’s work is very interesting in the relationships she has with these people,” says Schultz, when asked what she finds most interesting about the current art exhibit. She then points to the piece in the centre, a portrait of Salzl’s daughter Ronan called “Girl Inbetween.”
“Tammy asked Ronan to go put on the dress that she wore when she first decided to become female publicly. So, Ronan is transgender, and that is the dress that she wore when she began publicly living as a girl. It’s a very powerful work, and you can see the strong relationship Tammy has with her daughter. It’s a very loving portrait,” Schultz explains.
The works present in the gallery bring to light the artist’s experiences, allowing the observer to be involved in very personal accounts. Schultz goes on to explain how dc3 Art Projects brings recognition to modern contemporary art. “Dc3 Art Projects support emerging and mid-career artists, giving them a platform to show their work which they might not otherwise have,” she says.
Schultz says that public responses to the gallery have been very positive, but explains that the exhibit hasn’t been officially launched, and that the artists’ reception at the end of the month will hopefully bring in more members of the public. The artists’ reception will be held Friday, Sept. 25 from 5 p.m. – 9 p.m., and it will give viewers a chance to meet and talk with the artists, as well as view their fascinating works of art.