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Art through the ages: JAG starts lecture series

Enrich the mind, travel through space and time, and explore art history with members of the Jasper Artists Guild (JAG).

Lectures: Feb. 8, Feb.15 and Feb.22.  $15 each or $30 for the whole series.

Lectures: Feb. 8, Feb.15 and Feb.22.
$15 each or $30 for the whole series.

Members Michael Flisak and Sarah Budd have teamed up to offer a mini-lecture series throughout February. Budd starts off the first of three lectures on Feb. 8, as she dives into the world of French impressionism, an art movement that came to fruition in the 19th century and is often characterized by its small, thin brush strokes.

“French impressionism is extremely aesthetically pleasing and it’s one of the better known art movements,” Budd said. “People have seen it and they might understand some of it.”  

The hour-long lecture will focus on the lives of popular impressionists including Édouard Manet, Claude Monet and Mary Cassatt. Budd will also talk about how this group of painters came to be and the moments in history that influenced their work.

“A lot of people tend to know less about the historical aspect relating to this art, but it’s really interesting to see what was happening at that time,” she said.

The following week on Feb. 15, Flisak will take attendees east to Russia. During this lecture, Flisak will explore the Russian Revolution and what kind of avant-garde art came out of it, taking a glimpse at 13 different artists.

“I’m going to do 15-minute segments covering the whole structure of the pre-revolution, the revolution, cubism and the avant-garde relationships and how they’ve changed,” Flisak said. “This period of time changed the whole history of art—it affected European art and American art, but it also influenced music, set design and dance.

“Even the way we use billboard advertising today in North America all comes from Russian graphics and early propaganda from the Russian avant-garde.”

Finishing up the series on Feb. 22 will be a lecture about German expressionism, known as a huge creative movement that began on the cusp of the First World War. Budd said she’ll be narrowing down the movement to two groups in particular, Die Brücke and Der Blaue Reiter.

“I find that German expressionism is very timely right now considering everything that happened in 2016. The whole movement is Germans responding to what was happening at that time so it really shows how art and politics tend to dovetail,” she said.

Despite covering broad topics from different countries, Budd added that the series follows a chronological order and the lectures smoothly branch into one and other.

The idea of a mini-series came up while JAG was brainstorming ways to have more of a community outreach.

“Since JAG’s inception it was always meant to serve as a platform to connect people with art—and that includes education forums as well,” Flisak said.  “We’ve always wanted to take us out of that small town mentality and offer some more depth and understanding of various forms of art.”

The two also stressed that the series is open to everyone—no art history knowledge required.  

“We’re aiming for it to be really accessible for anyone that has any kind of interest,” Budd said. “It’s going to be really approachable.”

The lectures will be held on Feb. 8, Feb. 15 and Feb. 22 at the Jasper Art Gallery. The cost to attend the whole series is $30 or $15 per lecture. Each lecture begins at 7 p.m.

For more information or to book your spot email gboocock@telusplanet.net or text 780-852-4109.

Kayla Byrne
reporter@fitzhugh.ca

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