Alberta photographer shares Mystical Landscapes with Airdrie residents

Story by Stacie Gaetz


Photos by Courtesy of Airdrie Public Library

The Airdrie Public Library (APL) invites residents to visit Mystical Landscapes with a virtual art exhibit.

Arthur Nishimura: Mystical Landscapes is brought to you by the Alberta Foundation for the Arts (AFA) Travelling Exhibition Program (TREX). This photography exhibition focuses on the landscapes of Nishimura and consists of 20 works from the collection of the AFA by Todd Schaber.

According to Chantal Patton with APL, the library worked with TREX to make the exhibit a virtual one due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The exhibit was launched on June 8 and will run until the end of August.

She says Nishimura traditionally works in black and white, hand developed, film-based photography.

“The collection includes Alberta locations such as Blackie, Stavely and Nanton as well as some international spots, all displaying stark contrasts of light and shadow trying to create a feeling associated to its photo,” she adds.

Nishimura was a professor of art fundamentals as well as photography at the University of Calgary. Nishimura captures images of landscapes as well as depiction of the everyday, but in both cases his photographs develop an expressive mood through the use of analog photographic techniques. He has photographed his home province of Alberta extensively but has also done many shoots in international locations.

The AFA has supported a provincial travelling exhibition program since 1981 to provide every Albertan with the opportunity to enjoy visual art exhibitions in their community.

The TREX program promotes Albertan art and artists through professionally developed exhibitions for use in schools, libraries, hospitals, visitor centres and other community venues.

The exhibition can be found by clicking here.

Online Art

This is the second virtual art exhibit that the library has presented. The first exhibit was of work from local high school students in Airdrie’s Bert Church, George McDougall and WH Croxford schools. The high school exhibit went up in the library just prior to the mid-March pandemic closures, so staff decided to make it digital to showcase the amazing work of Airdrie’s young adults. The high school exhibit can be found by clicking here.

The next virtual exhibit is planned for September and will consist of the initial written and artistic work from the Voice and Vision Collaboration (15 members of the  Airdrie’s Writer Group and 15 artists from Airdrie and surrounding area, working together in partnership to create pieces inspired by each other’s work). This exhibit will be followed by the response pieces.

“While Alberta takes the re-launch slowly we plan to continue the digital exhibit until the end of 2020 to ensure safety for all,” says Patton.

“A digital exhibit makes it easier to reach more people, who don’t or cannot go to the Airdrie library and allows artists vast exposure of their work. That being said, a live exhibit allows the viewer to experience the size, colours, textures, shadows and details of a pieces from various angles, which is much more enjoyable.”

For more information about the exhibits and the library’s services in general, click here.