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Oxygen Art Centre


Oxygen Art Centre in Nelson BC and Kootenay Gallery of Art in Castlegar BC announce a unique collaborative group exhibition. Overburden: Geology, Excavation and Metamorphosis in a Chaotic Age will take place in two art centres in two rural communities. It features an online exhibition with virtual tours, information about the artists and their work, links to exhibition programming, and more. 
Organized by artist and curator Genevieve Robertson on behalf of Oxygen Art Centre and Kootenay Gallery of Art curator Maggie Shirley, the exhibition features eleven artists, including 2020 Sobey Art award winners Tsēmā Igharas and Asinnijaq. Other participating artists include Gabriela Escobar Ari, Patti Bailey, Randy Lee Cutler, Darren Fleet, Jim Holyoak, Keith Langergraber, Sarah Nance, Tara Nicholson and Carol Wallace. The included artists are located in the Kootenays, across Canada, and the US.
The title of the exhibition, Overburden, references topsoil and vegetation that are removed before mining takes place. It also references our planet’s current condition and the psychological burden that many experience in the face of climate and other ecological changes. 
Overburden brings together a group of artists whose shared concerns address geology and its relationship to shifting climate patterns and resource extraction, in both regional and global contexts. Artists respond to mining histories in the Kootenay area, arctic ice melt that is uncovering paleontological data, mining reclamation practices, and glacial seismic events. While some artists bear witness to harmful extraction practices and an ever more unstable world, others seek to find caring, embodied, and imaginative ways to develop relationships with geologic materials
The respective exhibitions take place on different dates but overlap between June 18 and July 10 for those who wish to experience the complete physical exhibition at both sites. Local residents will be able to visit the Oxygen exhibition from June 1 to July 10, 2021. The Kootenay Gallery of Art exhibition will open June 18 and run until August 21, 2021. Please consult each gallery to learn about hours of operation and COVID-19 protocols. 
The exhibition will also be accessible online through the domain, www.overburden.ca. The site offers the exhibition experience virtually, launching May 15, 2021. In addition to the online exhibition, a series of online events take place throughout the weekend of Saturday June 19, 2021 and Sunday June 20, 2021. The online events feature panel talks, workshops, and performances. Please consult the website for the full schedule and registration. Recordings will be made available following the live events on the website. 
An exhibition catalogue featuring the artists and their artworks, curatorial statement, and exhibition essay will be published in August 2021. It will also be available digitally at overburden.ca.
For further information contact Oxygen Art Centre at info@oxygenartcentre.org or the Kootenay Gallery at kootenaygallery@telus.net
Overburden: Geology, Excavation and Metamorphosis in a Chaotic Age will be on view at Oxygen Art Centre from June 1 to July 10, 2021 and Kootenay Gallery of Art from June 18 to August 21, 2021. Educational and artistic events take place via Zoom from June 19 – 20, 2021. The online exhibition will be on view beginning May 15, 2021.
Oxygen Art Centre and the Kootenay Gallery of Art would like to thank the primary funders, Canada Council for the Arts, Columbia Kootenay Cultural Alliance, British Columbia Arts Council and the Government of British Columbia, as well as corporate sponsors Teck and Columbia Power. 

Image: Overburden exhibition poster, 2021

For more information contact:
Maggie Shirley
Curator, Kootenay Gallery of Art