“Vital Signs”, a cross-Pacific Juried Art Exhibition

The Women’s Art Association of Canada’s Ruth Upjohn Gallery and Seoul’s Hello Space Gallery create VITAL SIGNS, a virtual cross-pacific juried art exhibition.

Vital Signs focuses on the impact of climate change. Just as vital signs are a key aspect of monitoring bodily needs, they are also impacting with dangerous weather conditions affecting our mother earth. Vital Signs is a virtual exchange exhibition that is a first of its kind collaboration between The Women’s Art Association of Canada and Seoul’s Hello Space Gallery introducing introduce works by South Korean and Canadian artists.

The WAAC member works – through an anonymous submissions call – will be judged by the selected South Korean Jurors. The South Korean works will be judged by WAAC member Jurors. The artist’s names will be announced June 22nd. WAAC works will be installed in WAAC’s Ruth Upjohn Gallery July 1st.

South Korean Jurors will judge the Canadian submissions:
류충렬 Ryu Choong-ryeol, 정정엽 Jeong Jeong-yeop, 김서경 Kim Seo-kyung, 김운성 Kim Eun-sung, 김대남 Kim Dai-nam

Canadian (WAAC) Jurors will judge the South Korean submissions:
Susan Farquhar, Heather Gentleman, Frances Patella, Margaret Rodgers

The Hello Space Gallery is an alternative, community-based gallery place, located in Seoul, South Korea. The Women’s Art Association of Canada is an historical organization with two community-based galleries (The Dignam Gallery and the Ruth Upjohn Gallery) and event space dedicated to supporting the arts.

WAAC ARTISTS

Scroll or click on a WAAC Artist to view their submission:
Artist 1., Artist 2., Artist 3., Artist 4., Artist 5., Artist 6. Artist 7., Artist 8., Artist 9., Artist 10., Artist 11., Artist 12., Artist 13., Artist 14., Artist 15., Artist 16., Artist 17., Artist 18., Artist 19., Artist 20.


WAAC Artist 1.

WAAC Artist 1. Statement:

I work in an organic manner, starting from perceptual sketches of nature to tap into the transcendent beauty of the landscape. I paint in minutiae and in vast expanse, notating nature in reference to climactic change. Artworks reach for the concept of “thin places”, a term meaning a space on earth where the distance between the world as we know it and the supernatural world are poised to merge. Working rapidly and directly from nature to capture the fleeting light and weather, small sketches are done using water-based oils on canvas. These sketches become the foundation for large works on unstretched canvas and mylar that are completed in the studio. No power tools or toxic materials or solvents.

Artist 1.
The Drive
oil on canvas
6″ x 6″
$250

Artist 1.
Blue Sky
oil on canvas
6″ x 6″
$250

Artist 1.
Summer Heat
oil on canvas
8″ x 8″
$250

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WAAC Artist 2.

WAAC Artist 2. Statement:

Nature during the pandemic seems to be more beautiful, finite and alive, similar to a burst of light from a candle before the flame is extinguished.  I see paint as a way to express the angst and wildness of the natural world. I honour the balance that nature’s patterns of life and death create. 

I learned to love painting by being in “Nature”. The sound and scent of sea and soil, of rustling trees, the sensations of wind and sun.  Nature’s intricacy awes me. The closer I got, the greater my awareness of the complexity of tiny shapes, the intensity of colours. From microbes to whales, every life is connected in a complex and fragile network. In landscape, there are endless discoveries about my relationship with the world. Painting is the way I express my appreciation and love.

Artist 2.
Buttercup
cold wax/oil on panel
6″ x 6″ x 1.5″
$150

Artist 2.
Spruce
oil on board
6″ x 6″
$150

Artist 2.
Wings
mixed medium (crackle paste, acrylic and oil) on panel
6″ x 6″ x 1.5″
$300

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WAAC Artist 3.

Artist 3. Statement

My paintings express a passion for the environment both urban and natural, created in acrylic with brush and palette knife. The texture and movement captures the poetic spirituality that is inherent in art.

