Four New Exhibitions Kick Off the New Year; Photography Exhibitions Part of Alberta’s Exposure Festival

Medicine Hat, AB – The new year sees four new exhibitions in the Esplanade galleries. Currently on display in the Heritage Gallery is Keepsakes of Conflict showcasing trench art and war-related craft from WWI. On January 20th, two new exhibitions are coming to the Esplanade Art Gallery: Wes Bell: On the Line, and Dianne Bos: The Sleeping Green, both of which are part of the Alberta wide Exposure Photography Festival. Lastly, opening January 27th is the latest vignette from the Esplanade Archives, Force of Nature.

The public is invited to attend the first exhibition reception of the year on Thursday, February 1st, 2018 from 7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. Both Wes Bell and Dianne Bos will be on site to discuss their work and lead informal exhibition tours. Experience the reception at no charge and enjoy refreshments, a cash bar, live music by the Natasha Shannon Trio and great company!

Keepsakes of Conflict: Trench Art And Other War-related Craft

Now until March 3, 2018
The 100th anniversary of the First World War has been an opportunity to examine Canadian craft related to war. ‘Trench art’ is any item made by soldiers, prisoners of war and civilians, from war material directly, or any other material, as long as it and they are associated with armed conflict or its consequences. Trench art as a tradition of creating wartime souvenirs dates back to the early 18th century and continues to this day. Keepsakes of Conflict presents objects from metalwork and carving to jewelry and embroidery. Keepsakes of Conflict is curated by Heather Smith, organized by the Moose Jaw Museum & Art Gallery, and is accompanied by a catalogue in French and English of the same title.

Dianne Bos: The Sleeping Green

January 20 – March 10, 2018
Internationally exhibiting artist Dianne Bos references a famous World War I poem for the title of this exhibition which consists of extraordinary photographs taken in ‘no-man’s land’ between the trenches on the Western Front. Travelling through France and Belgium in 2014, Bos used a variety of vintage and pinhole cameras to photograph the land a century after the Great War. In her Calgary studio, Bos incorporated objects from the battle sites – such as rocks, leaves, and a bullet – in the printing process. By scattering these over the paper during printing, as well as dodging, burning, and overlaying maps of stars, she produces layers of imagery that convey the emotional depth of these extraordinary landscapes. As Bos says, these works “make the invisible visible” and they represent far more than just depicting the physical features of the land as it appears today. In this way The Sleeping Green is not about the war itself but rather explores how a terrible historical event has become part of the fabric of our collective imagination. Curated By Josephine Mills and organized by the University of Lethbridge Art Gallery.

Wes Bell: On the Line

January 20 – March 10, 2018
Bell, a successful New York fashion photographer recently returned to Medicine Hat, shows his impressive capabilities in fine art photography with these dramatic, emotionally resonant images, shot and printed using traditional analogue processes rather than digital. Plastic bags caught on fences, trees entangled with wire and stairs leading nowhere are rendered in richly toned black and white prints, of which The Washington Post’s Director of Photography, MaryAnne Golon, writes: “There is beauty, loss and poetry in every frame. Loss and remembrance are universal and Bell makes those emotions accessible and visible.” Bell has exhibited his work in England, the USA, Hungary and Japan, and won the 2017 Bronze Award in the Royal Photographic Society International Photography Exhibition, London, UK.

Wes Bell will be leading a public exhibition tour in the Esplanade Art Gallery on Thursday February 8th at 7PM. This tour is free and open to the general public.

Force of Nature

January 27 – May 26, 2018
Climate is expected, weather is not. Expect the unexpected while exploring striking images of Medicine Hat’s extreme weather events. In Force of Nature the weather is more than a topic of small talk. This vignette exhibition contemplates the impact the environment has on our lives and prompts us to reflect on the impact that we have on the environment.

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For further information, interviews or images please contact:

Joanne Marion

Director/Curator, Exhibitions & Collections

Esplanade Arts & Heritage Centre


Tobie Laliberté

Marketing and Promotions Coordinator

Esplanade Arts & Heritage Centre