Shannon Gerard: Unspent Love, or, Things I Wish I Told You – Nick Novak Fellowship Exhibition
From November 4 through 28, 2010, Open Studio was pleased to present the 2010 Scholarship/Fellowship Exhibitions, featuring work by artists Shannon Gerard (Nick Novak Fellowship), Nadine Bariteau (Donald O’Born Family Scholarship), and Tobias Williams (Don Phillips Scholarship). Each year, Open Studio awards three scholarships/fellowships, providing artists working in print media with both professional support and access to studio facilities to create new work during a one-year period. All three artists gave illustrated talks about their work and the progress of their projects over the year on Thursday, November 4, 2010 at Open Studio, followed by an opening reception. For further information about our scholarship program, please click on Scholarships on the menu to the left.
In the Open Studio Gallery, Shannon Gerard’s Unspent Love, or, Things I Wish I Told You paired graphic novel-style images with text in a multi-media bookwork that collects twenty illustrated vignettes in one volume and incorporates screenprint, letterpress, digital print, and bookbinding. Excerpts from the bookwork were also exhibited as larger prints wheatpasted on the walls of the gallery. The stories present quotidian moments centred on intimate themes such as loss, fear, human frailty and hope. Unspent Love won First Prize in the Graphic Narrative category in This Magazine‘s Great Canadian Literary Hunt 2010. An excerpt of the project was published in the November/December 2010 issue of This Magazine. A companion installation, presented outside of YYZ Artist’s Outlet, will evolve the Unspent Love project for one year, until late 2011.
Shannon Gerard works across a variety of media. She writes and draws comics, crochets soft sculptures, binds books and makes prints. Early chapters of Unspent Love appeared as an online serial for Top Shelf Productions (many thanks to Brett Warnock and Leigh Walton). An excerpt of this project recently won first prize in the Graphic Narrative category of This Magazine’s Great Canadian Literary Hunt and appears in the Nov/Dec 2010 issue. Many residents of Shannon’s Small Town loaned their faces and hearts to this work and deserve sincerest gratitude and love, especially Scott and Willy (the right conditions are imperative).
Open Studio thanks The Catherine and Maxwell Meighen Foundation and the Donald O’Born Family for their kind support of the 2009-10 Scholarship/Fellowship Program. An essay by Joel Elliot accompanied the exhibitions. Joel Elliott is a Toronto-based writer, filmmaker and video artist. He is currently finishing his MFA in Documentary Media at Ryerson University, where he is conducting a thesis on Mt. Ararat, the history of Christianity in the Near East and the Armenian Genocide. His work revolves around the genres of essay film and historical documentary, and his interests lie primarily in theology, memory and the study of violence and atrocities.