by: Olivia Levesque, Arts and Culture Editor
Definitely Superior Art Gallery is gearing up for the 11th annual Urban Infill – Art in the core Event, beginning on March 25th with an extravaganza celebrating art around the downtown north core. It can be expected that the event will be buzzing with thousands of admiring guests, as nearly 5000 circulated through the Urban Infill route last year. Over 400 artists and 25 locations will make up the event of interactive and visual art, music, performances this year.
The roots of Urban Infill began with an attempt to revitalize the downtown core through filling empty spaces with art and performance pieces in hopes of drawing locals downtown to participate in the viewing. Year after year the audience grows and stretches further than just Thunder Bay dwellers, taking advantage of the safety the event offered in a once vacant and depressed area.
Fast forwarding eleven years, now that Downtown PA is abundant with restaurants, bars, coffee shops, studios, and folks having fun on a Friday night, Urban Infill goers have so many other reasons than just the love of art to be in attendance. Urban Infill in previous years has filled empty spaces but has been fully repurposed and are occupied primarily by arts and culture based businesses.
Definitely Superior Art Gallery is an Artist-Run Centre and Gallery meaning it is run by artists for artists, which is the main reason the organization goes beyond the ordinary and engages in some 1,650 artists annually. Def Sup strives to develop artists by providing new and unique opportunities as well as presentation and pursuing independent work at the highest levels of artistic practice as professionals. Out of 400 artists at Urban Infill this year, regional, national, and internal works will all be displayed throughout the spaces incorporated with the event.
One artist that Gallery Director David Karasiewicz and Development Administrator Renee Terpstra are most excited about bringing forth is Canadian artist Diane Landry, reigning from Quebec City, QC. Dianne Landry is an Internationally known artist and is recognized for her large immersive kinetic installation that will be on display in the Definitely Superior Art Gallery during Urban Infill from March 25th to the 28th. The piece entitled Knight Of Infinite Resignation has been touring around the world for about 8 years and has represented Canadian art at many worldly art exhibitions and festivals.
The kinetic installation consisting of a dozen bicycle wheels on which are attached 237 plastic bottles call to attention to the threat on the earth’s clean water supply, as many of Landry’s works do. The piece uses sound, light, movement, and concepts of ready made art make up the life size installation.
In a statement provided by Definitely Superior, Landry Reflects on her piece Knight of Infinite Resignation; “The short-sightedness of human management of natural resources is made pitifully obvious by the work’s evocation of cosmic time, in comparison with which the human lifespan and even the existence of the species seem simply irrelevant. And there is something terrifying about this assemblage, which is so cold and serene, so unperturbed by the viewer’s presence.”
Each year Lakehead’s Visual Art department participates in a big way with the event, providing volunteers and countless art pieces. One piece that will be brought to life at Urban infill by Sam Shahsahabi of LU is his Wearable Art Piece that will be transformed into a full art performance analog drawing piece. This piece was shown at Derelicte but will be given new life at Urban Infill.