Artist 3.
Lake Emerald
acrylic on canvas
6″ x 6″
$80

Artist 3.
It’s July
acrylic on wood panel
8″ x 5″
$100

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WAAC Artist 4.

Artist 4. Statement:

My work is abstract and these small works consist of oil on mylar. The translucency of mylar lends depth to the painted surface, worked on both back and front. The works are improvisational, following the paint where it leads with underlying structures of landscape and vegetation.

Growth is the motif in these works, the earth rebounding, reconfiguring.

Growth in adversity as we cope with the pandemic in our collective and individual ways. Growth, nourished in the solidarity of shared experience, as well as in the hard work of sourcing interior strength and purpose, challenges and sustains. Painting offers a mode of change, challenge and growth. Hope for the earth is life, vitality, reconfiguration of our modes and practices so that gaia can flourish.

Artist 4.
Growth 1.
oil on mylar on panel
6″ x 9″
$75

Artist 4.
Growth 2.
oil on mylar on panel
6″ x 9″
$75

Artist 4.
Growth 3.
oil on mylar on panel
9″ x 6″
$75

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WAAC Artist 5.

WAAC Artist 5. Statement:

Today, Climate Change is on almost everyone’s mind. It is, however, still not comprehended in as far as its significance affects the earth. My own understanding of Climate Change includes the large impact it is having on the environment and the landscape. These are devastating impacts on ecological, economic and human systems.

My paintings for “Vital Signs” express to some extent some of the potential outcomes or signs of what mankind has done and continues to do to mar the earth’s surface, and cause destruction of the planet. My paintings speak of Carbon Footprint (the continued increase of greenhouse gases); of melting glaciers, and the general breakdown of Nature (the earth) as we know it.

Artist 5.
The World is Changing
mixed media
7″ x 7″
$300

Artist 5.
Footprint
acrylic
6″ x 6″
$150

Artist 5.
Glacial Melt
acrylic
6″ x 6″
$150

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WAAC Artist 6.

WAAC Artist 6. Statement:

Art is essential to my personal well-being.  It is my oxygen, my vitality.   During our “Lockdown/Lockup/Lockin/Stay Home/Get Outside”  confusing days of Covid-19,  I used my time to make some deep explorations into my art practice and my process.  This quest led me in new directions and new insight. The series called “Orange Slices 1, 2 and 3”  reflects my love of life-long learning and growing,  curiosity and my ability to take risks. 

Artist 6.
Orange Slice 1.
mixed media on cradle panel
6″ x 6″
$150

Artist 6.
Orange Slice 2.
mixed media on cradle panel
6″ x 6″
$150

Artist 6.
Orange Slice 3.
mixed media on cradle panel
6″ x 6″
$150

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WAAC Artist 7.

WAAC Artist 7. Statement:

As a Mixed Media Artist I am totally indulged in Recyclable Materials. Creations of reusable materials and found objects will defiantly reduce the over abundance of Wasted Material needs that are destroying our natural habitant and Worldly Surroundings. Awareness of these Vital Signs is a definite message as a ‘Wake Up Call” for all!

Artist 7.
Comrades from Canada Book Box (Book Sculpture)
Recyclable Vintage Book created into a box with paper edges made from Japanese Paper Wool Including a wide range of mixed media process into 2 small Notebooks inside the Sculpture Book Box.
7 ½” x 5″
$500.00

Artist 7.
Lasting Leaves (Book Sculpture)
Treated leaves and weeds personally collected from the West Coast of Canada (Vancouver Island) to the East Coast of Canada (Newfoundland)…All processed into a revised Sculpture Vintage Book
4 ½” x 6 ¾”
$500.00

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WAAC Artist 8.

WAAC Artist 8. Statement:

Growing up in the rural countryside among fields, rocks, lakes and trees, I now work in a large urban centre, immersed in concrete. Oscillating between these poles, my work strives to be a coupling of both, rough and smooth, craggy and gilded. I invite the viewer to contemplate a piece of earthiness within the context of a fabricated object of luxury. We need nature to regenerate our soul and culture to challenge our minds. 

