Diverse range of UAlberta alumni, staff & faculty sound art projects featured in AGA exhibit at Enterprise Square Galleries

Imagine an art gallery. The picture that often comes to your mind’s eye is an image of hushed whispers and library-quiet rooms filled with contemplative people gazing cross-armed at static artwork on the walls.

Then what does an art exhibit about sound look and feel like? SONAR, an exhibition of local sound art aims to answer that question. The term originated as an acronym meaning “Sound Navigation And Ranging.”

Curated by Kristy Trinier of the Art Gallery of Alberta and presented downtown at the University of Alberta’s Museums & Collections Enterprise Square Galleries, the exhibition features art from all three of our UAlberta fine arts departments including Art & Design alumni Mackenzy Albright (‘13 MFA Drawing & Intermedia), Timms Centre for the Arts Second Playing Space technician and head of audio Matthew Skopyk (‘06 BFA Technical Theatre Production), and assistant professor Scott Smallwood from the Department of Music.

Lest you think it was purely rooms full of noise, let me instead paint a different image.

Upon entering the gallery you are immediately met with the sounds of the artwork meeting your ears. The exhibits range from intricate diagram-like visual pieces inviting you to interact with them through cups held up to the art, to interactive light and sound displays triggered by your movement through a certain area of space.

Sound art fills a room in a different way than static art. Your perception of the different pieces changes as your proximity to it changes. It interacts with the other art around it as sounds overlap and intersect. The show challenges your senses and the way you perceive space. In that way SONAR is an immersive, artistic feast that needs to be experienced in person. The photos can’t capture the experience, and thusly, do not do it justice. You really need to see it in person. The show runs until December 20th, so you still have time to check it out.

Presented as part of the Art Gallery of Alberta at Enterprise Square Galleries exhibition series:

Exhibition title: SONAR
Exhibition dates: until December 20, 2014
Venue: Enterprise Square Galleries (10230 Jasper Avenue)
Gallery Hours: Thursday/Friday 12 – 6 p.m.
Saturday 12 – 4 p.m.
Admission: by donation