In the Off Hours
August 6 - September 4, 2021
An Open Staff Meeting
Emmali Branton / Self Portrait
In the Off Hours
In the Off Hours is an experimental staff meeting in the form of an exhibition. As Centre reopens after lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic, staff members have chosen works they recently created to share with each other and with our broader communities. This exhibition is a small exploratory step towards understanding what it means to dialogue through art in uncertain times.
Presenting artwork made outside of their roles as arts administrators, educators, studio technicians, installers, coordinators and curators, the exhibit not only brings together an array of techniques in printmaking, photography, ceramics, sound, video game and mixed media, it also brings together a motley crew of local lived experiences. The artistic approaches range from personal reflection to political commentary, formal experimentation to theoretical inquiry, asking us to hold many outlooks in one place.
In the Off Hours is an uneasy exercise in multiplicity and assembly. It is an ad hoc conversation amongst differences in search of meaningful dis/connections. It is an open invitation to meet the staff, as they meet each other.
This exhibition was collectively organized by the staff of Centre.
Alex Borghesan | Artist Statement
As an artist, I focus on observation, surface modification and experimental play. Most of my works go through several stages of development in the preparation and finalising of each piece. I often start with an interest in an object or location and explore the elements people associate with it. Once I have found an idea, I begin to experiment.
A large portion of my work is process-based with the goal to incorporate common but often overlooked materials. I spend time refining and incorporating these materials to create work that is removed from the simplicity of just purchasing one’s inks and paints.
At times I will make my own ink from found materials or I will introduce a new substance of heavily processed form. I am quite partial to various dusts and pigments sourced and harvested from mundane objects. Currently I work in Ceramics and Printmaking creating work that is a blend between the common and the experimental.
Born in Hamilton, Ontario, I was raised into a technical theatre lifestyle where a melding of construction, art and industry influenced my youth. As I grew, I struggled through educational and personal challenges in an effort to find myself. Striving to make something of myself evolved into physically making things. During this journey I spent time gaining both self directed and formal arts education. Through the open-minded exploration that followed, I found an invigorating path in the pursuit of the Arts, Art education and Technical studio practice.
Emmali Branton | Artist Statement
My recent work explores the stories we tell about ourselves and our surroundings. Ideas of place and personhood are complicated; truths are half-told or mythologized. A feedback loop exists between obsessive self-examination and repulsion, where witness becomes subject, and subject witness.
Emmali Branton is an emerging interdisciplinary artist based out of Hamilton, ON. She graduated from the University of Guelph with a BA(H) in Studio Art and English. With interests in language, narrative, film, found photos, parties, sorrow, youth, and the colour pink, Emmali attempts to tell stories that feel both innately universal and incredibly specific.
Andrew Butkevicius | Artist Statement
Infrared photography has captivated me ever since I took my first black and white photograph many years ago. I immediately felt immersed in the billowy clouds set against black skies. A lot of time has passed since then, and my interests have directed me to numerous projects over the years, but infrared is something that persistently draws me back.
I have a scientific way of looking at things. When something catches my eye, I often wonder what happened to make it that that way, or become what it is today. Rocks, minerals, fossils, inspire me with time lines and endurance. The stars, meteors, and celestial bodies impress me with extremes of scale and distance. Infrared photography has consistently evoked my creative and conceptual interests. It has become a way for me to reinvent the world, as if looking into some sort of parallel dimension. Although that’s not what is actually going on, there are many interesting and unique characteristics of infrared photography which captivate the mind both emotionally and cognitively.
Andrew Butkevicius is a Canadian photographic artist working from his studio in Hamilton, Ontario. After receiving a BFA from Queen’s university and an MFA from the University of Windsor, Andrew became involved with a variety of non profit and public galleries including Centre for Artistic + Social Practice in Hamilton and the Art Gallery of Windsor and Artcite in Windsor. His works have ranged from sculpture and installation to lithography and photography. Currently his works mainly deal with perception and status quo issues, and he uses infrared photography and video as part of the creation process. He has exhibited nationally and internationally and regularly shows his works. He also recently received two Ontario Arts Council awards for production and materials.
Lesley Loksi Chan and Sally Frater | Artist Statement
The “I don’t know her” meme is a clip from a German tabloid interview from the early 2000s in which Mariah Carey is asked about J.Lo to which she simply shakes her head, continues smiling, and replies “I don’t know her.” The original interview speaks to a pop culture that encourages narratives of competition between women and while Carey’s response can be seen as an insult by feigning ignorance, it also speaks to denial and lying as a way of coping. This work is both an homage and critique. We chose to memorialize this meme with a cyanotype which is a blueprint and a photograph that is created by throwing shade.
In the summer of 2021, Sally Frater texted the “I don’t know her” meme to Lesley Loksi Chan and this moment gave rise to a set of collaborative cyanotypes produced at the park, in and out of the shade.