My work is inspired by objects of utility, the jewelry box, fashioned in the style of 17th centuray French perfume bottles; a design statement that is functional and sculptural at  the same time.

While ceramic materials form the core of my practice, I am also interested in incorporating alternate materials, plants and textiles. I use plaster moulds for hand-building pieces such as large bowls or jewelry boxes, and the wheel to throw pedestals and tops. 

Artist 8.
Look!
stoneware, porcelain, additions, oxides, glazes, gold luster
35cm x 20cm x 20cm
$800

Artist 8.
Deep Red
stoneware, porcelain, additions, oxides, glazes, gold luster
35 cm x 20 cm x 20 cm
$750

Artist 8.
Golden Shard
stoneware, additions, shards, gold luster
25 cm h x 15 cm x 15 cm
$650

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WAAC Artist 9.

WAAC Artist 9. Statement:

This year’s isolation with COVID-19 was an awaking to all of us. .  Art can be a beacon of hope, lighting the way and compelling us to act.  We as artists have the ability to be visionaries and we must consider the consequences of climate change.  We can visualize the challenges of a warming planet.  We must protect our frozen world, protect our land from drought and remember to embrace the beauty our world still offers to our senses.  

Artist 9.
Lilly Pad
acrylic on watercolour paper
6” x 9”
$200

Artist 9.
Survival
acrylic on watercolour paper
6” x 9”
$200

Artist 9.
The Ice Shelf
acrylic on watercolour paper
6” x 9”
$200

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WAAC Artist 10.

WAAC Artist 10. Statement:

I take pride in reusing and repurposing items that would end up in landfills in my mixed media pieces. I hope to inspire other artists to reuse landfill pieces in their art too. Collaboratively we can help the environment by repurposing plastic and other landfill items giving them a much longer life and purpose. We can teach our younger generations to follow in our footsteps, perhaps in a bigger way that they will discover in their lifetime, by planting this small seed. My strongest desire is to keep dangerous pollutants out of the landfills by using this medium to create my Art as these pieces will live on for many generations to come. 

Artist 10.
Ladybug, Ladybug, where are you?
mixed media – repurposed milk/juice carton caps & acrylic – interactive art – gallery wrapped canvas
6″ x 8″
$200

Artist 10.
We cannot grow another earth
mixed media – glue gun and acrylic – gallery wrapped canvas
6″ x 8″
$200

Artist 10.
Love Mother Earth – Repurpose
mixed media – repurposed egg cartons, coffee cup holders & acrylic – gallery wrapped canvas
6″ x 8″
$200

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WAAC Artist 11.

WAAC Artist 11. Statement:

Earth. The planet we live on is beautiful.
All around us we are witnessing how the planet is suffering.
The canary bird was a very important tool for saving coal miners, to detect carbon monoxide and other toxic gases before they hurt humans. When the canary stopped singing it meant the air was poisonous and it was time to leave the coal mine. In 1986 this way of cautioning stopped.
Keep this planet clean and green for seven generations into the future.
There is no planet “B”. Green is the future.

Artist 11.
Canary, Warning
oil on canvas
20 cm x 15 cm   
$220

Artist 11.
Future face
oil on canvas
20 cm x 15 cm
$220

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WAAC Artist 12.

WAAC Artist 12. Statement:

The effects of climate change — drought, hurricanes, limited access to clean water — represent an enormous threat to our planet.

Offered here in this print is a women —bearer of human life — gripping the symbolic vessel that, like her body, carries the nourishment of humanity.

Water scarcity takes a great toll on women and the children they bear for together they are often responsible for essential daily gathering and consumption.

The UNICEF website predicts that half of the world’s population will be living in areas facing water scarcity by 2025.

Artist 12.
Forbearance
Monoprint, ink on paper
6″ x 9″
$250

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WAAC Artist 13.

