Art is a conversation – want to talk? In partnership with Artcite Inc., our “In Conversation” series will dive into the works of artists featured in the 2021 Windsor-Essex Triennial of Contemporary Art, and the crucial conversations that these works spark for all of us.
On Thursday, May 20th at 7pm, join us for our fourth conversation – Text + Space: Speaking to Your Audience – with curators Ray Cronin and Lucas Cabral, and artists Amos Paul Kennedy Jr., Luke Maddaford, Jude Abu Zaineh, and Marc Ngui. These four artists demonstrate that what we say is informed by the way we choose to say it. Text + Space: Speaking to Your Audience is a theme that looks to the conversations being held by four artists who strategically bind text to physical spaces, and the phrases and translations that become objects in their own right. Through forms such as the posters of Amos Paul Kennedy Jr., the text installations of Luke Maddaford, the neon ‘signs’ of Jude Abu Zaineh, and the deconstructed book-form of March Ngui’s drawings, texts become things and conversation materializes.
Ray Cronin is a Nova Scotia-based writer, curator, and editor. He is the author of nine books, including John Greer: Hard Thought (2019, Gaspereau Press) and Maud Lewis: Life & Work (2021, Arts Canada Institute).
Lucas Cabral is an artist, curator, and arts administrator with a background in marketing, communications, community engagement, and strategic planning. Lucas completed his BFA at Western University and has since held positions in public art galleries and service organizations including at Harbourfront Centre, McIntosh Gallery, The Robert McLaughlin Gallery, AIDS Committee of Durham Region, and Artcite Inc.
Amos Paul Kennedy Jr. is an American printer, book artist and papermaker best known for social and political commentary, particularly in printed posters. From an early age, Kennedy was interested in letters and books and studied calligraphy for several years. At the age of 40, Kennedy visited Colonial Williamsburg, a Virginia living history museum, and was mesmerized by an 18th-century print shop and book bindery demonstration. The incident so influenced Kennedy that he studied printing at a community-based letterpress shop in Chicago and, within a year quit his AT&T systems analyst job, which he had held for nearly two decades, to continue printmaking studies.
He attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison, studied under legendary book designer Walter Hamady, and earned an MFA in 1997. He later taught graphic design at the Henry Radford Hope School of Fine Arts at Indiana University.
Kennedy creates prints, posters and postcards from handset wood and metal type, oil-based inks, and eco-friendly and affordable chipboard. Many of the posters are inspired by proverbs, sayings, and quotes Kennedy locates or potential clients provide.
Luke Maddaford is an interdisciplinary Canadian artist, writer, curator, and community organizer. Drawing from his own experiences, he is interested in exploring identity, placemaking, and queer histories and futures. Much of his current practice investigates and participates in queer space and culture outside of major metropolitan cities and increasingly explores community building and the potential for cross-regional queer networks. He has exhibited throughout Canada and participated in residencies in Fort McMurray, AB, Windsor, ON, Toronto, ON, and Northern Ontario. Luke holds a Diploma in Visual Art and Design from Keyano College, a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Drawing from the Alberta College of Art + Design, and a Master of Fine Arts degree in Visual Art from the University of Windsor. He currently lives in Windsor, ON, where he founded LEFT Contemporary, a grassroots studio and exhibition space, and co-edits Off Centre, an online publication.
Jude Abu Zaineh is a Palestinian-Canadian interdisciplinary artist and cultural worker. Her practice relies on the use of art, food, and technology to investigate meanings of culture, displacement, diaspora, and belonging. She examines ideals of home and community while working to develop aesthetics rooted in her childhood and upbringing in the Middle East.
Abu Zaineh is the recipient of the 2020 William and Meredith Saunderson Prizes for Emerging Artists, and was one of the first selected artists to participate in a collaborative residency with the Ontario Science Centre and MOCA Toronto (Canada). She has presented her work nationally and internationally including Cultivamos Cultura, São Luis, Portugal; Museu de Arte, Arquitetura e Tecnologia, Lisbon, Portugal; Centro de Cultura Digital, Mexico City, Mexico; SVA, NYC, USA; Forest City Gallery; London, Canada.
Abu Zaineh received an MFA from the University of Windsor (Canada) and is currently pursuing her PhD in Electronic Arts at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (NY, USA) as a SSHRC Doctoral Fellow. She maintains an active studio practice between upstate NY, USA and Windsor-Essex, Canada.
image credit: Kamryn Cusumano
Marc Ngui is an artist/designer based in Windsor Ontario. He trained as an architect before devoting his creative practice to concept creation, visual communication and storytelling using drawing, sculpture, information diagrams, and graphic novels. Drawing and storytelling are central to his practice. He has drawn several graphic novels and contributed countless illustrations to magazines, newspapers, and websites. Zines, paintings, video, installations, and theatrical performances of his comics have been shown across Canada and internationally. Most recently, the Science Gallery in Detroit commissioned him to draw a 12 page comic about the utopian potential of the region spanning both sides of the Detroit River.
He is currently working on two long term-drawing projects. The first, Drawing A Thousand Plateaus, a paragraph by paragraph diagrammatic interpretation of the book A Thousand Plateaus by Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari. The second is Future Parfait which is a speculatively pragmatic and radically optimistic world building exercise inspired by his reading of Deleuze and Guattari. He is also one half of Happy Sleepy, a collaborative art practice he shares with multidisciplinary artist Magda Wojtyra. Together they create contemporary art installations that explore cultural evolution through consciousness change by developing the new mythologies, producing philosophical artifacts and other utopian creative practices.