TJ Charlton | Artist Statement
My practice is extremely process driven, rooted in obsessive collecting habits and a love for design, underground punk music and its surrounding visual culture. The collage-based screen-prints, Ritual and Respite, are composed entirely of images sourced from outdated illustrated encyclopedias. These once revered pre-Internet information resources are pawed through, scouring for images that are subsequently cut up, drawn over, scanned and then digitally reworked–separating them from their moment of knowing and being, and placing them into a purely aesthetic realm. The resulting compositions are rendered again in analogue form as CMYK screenprints, as a direct reference to the offset reproduction process that once produced them in book form. These pieces are intended to grapple with notions of mediation/translation and the idea of being simultaneously found yet forgotten.
TJ Charlton is an interdisciplinary artist, educator and musician based in St. Catharines, ON. His art practice stems from the intersection of design, art and craft: utilizing collage, printmaking, drawing, and intermedia art to explore concepts of mythmaking, historicity, ritual, and subjective experience. He holds a BFA from Brock University and a Masters of Information from the University of Toronto.
Much of TJ’s recent work can be viewed as a conflation of analogue aesthetics through digital interventions—often using Letraset lettering, carbon transfer paper, and found images from old illustrated encyclopedias, which are subsequently cut up, drawn over, photocopied, scanned, and then digitally reworked—the resulting images are abstract and absurd neo-psychedelic ruminations of an over-connected and info-saturated mind: tuned in, yet so easily tuned out.
Aaron Hutchinson | Artist Statement
The Potion Shop is a quintessential part of Video Game infrastructure – providing ways for Players to use their hard earned cash in exchange for experiences and magic.
This Potion Shop presents a unique gaming space to inhabit.
Aaron Hutchinson is an award-winning musician and sound artist from Hamilton, Ontario. They currently make music as A Hutchie and with Eschaton, and has performed with Haolin Munk, the Snow Beach Players, the Toronto Symphony Youth Orchestra, the Hamilton Philharmonic Youth Orchestra, and the Hamilton All-Star Jazz Band. Hundreds of performances have taken Aaron to Germany, New Orleans, New York City, Buffalo, Quebec and around Ontario. Aaron is a founding member of the Fort Rose recording studio, Hamilton Audio Visual Node (HAVN) and the DIY music label HAVNrecords.
Arturo Jimenez | Artist Statement
A Haunting Box speaks to the dualistic nature of authorship in the digital age. Informed by Derrida’s Hauntology, Jimenez explores the tendency of contemporary media to reference and fetishize the past and how that blurs the line between the audience and the author.
The installation explicitly references the online cultural movement of vapourware and remix culture at large. Allowing the audience to reinterpret the playback of the sound source to synthesize a new vision.
Arturo Jimenez is an interdisciplinary Artist/Musician from Hamilton, Ontario. His practice incorporates new and tradition media/sound. Jimenez graduated from McMaster University’s specialized law and judicial studies political science program (Honours B.A.) with distinction. Now engaged in the local Hamilton music and art community, Jimenez has published work with various independent record labels, sold visual works at McMaster University’s SUMMA 2020 & 2021 charity auctions, and collaborates with established artists and community leaders. Jimenez is currently involved with local non-profit community projects.
Becky Katz | Artist Statement
Ever since its inception last summer, I have been deeply moved by the transformational and revolutionary leadership demonstrated by the Land Defenders at 1492 Land Back Lane up near Six Nations. So when I learned about a call for allies to donate goods for a Silent Auction Fundraiser to raise money for the 1492 Legal Fund, I jumped at the chance, and spent 10 consecutive hours carving a portrait of the inimitable and inspiring Buffy St Marie—knowing that her likeness would likely fetch a pretty penny. I was right. The highest bidder turned out to be my best friend from elementary school.
And then I figured, why stop there?
So I scanned the carving and turned it into a screen print so that I can continue to sell copies of it and donate all proceeds to 1492 LBL. So if you choose to buy this print, know that the money will be going to an extremely worthy cause; Land Back!
Becky is a Hamilton-based artist, activist, experimental musician, Art Education Facilitator / Community Arts Practitioner, and DIY Community Connector. Becky is a multidisciplinary, post-medium artist whose practice cannot be pigeon-holed. Becky is the co-founder and Artistic Director of Strangewaves Music Festival, and has worked for Centre for Artistic & Social Practice for the past 12 years, wearing many different hats, including the Director of Outreach, where she programmed and facilitated dozens of projects, including a children’s summer day camp for Syrian Refugees called Camp “Fananeen” (Artist in Arabic). In 2018, she took home the Hamilton Arts Award for Art Education and Community Art. In her “free” time, Becky involves herself in numerous creative endeavours that have a particular focus on collaboration, and shine a spotlight on the peculiarities of human nature, including, but not limited to: Fwee Twade, The Aluminum Quilting Society, CA$INO Artspace, Sourpussy, Square~Wear, and many more!
