Contemporary Art Society Emerging Artist’s Prize Exhibition

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Contemporary Art Society Emerging Artist’s Prize Exhibition
May 17 – 31, 2014

Opening Reception Thursday 22 May, 2014, 7:00 pm; winner announced at 7:30 pm

The Contemporary Art Society of Vancouver (CASV) presents an exhibition at Access Gallery of artwork by the five finalists selected for the 2014 CASV Emerging Artist’s Prize, a competition open to artists in the Lower Mainland. The biennial prize was established in 2011 to encourage and support artists within the first five years of their careers, and is the only one of its kind in Vancouver selected through an open competition.

Chosen from among 89 applicants, Derya Akay, Byron Peters, Laura Piasta, Joseph Staples and Erdem Taşdelen were selected by a distinguished jury of art professionals: Grant Arnold (Audain Curator of British Columbia Art, Vancouver Art Gallery); Vanessa Kwan (artist and curator); Sarah Macaulay (Macaulay Fine Art); Kimberly Phillips (Director/Curator, Access Gallery), and Reid Shier (Director, Presentation House Gallery).

The CASV is a not-for-profit membership-based organization founded in 1977 that focuses on promoting an appreciation and understanding of Contemporary Art. Members enjoy studio visits, art trips, and lectures by prominent artists, critics, collectors, designers, architects and fine art professionals from North America and abroad. The $3000 prize is entirely funded by CASV memberships and donations.

Derya Akay

Derya Akay’s practice is driven by a curiosity of how things are made. From flowers to food to furniture, it explores the means of production of non-art objects and how these processes find confluence with his own art making practice. Akay’s research is always a process of education where he learns the skills necessary to make the objects that interest him. The acquisition of these skills begins to inform his art making. Ways of building, growing, and cooking become translated in his work into gesture, composition, and form. In this way, the production of non-art objects becomes the work itself. These works include textiles, still lifes, ceramics, photographs, furniture and gardens. Akay is interested in a tradition of appropriation with a focus on the means of production, rather than on products themselves. His ceramics reflect his interest in the meaning and experience of a meal that he has grown, cooked, and served to the community that surrounds him. In this manner, Akay engages with questions of self-sufficiency, self-reliance, community and sustainability. To look at these from another perspective, he is interested in the intersections, tangents and parallels between life, art and work. Derya Akay was born in 1988 in Istanbul, Turkey. He obtained his BFA from Emily Carr University in 2010 and has since been living in Vancouver. His most recent solo exhibitions are anewground, The Apartment, Vancouver (2013); Wall blobs, Terasaki gallery, Kofu-shi, Yamanashi, Japan (2013). He has exhibited in numerous group exhibitions in Vancouver, Toronto, Istanbul and London.

Byron Peters

Byron Peters’ recent work navigates models of ‘participation’ as the production, consumption, and exploitation of our times. “Untitled,” his submission for the CASV Emerging Artist’s Prize Exhibition, is one of several commissions / collaborations with architectural visualization firms whereby the artist and firm discussed and attempted to visualize thought-experiments in lieu of representations of the built environment. Depicting the sky above the workplace where it was created, the resulting image was produced by a Shenzhen-based visualization firm specializing in rendering luxury homes and condominiums in North America and Europe. Peters is interested in how global conditions of segregation and fragmentation have tendencies to not appear as explicit danger, but rather as personified within us, hidden behind layers of complex ornament. As these paradoxes surface, they fall under a central contradiction: how is it that a society premised on hyper-productivity can create great vacancies and ‘elsewhereness’ within itself? These vacancies – literal or metaphorical – are the starting points for his research and engagement. Byron Peters received a BFA from The University of British Columbia in 2007 and an MFA from California College of the Arts in 2013. His recent projects and work have been exhibited at The Asian Art Museum of San Francisco and The Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts in New York, and he has contributed recent writings for SFMoMA Open Space and Fillip. He also works in the Vancouver-based organizations Coupe and the Lower Mainland Painting Co. (LMPC).

Laura Piasta

Laura Piastaʼs practice explores a variety of material and matter, creating a platform where sounds, objects and forms come together to reveal new experience and meaning. Her work often approaches the subject of landscape through alternative applications where natural occurring phenomena and material become subjects and or participants in the production and reading of the work. Piasta’s practice is not bound to one medium or discipline, but blurs the boundaries between craft, concept, sound and vision. For the Contemporary Art Society Emerging Artist’s Prize Exhibition Piasta presents a new project that explores textiles and acoustics absorption. The work consists of two acoustic tapestry panels hand-loomed and mounted on sound absorbing mineral wool fiber. Piasta received her BFA from Emily Carr University in 2006 and moved to Europe in 2008 where she completed her MFA in 2012 from the Umeå Academy of Fine Arts Sweden. Her work has been exhibited at a number of institutions and galleries including Auto Centre Berlin; Bildmuseet Sweden; Blanket Gallery and Or Gallery in Vancouver. In 2012 Piasta was Artist in Residence at The Banff Centre for the Arts and The Factory of Art and Design in Copenhagen.

Joseph Staples

Joseph Staples works with found images and photography through collage and printmaking. His practice focuses on abstraction with a base in photography and representation of the human form. The work has revolved around two main themes – repetition and the cut line of collaged images. He has exhibited locally at the Vancouver Art Gallery, Equinox Gallery, Wil Aballe Art Projects and abroad. He is currently planning his fourth solo presentation at Malaspina Printmakers in the autumn of 2014. Staples’ project for this exhibition revolves around real estate, printmaking, failure and the unknown.

Erdem Taşdelen

Erdem Taşdelen’s multidisciplinary practice involves a range of media including installation, drawing, sculpture, video, sound and artist books. Often working with text and language, he draws from a diverse set of references that includes both highbrow and lowbrow expressions of personal identification, engaging the socially constructed and culturally learned aspects of self-expression. Through the self-reflexive processes in which he questions his various existences in social realms, Taşdelen presents an investigation of subjectivity and its representations. His works are often imbued with dramatization, playfulness and humour, and demonstrate a belief in the idea that all personal expression is a form of performance. For his self-titled work Erdem Taşdelen (2011), he has produced 48 individual business cards with unusual descriptions of himself, which he uses in his daily life. Genealogy (2010-ongoing) consists of a growing number of curated books that trace the artist’s personal history of desire and melancholy. His new diptych of drawings, Drudgery (2014), is a sardonic attempt to document the repetitiveness of the everyday. Taşdelen holds an MAA in Visual Arts from Emily Carr University and is represented by Galerie NON in Istanbul. Recent solo and group exhibitions include venues such as The Western Front, Capture Photo Festival, Republic Gallery and 221A in Vancouver BC; Galeri NON, ARTER and Sanatorium in Istanbul; Biennial of the Americas in Denver CO; Kunstverein Hannover; Museum für angewandte Kunst in Vienna; Haus Konstruktiv in Zurich; and Oakville Galleries in Oakville, Ontario.

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We are grateful to the generous donors who helped fund the 2014 Emerging Artist’s Prize: Coleen and Howard Nemtin, Petra Tode-Woods and Robert Woods, the Bellringer Family Foundation, Julia Kristjanson, Jeffrey Boone and David Wong, Jane Irwin and Ross Hill, Holly Armishaw and Murray Fraeme, Tej Basi, Sunshine Frere, Wylie Rauch and Monte Clark, Rachel and Joe Lafo, Melanie Parent, Elizabeth Snow, and several anonymous donors.

Access Gallery is a platform committed to emergent and experimental art practices. We enable critical conversations and risk-taking through new configurations of audience, artists and community.