Preston Pavlis is an Edmonton-based emerging artist, and is also the 2019 BMO 1st Art! winner for Alberta. His submission, the multimedia piece your skin behind the lattice, was completed during his second year of MacEwan University’s Fine Arts diploma program.
Winning the BMO prize was at first surprising for Pavlis, but as he recovered from the shock, he has since come to see the experience as deeply humbling. “To be recognized after completing my diploma is a pretty big honour,” Pavlis says, noting that he is very proud of MacEwan’s fine art department and feels that both the faculty and curriculum encouraged much of his artistic exploration.
Featuring elements of embroidery and textile in partnership with painted canvas, Pavlis says your skin behind the lattice “aims to reconcile personal truth with a layered perspective of the past. Through viewing the piece, the observer is invited to come closer and perhaps uncover something about themselves that they may not know.” Pavlis feels that the marriage between each aspect helps to create a deeper personal connection, drawing viewers (and himself) closer to the piece. As the first of its kind in format and scale, this winning submission has proved to be a jumping-off point for Pavlis’ current and future works, pieces which he hopes will explore process and technique, entwine painting and textile as mediums, all in order to reveal the narrative within the art.
Pavlis graduated from MacEwan in Spring ‘19 and continues to live and work in Edmonton.