WAA Artist 13. Statement:

To depict some of Earth’s Vital signs of Distress was my focus for this project.

The impact of climate change becomes more and more evident and is now affecting every country on all continents. Earth’s climate changes throughout history were attributes to the small variations in Earth’s orbit and the amount of solar energy our planet receives.

Today, based on many studies, scientists ascribe close to 100% of global surface warming on human activities. Extreme events such as intense rainfalls and floods, hurricanes / typhoons, hot summers and warm winters with less snow cover, out of control wildfires and droughts are threatening all life on our
planet.

Artist 13.
Water Pollution
Algae and waste, Toronto, Canada
Edition pigment print
9″ x 6″
$250

Artist 13.
Glacial Retreat
Melting glaciers, VatnajöIkull, Iceland
Edition pigment print
9″ x 6″
$250

Artist 13.
Parched Earth
Globally, drought affects more people than any other natural disaster.
Edition pigment print
9″ x 6″
$250

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WAAC Artist 14.

WAAC Artist 14. Statement:

My work is narrative in nature, finding inspiration in literature, anthropology, environmental issues, mythology, and symbolism. These three images of seed pods each carry a quote by the activist, Vandana Shiva who is a leading ecofeminist. The movement supports a sustainable approach to farming which is centred on a more matriarchal, or equitable system, where farmers are free to use seeds, without compensating corporate patents.

Artist 14.
“Living democracy grows like a tree, from the bottom up”, Vandana Shiva
coloured pencil and watercolour
6” x 9”
$150

Artist 14.
If you are doing the right thing for the earth, she’s giving you great company”, Vandana Shiva
coloured pencil and watercolour
6” x 9”
$150

Artist 14.
The only way to build hope is through the Earth, Vandana Shiva
coloured pencil and watercolour
6” x 9”
$150

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WAAC Artist 15.

WAAC Artist 15. Statement:

The three images which I submit to this exhibition are from my image files and are representative of some of the problems which people of the world face in the 21st century.

CLIMATE: This topic, the changing of the planet’s weather, causes hardship to many, and seems an insurmountable difficulty since the resolution might affect the financial security of those who make changes to mitigate the problems.

BIRTH: In many of the world’s countries, a falling birth rate affects economies, with fewer workers carrying the burden of supporting the growing population of elderly who receive pensions.

DESTRUCTION: Notwithstanding the falling birth rate in many countries, support of the world’s current large population requires the destruction of natural habitats which disastrously affects people and the flora and fauna of earth.

These are only a few of the planet’s Vital Signs which I choose to address with my three images.

Artist 15.
Climate
Digital Print
16 cm x 22 cm
$67.50

Artist 15.
Birth
Digital Print
22 cm x 16 cm
$67.50

Artist 15.
Destruction
Digital Print
22 cm x 16 cm
$67.50

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WAAC Artist 16.

WAAC Artist 16. Statement:

The fires that raged through South Australia and Kangaroo Island late 2019 into 2020 were catastrophic. Photos of the destruction and slow recovery of land and people have driven a series of paper works I call “Are We Epicormic?”

I have brought my own hope of rebirth by recreating in paper bits of burnt, blackened destruction where close examination reveals new life beginning. These works continue that series sharing the Vital Signs theme of climate change impacts.

Artist 16.
Vital Signs 1.
paper construct
22 cm x 16 cm
$200

Artist 16.
Vital Signs 2.
paper construct
22 cm x 16 cm
$200

Artist 16.
Vital Signs 3.
paper construct
22 cm x 16 cm
$200

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WAAC Artist 17.

WAAC Artist 17. Statement:

My thoughts turn to our beautiful planet and how during the pandemic, the water in Venice ran clear.

Our Sun keeps us alive with its warmth and light that provides us with the trees, plants and flowers and ultimately our food.

And finally, I thought of our Moon, that pulls our tides including the tides within us.

Are we really in control? 

