Kelsey Stephenson is a visual artist based out of Edmonton, on Treaty 6 territory. Her recent work examines ideas of place-based memory and the changes imposed on the landscape through human agency. She has exhibited work in solo exhibitions across Canada and in the USA, with recent group exhibitions including The 5th Bangkok Triennial International Print and Drawing Competition, Bangkok Art and Culture Center in Thailand, and the 2018 Okanagan Print Triennial, in Kelowna, Canada. Kelsey has a Master’s Degree in Fine Art from the University of Tennessee (in printmaking), as well as a Bachelors Degree in Visual Communication Design from the University of Alberta. She has previously taught courses in printmaking at the Alberta University of the Arts and currently teaches at the University of Alberta in foundations and print.
Kelsey’s artistic practice is based around the exploration of multiplicity and fragmentation. Her works range in scope from smaller images on paper, to larger multimedia installation works, which immerse viewers in artistic environments and allow them to engage and experience places in new ways. Stephenson’s art draws on the connections present within the Rocky Mountain landscape, merging imagery across disparate places and times.
In her work, she creates narrative threads linking various representations of the diverse landscape within Alberta, drawing on her own lived experiences within these spaces with deeper geological time and changes made within recent land use. Her most recent work traces the connections found between the glacial headwaters of the North Saskatchewan River and amiskwacîwâskahikan, the City of Edmonton, a place she considers her longtime home.
This opportunity to participate in the #FUTURE program comes, for me, after a period of slowness. Just before #FUTURE began, I had started getting back into the studio after time away due to the pandemic. As I started working on new projects, or coming back to older work with fresh eyes and perspectives, I wanted to reach out and connect with peers online. I wanted to really get a chance to think and approach working in the studio differently, to be open to new ideas and experiences.
This year has allowed me a great deal of reflection, but during this period I was able to connect with and experience new ideas, art, and concepts from the other artists also participating in #FUTURE, inspiring new ideas and approaches in my own work. I hope to carry many of the thoughts and lessons of #FUTURE with me into new works, especially as I continue thinking of works touching on deep time and the far past, how those ideas might reflect and shape the future.
1988 | Edmonton, Canada
Lives and works in Edmonton, Canada
2016 | MFA University of Tennessee, USA
2011 | Bachelor of Design, University of Alberta, Canada
2021 | Megalo’s Screen Print Online Exhibition, Megalo Print Studio, Kingston, Australia
2020 | The 2nd TKO International Miniprint, (Tokyo-Kyoto-Osaka), Tokyo Metropolitan Theater, Tokyo, Art Zone Kaguraoka, Kyoto, and Gallery Irohani, Osaka Japan
2019 | 4th International Miniature Print Exhibition, Manhattan Graphics Center, New York, USA
2019 | The 5th Bangkok Triennial International Print and Drawing Competition, Bangkok Art and Culture Center, Thailand
2019 | 37th Bradley International, Hartmann Center Gallery, Bradley University, Peoria, IL, USA
2015 | Summer Artist-in-Residence, University of British Columbia, Okanagan Campus, Kelowna, Canada
2014 | Visiting Artist Residency at St. Michaels Print Shop, Newfoundland, Canada
2011 | Emerging Artist-in-Residence (AIR) Program Society of Northern Alberta Print-Artists, Canada
2019 | 10th Annual Manifest Prize, one of ten finalist awards, Manifest Gallery, Cincinnati, Ohio, USA
2018 | Prix de Print no. 29, Art in Print, Chicago, USA
2017 | Chancellor’s Purchase Award, 2017 Delta National Small Prints Exhibition, Bradbury Art Museum, Arkansas State University, Jonesboro,USA
2015 -2016 | Thomas Fellowship Recipient, University of Tennessee, USA
2013 | The Boston Printmakers, 2013 North American Print Biennial, Materials Award: Gamblin Artists Colors, Boston, USA
#6 | FUTURE: results
Artists in dialogue
“We must begin to educate ourselves, no longer in the critical exercise, but in the propositional abundance of ideas and worlds. That is the now of tomorrow ” CHUS MARTÍNEZ
#FUTURE (English cohort) was a new session of Together Apart through which we embarked into different considerations and proposals about and for the future. Taking as a framework artistic and conceptual references in relation to utopian and situated futures, the international cohort of artists worked individually and in collaboration, addressing the main theme through artistic practice, collective discussions and conceptual frameworks. This was a specially interesting cohort in regards to the articulation of disciplines and technologies. The working proposals were approached by creations that included printmaking to new media arts, textile arts and sustainable practices, including architecture and design. To mention only a few of the statements that the artists proposed, future was addressed as the negative space that implies how a form might move into it, future is the feeling of anticipation, future is the will to get back cancelled desires, future is transformation, future is restoration, future is expanding the present, future is a wheel spinning in its axis…
Transformation as a process to evoke the future was central in the work of many artists: transformation of materials (reuse, recycle, repetition, erasure), transformation of subjectivities (due to personal will or to external experiences) including gender transformation and approaches to transformations in our brain and body structures.
What other temporalities does the nature offer? Artists approached nature as the main master to explore life cycles, continuities of transformation and an endless source of wonder.
Nature and culture, considered in an imbricate dialogue and not as separate, allowed us to think in different timelines. Artists chose to work in collaboration with nature, from creating working materials from natural resources, as producing paper with plants, using poisonous leaves for an artistic gesture or exposing the artwork to outside atmospheric conditions for long periods of time.
The future of our artistic practices were also considered from proposals which would only unravel in the future or by creating a testament for the future distribution of artwork, even through taking care of the waste that art produces.
On July 14th we will make a public online presentation of all the collaborations which were initiated through this online programme and we will continue exploring through the practice such challenging and fundamental questions related to the future.
DANIELA RUIZ MORENO | Curator-in-Residence
FUTURE VIRTUAL OPENING
July 14th, 2021
4PM GMT-3 | Argentina
Daniela Ruiz Moreno, connecting from Madrid, Spain
Joseph Scheer, connecting from Alfred, NY, USA
Diaa Ahmedien | Cairo, Egypt
Christopher Bradd | Toronto, Canada
Jess Carlock | Portland, OR, USA
Lindsey Clark Ryan | USA
Lucio Gorzalczany | Buenos Aires, Argentina
Beth Grabowski | Chapel Hill, NC, USA
Trisha Gupta | Burtonsville, USA
Lorena Pradal | Zárate, Argentina
Claudia Roselli | Florence, Italy
Carrie Scanga |Portland, Maine, USA
Char Schwall | Kansas City, MO, USA
Rachel Singel | Louisville, Kentucky, USA
Kelsey Stephenson | Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
Clare Thomas |Victoria, BC, Canada
Gerry Trilling |Kansas City, MO, USA
Map for a Remembered Future