Image courtesy the artist
What is the Edmonton art scene to you?
For me, the art scene really is about the people within it. It’s a running joke with some of my artist friends that we always run into each other when out and about in the city. I think this is because the art scene in Edmonton reaches beyond the gallery. Sometimes it happens at the galleries on 124 street or at Latitude 53, but also at the farmers market, local coffee shops like Little Brick, or at events like Folk Fest. I think the scene is growing and changing in ways that are important and exciting to see. More funding and recognition of indigenous artists and marginalized groups has led to a much richer community over the last few years.
What does it mean to you to be an artist working in Edmonton?
Here in Edmonton, we are far away from major cultural centers like Toronto and Vancouver, and it can feel like we are geographically separate from a good portion of the Canadian art scene. While I think it is important to have a sense of what is happening in the Canadian arts scene at large, I often find relevance in looking within my local community. My connection to the weaving community in Edmonton is a big part of how I contextualize my work. The Edmonton Weavers’ Guild has a history of being a major weaving hub, with lots of local experts. However, there are fewer and fewer younger weavers. I feel an urgency to learn as much as I can and help to preserve the knowledge that has been developed locally. This feels possible in part due to the tight knit community that comes from being in a smaller arts center, where there is crossover between academic arts communities and local weavers.
Be sure to catch Kim McCollum in The Scene at your AGA in 2021 (stay tuned for our re-opening announcement).
Image courtesy the artist.
Image courtesy the artist.
Kim McCollum’s practice is invested in the relationship between ancient craft practices, ‘women’s work’ and technology. Her work often incorporates the grid as a visual and conceptual link between the digital and analogue and hand and machine. McCollum is interested in the origins of computer coding in loom weaving, and in the central role women have played in both textile production and computer science. Through extensive work within weaving communities in Edmonton and around the world, she has been handed down patterns, techniques and stories that she records and interprets through painting. McCollum is also co-owner of Gather Textiles, a workshop space and community building initiative in North Edmonton.
(L-R) Kim McCollum, Linen Cross Warp I, 2020. Handwoven Paper, Hemp, Cotton, 11.5”x 18”. Tacit Warp, 2020. Handwoven silk and cotton, 15”x 18”. Linen Cross Warp IV, 2020. Handwoven paper, linen, silk, 12”x 12”. Linen Cross Warp III, 2020. Handwoven paper, linen, silk, 12”x 12”. Linen Cross Warp II, 2020. Handwoven Paper and Hemp, 11.5”x 16”. Linen Cross Warp V, 2020. Handwoven paper, linen, silk, 12”x12”. Courtesy of the Artist. Installation view of The Scene, Art Gallery of Alberta, Edmonton, 2021. Photo: Art Gallery of Alberta.