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Cedar Tavern Singers at the Carleton University Art Gallery (Vernissage is starting RIGHT NOW)

By Apartment613 on October 15, 2012

In about 10 minutes from the posting of this story, the Cedar Tavern Singers (hailing from Lethbridge, AB) will be present at the opening of their exhibition at the Carleton University Art Gallery (CUAG).  The vernissage is today, October 15, 2012 from 5:00pm until 7:30pm.

The Cedar Tavern Singers are an ingenious duo of witty western creativity that weave together multiple genres to create a compelling and unique  form of contemporary art.  They use music, performance, craft, video, drawing, and sculpture to create a collaborative exhibition that makes you think and laugh at the same time.  The installation celebrates both the 20th anniversary of the CUAG and the deep connection Ottawa has to contemporary art, while incorporating an eloquent and delightful style that is distinctive of the Cedar Tavern Singers.  Their collaboration even goes so far as to incorporate drawings of the global community from a call to submit representations of people’s favourite Canadian artworks. It also includes a recording of a song created specifically for the event (which incorporates controversial historical art connections to our fair city), and a new video work.

This pair is quickly moving up the scale in the contemporary art world. If you can’t make it for the opening tonight be sure to check out the exhibition, which runs until December 16, 2012. You can also come for a conversation they will be having with Christopher Rohde at the CUAG tomorrow at 7:00 pm.

I sent a few questions over to Sandra Dyck, curator for The Cedar Tavern Singers AKA Les Phonoréalistes’ Art Snob Solutions, Phase III: At the Hundredth Meridian to find out more about the project.

Apartment613: I understand that this is a big day for the Carleton University Art Gallery (CUAG).  Achieving twenty years is a milestone for an art institution.  Can you give me a little background on your relationship with the gallery?

Sandra Dyck: I started in 1995 as a part-time curatorial assistant and Art History major at Carleton University which turned into a full time position in 1997 as an administrator, which was followed by acting-director, curator and officially as the director in 2012.

How did you end up selecting the Cedar Tavern Singers AKA Les Phonoréalistes for this celebration?  How does this reflect your curatorial style?

I was in Lethbridge Alberta in early 2012 curating a show at the Lethbridge University Art Gallery when artist Josie Mills mentioned the Cedar Tavern Singers and how they had written a song about Lethbridge and they sounded perfect for the CUAG.

They came to visit CUAG in the Fall for material and took a tour of the CUAG collection and the city.  They mix songs that distil the essence of the CUAG and Canadian Art.

The CUAG had never commissioned an exhibition before.  This was something fun for a Birthday part of which we see will how it works out tonight.

This is the third phase to address elitism and high art from low art which requires insider art world knowledge to understand all sorts of Canadian artists that are referenced.

This exhibition is fun and can really reach a wide variety of audiences. How do you feel it can connect with the community?

The exhibition draws reference to the art world and draws us to art history and brings that into contemporary art.

Do you have a favourite piece?

The perfume is the quintessential identity of tongue in cheek.  It is in a maple shaped perfume bottle with a woodsy aroma of Canadian woods.  It is all clever and fun and affectionate with a deep love of art.