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Sheridan's Creative Campus Galleries unveils first virtual exhibit

Nov 5, 2020

Sheridan's Creative Campus Galleries (CCG), in collaboration with the Centre for Indigenous Learning and Support and Library and Learning Services, is proud to launch its first virtual display: Conscious Culture: A Carl Beam Exhibition.

Curated by Honours Bachelor of Interior Design students Monina Lamentac and Cassidy Roylance as part of the CCG Summer 2020 Co-op placement in Exhibition Design, the exhibit showcases 12 silkscreen prints from Sheridan’s collection.

The artworks come from two related bodies of work created between the turn of the 21st century and the time of Beam’s passing. Beam, a prominent artist who made Canadian art history as the first Indigenous artist to have his work purchased by the National Gallery of Canada as Contemporary Art, is known for his use of a range of mediums including painting and pottery.

His two collections featured at Sheridan, The Whale of Our Being and Crossroads, share common themes of cultural identity, self-examination, and a departure from the natural world, with imagery ranging from pop culture icons to more personal accounts of Indigenous culture, informed by Beam’s relationship to both Euro-American and Ojibwe perspectives.

“We were really drawn to the colours of the collection because they are so bright and inviting, and we thought they would not only allow for some captivating design elements to help engage the viewer, but that they would also lend themselves especially well to the virtual world," says Roylance.

"We had to amplify our thinking to not only create something virtual, but something impactful," adds Lamentac. "The Carl Beam pieces really stood out to us. It's an unapologetic showcase of his experiences. The concept of identity is something that everyone can relate to, and seeing pieces created with such a strong sense of self helped us feel confident in the stunning works we had the pleasure to present.”

Although deeply influenced by the autobiographical, the artworks on display also highlight universal concepts such as internal conflict and human impact – aspects of daily life that transcend individual experience.

“Perhaps now more than ever, it’s critical to provide opportunities for interdisciplinary inquiry and exchange, which is what the Creative Campus Galleries do,” explains Dr. Catherine Hale, Director, Creative Campus. “Even in our current virtual environment, we can promote meaningful engagement, find deep connection and catalyze creativity through the mobilization of visual culture.”

The virtual gallery and an interactive 360° panorama can be seen on SOURCE, Sheridan’s digital repository, which serves as a collaborative commons for scholarship, research, and creative activities while enriching our approach to teaching and learning and expressing Sheridan’s values.

Pictured top right: A screenshot of the Conscious Culture: A Carl Beam Exhibition at Sheridan's Creative Campus Galleries.
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