Artist 17.
Earth
acrylic on canvas
7″ x 5″
$150

Artist 17.
Sun
acrylic on canvas
7″ x 5″
$150

Artist 17.
Moon
acrylic on canvas
7″ x 5″
$150

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WAAC Artist 18.

WAAC Artist 18. Statement:

My work incorporates paint and photography to explore transformation in the landscape. During my childhood and visits in Italy, prescribed fires sparked my interest and I continue to use the ephemeral images of burning fields and forests.

The burning forests, which we have experienced in the last few years throughout the world, are an indication of climate change and the profound stress we are placing on the planet.  Although burns can be regenerative, the scale of the burns now is catastrophic and a vital sign of the dangers we are facing.

Artist 18.
Corsica Burn
mixed media, acrylic paint and photography on paper
9″ x 6″
$300

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WAAC Artist 19.

WAAC Artist 19. Statement:

Life is a voyage of the heart and mind, evolving in a continuous creative process. The arts, myths and legends are paths leading us back to the Garden of Eden. 

Artist 19.
A Delicate Balance – We Will Survive
Photograph
9″ x 12″
$125

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WAAC Artist 20.

WAAC Artist 20: Statement:

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SOUTH KOREAN JURORS

김서경 Kim Seo-kyung & 김운성 Kim Eun-sung

Kim Seo-kyung & Kim Eun-sung are Korean sculptors, married since 1990.

They are best known for the Statue of Peace (Comfort Statue). The statue was completed in 2011 and placed near the Japanese embassy in Seoul. It was just one of over 20 similar statues designed by the couple, most of which are located in Korea, with at least two in the USA.

In 2017 they announced plans to make another sculpture, this one named “Vietnam Pieta”, and designed to commemorate victims of the massacres in the Vietnam War, allegedly perpetrated by Korean soldiers. The artists declared that just like Korean activists are using the Statue of Peace to pressure Japan, with the Statue of Peace and its replicas placed near numerous Japan embassies around the world, so should Korea be subject to similar pressure from Vietnam.

In August 2022 they will bring the Comfort Statue to the Propeller Gallery in Toronto to mark the Wednesday Demonstration.


정정엽 Jeong Jeong-yeop

Virginia Woolf said that women need money and a room of their own to write novels and other literary works. In the case of art, the studio is an essential private room for most artists in their creative activities. For the artist, the studio is not only a place to build the art world, but also a space to prove existence itself. Many women artists struggle to pioneer and continue their studio.

Jeong Jeong-yeop, South Korea’s leading feminist artist, who became the first woman to win the Goam Art Award, leaves a large and meaningful footprint for younger female artists. Jeong graduated from the Department of Western Painting at Ewha Womans University in 1985. ‘The History of My Workshop’ (Lee Sang-won Art Museum, 2018), ‘Bug’ (Galleryscape, 2016), ‘off bean’ (Galleryscape, 2011), ‘Face Landscape’ (Alternative Space Art Forum Lee, 2009), ‘Erase’ She has held 12 solo exhibitions, including ‘(Arko Art Museum, 2006) and ‘Salim encompassing life’ (21st Century Gallery, 1995). The poster work for the 14th Seoul International Women’s Film Festival in 2012 is also her work. The major group exhibitions she participated in include ‘Tender Power’ (Cheongju Museum of Art, 2018), ‘Mother, the first person I loved’ (Jeju Museum of Art, 2016), ‘Through Mother’s Eyes’ (KCCOC, Chicago, 2014), ‘Asia Women’s Art Festival’ (Fukuoka Asian Art Museum, 2012), ‘Busan Biennale’ (2004) and ‘Abanggung Jongmyo Occupation Project’ (2000). Major collections of works include Fukuoka Asian Art Museum, National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Seoul Museum of Art, and Arko Art Museum.

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7zLPbPzlnp0


류충렬 Ryu Choong-ryeol

Korean artist. Contemplation on the environment, conversation. Public art project. Artistic director.

