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Event Details

Environmental Art Show: Where the Wild Things...Aren't?

Sunday, April 22, 2012 until Sunday, May 06, 2012

"Control", Stefan Thompson, 2012

OPENING RECEPTION: Earth Day, Sunday April 22, 4-6 pm

Wall Space Gallery is geared up to produce an exceptional and diverse exhibition of art by artists who’ve been asked to respond to the age-old dilemma: what is the relationship between humanity and nature?

Scholar and environmental theorist William Cronon writes:

“This, then, is the central paradox: wilderness embodies a dualistic vision in which the human is entirely outside the natural. If we allow ourselves to believe that nature, to be true, must also be wild, then our very presence in nature represents its fall. The place where we are is the place where nature is not…We thereby leave ourselves little hope of discovering what an ethical, sustainable, honorable human place in nature might actually look like.” (excerpted from "The Trouble with Wilderness; or, Getting back to the Wrong Nature")


Taking Cronon’s assertion as a starting point, “Where the Wild Things…Aren’t?”, an upcoming group exhibition opening Earth Day 2012 (April 22) at Wall Space Gallery, Ottawa, explores the human relationship to the thing we call ‘nature’. Curator Cynthia Mykytyshyn aims to foster an atmosphere of intimate reflection and thoughtful dialogue; viewers may be prompted to ask questions of themselves and to confront assumptions of a relationship often taken for granted. The goal is not to condemn nor to prescribe solutions; instead, we encourage individuals to engage imaginatively with the theme of the human-nature connection, and to question common attitudes and habits.


The show will feature works by artists with diverse backgrounds and practices, yet all share a keen interest in exploring themes of environment in their respective bodies of work. Featured artists include: Ottawa-area natives Stefan Thompson, Barbara Cuerden and Carmella Karijo Rother, along with Gareth Bate, Karen Abel, Jessica Marion Barr, Tony Taylor, Ingrid Koivukangas, and Jane Fulton Alt. Using a range of media from photography to chicken bones to coloured felt, these artists demonstrate their creativity and their concern, responding attentively to the contemporary fear of the ‘global environmental crisis’. While we often hear about the political and the economical aspects of our encounters with the environment, it is important to also consider other ways that we encounter ‘nature’, as these leave us open to continually ask questions and find wonder.


Special guest speaker, author, poet and curator John K. Grande will deliver a talk April 26th, 2012 at 7pm, centred around his latest endeavors, experiences and his perspectives on the show, followed by a Q&A period. Grande has contributed extensively to the Canadian and international arts communities over the past 25 years. Specializing in art and ecology he has produced such seminal publications as Balance: Art and Nature (Black Rose Books, 1994), Art Nature Dialogues (SUNY Press, New York 2003), Dialogues in Diversity; Art from Marginal to Mainstream (Pari, Italy 2007) and Homage to Jean-Paul Riopelle (Prospect Press /Gaspereau Press, 2011), to name a few.  Grande has published countless catalogue essays on artists and exhibited and read his poetry internationally. John Grande will be curating a show of Earth Art at the Van Dusen Gardens in Vancouver, B.C. in the summer of 2012.
For more information, visit John’s website

We welcome community organizations who are environmentally minded to participate through sponsorship opportunities. Please inquire at

This exhibition represents a partial fulfillment of Cynthia's degree requirements. This research was supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.

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