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Arts + Culture

Community, Comradery, and The Female Lens at Exposure Photography Festival

The works in The Female Lens, a female-driven photography exhibition opening February 2, don’t seem distinctly female. According to photographer Heather Saitz, the show’s co-curator, it’s the ideas and emotions behind the images that give them their loud female voice and demonstrate a collaborative spirit. Saitz has worked with the all female-run Christine Klassen Gallery (CKG) to feature nine female photo-based artists as part of the Exposure Photography Festival.

Rather than focus on one singular Female Perspective, The Female Lens brings together a combination of well-known and up-and-coming artists to demonstrate just how distinct their perspectives can be. “Working closely with all the artists and CKG, I’ve witnessed a magical sense of comradery that happens when women band together and lift each other up,” says Saitz. “I think that is the most special part about this show.”

The Female Lens runs from February 2 to March 9, 2019, at the Christine Klassen Gallery. The opening reception takes place on February 8 from 5-8 p.m. and an Artist Panel will be held on February 23 beginning at 2 p.m. Each event is open to the public.

Meet the Artists of The Female Lens

Diana Thorneycroft

Lucy (the lizard hunter), digital photograph, 30 x 30 in.

Diana Thorneycroft is an established Winnipeg artist known for producing and photographing sculptural dioramas employing dark humour and childhood toys to explore a variety of subjects. Her celebrated career has spanned close to three decades and includes nearly 100 international exhibitions.

Dona Schwartz

Home Studies – Virtual Home

Dona Schwartz is an established American artist living and working in Calgary. Her award-winning photographs examine everyday life and culture and have been exhibited, collected, and published internationally for over thirty years. Dona is a Professor and Interim Head of the Department of Art, University of Calgary, as well as President and Board Chair of the Exposure Photography Festival.

Elyse Bouvier

Lan in the Dragon Room, archival inkjet, 24 x 30 in.

Elyse Bouvier is an emerging photographer based in Calgary. Her work seeks to reveal identities of and within communities, especially in rural Alberta, with a particular focus on how food intersects with cultural identities.

Haley Eyre

I Don’t Want to Clean 2, archival inkjet, 24 x 24 in.

Haley Eyre is a Calgary-based emerging artist currently studying at the Alberta College of Art and Design. Influenced by the glamour and appeal of fashion photography, her photographs use humour to comment on feminism and gender politics.

Heather Saitz (co-curator)

Showgirl, archival inkjet, 30 x 30 in.

Heather Saitz has been merging her skills as an award-winning photographer and art director for over fifteen years. Drawing inspiration from theories of Cultural Ecology, Heather travels to offbeat locales with her vintage medium-format rangefinder camera in search of subjects with cultural and historical pertinence. Born and raised in Ontario, she currently calls Calgary home.

Julya Hajnoczky

Adiantum pedatum, archival pigment print, 48 x 36 in.

Julya Hajnoczky’s multidisciplinary practice includes digital and analog photography, paper sculpture, and embroidery, and seeks to inspire curiosity about the complex relationships between humans and the natural world. She was born and raised in Calgary.

Lori Andrews (featured image: Sanctuary, Wonder Series 5, photographic print, 11 x 17 in.)

Lori Andrews is a photographer and interior designer living and working in Calgary whose work has been published in print and electronic media for over a decade. Widely known for her headless self-portraits as the10centdesigner, her narrative based self-portraits explore notions of identity, voyeurism, feminism, obsession, and ego.

Rocio Graham

When I Think of Home #13, inkjet, 40 x 86.5 in.

Rocio Graham is an emerging photographer based in Calgary. Her poignant still lives begin the moment she selects a seed to nurture, and are influenced by her Mexican heritage, identity as a woman and mother, and reflections on daily life.

Vivek Shraya

Trisha 5, archival inkjet, 24 x 36 in.

Vivek Shraya is a Calgary-based artist whose body of work crosses the boundaries of music, literature, visual art, and film. She is a Publishing Triangle Award winner, Polaris Music Prize nominee, and four-time Lambda Literary Award finalist, who has been lauded by The Writer’s Trust of Canada, The Globe and Mail, CBC, and Vanity Fair.

Want to learn about more talented local women? Learn how five Calgary women entrepreneurs got their start!

By Fraser Tripp

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