July 22, 2020 — August 26, 2020

Program Fee: FREE

What is real and what is not real? For centuries, the possibility that unicorns and dragons could roam the Earth seemed as plausible, to some, as elephants.

Before inventions like the printed press and camera, personal consciousness was limited to geographical boundaries. If elephants were not indigenous to an individual’s area, their knowledge of the animal was either garnered through oral tradition, written description, or an artist’s illustration (often based on the written description and not first-hand observation). Stories of fictitious animals were conveyed in the same manner. The ability to distinguish between what was real and imaginary was not as obvious then as it is today.

Imaginary creatures may not have a place in modern zoology, but their endurance in our contemporary mythologies indicates something very real about human need. Perhaps they endure because we need places for our minds to go. Alternate realities that reflect the playfulness and possibilities of our imaginations. The artwork presented in Creatures does just that. Amongst the elongated ears, discombobulated limbs and topsy-turvy environments are open narratives that we can illuminate and make our own.

Creatures features 19 artworks of fantastical beings primarily from the collection of the Alberta Foundation for the Arts by seven artists; Patricia Askren, Jude Griebel, Jana Hargarten, Janet Mitchell, Lisa Puopolo, Pat Strakowski and Carol Taylor-Lindoe. 

Curated by Shannon Bingeman and developed by the Alberta Society of Artists.

What is TREX?

Since 1980, the Alberta Foundation for the Arts (AFA) has supported a provincial Travelling Exhibition (TREX) Program. The TREX program strives to ensure every Albertan is provided with an opportunity to enjoy fully developed exhibitions in schools, libraries, health care centres and smaller rural institutions and galleries throughout the province.