News article with pictures


김대남 Kim Dai-nam 

HSPACE Gallery, CEO, Director, Photographer  

Graduated from the Department of Photography at Gyewon University. Graduated from Korea Cyber University majoring in Arts Management

Participated in multiple individual and group competitions
2009 ~2012 Representative of Photo Art Studio R17 
2010 Participated in Gyeonggi-do APAP Public Art Project Archive 
2012 International Residential Writers Selection and Exhibition
2017– current, Hello HSpace Representative

Starting with Hello H Space in 2017, more than 30 large and small exhibitions and international fairs were planned, and more than 5 art classes with local people are continuously operated with artists from various fields.

*January 23-29, 2018 – KUMA Museum of Arts’ first planning exhibition “HELLO! ARtya” Directing and Progressing
* March 7, 2018 – Attended the invitation to Tokyo Art Fair 333 ART FAIR 
* 2017 to now – Planning and operating special exhibitions and art class programs
*2020–Present
Through the art class, I felt the interest and need of local people in culture and art, and as an oil painting club called “Hello Art,” I worked on a collaboration project called “Moonlight Exhibition” and “Women and Art Meeting” that connects local and local spaces.


CANADIAN JURORS

Susan Farquhar

Susan Farquhar is an experienced fine art printmaker who studied at the University of Guelph and York University. She began exhibiting in the 1980’s while becoming a professional fine art printer in lithography at Open Studio.

Susan continued to work collaboratively in printmaking until 2013 when she and her husband Robert Game closed their studio Atelier GF where they produced editions for artists from Canada, Europe and the United States. Throughout this period she worked and exhibited print works.

Visual ideas about the physical environment and at times its stories have concerned me for a long time. My preoccupations have evolved a process-driven approach: layers of texture, colour, repeated pattern, paper-cuts and coarse mark making.

Susan was the Artist in Residence for 2018-19 at the Women’s Art Association of Canada.


Heather Gentleman

Heather Gentleman lives and works in Toronto. Her education includes a MFA from Chelsea College of Art in London, UK, an Honours BA in Fine Arts at the University of Guelph. Her work has won several international arts awards and has been featured in several books, magazines, design annuals and media, in local, national and international media. It is also found in private and corporate collections in Canada, U.S., Asia, France and Great Britain. In addition to solo exhibits, she regularly participates in group shows. Heather ran her own gallery/studio school in the Historic Distillery District and acted as the Selection Committee Chair at Propeller Gallery in the Queen Street West Gallery District. She is currently an instructor at the Ontario College of Art and Design University.

Heather was the Artist in Residence for 2019-20 at the Women’s Art Association of Canada


Frances Patella

Born in Italy and based in Toronto, Frances’ work has been exhibited in solo, juried, group exhibitions and art fairs including Art Toronto. She has received mid-career grants from the Ontario and Toronto Arts Councils, Best In Show and Purchase Awards. Frances holds a BFA from York University and a B.ED. from the University of Toronto. She studied Visual Arts at the University of Western Ontario and in Florence, Italy. Frances apprenticed with multimedia artist Noel Harding and was Joyce Wieland’s arts administrator.

Frances is a former Director, Chair of Jury and Judges for the Toronto Outdoor Art Fair and former Chair of Propeller Gallery.  Frances has coordinated numerous art events and exhibitions and has taught visual arts and analogue photography, conducted Cyanotype workshops for the Photo Educators Forum in Toronto and the National Gallery of Photography in Ottawa.


Margaret Rodgers

Rodgers is a visual artist and writer, founder of IRIS, former educator at Durham and Centennial Colleges and Director/Curator at VAC Clarington. In 2015/16 she guest-curated Crossing Borders I and II with VAC Clarington and BluSeed Studios in Saranac Lake NY. She is the author of Locating Alexandra (Toronto: ECW, 1995) about Painters Eleven artist Alexandra Luke.

Margaret is a member of the Women’s Art Association of Canada.

www.margaretrodgers. ca