Window Galleries - June 2017

June 2, 2017


For Immediate Release
June 2, 2017


Arts Commons Presents: Put the “Her” in Heritage

Celebrating the stories of women in this exhibition for Canada’s 150


CALGARY – Arts Commons is happy to welcome three unique exhibits to the Window Galleries this June.  Focusing on alternative narratives and giving voice to those who might have been excluded from the first 150 years. Window Galleries from June-August will focus on the telling of women’s stories of their relationships, hopes, communicating and the strength of perseverance through adversity. These 3 exhibitions show the tenderness and strength of personal and cultural history, these exhibits feature artists Hannah Doerksen, Nicole Kelly Westman, Areum Kim, and sisters Brittney and Richelle Bear Hat. 

The Forgotten Years mimics a neglected shop window with personal images and objects from the artist chosen to give a melancholic and conflicted view of the past.  The work endeavors to balance expressions of pride and shame while seeking to evoke remorse, resiliency, reconciliation and redemption. 

maybe we’re drawn to water because of the rhythm or maybe because it’s what we’re made of  works to dissect the authority of language.  Over the period of a year, this document was passed back and forth between Nicole Kelly Westman and Areum Kim to build up layers of words, evolving into a coherent and unpredictable third voice. 

CAMP places specific materials to serve as quiet mementos of an ever-evolving Native culture both recognizing their historical significance and honouring their place in collective memory. Sisters Brittney and Richelle Bear Hat build conversation together and using storytelling as the main key to their practices. 

The Window Galleries at Arts Commons consist of seven display spaces which provide exhibition opportunities for two dimensional and sculptural works, running in three month intervals and are open to all emerging and professional artists and collectives.


Arts Commons Presents Visual and Media Arts

Title:                                    The Forgotten Years, maybe we’re drawn to water because of the rhythm or maybe because it’s what we’re made of, and CAMP

Location:                            Window Galleries at Arts Commons (beside Max Bell Theatre)

Date:                                   June 5 – August 28, 2017

Artist Reception:              Artist reception at Happenings #9 on Mezzanine Level of Arts Commons on Monday, August 18 from 6-9 pm                            



Please see attached for artist biographies.


For media inquiries or more information contact:

Alex Bonyun, Communications Manager



Artist Biographies


Hannah Doerksen is a Calgary based visual artist who received a BFA from the Alberta College of Art and Design in 2012. During her studies, Doerksen spent a year abroad at the New York Studio Residency Program in Brooklyn, NY and the California Collage of Art in San Francisco. Since graduating, Doerksen has exhibited in Brazil, the UK, the United States and through-out Canada.  Recently, Doerksen has developed installations for The Esker Foundation’s Project Space, the 2015 Alberta Biennial of Contemporary Art and The Walter Phillips Gallery.


Nicole Kelly Westman is a visual artist of Métis and Icelandic descent. She grew up in a supportive home with strong-willed parents—her mother, a considerate woman with inventive creativity, and her father, an anonymous feminist. Her work culls from these formative years for insight and inspiration. Creating work that exists beyond the binaries of a specific medium, Westman has had the pleasure and privilege to be curated into exhibitions by remarkable curators including: Ginger Carlson, Kimberly Phillips, Peta Rake, Kristy Trinier, Jesse Birch, Leila Timmins, and cheyanne turions. Westman holds a BFA from Emily Carr University and is the current Director of Stride Gallery, Calgary.


Areum Kim writes and curates and has had the privilege of working with many interesting artists and projects at artist-run centres both in Calgary and Vancouver. She is currently based in Calgary, after receiving her BFA from Emily Carr University of Art and Design. Kim is interested in the relationship between image and text, and is currently working on a project on tracing the conditions of mother language and the course of reclamation or forfeiting of one’s language. 


Brittney Bear Hat is a graduate from the Alberta College of Art and Design in 2011, where she majored in painting with an interest in collage and drawing. Based in Calgary, her work focuses on identity and belonging. Half Blackfoot and half Cree, Bear Hat makes work about memory and how her personal history is what makes her Native. Her work involves the process of taking her own family photos or personal items and combining them with text, retelling stories and memories. With each piece, Bear Hat is trying to figure out what is hers and what she can call home.


Richelle Bear Hat is a Calgary based First Nations artist with both Blackfoot and Cree heritage. She graduated from the Alberta College of Art and Design with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Drawing in 2011. Her practice investigates ideas surrounding family relationships and the types of knowledge that are capable of being passed through them. These ideas are explored through the use of photography, transfers, video and paper based works. It is important to use materials and means of production that support the transference of memory and provide a platform for storytelling


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