Matt McInnes | Artist Statement
I’ve worked as an arts educator and community arts facilitator for over 14 years. The didactic and collaborative nature of these professional experiences have greatly impacted my artistic practice. My approach to art making is often project based, combining local stories and locations with a folk influenced drawing style to bring forgotten stories and places to viewers, using affective interpretations of architecture and landscapes. LRT Buyouts includes drawings of buildings demolished in the process of developing the controversial Light Rail Transportation system in Hamilton Ontario. The abandoned buildings represent the working class tenants and homeowners displaced in this process. The sketched images, reproduced on inexpensive newsprint intended for free distribution reflect and document the transient vulnerability of displacement.
Matt McInnes is a visual artist based in Dundas, Ontario. His artistic process is informed by over 14 years as an arts educator. His work focuses on social histories and topographies of urban change. Matt was the recipient of a City of Hamilton Arts Award for Visual Arts in 2020.
Colina Maxwell | Artist Statement
“The Spanish Inquisition, four hundred years of the Crusades, Joan of Arc, the fall of the Bastille, the Black Plague, Pompeii, Babylon, Bhopal, Chernobyl, Hiroshima, Three Mile Island, World War 1, World War II, Korea, Vietnam, The Gulf War, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Rwanda, Iraq, Iran, the World Trade Center.
Replay over and over again. Manmade catastrophes that have impregnated my psychic fabric.
Haven’t we learned anything from the past?” Lydia Lunch (American writer)
This woodcut is based off of a Time Magazine image that attempted to capture the pain and desolation of the people of Vukovar when they were under an 87-day siege and forced to leave their city. I felt the need to translate the image into a woodcut. My partner’s family are Croatian, so I also felt the need to create something for my kids to remember what happened.
Originally from Toronto, Colina Maxwell moved to Hamilton in 1999. Maxwell is a practicing visual artist, as well as the co-founder and Executive Director of Centre for Artistic + Social Practice. The centre has helped fuel a growing arts community in Hamilton with Maxwell at the helm. She meaningfully engages the core of our community through boundary-breaking contemporary art and pushing the barriers in presentation, education, and community arts. In 2011, Maxwell was awarded the Arts Management for the City of Hamilton, and in 2013, she was awarded the Women of Distinction award for Art and Culture. As a feminist and an artist, Maxwell’s artwork is politically charged, exploring gender, social constructs, and labour. Maxwell has a substantial amount of formal training in visual arts and art history: BA of Art History and English Literature (University of Toronto), Visual Arts (University of Toronto, Sheridan College joint program), Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, and a summer at the Glasgow School of Art. She has successfully secured a wide range of project grant funding from the federal, provincial, and municipal levels.
Walter Penado-Vasquez | Artist Statement
I will work towards a future as an artist involved in communities with people of all ages: to interact/facilitate with different cultures and diverse individuals; to create an organization that provides programs, which teaches and bring multi-generations together; and also to develop artistic designs throughout cities, to bring colours and vibrancy to the communities through visual expressions.
Walter Penado-Vasquez is an interdisciplinary artist who uses his photography, traditional /digital painting, and experimental mixed media in his work. He aims to be attentive to the stories of people he met, places he’s been and thoughts he visualizes throughout his daily life in hopes to give perspectives and colours into people’s lives. Walter has featured as a member artist representing Centennial College in the WinterStation International Design Competition (2020), featuring The Beach’s Percussion Ensemble at the Toronto woodbine beach. Walter has accomplished his Fine Arts Studio Diploma with Centennial College and is currently finishing his Arts Education and Community Engagement Post-Grad Certificate.
New Moon Collaborative (Christina Tarsitano and Natasha Ouellette) | Artist Statement
Sandcastles With You In Midsummer is a small sample from a larger ongoing series called Take Ten. As collaborative artists, we believe that sometimes artwork needs more than one creative hand. Our approach to art-making is like your favourite band, it takes multiple instruments and multiple ideas before it can come to life. Through play, mixed mediums and conversation, we let go of any perceived ideas our work should look like and trust in the collaborative process in order to create honest and unexpected pieces. Sandcastles With You In Midsummer started through a series of experimental mixed media which were then cut and collaged to create minimalist dreamlike landscapes inspired by summer’s bright colours, bold patterns, and natural elements. We’ve created a series of ten landscapes that invite you to explore our imaginative summer.
Christina Tarsitano and Natasha Ouellette are collaborative artists located in Hamilton and Orillia Ontario. Christina studied Visual and Creative Arts at Sheridan College and Natasha studied Art and Art History, a joint program at the University of Toronto and Sheridan College. Christina and Natasha have been working alongside each other since their first exhibition together in 2016.