Art Gallery Opens Two New Exhibitions
The Art Gallery of Grande Prairie is pleased to announce the opening of two, new
exhibitions, “The Neon Kitten” and “What’s Held.”
Thursday, November 24, 2022
6:00 pm – Artist Talk with Kiona Callihoo Ligtvoet
7:00 pm – 9:00 pm – Opening Reception
All events are open to the public. Free Admission.
ABOUT THE EXHIBITIONS
The Neon Kitten
November 24, 2022 – April 9, 2023
Curated by Melanie Jenner
The Neon Kitten features artwork from the Northwestern Polytechnic (NWP) Permanent
Collection. It’s a vibrant exhibition of printmaking and paintings from the 70s, 80s, and
90s, spanning animals, still life, landscape, portraits, and abstracts. The show includes
critically acclaimed Canadian artists such as Rita Letendre, René Marcil, and Brian
Marion, among others.
The student experience and perspective are the inspiration for the exhibition. Being a
student in a college or university is a unique and personal experience. It’s often a time
of rapid evolution of identity and personal growth.
The Neon Kitten is a bright and bold show of colour and neon highlighting the optimism
of planning for the future with the kitten as a symbol of new beginnings. Some of the
brightest artwork in the NWP Permanent Collection was selected to acknowledge the
bridge between the new student, hesitant and nervous, and the graduate, eager and
ready to take on the next adventure.
The Art Gallery of Grande Prairie aims to tell stories and curate experiences that can
touch our community through art. It was a pleasure to make the local connection
between the Curator of this exhibition who is an alumna of NWP, the concept, and the
Permanent Collection of NWP with the Art Gallery of Grande Prairie. We are happy to
showcase art that reflects on the college experience, not only right here in Grande
Prairie, but anywhere people choose to plan their future and seek new adventures.
About the Curator
Melanie Jenner is a long-time staff member of 15 years at the Art Gallery of Grande
Prairie. An alum of both Northwestern Polytechnic and the Alberta University of the Arts,
she’s a practicing artist who’s curated several other shows in the region. The Neon
Kitten is her first major exhibition curated for AGGP.
Curated by Kiona Callihoo Ligtvoet & Robin Lynch
November 10, 2022 – February 19, 2023
Memory, land, and identity are all deeply interwoven, often coming together to form a
sense of home or belonging; joy or grief. These gentle ties to place extend from stories
across generations that overlap with our own, responsibilities to land and the histories it
holds, a moment witnessed, a tracing of steps, or an urge to remember and care for a
space from which we grew.
The artworks in What’s Held explore ways of memorializing, mapping, and holding onto
these significant sites, keeping our stories of them alive and present, even as the
landscape shifts or carries us further away from home. Beyond settler borders and
monuments, the works recognize the power and importance of place, from the desire
paths left over from continually wandering the same treasured areas in meadows, fields,
and forests, to the objects and scents that come to represent the ways that we’ve
known these spots across landscapes.
Fifteen of the works are from the collection of the Alberta Foundation for the Arts.
Separate from this collection, are five drawings and prints by Kiona Callihoo Ligtvoet.
Her works share snippets of memories growing up on the prairies, becoming a form of
personal archiving. She draws from feelings of loss and the complexities of
enfranchisement, but also from moments of closeness between her and her relatives as
they’ve walked through the bush, visiting familiar spots on the land.
By bringing these artworks together, What’s Held is a testament to land as a layered
and active site that is powerfully carried forward through the stories told and held by our
individual and collective experiences.
About the Artist/Curator
Kiona Callihoo Ligtvoet (she/her) is a mixed Cree, Métis, and Dutch artist coming from
scrip land, and descending from Michel First Nation. Kiona is currently practicing in
amiskwaciwâskahikan, where she primarily works in painting and printmaking while
exploring stories of grief and tenderness.
Her practice uses a non-linear telling of memories through narrative work as a form of
personal archiving. It draws from feelings of loss, displacement, and enfranchisement,
but also from moments of deep belly laughter.
Paired with her studio practice, Kiona has also been working alongside other artists in
initiatives of community care, co-organizing Making Space in partnership with Sanaa
Humayun. Making Space is a visual-arts focused BIPOC peer mentorship group
prioritizing collaboration through workshops, artist visits, studio hangouts, and a shared
love of gossip, support, and privacy.