For Immediate Release: Hamilton Artists Inc. is pleased to present its Winter Exhibition Programming

Abedar Kamgari, DB Kellam and Lydia Santia in Ignition 4
Recipients of this year’s Hamilton Artists Inc. Award for Distinction in the McMaster Studio Art Program

Lumír Hladík, Caitlin Lapena and Rebecca Munce in Thresholds
Curated by Matthew Kyba

February 6 – March 12
Opening Reception and Awards Presentation: Saturday, February 6, 2:00-4:00 pm
Hamilton Artists Inc. 155 James Street North, Hamilton

Lydia Santia, Transgression Bedroom (Installation view), 2015


Cannon Gallery

Ignition: Hamilton Artists Inc.’s Award for Distinction in the McMaster Studio Art Program
Recipients: Abedar Kamgari, DB Kellam and Lydia Santia

February 6 – March 12
Opening Reception and Awards Presentation: Saturday, February 6, 2:00-4:00 pm

Hamilton, January 29, 2016: Hamilton Artists Inc. is pleased to announce the recipients of its annual Ignition Award, recognizing students of distinction graduating from McMaster University’s Studio Art Program. This year’s recipients are Abedar Kamgari, DB Kellam and Lydia Santia. In addition to participating in this professional exhibition, recipients are also awarded studio space for one year following graduation at the Cotton Factory in Hamilton.

Hamilton Artists Inc. congratulates this year’s recipients of the Ignition Award on their outstanding work, Abedar Kamgari, DB Kellam and Lydia Santia. One of Hamilton Artists Inc.’s primary objectives as an artist-run centre is to support artists at all levels of their careers, and to empower their artistic expression and research. The exhibition space becomes the point from which each of these emerging artists can begin to launch their professional practice, the presentation of their work acting as the vehicle through which audiences can engage with the idea of activating or igniting the imagination, within a critical, multi-layered experience. In addition to a professional exhibition, the selected graduating students are awarded a cash honorarium, certificate of distinction and studio space generously donated by the Cotton Factory at 270 Sherman for a year following the completion of their studies. Established in 2013 by former staff member and McMaster graduate, Reg Gilmore, in association with the Studio Art Program at McMaster University, the IGNITION award honours exceptional graduating students.

Hamilton Artists Inc. would like to acknowledge the support and continued commitment of its exhibition partners, McMaster University School of the Arts and the Cotton Factory at 270 Sherman.

Abedar Kamgari has lived in three countries, five cities, and seventeen different houses. She now resides in Hamilton while pursuing a BFA in Studio Art at McMaster University with an interest in critical writing. An emerging interdisciplinary artist, Abedar’s art has been exhibited in Hamilton, Toronto, and in the United States, and is owned in private collections in both countries.DB Kellam (born Douglas Bryan Kellam) is currently studying for his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree at McMaster University and is expected to graduate in 2016. Born in Brantford Ontario, he has spent the remainder of his life residing across Southern Ontario and regularly travels to his hometown in Haldimand County. There, the local surroundings, rural landscapes, rivers, and Lake Erie provide DB with the imagery and inspiration for his prevailing practice in painting.

Lydia Santia spends her adult life challenging her typical upbringing in a comfortable home in a suburban neighborhood. She currently lives in Hamilton, Ontario and is completing her BFA degree at McMaster University. Lydia has exhibited her work in Toronto and Hamilton and her work is owned in several private collections.

About our partners:
The Hamilton Artists Inc. award for Distinction in the Studio Art Program provides a perfect setting for McMaster University to celebrate its commitment to community engaged learning by involving young, talented, emerging artists within the greater Hamilton art community. McMaster University is historically tied to Hamilton Artists Inc. with art graduates from the University being among the founding members of the gallery some forty years ago. The gallery’s purpose built exhibition facilities on James Street North offer a highly professional exhibition experience for the recipients and provides an opportunity for sustained connections.

The Cotton Factory  The current use of this former industrial building is a fine example of adaptive reuse. In the heart of lower Hamilton, the facilities at 270 Sherman Avenue North have been transformed into a creative industries complex, with space for workshops and small manufacturing, office space for creative professionals, and studios for artists. The Cotton Factory at 270 Sherman Ave. N. has developed a permanent home for the Ignition Award within their complex, wherein the recipients of the annual award are provided with a studio space for one year immediately following graduation.

 Rebecca Munce, Bildungsroman 2 (Detail), 2015

James Gallery

Lumír Hladík, Caitlin Lapeña and Rebecca Munce
Curated by Matthew Kyba

February 6 – March 12
Opening Reception: Saturday, February 6, 2:00-4:00 pm
Curator’s talk and tour: February 20, 2:00 pm
Artists Talk: February 27, 2:00 pm

Lumir Hladik, Caitlin Lapeña, and Rebecca Munce intersperse subtly transgressive subject matter within their works’ innocent, delicate, and conceptual forms to aesthetically “disarm” the viewer, thus creating fertile conditions for affective engagement. Each artist marries beauty and discomfort, developing a confusing ambivalence between alluringly aestheticized forms, and the latent abjection hiding within them. Juxtaposing antagonistic elements of “pure” and “tainted,” beauty and beast, and ultimately attraction and repulsion, the artists in Thresholds explore nuanced dimensions of abject aesthetics as a vehicle for unsettlement in contemporary art.Lumír Hladík is one of the originators and a key member of the 70’s conceptual art movement in the Czech Republic. He primarily engaged in performance art, installations and intervention. His early work explored the notions of alterity, mortality and determinism. After moving to Canada in 1982, Hladík focused on yet another aspect of mortality. Through installations and interventions, Hladík explores a new facet of the disrespect for death theme that animates his work; a contemporary version of VANITAS. His work is multilayered, containing myriads of subtle references. Lumír Hladík lives and works in Toronto, Canada.

Born in 1991 and a graduate of York University of Bachelor of Fine Arts program in 2013, Rebecca Munce explores issues of suburban perception, subcultural practises, and our relationship with possessions, addressing the idea of how an individual’s identity is founded. By examining intimate space and how subjects function within them in terms of their own individualized contexts, the collected works exemplify a surreal and often eccentric take on normalcy. Munce is currently completing her MFA at Concordia University, Montreal.

Caitlin Lapeña was born in Toronto, but grew up in Northern California. After pursuing a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, she moved back to the GTA. Caitlin’s practice draws from her subconscious and hypnotic dream state. She works intuitively with collage and mixed media in order to reconstruct disturbing dreams and disconnected thoughts. Her practice focuses on out-of-body experiences during the state just before dreaming, and inward unsettlement. The process of drawing from concrete sources distinguishes between what is real and what is imagined.

Matthew Kyba is an independent curator who has curated projects in Toronto & Kingston, ON, and Portland, OR. He received his MFA in Criticism and Curatorial Practice from OCAD University and received his BAH in Film and Media studies from Queen’s University.

For more information please contact:

Caitlin Sutherland, Programming Director, Hamilton Artists Inc.
Tel: 905 529 3355

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