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THE NEXT 7 DAYS:     EVENTS (22)     +     OPENINGS (6)     +     DEADLINES (17)     +     CLOSINGS (9)
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Robert Achtemichuk, Hand, gouache on washi paper, 2017. Photo: Robert McNair.

Robert Achtemichuk: selfie

January 19–March 11, 2018
Opening reception: Saturday, January 20, 2pm
Location: Open Sesame, 220 King Street West, Kitchener, ON

Artist's Statement:

"Lately, painting has been for me a form of patiently looking at my body. I am interested in and aim to record the wonder of the sustained quotidian gaze. I work from the information of that gaze, using brushes and gouache on washi or silk to paint images of these private meditations. When mixing colour in preparation for a painting, I am affected by the perception of these views.

I am painting the body as it extends itself into space from my eyes. Within lies a fascination with balance, weight, near and far, differences from right side to left side, focus point and periphery, and—of course—colour. This mapping of a body at rest or exercise, or undergoing care, informs these paintings about place, age, limitations, dreams, and realities.

Very personal, and produced in a closeted, private manner, these paintings make people respond to them with a sense of recognition of their own lived experience. It is a kind of universal poetic moment that furthers my interests into a new palette, content, and context. These images help me ponder and translate issues of my person and the physical results of aging, as well as address change.

Recently, as I was listening to Shelagh Rogers's The Next Chapter on the CBC, I heard poet Janet Rogers quote the Ojbwe elder James Dumont: 'The hardest journey is from the head to the heart.' Working with memory or in plein air has brought me a poetic understanding of the painting experience. We all have memories of common experiences, and I try to use these memories to make my paintings."

—Robert Achtemichuk, October 2017

Robert Achtemichuk acknowledges the Region of Waterloo Arts Fund for supporting this project and the Ontario Arts Council for an exhibition assistance grant.

About the artist:

Born in Yorkton, Saskatchewan, Robert Achtemichuk holds a fine arts degree from the University of Manitoba and pursued further studies in France and Mexico. Achtemichuk is a former executive director of Open Studio, the Waterloo Regional Arts Council, and the Canadian Clay & Glass Gallery. He recently received artist grants from the Ontario Arts Council and the Region of Waterloo Arts Fund to develop and exhibit paintings. The artist also received the Board of Directors Award of Excellence from the Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition in 2012 and the 2015 Machteld Faas Xander Visual Arts Award from Arts Awards Waterloo Region. Achtemichuk lives and works in Kitchener.

Anna van Milligen, <3, 2017. Photo: Scott Lee.

Anna van Milligen: <3

Through May 2018
Location: Open Sesame, 220 King Street West, Kitchener, ON (King Street windows)

Anna van Milligen's <3 is the first installation for Lèche Vitrine: Open Sesame Project Window, a collaboration between CAFKA – Contemporary Art Forum Kitchener and Area and Open Sesame.

Printed on vinyl and affixed to Open Sesame's King Street windows, <3 reflects the artist's longstanding interest in the construction and performance of feminine identity as well as this medium's associations with advertising and publicity. For CAFKA, the Lèche Vitrine project space is an opportunity to support new art forms and to celebrate emerging artists and experimental work.

About the artist:

Anna van Milligen is a Canadian-American installation artist who lives and works in Guelph, Ontario. Her choice of media includes fake hair, faux fur, and dollar-store beauty enhancements. Van Milligen received her BFA in 2013 from Calvin College, Grand Rapids, Michigan, and her MFA in 2016 from the University of Waterloo.

Lèche Vitrine is made possible with the support of the Region of Waterloo Arts Fund.


Open Sesame: Art, Books, and Objects
220 King Street West
Kitchener, ON N2G 1A9

Hours: Tuesday–Saturday, 11am–6pm

Facebook and Instagram: @OpenSesameShop
Twitter: @OpenSesameKW

CAFKA—Contemporary Art Forum Kitchener and Area





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